The 1918 flu caused Halloween cancellations across the US. It could happen again

As people living during the 1918 influenza pandemic approached Halloween, they had to balance a desire for fun with the risk of catching and spreading a deadly disease.

(CNN)On the list of traditions canceled by the coronavirus pandemic, Halloween might be next on the cultural hit list.

Los Angeles County, for example, has led the charge by issuing formal guidance that recommends against trick-or-treating and bans outright haunted houses, festivals and other traditional festivities that would fall under current Covid-19 health guidelines, according to the county's public health department.
The decision is history repeating itself: During the 1918 influenza pandemic, "Halloween parties in general, as well as other social functions attracting large numbers of people (were) discouraged" by LA health authorities, according to an October 30, 1918, Los Angeles Times report.
    The fall of 1918 was the second and worst wave of the 1918 flu pandemic, which killed between 50 million and 100 million people worldwide.
    "Not only was the peak of death right before Halloween, but they were still experiencing pretty severe waves," said Carolyn Orbann, an associate teaching professor in the department of health sciences at the University of Missouri-Columbia.