By CBSLA Staff

BEVERLY HILLS (CBSLA) — Like everything else, 2020’s version of Halloween is just a touch spookier — but for all the wrong reasons.

For the first time in decades, one of the most popular spots in the city will be dark this year as Beverly Hills bans trick-or-treating and closes five blocks around the Witch’s House. (CBSLA)

The city of Beverly Hills has banned trick-or-treating and is closing off five streets that traditionally attract thousands in an effort to keep people safe amid the coronavirus pandemic. And, for the first time in decades, one of the most popular spots in the city will be dark.

“It was a mixture of disappointment and elation that the city took some action to be protective of the community,” Michael Libow, owner of The Witch’s House, said.

Libow has owned the famed Witch’s House for more than 20 years. He said Halloween is usually so busy that he has to hire security guards.

“We generally get between 4,000-5,000 people every Halloween in four hours,” he said. “They line up from where I’m standing all the way around the block, and it’s insanity.”

But ghosts and ghouls lined down the street does not lend itself to social distancing, so the city announced it was closing the streets around the iconic home this year.

“Streets are going to be blocked off surrounding the perimeter of my home on Walden and Linden,” Libow said. “They’ll be no pedestrian nor vehicular traffic allowed into this spot.”

Surprisingly, people out celebrating a night early were understanding of the city’s position.

“I think it’s fine,” one person said. “It’s better for safety.”

The city ordinance bans house-to-house trick-or-treating and car-to-car trunk-or-treating; spraying shaving cream on others, except within their home or residence or for licensed barbers on their customers; and providing candy or other Halloween treats or toys to any person outside their household on Oct. 31.

Those who violate the emergency order could face a citation.

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