Of course Halloween just had to take place on a Saturday this year.

On the long list of tragedies beget by 2020, the fact that we're missing the rare occurrence of Oct. 31 falling on a weekend doesn't even register, but it certainly adds a tinge of insult to many, many injuries.

But never fear—fear is still an option. Sure, this isn't going to be a typical Halloween, but there are still opportunities to catch a whiff of the holiday as we know it.

Here are seven socially distant or otherwise safe events happening in Portland that should conjure that old spooky feeling.

Watch horror movies at an amusement park…

From the creators of Hump comes a film festival theoretically more frightening than getting surprised by your neighbor's genitals onscreen. For Slay, The Portland Mercury and its Seattle sister paper, The Stranger, have rounded up 30 short DIY horror movies that will screen drive-in style at the home of champion roller derby squad the Rose City Rollers. Some involve puppets, others go the found footage route, and at least one appears to marry The Exorcist with the era of teleconferencing. Personally, though, the most disturbing on paper is called Hangnail, in which "a common nuisance turns into a grisly nightmare," according to the synopsis. That's some body horror even Cronenberg won't touch. MS. The Hangar, 7805 SE Oaks Park Way, slayfilmfest.com. 6 and 9 pm Wednesday-Saturday, Oct. 28-31. $40-$60. 

Scavenge for candy at the zoo…

Going door to door is off the table this year. Cage to cage, however? Perfectly acceptable! While many neighborhoods will be turning off the porch lights, the Oregon Zoo is opening the gates for its annual Howloween event, welcoming families to wander the grounds in costume—stay on the designated path, please—and gawk at the animals while participating in a wildlife-themed scavenger hunt. (Face masks are required, so hopefully you've convinced your child that going as Bane is totally cool this year.) Sure, it sounds placid, but sit your li'l pumpkin down in front of the tiger exhibit and gasp at how quickly that big-ass cat would devour him like a box of Boston Baked Beans if there wasn't a foot of glass separating them. Your neighbor's foam-graveyard lawn display can't compete. MS. Oregon Zoo, 4001 SW Canyon Road., oregonzoo.org. 9 am-4 pm Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 29-31. 

Learn the truth about creatures of the night…

Bats get a bad rap—have you ever actually seen one up close? They're friggin' adorable! Sadly, this year hasn't helped their reputation as portents of doom and carriers of disease. As an appropriately timed act of PR, the Friends of the Columbia Gorge are hosting a live webinar about bat conservation efforts in the Pacific Northwest, which aims to correct the misconceptions about the important role these winged kittens play in the regional ecosystem while illuminating their own health crisis: white nose syndrome, considered "one of the worst wildlife diseases of modern times." Please, though, no questions about Robert Pattinson. MS. See gorgefriends.org for registration information. 5:30 pm Thursday, Oct. 29. Free. 

Dress up your pup…

If the hellscape that is 2020 has prompted you to seek out a Halloween more adorable than terrifying, look no further than Stem Wine Bar. The recently rebranded shop is hosting a costume contest for all the good boys and girls whose humans decided to shove them into costumes and parade around the covered patio for a photo op. Tag those pictures on Instagram using #StemPatioPup to enter a costume contest by 5 pm on Halloween. The best-dressed pooch will earn its owners free flights of wine. Bet your human child has never won you free booze before. AP. Stem Wine Bar, 3920 N Mississippi Ave., stemwinebarpdx.com. 3 pm Friday, Oct. 30, through 5 pm Saturday, Oct. 31.

Take a drive-thru tour of Halloween history…

If anyone was going to make sure Halloween wasn't completely canceled, it's the Reformers. In the past, the scare-driven immersive theater troupe has created a zombie apocalypse in a garage, "abducted" people in a Ford Econoline van and exploited the uneasiness of a half-empty Lloyd Center by setting last year's production in the mall. For 2020, the group takes audiences through the history of Samhain—via car or bicycle to adhere to physical distancing guidelines. Don't get too cocky: Just because you're likely to be safe from the 'rona doesn't guarantee your experience won't be frightening for other reasons. The venue location will be shared the day before each performance. AP. thereformerspdx.com. 7-9:20 pm Friday, Oct 30. $15-$45 per car, $8-$20 per bike.

Go trick-or-treating at a vending machine…

Marching up to a stranger's doorstep and demanding free shit should have always come across as a sketchy enterprise. This year, more than ever, trick-or-treating is looking like a high-risk proposition. Pix Pâtisserie offers a safer alternative: On Halloween, the doors of its outdoor Pix-O-Matic vending machine will open for free, which means you don't have to sift through a bucket of duds—Tootsie Rolls, we're looking at you—in order to find the good stuff. The automat will be stuffed with gems, like mini candy bars, toys and Pix's beloved truffles. Want to make the experience feel more Halloween-y? Come in costume and pose in the nearby photo booth. Pix will award the person who wore its favorite with a giant box of candy. AP. Pix Pâtisserie, 2225 E Burnside St., pixpatisserie.com/pixomatic. 6:30-9 pm Saturday, Oct. 31. Free.

Take a virtual ghost tour…

Of all the experiences forced to go digital this year, a virtual paranormal tour seems an especially poor substitute for the real thing. The whole idea is to stand in an allegedly haunted room and let your mind play tricks on you. At home, any mood you manage to conjure can easily be spoiled by a neighbor's loud-ass Zoom call or a DoorDash delivery. But Ghostflix, a ghost tour livestream platform, has a few things going for it. For one, it's not limited by geography—yes, you can take the Portland Ghosts tour of downtown's spookiest spots, but also visit classic haunts in Virginia, New Orleans and Salem, Mass. And interacting with dead strangers is often preferable to being around living ones. Going it alone on your couch might actually be an improvement without someone's drunken aunt chattering behind you. MS. portlandghosts.com/ghostflix.