The Halloween event is that time of the year when enchantments, hauntings, and family curses fall upon the world-wide facilities of Mann Co., and, for several days in October and November, Team Fortress 2 is transformed into Scream Fortress! First introduced in the The Terrifying Team Fortress Haunted Hallowe'en Special of 2009, Halloween events feature activation of Halloween-themed start screens, spooky sound cues, haunted maps, soul-harvesting contract campaigns, scary or ridiculous Halloween cosmetics, Ghosts, and monsters, with Scream Fortress Patches adding new Halloween content.
|This page in a pumpkin shell: In recent years Valve's Halloween events have featured
Earlier events included Comics as well.Users should be aware that Valve is free to decide each year which features to activate, when to activate them, and when to change or add features. On occasion, Valve has activated all features on the same day, but often Valve delays activation of some features for days.
Development of the Halloween event
The original Holiday-restricted Halloween events opened with a Major Update content patch and concluded 10 or so days later with removal of Halloween cosmetic effects.
Most of the individual Halloween Updates introduced new features to the Halloween event celebration, whether new maps, monsters, or mechanics, like magic spells or the Soul Gargoyle. Valve treated the first seven Halloween events as "major updates", each with an update page on the official Team Fortress website and a Comic of some form. From the beginning, Halloween events have been linked with continuations of the Team Fortress 2 Storyline, with the release of Zephaniah Mann's last will and testament and family portrait and the coupling of the Halloween comics with closely released main Storyline comics, notably the murders of Blutarch and Redmond and the crossovers of Merasmus. However, from the 8th annual event onward, no update pages or comics were published.
The first six events released seven haunted maps (five developed by Valve), but the next four events released 12 quality Community haunted maps and the one Valve map from this time was not Haunted. Another consideration is that the Halloween events of 2016, 2017, and 2018 released far fewer cosmetic items. The 2017 Halloween event was so minimal as to have no maps, no comic, and only one cosmetic item; however, it can be noted that this particular 2017 Halloween event (and that event's single item) was integrated with the then ongoing massive Jungle Inferno Campaign that introduced a new Contract system, with coordinated new Halloween Contracts to distribute new Items as rewards for playing. Later events resumed introduction of new haunted maps and cosmetics, with the Halloween cosmetics distributed through the now unfarmable Halloween Contracts.
In 2019, now with extensive Halloween Contracts and many maps, Valve extended the feature activations, with the restricted items and past haunted maps appearing very early in October and Contracts and other features activating within the first two weeks of October. This gave players more weeks to enjoy the maps, show off costumes, and complete Contracts.
List of Halloween events