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Spartan Scoop

Spartan Scoop

Inform · Connect · Entertain

Spartan Scoop


A summary of Halloween ideas, traditions, and personal experiences.
Karma Patey
How the tables turn, pumpkins carve humans now.

October begins again: A month full of fear, fun, and fake faces. We will explore everything from the most popular to the strangest Halloween traditions and activities around Missoula. 

Do we have a pumpkin obsession?

Pumpkin breads, lattes, soaps, pies, ice creams, soups, as soon as the season hits stores go all out to come up with anything and everything that could be pumpkin. This transforms a commonly overlooked and forgotten about squash into the highlight of the season. Due to their orange coloration and distinctive flavor, they’re a perfect personification of Autumn. Originally the appeal of pumpkins was the harvest time and nutrient value which made them perfect for storing food before winter; now, pumpkins make a pretty nice pie.

Bobbing for apples

Watching kids dunk their heads in a bucket to try and fish out an apple is a normal occurrence during October, but why? While there are many variations of the tradition the most known one originated around the Roman invasion of Britain and became a Celtic celebration. A simple game with a chocolate bar on the line today was once a tradition used to decide who would marry next and sometimes even determine soulmates. 

Missoula events

All around Missoula, people go all out for Halloween. This year there are parties, brunches, movies, and so much more to add to your calendar. 

Missoula Haunted house- Yep, it’s back, the famed haunted house ready to scare your head off your shoulders. Running through the 31st is one you don’t want to miss. It’s set up at the fairgrounds and said to be ‘better than ever’ if you make it out alive, that is. 

Fall Family Fest- Their 2nd annual Festival the University of Montana is offering games, tours, and food from the 26th to the 29th with the hope of promoting the importance of family around the holidays. The schedule for these activities is posted on their website along with details on each of the events for the week.

Spooky Movie Showings- Theaters like the Roxy and AMC have special Halloween screenings all month long including, The Peoples Joker, The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Shining, The Exorcist, and so many more. It’s the best way to spook yourself –watch a horror movie and then walk back to your car in the dark and wait for something to jump out. 

Choral Spooktacular- Check the University music page for tickets to their chilling Halloween choir concert on the 29th. It’s always fun to grab a warm drink and listen to beautiful music for the holidays. 

YMCA hoot and howl bash- The YMCA will be hosting a costume party with prizes for the top three winners and even providing food and drink for attendees. Have you ever made a Halloween costume out of cardboard? If not, here’s your big chance. 

Halloween pranks

Back to our regularly scheduled programming, it’s time for pranks.

Oftentimes everyone wants to pull a prank on someone but it’s either not acceptable timing or they don’t have a good prank idea. The benefit of Halloween is you get both.

 The top prank ideas aside from more harmful ones like egging houses (because while it might be fun it could land you a night in jail) are as follows:

Peeping Tom? Grab a fake head from Joann’s fabrics and place it directly outside your siblings (for best results) window. As long as there is a small amount of backlight you’re all set to wait for the screaming. 

Chocolate or veggie? A personal favorite of mine is to take brussel sprouts, peel off the outside leaves, and cut off the stems. Then coat them in chocolate and place them in mini cupcake papers with sprinkles on top. Halloween candy, check. *Note* this will traumatize the trick-or-treaters and they’ll avoid your house for the next few years so only do it if you’re committed to disappointing children.

Sit N’ Scare is always a good option if you find yourself bored on Halloween or in need of entertainment. You can put on a scary costume, maybe a mask, and hide behind a bush or something near the front of your house. When kids approach the bowl at your doorstep, jump out and see what the best reaction is! Don’t make the kids cry though, you’ll feel bad. 

Pumpkin carving

To start and end with pumpkins it’s time to talk carving. Almost everyone carves a pumpkin to celebrate fall and the season shift. Historically pumpkin carving was used as a way to ward off the devilish wandering soul of Jack (hence Jack’ O’ Lanterns) who was a trickster and crossed demons becoming doomed to wander the earth for eternity. When the Celtic holiday of All Saints Day was moved to November first, only one day from All Hallows Eve, the two were destined to bleed together and so pumpkin carving moved into a Halloween tradition. 

We now use pumpkins as a pretty decoration and eventually deer food but the fun of carving them and creating a story for your face won’t be fading soon. Halloween will continue to be a part of all of our lives as we create and redefine new traditions and ideas. 

Lydia’s costume highlights 

  • Owl- sounds basic right? Nope, if you wanna make an owl you’ve gotta glue hundreds of felt feathers to a giant shirt and then make a beak out of painted cardboard. 
  • Jellyfish- Are we sensing an animal theme yet? To make a Jellyfish costume you take a wide-brimmed hat, add a cardboard ring, create a fabric dome, and stuff it nice and fluffy. And then create tendrils of sheer fabric to glue around the rim to make long tentacles around you. 
  • Penguin- yep, I was a penguin, a glowing penguin. Somewhere in the world, you can find giant fuzzy black hoodies and with one of these, you simply have to hot glue on some white and yellow fabric to make a stomach and wing coloration. If you’re feeling fancy you can add LED lights anywhere and everywhere.
About the Contributors
Lydia Becker
Lydia Becker, Reporter
Karma Patey
Karma Patey, Illustrator
the dude who draws the things who isn't the other one