Traditions for Halloween: Chow mein, werewolf paws and tricks before treats


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It’s Halloween, and from fanatics to flops, BYU students have a range of opinions when it comes to this haunted holiday. We found a couple of unique traditions to share with the rest of campus. Whether they make you jealous or make you roll your eyes, here are some of BYU students’ odd Halloween traditions.

Stay-at-nome night

“We have the normal traditions, like carving pumpkins on Halloween,” said Hillary Lake, a senior majoring in human development. “But, there are also the defining, fun family twists … as well … (like) carving the Halloween pumpkins with a jig saw.”

Lake explained that her Halloween doesn’t contain candy as much as it contains…chinese food?

At 8 p.m., the Lake family shuts all the doors and turns off all the lights. “Then we go in our basement, lay out some blankets on the floor, get all the utensils ready, and pull out the recent Redbox rental,” Lake explained. “We then snuggle all together to eat Chinese take-out and laugh at some of our favorite Disney movies as a family.”

Chinese take-out and Disney movies (besides “The Nightmare Before Christmas”) are not exactly typical, go-to Halloween activities. But Lake thinks being with the family is more important than what the family is doing.

“Besides,” Lake said, “I like chow mein better than Mike and Ikes anyway.”

Gross-out dinner

Every year Emily Lloyd, a junior in the graphic design program, and her family do a Halloween mystery dinner.

“When we sit down to eat the table is elaborately decorated with all types of skulls and other spooky items,” Lloyd said. “We each receive a menu with three options each under the categories appetizer, entrée, and dessert. Then it is up to us to pick one item from each category. Some examples of names include Alien Head, Tentacle Pie, Skull in Sludge Guts, Spider Eggs, and Dragon Claws with Blood.”

Fellow BYU student Christopher Keenan, a sophomore planning to major in PD Bio, and his family also do a spooky supper known as the Gross-out Dinner.

“We’ve had attendees vomit before,” Keenan said.

A couple weeks before Halloween, the cooking begins. From “pus-filled” cupcakes to “werewolf” meatloaf, the meal consists of abhorrent-looking delicacies.

“I think the grossest part is always the punch with floating body parts in it,” Keenan said with a grimace.

But Keenan and Lloyd both insisted it’s all very yummy, even if it makes one’s face turn green. “It always looks freakishly similar to the name it is given, but luckily it is always yummy. I definitely will … carry on this tradition with my own family,” Lake said.

“Eating chocolate pudding out of diapers … now that was gross. But also yummy,” laughed Keenan.

Tricks before treats

North America’s Halloween celebrations have spread far and wide, jumping across the Atlantic to the U.K. But according to BYU student Jakob Walker, trick or treat back home in the U.K. is not just a cute saying.

“Sometimes the people at the door will say ‘trick,'” Walker said. “At that point, you’ve got to do a little trick, a dance or something like that, before getting treats.” Literally having a trick up his sleeve, Walker would pull out and then throw down a couple snap-n-pops, much to the surprise of the onlookers.

Although this custom is not common in America, people do run into it occasionally. Kurt Marrott, an illustration major from Missouri, would occasionally have to give a joke before getting his hands on the candy.

“It didn’t happen all the time, maybe every eight doors,” Marrott said. “But it was cool; people should do that more.”

Got any fun traditions? Tweet us at @UniverseBYU and share what it is you and your family do for Halloween.

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