Top Ten things to do with leftover pumpkins after Halloween

Your pumpkins are starting to look a little mushy — what now?

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a jack o'lantern pouring out green smoke
PHOTO: Colton Sturgeon / Unsplash

By: Victoria Lopatka, Staff Writer

  1. Let them rot in your room to distract from your lack of décor 

You moved into your dorm room in September, but it looks exactly like it did on move-in day: scratched-up white walls, beige desk, smudged mirror. Don’t pretend you don’t see the awkward look any guests give your room, like, “Do you not … live here? Like… all the time?” Now, they’ll have something else to look at other than your room’s lack of personality: the squishy, moldy pumpkin sitting in the corner! Better yet, they’ll probably just start inviting you to their place. 

  1. Provide them to your local raccoons to use as boats during rainy season 

Raccoons may be adorable and crafty — or conniving and thieving, depending on who you ask — but they are not waterproof. Provide your local raccoons your leftover pumpkins to use as boats for torrential downpour season on campus. This peace offering will grant you many, many cute photo ops which you can post on SFU Facebook groups for valuable internet clout — I mean, come on, a damp raccoon in a pumpkin boat? Adorable. 

  1. Freeze them for next year

Next Halloween is literally just one year away, why would you waste money buying a whole new pumpkin then when you can just save your current one? If it’s carved, you can just flip it over and carve the other side next year. In approximately 39,940 Halloweens, you’ll have saved enough to put a down payment on a house in Vancouver. 

  1. Wear one on your head as a disguise to avoid your responsibilities 

Is that you, walking around campus, when you have a paper due tonight at 11:59 p.m.? Or you, at The Study, when your rent is due next week? You, actively on your phone while ignoring your friends’ messages? Who knows! If nobody can recognize you under your giant pumpkin mask, then you don’t have to be responsible. 

  1. Smash them while screaming as a cathartic, artistic protest 

You have a lot to be mad about: tuition costs are rising, you can’t get the courses you want, and you’ll be deeply in debt when you graduate. Drag those old pumpkins into a parking lot or bus loop and wail as you smash those bad boys to smithereens. Loudly cry. Get snotty. Rub the pumpkin flesh on your body. Other students will admire your commitment to self-expression and freedom — and maybe join in. 

  1. Give the carved ones to your mom to display on the fridge 

Your mom loves everything you make, no matter how mediocre. If you bring her your carved pumpkin, she’ll find a way to put it on the fridge and show it to all relatives, friends, co-workers, even the repair man coming to check out your furnace. Your dad, on the other hand, didn’t even notice you had moved out.  

  1. Give them to your high school science teacher for fun experiments where the students don’t get the point but are still entertained

Did anyone else have a cool science teacher in high school who would set up fun experiments for the students, trying to demonstrate a concept of some kind? Usually involving colourful fire, or potatoes and pennies, or dropping something from the roof of the school? You probably don’t remember the concept, but you definitely remember the green fire or something. Well, we need to give back to our science teachers — offer them your pumpkins to smash or electrocute in the name of science. 

  1. Re-use them as cooking pots 

Le Creuset and Cuisinart may be a little out of your budget, but you know what else is spacious and bowl-shaped? Pumpkins! Will everything you cook taste a little pumpkin-y? Yes. Will you probably ingest mold and get sick? Also, yes. Do you care anymore? Probably not. Are you okay? Also, probably not. Do you want to talk about it? 

  1. Make DIY pumpkin spice lattes and hand them out outside Starbucks to assert coffee-dominance

Starbucks thinks they’re the only ones who can make a good pumpkin-flavoured beverage — prove them wrong today. All you’ll need is a coffee maker, coffee, milk, a stove, a milk frother, sugar, spices, a food processor, whipping cream, a cup, a saucepan, lots of time and patience … oh, and your pumpkin! Easy-peasy.

  1. Create a pumpkin catapult to defend the mountain from enemies 

The mountain needs to be defended from several enemies: UBC students, your overbearing parents questioning your life choices, and aggressive hackers. Load the catapult with old pumpkins! Storm the bus loop! Tighten the restraints! Weigh down the payload! Fireeeeeeee!