Place item was collected
Point of Discovery/Informant Bio
Abby Fuller is a sophomore at Utah State studying to become an elementary school teacher. She lives in Alpine, Utah when not at school, but originally from Connecticut but moved here when she was 7. She went to Lone Peak high school and danced there on the drill team. She is also my girlfriend and we have been dating for a little over a year now.
I collected this piece in my dorm room with Abby. My dorm mates were outside in the living room playing video games and talking, we could hear them yelling at each other over the video games from time to time then they would go back to playing. My room was cold because I had left my window open all day while I was out and about and Abby was wrapped up in my blankets on my bed while I sat at my desk. Her and I have been dating for a year so this so she has been over to my room multiple times and was comfortable with just hopping up onto my bed. She had brought Halloween cat up to me as a joke one time and briefly explained it and we had both laughed at it and still continue to make halloween cat jokes. Abby would do Halloween Cat in October before Halloween whenever her and her family would carve pumpkins. Her whole family would gather together and do this all around their house. She had learned it from her grandparents on her dad’s side and used to do it every Halloween. She hasn’t done in a couple of years now though.
Abby: So I began Halloween Cat , I don’t even remember, since I have been a kid, like since I've been able to carve pumpkins and be involved in it.
Me: Where did you learn Halloween Cat from?
Abby: My parents, we would do it with them and we would do it with my grandparents.
Me: Which side of the family were these grandparents from?
A: Oh DEFINITELY from my dad’s side.
Me: And where did your parents learn it from?
A: So my dads, parents, did it while they were growing up and then, he has done it is whole life and then he has done it with us.
Me: What exactly is Halloween Cat? A: Halloween cat is a song that we will sing, and so, like, the tradition is that we will carve our pumpkins and then after you carve them, you, like, put candles in them so they are all lit up, then you turn off the lights in the house and then you hold your pumpkins and walk around into each room singing: “Halloween Cat, Halloween Cat, why do you hiss and meow like that, neither here nor there will get a scare, now SCAT , ya Halloween Cat!” and it gets rid of all the bad spirits in that room.
Me: Do you still do this every year?
A: Yeah, we would always do this when I lived in Connecticut, and then we did it, I've done it every year until I moved to college.
Me: Was there anymore to the tradition, like you would eat dinner after every time, or anything else like that?
A: No, that was the only part of the tradition, then after, you would just kinda chill there was nothing specific that we did.
Me: Ok I think that's everything thank you for your time.
A: You’re welcome!
While Abby told this story you could tell that she was a little embarrassed about telling me and that she thought it was kind of funny to her. She would smile all the time like hearing her say what she does out loud made what she was doing kind of embarrassing. She did not seem resentful though. It also seemed like her smiles were from not just her kind of being embarrassed and thinking that it was funny that she was telling me this, but there were also similes of her thinking of the good times that she has had with her family over the years with Halloween Cat. Also when she told me it was from her dad's side of the family, the way she said it was like, oh yeah this is definitely from my dads side this is definitely something that they would do no doubt. She also didn't just tell me the words of the song to Halloween cat, she sang them in the same tone and everything like should would normally do it and even flicked her fingers at me when she said “Scat”. She maybe would have told the story different if she had not made it a joke with me a couple weeks earlier. I believe that if she was telling someone else she would maybe laugh a little, but would focus more on how much fun she had with her family when she would do it. She is very close with her family and I does not surprise me at all that she had a good time with them while doing this.
Intro to Folklore 2210
Dr. Lynn McNeil
Semester and year
Kouris, Stan, "Halloween Cat" (2018). USU Student Folklore Fieldwork. Paper 578.