HONOLULU Staff Favorites: Here’s How We’re Celebrating Halloween 2020 in Hawai‘i

Things will look a bit different this year, but we don’t need big parties to have fun this spooky season.


“If You Wanna Party, Let Me Hear You Yell”


“After last year’s Backstreet Boys concerts, my friends and I decided to dress up as the group specifically in their ‘Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)’ music video costumes this year. I wanted to be Kevin (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde) but completely forgot about that plan until this past week (we haven’t rehearsed our dance moves!!!). If I can scrabble together some face paint, I might do it for the ’gram. My more realistic plan, which is still a stretch, involves watching Over the Garden Wall (an Emmy-winning animated miniseries about two half-brothers lost in the woods on Halloween), reading Obake: Ghost Stories in Hawai‘i by Glen Grant, and baking devil’s food cupcakes with my sister and brother-in-law.” —Katrina Valcourt, managing editor


SEE ALSO: 6 Hawai‘i Ghost Books That’ll Give You Serious Chicken Skin


All Hallows’ Peeve

“Does dressing up as a cranky old man who is beat down by seven and a half months of COVID-iot policies—no costume required—count? Because that’s my only plan.” —Scott Schumaker, publisher


Good Gourds

“My family’s planning to decorate miniature pumpkins, then declare a pumpkin winner, all in costume.” —Christine Labrador, art director


SEE ALSO: 7 D.I.Y. Ways To Scary-Cute Pumpkins This Halloween 


Small-Kine Haunted

“We’re going to a drive-thru haunted house in Mililani. I had to find something that was scary for my 13- and 11-year-old but not so scary that the 6-year-old will end up in my bed for the next month! Hopefully this will fit that bill.” —Donnie Ford, account executive


The Works

“All at-home Halloween fun with the kiddos: kid dress-up, making candy popcorn as gifts, Halloween scavenger hunt in the yard, Halloween piñata, watch a (kid-friendly) Halloween movie, eat a bunch of junk food.” —Janelle Kalawe-Ching, art director


SEE ALSO: Honolulu Stay-At-Home Halloween BOO-Nanza 2020


Trick or (Sweet Potato) Treat

Squash Or Sweet Potato Chiffon Pie

Sweet potato chiffon pie and squash from Counter Culture farm (available via Farm Link Hawai‘i). Photo: Martha Cheng.



“If the night is clear, I’ll head to Diamond Head lookout to watch the moon rise and have a little tailgate. These days, tailgate moon rises are my version of a drive-in movie, taking the sting out of a time when we can’t go to the movie theater, one of my favorite pre-pandemic things to do. I’ll bring along a chiffon pie, adapted from the Grandma Suzuki pumpkin chiffon pie recipe that Rachel Murai used to make when she was the pastry chef at The Pig & The Lady (see recipe below). Instead of pumpkin, I’ll either try it with Counter Culture farm’s winter squash, available on Farm Link, or Satsuma sweet potatoes. These small, honeyed when baked, orange sweet potatoes are my favorite thing on Farm Link right now. And then, I’m not much for horror stuff, but I do love a good thriller and suspense. I’ve got my hands on The Talented Mr. Ripley, the book that Dabney Gough recommends—after all, what is Halloween about but trying on a new self?” —Martha Cheng, food and dining editor


SEE ALSO: When to Watch the Sky in Hawai‘i in 2020


Grandma Suzuki’s pumpkin chiffon pie

1 unbaked pie shell

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

⅛ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup pumpkin

4 large eggs, separated

1 teaspoon vanilla

1¼ cup milk

Dash of nutmeg


Mix dry ingredients and set aside. Beat egg yolks and add pumpkin. Add milk. Add to dry ingredients and stir until smooth. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Pour into pumpkin mixture and fold only slightly. Pour into a 9-inch unbaked pie shell and sprinkle with nutmeg. Place in a preheated oven for 10 minutes at 450 degrees. Lower heat to 425 for another 10 minutes. Lower heat to 325 for about 25 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean.

(Note: Cover the edges of the crust with foil if it browns too quickly.)


This Drink’s An Eyeful!

Eyeball Daiquiri

Photo: Robbie Dingeman



“One of the advantages to writing stories about local companies is that many of them come up with creative ideas for food, drink and fun distractions. That’s how I came to discover the Eyeball Daiquiri, a concoction from @theroguebrusselsprout in partnership with Kaua‘i-based Kōloa Rum. We pulled out the rum and added horned melon, aka kiwano melon, to our grocery list. It turned out pricey ($6.99 for a small melon) but tasty and eye-catching. (Sorry!) The drink came turned out refreshing, pretty and sufficiently spooky-looking to warrant a repeat for a low-key Halloween night.” —Robbie Dingeman, editor at large


Recipe from @theroguebrusselsprout:

2 ounces Kōloa Kaua‘i Gold Rum

2 ounces horned melon seeds

1 ounce lime juice

0.5 ounces simple syrup


Shake and pour without straining into a chilled glass.