Friday, October 5, 2012

Day 6...You don't know Jack!

Hello my favorite creatures of the night. Welcome back to my crypt for day 6 of the Halloween countdown.

The Great Pumpkin

Today is all about jack 'o lanterns! Those finest specimens of orange have been painted, carved, smashed, slung, cooked, eaten, drunk, and worn. What would we do without this staple of Halloween?


Back in the day (before I was born, hee hee) the pumpkin were used to light the darkness of night and ward off evil spirits. Originally gourds were used with a bit of candle in them. Eventually, the gourds morphed, so to speak, into the pumpkin that decorated houses. At this time they were called Jack 'o lanterns taken from a popular Irish legend which you can find here.
This of course is the my short version of that story.

As I mentioned, the now ever popular pumpkin was brought in to being. The pumpkin began to appear on door steps everywhere. A popular Halloween prank for young hooligans was to go around and smash pumpkins on porches and sleek off into the darkness of night. This prank still exist today but not as much as it did back in the day. 

Records holder
Today of course pranks are much more elaborate and so are our pumpkins. There are huge fairs that weigh the largest pumpkins grown but the most popular is the Topsfield Fair in Topsfield, MA.
Here you will see the grand daddies of them all. This years winner came in at a whopping 1 ton or 2000 pounds.  That is a world record! 

Pumpkins are also carved differently than back in the day too. Originally pumpkins were carved only one way.

That is 2 triangular eyes with a triangular nose and a perfectly carved happy face that had at least a tooth if not more.
Today anything goes!  

On any given day you can Google and find a number of ways to carve out the perfect jack 'o lantern. You can also find numerous books based on the subject.
Extreme Pumpkins: Diabolical Do-It-Yourself Designs to Amuse Your Friends andScare Your Neighbors
 Recently I was reading a book that is called Extreme Pumpkins. As you can see right on the front cover it shows one pumpkin eating another. As I said, anything goes!

Detailed, abstract carving catches your attention way more than triangle eyes and a gaping grin!

collage pumpkin
As if growing, carving and displaying were not enough, some people take the pumpkin to even more extreme. These people enjoy a whole different level of the use of a pumpkin. For instance, pumpkin boat racing.

Or how about the World Champion Pumpkin Chunkin.  Doesn't that seem like fun? These people are as serious about their pumpkins as that guy mentioned above that grows them.

If none of the things I have mentioned above doesn't suit your fancy then I suppose you can do what millions of people do every year and simply eat pumpkin pie.

What ever you do or however you celebrate make sure you raise your pumpkin ale to the Great Pumpkin himself and wish him Happy Halloween!

Recipe for pumpkin ale

See you on Monday!
Your Crypt Keeper,

Naila Moon


  1. Love your pumpkin photos! Wish I was that talented, but I still carve the old, old way. NeKoosa WI has their pumpkin fest this weekend, and one of the things they do is a giant pumpkin drop. It's too far for me to drive, but it sounds like fun!

    1. Not my photos...notice I picture sourced them.
      I have some talent but not that good. LOL

  2. Wow, where did you get all this knowledge about Halloween and pumpkins and oh yeah bring on the pumpkin pie (my favorite), but I especially like pumpkin bread. mmmmmmmmmmmm Great job and highly informative. Thanks for sharing. I lost the link for the leaves :(


Thank you for reading and dropping by. I always appreciate your comments. ~Naila Moon