Not Yo’ Mama’s Jack-o-Lantern

Everybody has seen ghoulish face carvings on jack-o’-lanterns, but what are some of the odd, bizarre, and just plain strange pumpkin traditions?

6. Sparkfly’s Epic Carvings

We’ve featured Clive Cooper with his Sparkfly Design carved watermelons before, and he is back just in time for fall pumpkins. Here are a few of our favorites.


5. Pumpkin Pyramids

At many pumpkin festivals around the country, people come together to make huge pumpkin pyramids containing thousands of gourds that stretch hundreds of feet into the air.

Gourd:  Noun \ˈgrd, ˈgrd\ a fleshy, typically large fruit with a hard skin, some varieties of which are edible


The Let It Shine! Pumpkin Festival in New Hampshire actually carves all of the pumpkins in its pyramid into jack-o-lanterns, and in 2013 they had the most jack-o’-lanterns ever in one place with 30,581!

jack-o-lantern pyramid

CC Atlanta

4. Ginormous Pumpkin Regattas

Every year, hundreds of gourd enthusiasts race head to head using only raw paddle-power.

Contestants must carve out cockpits into giant pumpkins which they use as boats in the race.

3. Pumpkin Drops

Pumpkin drops consist of dropping pumpkins weighing up to 2,000-lbs from a hundred feet in the air onto trucks, vans, cars, and other things.

Stillwater, Minnesota even fills their pumpkin with candy:

In the end, the car—or whatever other poor object—ends up just as smashed as the pumpkin!

2. Villafane Studios

Since 2004, Villafane Studios has been showcasing the amazing pumpkin carving skills of its amazing artists.

Ray Villafane takes his company on the road and hosts not just carving contests, but also displays their crazy carvings in public centers. We even featured them in our 2014 Annual Reality Shock.

villafane pumpkin villafane pumpkin

A zombie carved from giant pumpkins is displayed with other pumpkins at the New York Botanical Gardens in New York, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012. The pumpkins will be on display through Oct. 31, 2012.

Read more in The Incredible Pumpkin Creations of Villafane Studios.

1. Carving Your Jack-o’-Lantern With a Gun

In what’s probably the most American way possible to carve a pumpkin, YouTuber Hickok45 has been making his jack-o’-lanterns with guns since 2009.

“Word has it that people are still using dangerous, sharp knives to do this.”

This year he used a repeating rifle, but in years past has used Glocks and even an Ak-47.

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