Halloween Fun

carving pumpkins

Carving Jack O Lanterns

Submitter: The first book, Carving Jack-O’-Lanterns by Sam Gendusa was published in 1988 and provides multitudes of ways to terrify children.  I especially like the picture of the kids standing next to the jack-o-lantern in the grocery store—he looks like he’s going to cry!  Also, I love that this book encourages parents to have their children touch the creepy pumpkins in order to overcome their anxieties.  Yeesh!

Holly: This is the creepiest jack o lantern book I’ve ever seen!  What the heck are those, mutant pumpkins?  They’re ginormous!  If you have to use a mallet and chisel, it’s no longer a jack o lantern.  It’s a statue.




Submitter: I’ve also included a totally rad book on airbrushing (circa 1987) for those who’d like to add a little neon to their Halloween costume, or at least learn to airbrush Terminator-style.

Dynamic Airbrush
Miller and Effler

Holly: Now this is cool!  I really like this idea.  Have airbrushing techniques changed since 1987?  Maybe not.  Ok, maybe it could be updated with ways to airbrush 2010 characters, like Snooki’s tan or something, but otherwise, not such a bad book.  A nice pairing with the creepola pumpkins above, though!


  1. Oh, man – I remember when Food Network had a pumpkin carving show on last year… Those huge pumpkin sculptures are invariably creepy. It’s as if the “artists” who do them simply can’t help themselves – they see a giant gourd and they absolutely must carve it into something remarkably skeevy and unpleasant. Or maybe it’s just that only remarkably skeevy persons would choose giant squash as an artistic medium.

  2. The second one makes me think there should be a movie called “Edward Airbrush Hands”.

  3. “A librarian completes a display in the children’s section…. It also helps children remember the idea.” Yep, they’ll remember it FOREVER. Because it’s scarred them for life.

  4. Those pumkin faces look like something out of Jim Henson’s Labyrinth. Cartoony, yet creepy to a five year old. I know that movie certainly freaked me out at that age. Those pumkins would have been a bit much for me as well.

  5. Geez, between the irrational clown/mime fears, the folks at Kindertrauma and things that scared them, and now this pumpkin fear, I’m starting to feel like the bravest person in the world. (And I have panic attacks any time I attempt to drive on the freeway! So I know I’m a coward.)

    I guess I’m lucky that as a kid mom made me watch Elvira Mistress Of The Dark with her. Things like this just don’t scare me. My credit card bills, they scare me.

    And those creepy bad guys from The Dark Chrystal.

  6. OK, I am thoroughly dating myself here, but WOW!! I about fell out of my chair when I saw the pumpkin carving book. I think about that book every Halloween. I used to work for the company that printed it. Everyone there was terribly impressed with it – we’d never seen anyone do anything like that with pumpkins. We used to keep a few samples of each print job, for our sales reps to show to the potential clients, so I was hoping to have a chance to snag an extra copy when I filed the paperwork and samples (I was the secretary/filing clerk/receptionist.) I never got the chance. Everyone else wanted a copy, too. So many “samples” were taken, in fact, that we didn’t have the contracted number of copies when the author came to pick up his order. He was NOT happy.

    So, yeah, creepy 20 years down the road, sure, but amazing at the time. (And, um, I was a very young receptionist. VERY young. In diapers practically. Yeah.)

  7. Yes, children, remember when the librarian fell down the jack o’ lantern and was never heard from again?!

  8. Oh come on, you can’t get rid of books — about Halloween, no less –just because they’re creepy! I like those sculptures, and I assume the book is good for technique even today.