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Ghostly Pumpkins for Halloween
By Joan Whetzel
Try these ghoulishly, ghostly gourd ideas to scare up some spooky Halloween fun this fall. Here you can cut loose with your best jack-lantern caving or painting skills, eerily embellish your table or yard, and even dress in disguise to scare trick-or-treaters or attend that party you've been dying to go to. If these ghostly pumpkin ideas inspire you to create even more spooky spectacles, enjoy a good scare on me.
Carve Your Own Ghostly Pumpkins
Don't just carve the usual jagged-toothed jack-o-lantern. Sculpt a more ghostly looking face or figures into your gourd. Ghostly pumpkin carving patters can be found at many stores and online for free, or you can draw your own. Once you've got an outline style drawing, use a piece of carbon paper to transfer the image to the side of a pumpkin about the same size as the drawing. Begin by cutting a lid out of the top of the pumpkin and include a good size notch to let the candle's heat escape. Next, gut the pumpkin of its seeds. Finally, using a set of pumpkin carving tools, begin sculpting and carving your ghoulish design into the pumpkin.
Painting Ghoulish Pumpkin Ghosts
When purchasing pumpkins from the pumpkin patch, make sure to buy several of the small ones. These are to be used for mini-ghosts. Also procure some pumpkin paints, painting supplies, and some googly eyes. When you get home, lay out some drop cloths or newspaper along with the pumpkins and painting supplies. Cover the kids clothes with a paint apron or one of dad's old shirts. Draw some ghostly figures on the little pumpkins with a marker and let the kids go crazy with the ghostly figures. O let them paint the little pumpkins all white and add some scary or silly looking faces on them. Once the paint dries, let them glue on some of those googly eyes from the craft store.
Play the Pumpkin-Head(less) Horse Rider
Create a Headless Horseman costume, a la the Legend of Sleepy Hollow - well, your take on it, anyway. This could be used to dress a mannequin, or even stuff it and place it in a lawn chair near the front door. The alternative is to actually wear the costume. The costume should consist of a black cape, black slacks, and a long sleeved black shirt, buttoned up over your head with a red scarf stuffed in the neck hole to look like a bloody neck stump. If the shirt is not thin enough to see through, be sure to cut eye holes so you can see where you are going. Put on some black make up around your eyes so they don't show through the eye cut-outs.
Now for the pumpkin head, draw on or carve out a face scary on your pumpkin and use it for the Headless Horseman's "head". If you're carving the pumpkin use battery operated lights on the inside to make it glow. Better yet, find some battery operated glowing eyes to use for the jack-o-lantern's face. Assuming that an actual live horse is not allowed in your neighborhood for trick-or treating, bring along a stick horse, or some other homemade decoration that looks something like a horse.
Picking White Pumpkins
Instead of the typical orange pumpkins, why not choose the white variety. Yes, they are real pumpkins, they've just been genetically altered to have white skin. The inside of the pumpkin is still orange. When carving these "ghost pumpkins" and lighting them from the inside, they look a little more eerie than the orange skin pumpkins. It just adds to the spooky, ghostly feel. Instead of the usual jack-o-lantern faces, try something really frightening; something like mummies, and zombies, and monsters, oh my! Lay out some old tattered white sheets, stuffed with pillows to look like dead bodies and place the white pumpkin heads so that they look like they belong to the "dead bodies." Place them in the yard or near the front door. If you lay them out in the yard, include some grave stones. Make it look like they're climbing out of their graves or like somebody dug them up out of their graves.
Have fun with your ghostly pumpkins this Halloween. Just don't let the ghosties get you