How Long Would it Take for Vampires to Annihilate Humanity?

If a vampire must feed on human blood, how long would it take a certain number of vampires to wipe out the human population? And if those human victims then turned to vampires, how soon would vampires outnumber humans? Mathematical modeling turned to the world of the supernatural as a surprising number of researchers have tackled the complexities of human and vampire coexistence. A 1982 paper by Richard Hartl and Alexander Mehlmann titled "The Transylvanian Problem of Renewable Resources" took a look at how vampires would affect the human population.  

In doing so, they divided vampires into three categories: the "asymptotically satiated vampire," the "blood maximizing vampire," and the "unsatiable vampire." Regardless of the type of vampire, though, they found that bloodsuckers can't help but face diminishing resources:

    "[W]e are facing a typical consumption-resource trade off. The vampire society derives utility from consumption of blood but in sucking the blood of a human being and in turning him to a vampire the resource of human beings is reduced whereas the number of vampires is increased. Both of these effects diminish the resource of humans per vampire curtailing future possibilities of consumption."

However, a 2007 article modeled a vampire apocalypse and concluded that “vampires would eliminate humans within three years.” Which provoked a refutation in 2008. More research has been done, but the results vary according to which vampire mythology one ascribes to. Are the vampires in Bram Stoker’s universe more dangerous than those in Anne Rice’s universe? What about the vampires in the worlds of Twilight or The Historian? Read an overview of the available research at Atlas Obscura.


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17 Totally Over-The-Top Halloween Costumes

Last year we brought you some easy last minute costumes and this year we also had some ideas for simple DIY kid's costumes, but if you're looking for something a little more inspirational -even if it's only to awe at, we've got you covered there too.

Photo Strip

I'm willing to bet not many of you have seen someone pull off a costume like this. Brooklyn resident Serra used a lot of ingenuity to get this costume together, but the end effect was delightful and entirely unique.

Dragon Dog

This dragon dog is just about as epic as epic can get -he almost looks like he's ready to breathe fire.

Batman in the Batmobile

Wheelchairs often provide dedicated costume-makers with so much more to work with. Need proof? Just check out this amazing Batmobile that Connor's mother Karen made out of his wheel chair.

Hiccup and Toothless

For more proof of just how much a wheel chair can add to a costume, check out this amazing Toothless wheelchair created for little Hiccup by the non-profit Magic Wheelchair.

Cinderella in her Carriage

When a little one is of a certain age, sometimes you just don't want to take him or her trick or treating without a stroller -but it kind of ruins the effect of a Cinderella when you put your princess back in a modern-day stroller. That's why Danielle of La Port City, IA opted to turn her simple stroller into a magic coach fit for a princess.

Work Loader From Aliens

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Horrifying Killer Snail Makeup Tutorial

These killer snails are no masks, but they are certainly more than makeup. The Swedish duo called ellimacs sfx, which is makeup artist Ellinor Rosander and photographer Macs Moser, go through all the steps of making a pretty model look disgusting for Halloween.

(YouTube link)

The results are truly disturbing. But the process of making it can be disturbing, too, because this is not something you’d just throw together at the last minute. These guys have some skills! -via The Daily Dot, where you’ll also find some simpler Halloween makeup tutorials.


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New York’s Halloween Dog Parade

There were around 275 dogs entered into the 2015 Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade on Saturday. Many of them were accompanied by owners who dressed up to match their dog’s Halloween costumes. And there were winners.

The prize was won by some Dallas contestants who tapped into the Halloween spirit with a Day of the Dead-themed presentation that included two Chihuahuas and a Yorkshire terrier. Last year, a doggy version of Rose and Jack from the movie "Titanic" captured the title.

This year, there were all types of dinosaurs, perhaps capitalizing on the excitement generated by the recent release of the "Jurassic World" film, and dogs posing as an alligator, a dragon, a fisherman and characters from "The Wizard of Oz" and "The Flintstones." One dog, accompanied by a woman wearing a nun's habit, was dressed as Pope Francis.

See a gallery of 90 photos from the event at Gothamist. -via Fark

(Images credit: Scott Heins/Gothamist)


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Every Year, This Group of Friends Dresses in the Roles of One Famous Actor

This year, redditor aubra_cadabra and her friends chose Robin Williams. From left to right, you can find Williams's roles in Mrs. Doubtfire, Mork & Mindy, Jumanji, Popeye, Hook, Aladdin, and The Birdcage. This assembly won them Best Group Costume in a costume contest for the fourth year in a row.

In previous years, the group went as Johnny Depp, Jim Carrey, and Will Ferrell:

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Mark Werewahlfberg

Marky Mark was a shark in the last ADHD cartoon featuring the movie star. Now he’s a werewolf for Halloween!

(YouTube link)

Mark Werewahlfberg introduces us to all the iconic characters of the season, with plenty of almost-puns that you’ll have to supply the punchline for yourself.  -via Tastefully Offensive


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Rock that Avocado Body

That belly is just what you need to impress everyone at the Halloween party. Just wrap the cardboard cutout around you and you'll attract a lot of eyes. And don't let anyone tell you that you're out of shape. Avocados are very healthy.

-via reddit | Photo: unknown


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Josh Sundquist’s 2015 Halloween Costume

Josh Sundquist is not only a Paralympic athlete, author, dancer, rapper, math nerd, and motivational speaker, he’s also quite well known for his distinctive Halloween costumes, which (almost) always incorporate the fact that he only has one leg. Now Sundquist, who recently got married, has unveiled his 2015 Halloween costume. He is IHOP. -via reddit

See more from Josh Sundquist.


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Nana Goes Trick-or-Treating

The idea behind “trick or treat” is the implied threat of playing tricks on a homeowner if the treats aren’t given. That’s extortion, but it's a big part of how we celebrate Halloween. We often don't explain it that way to our kids. 

(YouTube link)

But Nana the border collie (previously at Neatorama) has a better technique, the “trick for treat”! She goes to a neighbor in her ladybug costume and performs her best tricks to earn treats. -via Tastefully Offensive


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10 Creepy Cool Monster Themed Cartoon Shows

Monster themed stuff has always been the coolest, and monster themed cartoon shows brought that classic monster movie cool to the boob tube in a bold way.

The toon incarnations of our favorite movie monsters such as the Wolfman, Count Dracula and Frankenstein's Monster showed us there was much more to dig about those crazy monsters!

1. Groovie Goolies (1970-72)-

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The Groovie Goolies could have easily existed in the same cartoon universe as Scooby Doo and the gang, but surprisingly it was actually a spin-off of The Sabrina the Teenage Witch Show.

With Drac on the organ, Frankie on drums and Wolfie on lead guitar-like instrument, the Groovie Goolies were totally hip and always ready to rock the stage for the fine freaks who called Horrible Hall home.

(YouTube Link)

2. The Addams Family (1992-93)-

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While they're not technically monsters like their creepy neighbors The Munsters, The Addams Family are creepy and kooky enough to be considered honorary monsters.

Riding high on their comeback thanks to the success of the movie adaptations, The Addams Family finally received a well-deserved animated series and introduced a whole new generation to the first family of the macabre.

(YouTube Link)

3. Teen Wolf (1986-88)-

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Many classic '80s movies were transformed into animated series, but Teen Wolf stayed true to the movie and gave us a glimpse into the home life of the Wolf.

With his average middle class lycanthropic family at his side, Scott Howard tries to tackle his teen years without wolfing out every time he gets overexcited. The show was okay, but the intro was totally radical!

(YouTube Link)

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7th Annual Riverside Halloween House Light Show

Kevin and Amber Judd of Creative Lighting Displays have once again set up a friend’s house to entertain passers-by for Halloween This year’s show features the songs “Ghostbusters,” Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” “This is Halloween,” and Bobby Pickett’s “Monster Mash.”

(YouTube link)

Thousands of color-changing LED lights are accompanied by strobe lights, flood lights, and two Matrix boards, as well as tombstones and hand-carved pumpkins. My favorite new feature is the flames in the windows. If you can get to Riverside, California, here are the particulars for the show. -via HuffPo


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Couples Costumes You Can Feel Good About Wearing On Halloween

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Couples costumes can be a super cute and creative way to share the Halloween fun with a loved one, or they can be a sad example of how little control a person can have over their own life.

And since guys and gals are always being talked into wearing couples costumes they hate simply to appease their partner couples costumes now have a really bad reputation.

But don't despair, duos!

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You can feel good about dressing in matching costumes, and if you need some ideas check out this collection of 31 Two-Person Costumes Guaranteed To Up Your Halloween Game and delight in dressing alike!


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Death and the Afterlife by Cliff Pickover

Cliff Pickover's new book is Death and the Afterlife: A Chronological Journey, from Cremation to Quantum Resurrection. Death is the one thing we all have in common, and it's been that way ever since humans have been around. Not only have people in every historical era wrestled with the knowledge of one's own impending death, but each era and culture has developed its own customs, mythology, and folklore surrouding our ultimate fate and what may come after. Some of these ideas are universal; others are unique to the time and place. Death has been studied in the context of religion, psychology, biology, physics, philosophy, medicine, and art.

Death and the Afterlife follows the format of Pickover's earlier projects The Math Book, The Physics Book, and The Medical Book, in that items about the history of beliefs and customs surrounding death are laid out in chronological order, with a page devoted to each. Accompanying each page is a gorgeous, but often terrifying illustration on the subject at hand. You can easily skip around to subjects that catch your fancy, or read them in order, a little at a time, or all at once. The 100 entries tackle diverse ideas such as funeral rites, heaven and hell, reincarnation, autopsies, ghosts, premature burial, cryonics, abortion, ossuaries, kamikaze pilots, vampires, hospice, capital punishment, near-death experiences... all the way to the end of the universe and beyond.  

1550 BC: Egyptian Book of the Dead. The ancient Egyptian ritual of “opening of the mouth” described in the Book of the Dead is performed so that the deceased can eat and drink in the afterlife. In this c. 1300 BCE papyrus, the jackal-headed god Anubis is shown supporting the mummy of the scribe Hunefer while three priests carry out the ritual.

From the introduction to Death and the Afterlife:

I have had a longtime fascination with death, dying, consciousness, the afterlife, and topics at the borderlands of science. Some of my interest was rekindled after reading freelance writer Greta Christina’s 2005 essay “Comforting Thoughts about Death That Have Nothing to Do with God.” Greta writes, “The fact that your life span is an infinitesimally tiny fragment in the life of the universe, that there is, at the very least, a strong possibility that when you die, you disappear completely and forever, and that in five hundred years nobody will remember you . . . [this] can make you feel erased, wipe out joy, make your life seem like ashes in your hands.” And then I sigh. Greta admits that she doesn’t know what happens when we die, but she doesn’t think this essential mystery really matters. She reminds us that we should be happy because it is amazing that we even get a chance to be alive. We get to be conscious: “We get to be connected with each other and with the world, and we get to be aware of that connection and to spend a few years mucking about its possibilities.” Her essay ends on a bright note as she enumerates items that contribute to her happiness, such as Shakespeare, sex, five-spice chicken, Thai restaurants, Louis Armstrong, and drifting patterns in the clouds.

As you read through Death and the Afterlife, remember that even if we may consider some of the ideas and rituals surrounding death unscientific, these are all still worthy areas of study. And the subjects we address are not all depressing. Our rituals and myths are, at minimum, fascinating models of human understanding and creativity—and of how we reach across cultures to understand one another and learn about what we hold sacred.

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Anglophenia Episode 41: The Origin of Halloween


YouTube Link

In this, the latest episode of Anglophenia, host Kate Arnell tries to pull a fast one on us by claiming that the idea of Halloween originated in the U.K. Or is she pulling a fast one after all? Listen to her reasoning and decide for yourself. Via Laughing Squid


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Life as a Professional Pumpkin Carver

Marc Evan and Chris Soria have been best friends since 6th grade. They bonded over horror movies, once designed a haunted house at their school, and went to art school together. They worked their way through school at restaurants and bars, where they had opportunity to carve pumpkins and put their design skills to work. Over time, they became really good at it.

Around Halloween of 2007, Marc and Chris began taking photos of their pumpkins and posting them to a Flickr account. Fortuitously, an editor at Wired Magazine came across one of the images and published a short write-up on them.

The results of this tiny feature could not have been forecasted: almost immediately, Marc and Chris were flooded with inquiries and orders -- including a massive request from the New York Yankees. Marc recalls:

    “It was right around the World Series, and Yankee Stadium called us to make fifty pumpkins for their skybox seats, each with this intricate logo design. At that point, we figured it was probably time to start a business.”

With little experience in the business world, the two artists charged the Yankees $50 per pumpkin, and ended up taking a loss on the deal.

That first professional experience was the beginning of what became Maniac Pumpkin Carvers. Marc and Chris now employ several other carvers and work 18 hours a day during the eight-week pumpkin season. One of their works will run you between $150 to $700 or even more, depending on the job. Read about their business, their technique, and their tips for making your carved pumpkin last, at Pricenomics.


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Problem Solved

How do you light a Jack O’Lantern under water? Nature has its ways, as we see in this comic from Liz Climo. The Jack O’Lantern instantly gets not only a light, but scary teeth, too! Only Liz Climo could make Mr. Blobby and an anglerfish look cute. She has several new comics in which the animals try out new Halloween costumes. See them at her Tumblr blog


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Skeletontunes

The Twitter account Skeletontunes began earlier this month and took the Twittersphere by storm. Every Tweet is the same video, a six-second sequence of clips from the hilarious classic dancing skeleton video. What’s different is that each is set to a different pop song. Scroll through and you will find a song you can’t wait to hear a skeleton dance to. My favorite is the first one.

Alas, after 70 songs, the skeleton’s last Tweet was Sunday. Maybe he’s just out of town for a few days. He hasn’t even danced to “Yakety Sax” yet! -via The Daily Dot


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13 Resurrections of Dracula

Who played the best Dracula in the movies? You first think of Bela Lugosi, but there was Christopher Lee, Frank Langella, Gary Oldman, and John Carradine, too. Or maybe you preferred a comedic Dracula, like Leslie Neilsen or George Hamilton. Then there was Max Schreck and Klaus Kinski, whose characters were named Count Orlock, but we all know who that vampire was supposed to be. Den of Geek goes through the various incarnations of Dracula (actually more than 13), including a few that you may never have heard of before. So you might want to look those movies up, for a new Dracula experience this Halloween.


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Sexy Gandalf Costume

Yes! And this is only the beginning. We need a leggy Gimli, a smokin' hot Balrog, and a coyly seductive Ent.

Tijtske Van Vark, 18, of Melbourne, Australia got to dress up for "Muck Up Day"--a traditional day for student pranks. She went as a different sort of Gandalf. Now I'd like to see Ian McKellen try it.

-via BuzzFeed


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10 Facts About It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

It’s an annual tradition to watch Charlie Brown receive rocks in his trick-or-treat bag and Linus mangle Halloween lore in the 1966 TV special It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Now in it’s 50th year, you probably know the script by heart. But you might not know how much was riding on the success of the Halloween special, or other behind the scenes facts. Here’s your chance to find out.    

2. THE VOICE OF VIOLET PUKED AFTER EVERY RECORDING SESSION.

It’s standard practice these days to use adult actors to mimic juvenile cartoon characters: adults are (presumably) better able to take direction and deliver a performance in line with the director’s wishes. But for many Peanuts specials, children were used to voice Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, and the rest. Anne Altieri, who portrayed both Violet and Frieda, was so nervous to be part of the show that she threw up every time she was done with a recording session.

5. THE MUSIC COMPOSER WAS FOUND NAKED BY COPS.

The jazzy scores of the early Peanuts specials were the work of composer Vince Guaraldi. When he was busy putting together “The Great Pumpkin Waltz” for the show, he decided to break for a shower. When he came out, he thought he heard noises outside and went to investigate, naked, and locked himself out in the process. Keyless, Guaraldi tried climbing a ladder to a second-floor window when cops spotted him. “Don’t shoot,” he said. “I’m the Great Pumpkin.” Police, who were many months away from getting the joke, let him back inside.  

There’s more where that came from, in a trivia list about It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown at mental_floss. The show will air on ABC tonight and again on October 29th. Check your local listings for time and channel.


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16 Super Easy Kids Halloween Costumes You Can DIY

Halloween is our favorite time of the year, but it can be stressful, particularly for parents who don't have enough time or money to make or buy their little one the perfect costume. But you can make a pretty awesome costume for surprisingly little money and here are a few ideas for those who prefer to DIY over buy, but still want something pretty simple.

Russell from Up


A yellow hat, an orange scarf, a brown sash covered in badges and some hefty hiking boots can transform any boy into everyone's favorite Wilderness Explorer.

Windup Doll


Dress up your little cutie in his or her fanciest clothes, then add a gold-painted cardboard cutout of a windup key and you have an adorable little windup doll.

Wonder Woman


Every little girl is wonderful, but with a blue tutu, some felt stars and a Wonder Woman tee, she can actually become Wonder Woman as well. Throw in a tiara and wrist cuffs on older girls and you've got a full, fashionable ensemble.

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The House of Eyes

Christine McConnell (previously at Neatorama) went all out in decorating her parents’ house for Halloween! It involved covering up some windows, but worth it for a couple of weeks of frightening the neighborhood children. The eyes and teeth are painted foam board. An album at imgur has photos of both the process and the finished product. Don’t miss the nighttime picture, where it’s all lit up in green! -via reddit


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Tiny Hamster's Halloween

Watch Tiny Hamster (previously at Neatorama) and his friends go trick-or-treating and gobble up delicious pumpkins.

(YouTube link)

If you were a cutting-edge internet star -and a hamster- it only makes sense to trick-or-treat as the Pizza Rat! That’s almost as funny as Bunny Trump. And the guinea pig gets to go as the airplane scene from Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation. -Thanks, Jake!


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Ghostectomy

Halloween mania has entered the operating room. Let’s hope this surgical sequence is a horror film instead of supposedly mirroring real life. This is only the beginning of the longer comic you can read at Buttersafe. You may or may not be able to see the punch line coming “a mile away.” Either way, it’s both satisfying and groan-producing.


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Halloween Costumes by Obvious Plant

Jeff Wysaski pulled a new Obvious Plant prank for people shopping for Halloween costumes. These fake costume descriptions were nestled in with the real ones at a Halloween shop, but alas, they are not real costumes. I’d like to think if there were, there would be people who would buy them just for the lulz.



See the rest of them at Obvious Plant. And a bonus costume at Facebook.


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100 Years of Halloween Costumes in 3 Minutes

The latest "100 years" video from Mode runs down Halloween costumes over the past century, with one for each decade. The selected costumes certainly do not represent all Halloween costumes of the era, but the ones featured show the influence of pop culture as it progresses.

(YouTube link)

This is fun to watch, and I’m glad they didn’t use the cheapest store-bought costumes available during those times. Still, I kind of wish that someone would do the same thing with more costumes and less dress-up time.


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Bartenders Share Their Best Halloween Cocktail Recipes

Image: Evan Swigart

Thinking of having a Halloween party or just interested in having a cocktail or two as the kiddies are out collecting their candy? The Chicago Tribune asked prominent bartenders to submit their best Halloween drink recipes. The resulting collection is a scream. 

One example is the "Iron Complex," a recipe supplied by Revae Schneider of Femme du Coupe, a Chicago mixology company. The cherry lambic in this chilling libation lends the appearance of blood swirling through the glass:  

3 ounces Scotch

1.5 ounces ginger syrup

1.5 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice

5 sage leaves

Cherry lambic, to taste

Combine Scotch, ginger syrup, lime juice and sage in a cocktail shaker; add ice. Shake for 30 seconds, then pour into a glass of your choice over ice. Hold a spoon over the drink with the back facing up; slowly pour cherry lambic onto the spoon, letting it drizzle into the drink.

See more recipes for creepy cocktails here. 


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Fun Halloween Costumes Based on Famous Works of Art

We love some good art and some great Halloween costumes -and every now and then the two combine into somehting fantastic. This great Flavorwire article shows just how magical the blend of art and costumery can be.

One of the greatest things about these art costumes is the fact that a lot of them are actually easy, they just require a lot of creativity.

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Of course, you don't have to go serious just because you want to go artsy...


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Night of the Living Dead and Other Zombie Bits

Want to know something about zombies? First, let's tackle the movie that made them a horror icon, with facts from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Attack of the Factoids


Night of the Living Dead (1968), directed by 28-year-old George A. Romero, changed the image of zombies in popular culture from enslaved workers of Caribbean voodoo wizards to hungry all-American flesh-eaters.

The film’s budget was tiny: just $114,000. It eventually grossed $30 million worldwide.

The actors who played the zombies were friends and clients of Romero’s struggling film production company. They had to provide their own costumes. Their pay? $1 and a T-shirt.

The blood was chocolate syrup, and the gory body parts came from one of the producers who was also a butcher.



The word “zombie” never appears in the movie.

Night of the Living Dead featured an African American as the lead of an otherwise all-white cast. That was almost unheard of in 1968.

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Incredible Pumpkins From the Rise of the Jack-O-Lanterns

Last week we went to visit The Rise of the Jack-O-Lanterns at the San Diego Safari Park. This incredible pumpkin-carving festival features over 5,000 pumpkins carved throughout the week so there are fresh ones on display every weekend from now until Halloween. If you're not in San Diego, you can also check out The Rise in Los Angeles and New York and I highly recommend the visit. Here are some highlights from our experience though I get the feeling each event has unique attractions so what you see here is probably a bit different than what you might see in person.

At the start of the event you could see carvers making new pumpkins -in part I'm sure it was to show that the pumpkin works of art were actually real and carved fresh before the event, but it also helped emphasize the talent and creativity of the artists.

Still, as cool as these are, they are nowhere near as impressive as the ones actually inside the exhibit.

It seems appropriate that while there we traditional signs around the event, the main one was made from pumpkins -it also seemed oddly appropriate that like Halloween pumpkins, one of the letters had gone out.

This pumpkin sentinel was on guard to protect his other carved friends.

Each area had a theme and the first theme was Under the Sea and here was the welcome sign.

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