Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Great Jack O Lantern Blaze at Van Cortlandt Manor

photo: Historic Hudson Valley
 If you thought the Pumpkin House in yesterday's post had a lot of jack-o-lanterns, today's house tops it, although the pumpkin-to-acreage density is less. Oh, how I would LOVE to visit this place!

 Van Cortlandt Manor, 500 S. Riverside, Croton-on-Hudson, NY, had over 4,000 illuminated pumpkins decorating its expansive grounds this year. Although volunteers from the Girl Scouts and other groups scoop out the pumpkins, only about a dozen carvers hand-carve all of them!

  This 17th-century manor house, listed on the National Register, is home of the Great Jack o' Lantern Blaze, an event that started 5 years ago as a fundraiser for the nonprofit organization called Historic Hudson Valley. The organizers work on a larger scale than most, using both real and faux (Funkin) pumpkins stacked and suspended to create many specifically themed scenes, such an Egyptian pyramid with mummies standing nearby, Stonehenge, an underwater scene with coral, fish and seahorses, a dinosour scene, and a UFO surrounded by aliens!
Beehive with bees

Dinosuar made of pumpkins
Photo: Bryan Haeffele

Photo: Bryan Haeffele


 It takes about an hour to walk through the gardens and orchards and see all the jack-o-lantern installations.  Professional lighting, original music, and sound effects combine to completely immerse the viewer in the spectacle. And just when ya think it couldn't get any better: a local orchard sells hot apple cider and apple cider donuts. Yum!

The Blaze takes place each weekend in October and the first weekend in November. It's open some weekdays right before Halloween as well. Costs are approximately $16 for adults, $12 for kids 5 to 17, free for kids under 5. In 2010, the extravaganza reached its capacity of 70,000 tickets sold. More photos here.

Amazing, is it? Truthfully, I wouldn't mind visiting Van Cortland Manor anytime of year. Here's the Manor in spring. The place is on the side of the Hudson River, so there's also a brick ferry house to explore, as well as the heritage gardens. The stone manor house boasts a fully equipped Colonial kitchen.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Pumpkin House

The Pumpkin House, located at 748 Beech Street, in Kenova, West Virginia. The mayor of Kenova, Ric Griffith, is the owner of the house. He and hundreds of volunteers carve upwards of 3,000 pumpkins for display at his home every Halloween. What if every town had a mayor like that? What a wonderful world it would be.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Random photo: Halloween baby

I think that baby's gonna need a diaper change reeeal soon.

Someone setting up the display merchandise at at our local Party City had a sense of humor.
This giant prop hung from the ceiling, just above the baby shower row.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Haunted Address Marker

A first impression is a lasting impression. A blood-dripping address marker will say so much about you, right from the start. And what better way to send those annoying religion-peddlers packing than with a visual aid that tells them not only how you choose to live your live, but where you live it?  Now, that's curb-appeal!

3" high powder-coated address marker, currently $50.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Haunted Watering Cans

It's fall, and this beautiful, warmly-burnished pumpkin-shaped watering can just the thing to water your houseplants with. I particularly love the delicate look of the spout. It's only $22.99 from Just gorgeous, isn't it?

Okay, I admit it: as far as Halloween-themed watering cans go, I may be pushing it here for the next two items :) They have potential, but they definately need paint jobs to make them spooky. I'd recommend using Rust-o-leum spray paint to keep them looking their best.

Hen Watering Can

This owl watering can would look divine with a coat of gloss black spray paint, but I'm not sure where the pour spout is, and for some reason they're calling it a "hen" rather han an owl.   $50 from Global Amici.

Tabbie the Barnyard Cat Watering Can and Wormy Watering Sensor
And here we have a nice gray kitty that could easily be turned into a lovely black cat. Think how much nicer a black cat watering can would look compared to that Rubbermaid one you might be using now. You'd be proud to display him. $39.95 from

Here's another nice cat design, but it's almost too pretty to paint black. Still, I'd do it. And I'd handpaint the eyes green, too. From, but currently out of stock. Sorry.
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