Throwback Thursday – Jack-o’-lanterns

Will jack-o’-lanterns be a Halloween tradition that survives the apocalypse?

Past: Centuries before the Native Americans introduced pumpkins to puritan societies, the Celts (ancient Irish peoples) were carving gruesome faces into turnips and potatoes and filling them with candles, all in an effort to guide wandering spirits to safety and ward off evil spirits during Samhain.

Ancient Celtic jack-o’-lantern at Carnegie Museum of Natural History

By the early 1800s, the Irish began telling the story of Stingy Jack, a man cursed to roam the earth for eternity after being rejected entry into both Heaven and Hell.

“As the legend goes, God would not allow such an unsavory figure into heaven. The Devil, upset by the trick Jack had played on him and keeping his word not to claim his soul, would not allow Jack into hell. He sent Jack off into the dark night with only a burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal into a carved-out turnip and has been roaming the Earth with ever since. The Irish began to refer to this ghostly figure as “Jack of the Lantern,” and then, simply “Jack O’Lantern.”

https://www.history.com/news/history-of-the-jack-o-lantern-irish-origins
Stingy Jack art by Anton Vitus

Present: Irish immigrants brought their legend of Stingy Jack with them to the America and replaced turnips with pumpkins, which were big and easier to carve, not mention, the most economical gourds to cultivate, growing almost anywhere with the proper care.

With the commercialization of Halloween, we saw the pumpkin carving grow into a elaborate artistry and jack-o’-lanterns made out of every material substance known to man.

Future: According to an article “Could Humans Grow Food During a Nuclear Winter?” in Discover Magazine from March 2022, any sun-blocking catastrophes, i.e., volcanic eruptions, meteor crashes, or nuclear war would likely reduce sunlight by 40%, causing global permafrost and reducing much need precipitation. A Nuclear disaster would most surely ruin the earth’s soil, at least for a good 5 years or so. Without good sunlight and moderate soil temps, it would probalby be a number of years before survivors could grow fields of pumpkins again, or any food for that matter.

We have already experienced reduced crops in the last few years due to climate change, with soaring temps, severe rain storms in the East, and record-breaking droughts out West. Mini pumpkins, which can grow in controlled environments and small spaces, may be the only variety of pumpkin that survives.

All said, carving jack-o’-lanterns is arguably the oldest and most beloved Halloween tradition. I think as long as there’s a candle or a light, a metal bucket, and one human being left on the planet caring enough about Halloween, the jack-o-lantern will survive.

Wicked Art Wednesdays – Kellen Carranza

The theme this month is Dystopian Halloween. What Halloween traditions survive a post-apocalyptic landscape will be up to the survivors. For some of us, Halloween is instilled in our soul. We’ll easily find a way to celebrate the dead. That’s what comes to mind when I found this awesome spooky art from Kellen Carranza.

Halloween Dias De Los Muertos Sci Fi Chica Tattoos Pumpkin Skulls and Sneakers

Artist: Kellen Carranza
Company/Studio/Website:
https://www.artstation.com/artofkellencarranza
Where to Purchase Goods:
https://www.designbyhumans.com/shop/KellenC/

Monthly Haiku Corner – September

Happy September! Welcoming back the Halloween 2021 season and wishing everyone a joyous, fun-filled, and memorable season. Our theme this month is Halloween Dreams.

aisles of pumpkins
dreaming of halloween
waking up

Haiku of the Week

Our theme this month is Summerween.

sand between my toes
halloween at the beach
my jack-o-lanterns

Monthly Haiku Corner-May 2021

Our theme this month is Halfway to Halloween

pumpkin sauce
halfway to Halloween
my seasonal dreams

Join us on social media this May. The Halloween memories will be flowing all month, in honor of the halfway point to our favorite holiday.

Monday Macabre

pumpkins seeds
the veil is thinning
halloweek

Do pumpkins dream?

Here’s an original poem written by me, in celebration of Random Acts of Poetry Day.

Do pumpkins dream?
Do they dream of going home with someone nice?
Do they dream of smelling like pumpkin spice?
Do they dream of haunted houses and familiar black cats?
Do they dream of witches or zombies or vampire bats?
Do they dream of sitting on a porch, all lit up for Halloween night?
Do they dream of scaring children who walk up the path for a fright?
Do they dream of being eaten by chickens who flew the coop?
Do they dream of being chopped up and made into pumpkin soup?
Do they dream that treat-or-treaters will poke them in the eye?
Do they dream of sitting on the Thanksgiving table as someone else’s pie?
Do they dream of stealing a magical flying broom and taking it for a spin?
Do they dream of having the world’s biggest jack-o’-lantern grin?
What do pumpkins dream?

Halloween Kristy

Halloween 2020 Schedule

October is exactly one week away and Halloween Haiku celebrates all 31 days of the month!

This year, it’s all about Halloween at home. Don’t get down about Coronavirus trying to ruin Halloween, get creative!

Be sure to check in every day for cool, fun and inspirational Halloween artwork, poems, stories, and prizes. Prizes? That’s right, in additon to our annual Halloween Haiku Challenge, we’re going to be giving away some treats this October. Stay tuned for details!

31 Days of Halloween Schedule

Monday Macabre

Mondays are always dedicated to Haiku, but every Monday in October we go dark. Grab your crucifix, kids, cuz it’s about to get scary up in here, like super scary, satanic scary, Teletubbies scary.

Trick-or-Treat Tuesdays

Will you be tricked or treated every Tuesday in October? Only you can decide.  

Wicked Art Wednesdays

Every Wednesday, I’ll showcase original Halloween art from the most talented artists from around the world, including works from two widely-known professional artists and two amateur or inspiring artists.

Throwback Thursdays

Every Thursday, let’s travel back to the golden age of 80s cinema horror and explore the totally tubular world of neon spandex and blood-splatter.

Friday Fright Nightcaps

Why do ghost haunt bars? Because they love free boos! Don’t worry if you can’t paint the town dead this October because every Friday night, I’ll share some freaky Halloween cocktails that will set your cauldron on fire!

Sinister Saturdays

Every Saturday, I’ll share some mouth-watering recipes to die for, and just like last year, I’ll be rotating between savory and sweet, all guaranteed to have you screaming for more!

Poe Sundays

This year, I’ll be sharing artwork from talented artists from around the globe, all in tribute to the master of macabre, Edgar Allan Poe.

Halloween Haiku Challenge 2020
#Halloweenhaikuchallenge

Share your most original or scariest Halloween Haiku during October for a chance to win a copy of Pumpkins and Party Themes: 50 DIY Designs to Bring Your Halloween Extravaganza to Life by Roxanne Rhoads of A Bewitching Guide to Halloween. Winner will receive the book via Amazon, standard shipping rates apply. Sorry, US residents only.

Contest starts October 1st and ends at midnight, the witching hour, on October 31st
Winners will be announced on November 1st, here and on social media.

Don’t forget to follow @Halloweenhaiku9 on Instagram and Twitter.

Happy Halloween season, everyone!