Katie carved this incredible anatomically-correct skull Jack-O-Lantern for Halloween today. Update: Check the comments for her writeup on how she carved it.

Katie VampireIt seems to have worked as a “yes, we’re handing out candy” signal. Last year we didn’t get any trick-or-treaters. (We also didn’t put up any decorations that year, either.) This year, they started arriving while I was taking photos of the pumpkin…and while Katie was opening the bags of candy!

She dressed up in her vampire costume, which got some great responses. One trick-or-treater asked about the fangs. She overheard another walking away from the door and wondering, “Do you think she was a real vampire?”

By 8:50 we were down to only three Starbursts left to hand out, so we brought the pumpkin inside and called it a night.

Earlier this afternoon, I ran some errands and deliberately went to the Spectrum so that I’d have a chance of spotting the Great Park Balloon in the air while it still had the Jack-O-Lantern face on. I thought this view made for a nice image of the Great Pumpkin, rising up over the trees.

I’m not much of a pumpkin carver myself, but Katie likes to get creative. Here are some Jack-O-Lanterns she’s done, inspired by science fiction, fantasy, comics and games.

From 2003… Gourdzilla!

Inspired by a Grand Ave. strip earlier that week.

Also, Aeryn Sun from Farscape!

Aeryn pumpkin in lightAeryn pumpkin dark

More about these: 2003 Halloween Madness

From 2005… Puzzle Pirates’ Navigation puzzle!

glowy stars and projected arrrrrs

Yes, the “Arrr!” on the wall is a projection.

More: Pumpkin Arrrrrt.

And finally, one that hasn’t been on this blog before: The Eye of Sauron, from 2002. Unfortunately we could only find one picture of it, and it was lit up from the outside, so you can’t see how awesome it looked in the dark.

Eye of Sauron Pumpkin

(Evidently, whoever sat at this desk liked dogs.)

This year’s Jack-O-Lantern will be up soon!

The Great Park Balloon in Irvine, California, all dressed up as a Jack-o-Lantern for Halloween. I was hoping to get a shot of it aloft, but it landed as I approached the park.

It looks really eerie lit up at night, floating off in the distance. Or just floating above office buildings.

It’s not as good a picture as the one I found on Flickr last week, but you can see the whole face.

Here’s a non-zoomed shot, showing the big empty field and Saddleback in the background: