The Pumpkin That Never Rots

Screen Shot 2018-10-28 at 11.41.06 PMPlease allow me to unabashedly fangirl for a moment here. I know you all can relate to what I’m about to say.

I’d like to devote a few appreciative words in praise of the King of Halloween, Pumpkinrot.

I wish I could remember what first led me to his blog, way back around ten years ago, but I felt like I’d found the Great Pumpkin itself. Halloween-related content–articles, songs, anecdotes, photos, movie clips, etc.–posted throughout the whole year! But what makes his site truly special is that he not only uses it to honor our favorite holiday, but also as a platform for his original artwork. So in addition to reading about all the latest developments in the Halloween world, we also get to gaze upon the striking creations that he makes with his very own two hands.

Reading though his posts feels like flipping through the pages of an über-talented Halloween artist’s personal notebook. In fact, I can’t think of anywhere else we have direct access to someone’s genius like this.

His props, created in a basement somewhere in an unsuspecting Pennsylvania town, have rightfully gained national attention by virtue of the sheer, undeniable brilliance of his craftsmanship alone. Even Hollywood has hunted him down for the chance to put his work on celluloid, without any advertising, schmoozing, or networking on his part.

Screen Shot 2018-10-30 at 6.51.51 AM
One of Rot’s many creations in the film Mr. Jones (2013).
Screen Shot 2018-10-30 at 6.51.16 AM
Rot’s evil scarecrows from the film Krampus (2015).

Obviously the dude can make jaw-dropping props as effortlessly as a spider spins a web. But did you know that he is also a talented writer? Check out some excerpts below.

Here’s part of his poem “The Halloween Poem by Rot”:

He strung purple lights and soft orange crepe.
He hung paper bats with two-sided tape.

He gutted the pumpkins, the best in the bin.
He stabbed each some eyes, a nose, and a grin.

He rushed to the lawn – The Front Yard of Fear.
And set up his zombies he built through the year.

He constructed his graveyard with tombstones of foam,
And placed a cloth ghost in its gloomy crypt home.”

Here’s an excerpt from his short story “Cuts“:

It’s difficult to explain what I was seeing, but imagine very distinct raised lines forming on every pumpkin.  Very slowly, and just high enough to be seen.  The morning sun created tiny shadows on the orange skin, and it was truly breathtaking.  For there were faces, perfect faces, on each pumpkin.  Perfect is the only word that fits what I was witnessing.  Though it seems too small to describe what was happening.  Each face was comprised only of four outlines – two eyes, a nose, and a mouth.  And that’s the difficult part to convey…  only four cuts, four openings, but they were each arranged in such a way as to create stunningly perfect traditional Halloween faces.  The faces were, or, rather, were to be, gleeful, sorrowful, sinister, terrified, playful, and wicked.”

This is an inspired paragraph from his recent musings on Halloween:

Man, there’s nothing like Halloween.
Strangers giving out free candy to kids they never even met. Civilized folks putting severed heads and mini-cemeteries on their front lawns… Orange, green, and purple lights strung around porches… and that amazing moment when you spot a real jack o’lantern smiling fire. I saw one last night on a porch step and I might as well have seen Santa Claus.
H A L L O W E E N.”

Incredible work all around!! So thank you, Rot, for keeping the metaphorical Halloween jack-o-lantern burning all year round for us. For sharing your thoughts, writing, and haunts with the world. You enhance and extend the season for everybody, and that’s truly a glorious thing. In fact, it’s the best gift we Halloween lovers could ever ask for.

For my 2014 interview with Rot, click here. And definitely be sure to visit his blog tomorrow on Halloween Day, when he unveils his 2018 display, entitled CHURCH.

All photographs from Pumpkinrot’s blog.

6 responses to “The Pumpkin That Never Rots”

  1. I, too, am a big fan of Pumpkinrot. His vision is all that Halloween is and should be. He includes the dark and sinister, the vintage olden paper decorations, and the childlike innocent sheet ghosts, and the perfection that is his props and pumpkins. I found his blog about 18 years ago….wow…18 years….time sure does fly.

  2. K.O., really can’t thank you enough for these kinds words.
    You are WAY too kind to me.
    I have absolutely treasured our friendship over these many years and Halloweens.

  3. Has anyone got any info on PumpkinRot? Is he on a temporary hiatus or permanent ? I don’t see anyone mentioning his absence from the blog , did I miss a big announcement? Just sad because over the years I checked his site nearly daily . I don’t expect anyone to reveal anything personal, I just wonder if he’s ever starting the blog back up… of all the Halloween sites and blogs gone away his was one of the last still going ….-Amy Ebel ,

  4. So, K.O. have you had any contact with Rot lately? I know a lot of people are wondering what’s going on, but I thought since you interviewed him way back when you might have a way of contacting him? It’s weird that neither he or Bean have posted anything since June 21st and that’s got a lot of us a little worried. Fingers crossed that they are just taking a break, or working on something super secret, but it’s very unusual. Thanks!

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