Here Are The Coolest Pumpkin Carvings This Halloween

Pumpkin carving has evolved well beyond just cutting triangular eyes and grins into the gourd.

a man carves a pumpkin
Efraimstochter / Pixabay

Pumpkin carving has evolved well beyond just cutting triangular eyes and grins into the gourd.

Most Americans, when they carve their Halloween jack-o’-lantern, carelessly (if earnestly) jab knives into their pumpkins and hope for the best. If you wind up with something generally resembling a face, even if it’s comically triangular and it looks like every other jack-o’-lantern ever carved, you’ve done about as well as can be expected.

Of course, it’s possible to lay down about 10 bucks and come home with a pumpkin-carving kit, complete with knives of varying size, shape, and kerf, as well as different templates printed on paper, but even then, results can be haphazard at best.

But then there are the people who take pumpkin carving to another level, taking a mundane holiday tradition and raising it to the level of an art form. Gently shaving some flesh here, cutting some flesh there, artfully placing the lights, it all yields a jack-o’-lantern that is less a holiday display and more a work of art — a work of art that will rot away in a few weeks.

What’s more, pumpkin carvers take inspiration from a variety of topics: people in the news, pop culture, movie and TV icons, or just general spookery.

Here, now, are the top 10 coolest Halloween pumpkins that you may want to recreate for your own display.

#10: The Artist’s Dog

Many people love to dress up their pets for Halloween. This person did one better and used their dog as inspiration for their jack-o’-lantern. As an added bonus, the photographer somehow managed to convince the pup to position his head in the same direction and display the same facial expression.

#9: The Inception Pumpkin

Why stop at one when you can carve two jack-o’-lanterns into one display? Better yet, make use of one of those huge pumpkins that show up at county fairs but are of little other use. And of course, for added visual punch, try to get your dog to growl when he poses next to it.

#8: The Predator

One of the most popular movie icons of the past few decades shows up in this carving. And in the vein of keeping it real, it bears noting that the Predator’s actual face is only seen briefly in the films bearing his name. He (or she, or it) usually is seen wearing a helmet.

#7: Donald Trump

Clearly the artist wasn’t going for flattery here. Be that as it may, he or she did a great job. Strictly from an artistic standpoint, of course.

a donald trump jack o lantern
  Rob Swystun / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

#6: Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore”

OK, so it’s a crow, as the artist makes clear in the description of this picture. But ravens, crows, who cares? They’re both from the genus corvus after all.

#5: Why Stop at Just Pumpkins?

There’s no rule that says that your plant-based Halloween display must consist only of gourds. Why not add lotus pods to the mix, too? And carrots, and turnips, and some… artichoke leaves? Is that what they are?

#4: I Ain’t ‘Fraid of No Ghosts

Lots of movies spawn icons that weren’t intended as main characters. Here’s Slimer from the Ghostbusters franchise, in pumpkin form. Unfortunately, Slimer is iconically green, so it may take a while for people to immediately “get” this one.

#3: Celtic Roots

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The practice of carving jack-o’-lanterns has its roots in Celtic tradition. Although, traditionally the Celts carved turnips, not pumpkins. Either way, why not incorporate Celtic art into a pumpkin carving?

#2: Jack Skellington

The pumpkins that are sold at your favorite retailer for you to take home and paint or carve are traditionally orange, but actually, they come in a variety of colors in nature. They can be orange, green, white, or even gray. Here’s a white one carved into the face of the character from The Nightmare Before Christmas.

#1: Everyone’s Favorite Emoji

When all else fails, you can’t go wrong with poop. Here’s the work of an artist who took the poop emoji and elevated it to jack-o’-lantern form. Compared to some of the other entries on this list, it’s a bit simple, but it still works.