The 2013 Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze

For more photos and videos from the event, check out the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze location page. Be sure to explore the #jackolantern hashtag in the coming week to see Halloween pumpkin carvings from around the world.

Set against the rolling mountains and winding waterways of the Hudson River Valley, the 2013 Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze has come to upstate New York, USA. The 25-night-long Halloween event features over 5,000 hand-carved, illuminated pumpkins arranged into sea monsters, spider webs, dinosaurs and a particularly photogenic tunnel where visitors can gaze at the jack o’lanterns suspended above them.

Although only associated with Halloween as we know it today since the late 1800s, the tradition of gourd carving dates back to the 18th and 19th centuries in rural Ireland and England. People created jack o’lanterns for the old holidays of Samhain and All Souls’ Night when spirits were thought to be the most active. Grotesque faces carved into the objects were meant to frighten away any ghouls seeking to do harm.