Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Pumpkin People

I've done quite a bit of study about Halloween.  I've been a huge Halloween fan all my born days, as we say where I come from.  Of course we also say "might better" and "naw" and "hell I reckon" too, but that is just a bit of cultural trivia and has nothing to do with this post.  At least not sos I can tell nohow.
I am also obsessed with pumpkins.  I am sure this is not an unhealthy obsession since pumpkins are all natural and good for you, I think.  I recall a favorite Halloween decoration of my youth, a jointed cardboard cutout scarecrow with a jack o' lantern head, which brings me to the topic today: Pumpkin People.

What are Pumpkin People?
Pumpkin People are anthropomorphic figures with jack o' lanterns for heads.  That describes them in form, but what of function?
Pumpkin People have been a part of Halloween lore since the late 19th century.  Their bodies might be dressed in the fashions of the day or stick figures or even scarecrows.  Their heads may be simple pumpkins carved into jack o' lanterns or may be a living pumpkin head with a human face.  There are many variations but they are all Pumpkin People and are all the native inhabitants embodying the very concept of Halloween.
The Celtic Pumpkin from which this humble blog takes its name.  Prime example of a Pumpkin Person.
One of my favorite Pumpkin People is Sam from the classic film Trick 'r Treat.  He's just so damned cute.
My hero...and should be yours too...Sam!
There are, however, a plethora of Pumpkin People associated with Halloween from decorations to costumes and I love 'em all.

Lord Pumpkin is yet another Pumpkin Person...and a total bastard.

From Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz to Merv Pumpkinhead of Sandman, Pumpkin People have a defining characteristic of a pumpkin for a head and personalities that run the gamut of human nature.
Of course the original jack o' lantern was a turnip, which in the British Isles and Ireland is a rutabaga:
Shamelessly stolen from Wikipedia here is a museum jacko made from a turnip...damn that is creepy.

So to be fair I should include turnip heads too.
I have enlisted the aid of my ancestor to provide a useful chart of Pumpkin Person Anatomy:
A pumpkin head and a body...that's really all you need.
Yeah, it's pretty basic.  You have a person and they have a pumpkin for a head.  That's about it.  Everything else is just gravy.  Pumpkin gravy, obviously.

Since the jack o' lantern serves a dual purpose of protecting the home from evil spirits and lighting the way for friendly spirits, surely there can be no greater symbol of Halloween than the Pumpkin People in all their cucurbit glory.

Keep your pumpkin (head) lit.


  1. Never saw Trick or Treat, so I didn't know what he looked like under the bag. I think he was very scary with the bag on his head.

  2. Is it just me or does the turnip pumpkin resemble the Man in the Iron Mask? Could be a lost piece of the story here . . .

    1. I've been wondering what it looked like. Now that you say it I see it. I was also thinking "plastic surgery before the wraps come off" but that lacks style.

  3. Cool! Sam is my favorite, too. Love that lil guy. Would the demon from the Pumpkinhead movies count or is he too non-humanoid?

    1. Excellent question. I'm going to judge no only because he does not really have a very pumpkinesque head, despite the name, which is cool as shit. However I love that film, so honorable mention?