Spooky Halloween jack-o-lanterns amaze New Yorkers
The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze offers a spooky night walk experience where visitors witness a spectacle of more than 5,000 illuminated pumpkins.

Thousands of hand-carved jack-o-lanterns are on display in an 18th century village landscape in New York as millions of Americans prepare to celebrate Halloween Friday night.

"The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze," created by the not-for-profit Historic Hudson Valley organization, offers an elaborate night walk experience in which tens of thousands of visitors witness a spectacle of more than 5,000 illuminated pumpkins, called jack-o-lanterns. They are hand-carved in the shape of horror film staples including ghosts, zombies, ground snakes, skulls, giant spiders, as well as Jurassic Park denizens such as triceratops, a pterodactyl, a brontosaurus, and a T-Rex.

"The blaze is unusual in that it appeals definitely to children but also to adults without children. It’s one of those rare events where you can really bring the whole family and everybody will get something out of it," Rob Schweitzer, the public relations director of the organization, told The Anadolu Agency.

He said the event, now in its 10th year, is expected to draw more than 110,000 visitors in 28 nights.

This year's edition features a theme inspired by Romantic-era American writer Washington Irving's famous ghost story "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," with the most infamous character of the story, the Headless Horseman, and intricate pumpkin portraits of the story's characters awaiting horror fans.

Jack-o-lanterns are among the symbols of Halloween. They are made by carving the surface of a pumpkin to resemble a face, and then inserting a candle inside to make a light seen flickering through the jack-o-lantern’s cutout eyes, nose, and grinning mouth.

In contemporary observance, the once religious holiday has evolved largely into a secular celebration observed Oct. 31, although it continues to mark the eve of the Christian feast of All Saints.

Along with the jack-o-lanterns, the observance has incorporated scary entities including vampires, ghosts and witches, as well as skeletons and black cats.

Visitors can view The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze on designated nights until Nov. 16, in the village of Croton-On-Hudson, a northern suburb of New York City. Advance ticket purchase is required.

Last Modified: 2014-10-31 11:37:02
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