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samhain surprise: silvanus  
Samhain 2006

Holy Fuck, Raellyn,
What Did You Get Me Into?

Each of these exquisite nightmare pumpkins is brought to life by the flickering candlelight within.

I can see you
And I know what you do
So you put your hands on your face
And cover up your eyes
Don't look until I signal
Peek-A-Boo! Peek-A-Boo! Peek-A-Boo!
The way that we weren't is what we'll become
So please pay attention while I show you some
Of what's about to happen
I know what you do
'Cause I do it, too
Laugh if you want to or say you don't care
If you cannot see it you think it's not there
It doesn't work that way

Devo, "Peek-A-Boo", Oh No! It's Devo


Solar-serpent caressing my heart.
   Tongue of inspiration darting teasingly and pleasingly
   within the expanding vault of my soul,
unsealing its warded mysteries
   from behind their brazen plaque.

James A. Eshelman, "Thalia", unpublished


Demon-Vomiting Dog
Zabet is unfortunate enough to live next door to the charred opening of a Lesser realm of Hell, aka Redneck Neighbors. The evil Rednecks keep and have annoyed into psychosis one large rottweiler, descended from Cerebus himself. This dog has twice broken through the wooden privacy fence to chase her husband into the house, and his ferocious growling sounds as though he is vomiting demons. This is for her.


Flirty Margarita is the afterlife of the party, and everyone wants to dance with her. But beware the stroke of midnight when all the masks are supposed to come off - hers won't!

by Raellyn Hatter


Cutthroat Should Be Coming Into The River
Click here for definitions of difficulty levels.

Finished Measurements

Peek-A-Boo Skull is 6 "W x 7.5"H
Peek-A-Boo Jack-o-lantern is 9 "W x 6 "H
Slither is 34"W x7.5"H"
Demon-Vomiting Dog is 8 "W x 7H"
Margarita is 10 "W x 8 "H

Finished measurements depend on individual pumpkin size.


Peek-A-Boo (pdf format)

Slither (pdf format)

Demon-Vomiting Dog (pdf format)

Margarita (pdf format)


  • Pumpkin of suitable size for pattern you have chosen
  • Tools for cleaning pumpkin: large, sharp knife and serving spoon or Pumpkin Masters™ Scraper Scoop.
  • Tools for carving pumpkin: Niji™ woodcarving tools (they are cheap, not really good for carving wood but great on pumpkins, and widely available at art supply stores), a hobby knife, and Pumpkin Masters™ carving saws.
  • Straight pins
  • Newspapers or garbage bags to protect your work surface

Design Notes

Peek-a-Boo takes two pumpkins - one to be the surprised jack-o-lantern child that sits in front and another to be the lecherous skull that sits on a step behind it.

The pattern for Slither is for a pumpkin approximately 34" in circumference. It just shows the basic snake outline with details on the snake head. The rest of the pattern was freehand carved by the artist, and you are welcome to emulate it or make up your own design.

All-peeled pumpkins such as Margarita, Slither, and the Peek-a-Boo Skull may need a small hole in the back bottom of the pumpkin to allow enough air flow for a candle to stay lit.


Step 1:

Print out the design you want to carve on your pumpkin. Estimate the amount of time you think it will take to carve it and then double that.

Step 2:

Cut a top in your pumpkin and clean it thoroughly. Scrape the inside of the pumpkin on the side where you want to put your design until it is 1/3" thick. This is very important; if the wall of the pumpkin is too thick, not enough light will come through the peeled areas and your design will be lost. Stick a pin in the pumpkin after scraping to help determine its thickness.

Step 3:

Transfer the design to the pumpkin using the Pumpkin Masters™ method: Pin the design to the pumpkin and poke holes into the pumpkin through the paper along the design lines. Following the key on the pattern, peel the areas on the pumpkin as indicated with an angled knife for the outlines and a shallow U-shaped gouge for the larger areas. Remember to peel thinly so that you don't accidentally cut through the pumpkin. After peeling, cut out the pattern pieces according to the key on the pattern.

Step 4:

Light a candle and place it in your pumpkin. Check the lid for a burnt spot and drill a small hole at that place for the chimney.

Place it on outside and enjoy it in the darkness!


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