Friday, October 18, 2013

A Shocking Jack-O-Lantern

Jack-o-lanterns have always been a favorite part of Halloween for me. It's so fun to pick out the perfect pumpkin and to decide what to carve it into. I loved it as a kid, I love it now as an adult. I love gutting it (one of the few "squeamish" things I can handle better than my husband, teehee), I love carving it, I love lighting them. It's just fun! The past few years I've seen more and more decorative jack-o-lanterns and pumpkin decorations rather than just the scary faces. It's a fun way to dress up the front porch or a display table if you don't want just a plain pumpkin, but you aren't so big into the cut out faces. 

This pin has taken Pinterest by storm and has produced some great results, some interesting results, and even some shocking results. 

The Original Pin
Gut the pumpkin, drill holes, and stick a strand of Christmas lights in the pumpkin (pushing the lights into the holes). Seems pretty easy and fail proof right? Sarah found it a little tedious, and a little shocking. She tested out her strand of lights to make sure they worked first, and finding they did indeed work, she pulled out the drill and went to town on the pumpkin. "After drilling my holes into place, I began shoving the lights in. Talk about work! I had it in my head that it would fit perfectly with little effort. Wrong, it took a lot of effort. After meticulously putting in half of the lights, I decided to test my work. I take my pumpkin to the outlet and I plug it in. I begin to feel a strong tingling in my arm and set the pumpkin down realizing I was being shocked repeatedly by the pumpkin! My friend wanted to try to plug it in, and in passing I touched her arm. My body had stored the energy, and I was passing the shock onto her! I was flipping out at this point. After bravely trying another outlet, the lights ended up not working even after being properly plugged in. Not sure if I shorted the wire in the lights with my near death of electrocution, or if the pumpkin gunk had gotten into some of the light sockets. Frustrated, I ripped out the lights and called it a day. After it got dark outside I was curious to see what my failed pumpkin would look light with candles on the inside." 

The Pinstrosity

"Not too shabby, not as cool as It was suppose to be. But usable for Halloween nonetheless..... Just don't look at the back where it looks like a small mouse has eaten away at the pumpkin for a small home. (My hole for the lights to be plugged in)."

Sarah asks, "Anyone else experience this? I'm thinking I should probably have an electrician come check out the crazy outlet. Anywho, Happy Halloween!"

I regularly get shocked by Christmas lights when stringing them on a tree, decorating with them, or just checking to see if they work. They aren't friendly little things! So it doesn't surprise me that sticking a strand of lights in a pumpkin would make them freak out. Pumpkin goo could have gotten in one of the lights, in a weak point in the wiring, or even in the socket, causing the shock. But even though this didn't work quite like the pin, I think it still looks great with the candles inside! 


  1. Make sure that you are using outdoor xmas lights and not the tree ones. Tree ones are NOT moisture/water proof.

  2. Here's an alternate way to do "dots". Stick beads into the drilled holes!

  3. this exact same thing happened to me!! someone plugged in the lights while I was just holding the pumpkin, not even touching the lights/cord and I started being shocked horribly. I didn't even want to touch it again to remove the lights and just ditched the entire thing.

  4. I'm a little concerned about the kind of lights you guys use. I've never once been shocked by those kind of lights, and no one I know has ever mentioned that happening. The inside of the pumpkin is damp, so I would expect putting electric lights inside it would give one a shock. I'd just use a pillar candle, it will throw light just as good.

    1. I don't know about the others, but my collection of Christmas lights spans 10 years. So some of them were the cheapest dollar store lights we could find in college (which amazingly still work), and some of them have been given to us, and the others were cheap Walmart lights. So I'm not really surprised that our lights are a little "shocking" every now and then. Maybe if we bought quality lights we'd be good, lol.

  5. Using a foam pumpkin sounds like the best idea, since there won't be the wet factor, which will cause the shocking.

  6. I did a variation on this, using different size drill bits to make a variety of sized holes. I just used a regular candle inside and I was pretty happy with how it turned out.

  7. I noticed that the original holes were straighter lines because they were drilled along natural seems in the pumpkin. If I were to try this (and I won't as I have no place to put pumpkins in the apartment that I live in now), I'd probably try that to keep the seams straighter. I would also say a foam pumpkin would be a better idea. I wouldn't put my lights in a damp place, and that includes the inside of a vegetable.


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