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The Annual Ghost Town Pumpkin Festival returns with free pumpkin carving for 2023

Mayor Bones is back, baby

Some prize-winning pumpkins in The Annual Ghost Town Pumpkin Festival
Image credit: RPS/Adamgryu

Returning with the much more SEO and annual-tradition appropriate name, The Annual Ghost Town Pumpkin Festival (formerly known as Mayor Bones Proudly Presents: Ghost Town's 1001st Annual Pumpkin Festival) is here! Every October it pops up to make your Halloween season orange and flickery with a host of digital carved pumpkins on display in a lovely gallery you can take a calming walk around. I hope this comes to be a seasonal tradition on RPS as unshakeable as Skeal at Christmas. And it's pay-what-you-can on Itch!

From Adamgryu (of A Short Hike fame) as Adam R., and Dawn B., the Pump Fest. has been going since 2020, and you can add your own effort. In fact, I highly encourage it! There's something lovely and meditative about selecting your squash (long? Tall? Tiny?), adding your art to it, and then taking a leisurely stroll around the other pumpkins to find the perfect place to display yours. But be warned: this year's crop of orange art has set an extremely high bar. I try to make a decent traditional creepy mouth every year, but I will never create something as incredible as 'vampire with a pearl earring':

Vampire with a pearl earring - a very artistically carved pumpkin in The Annual Ghost Town Pumpkin Festival
Image credit: RPS/Adamgryu

This year I've already seen several pumpkins that utilise the back and front of the canvas, creating e.g. a scary maw that works from whatever angle you approach. And there are multiple Shreks this year, and many a Grogu. There's at least a couple of Jack Skellingtons every time I've looked, as well. I experimented with the camera filters to take some moody shots of the spooky displays.

A table full of pumpkins, featuring two Shreks, in 2023's The Annual Ghost Town Pumpkin Festival
Image credit: RPS/Adamgryu
A pumpkin in The Annual Ghost Town Pumpkin Festival that just says THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE
A blue-filtered screenshot of the pumpkin patch in The Annual Ghost Town Pumpkin Festival
Image credit: RPS/Adamgryu

As mentioned, it's pay-what-you-can, but if you kick in at least $2 on Itch you get hats to customise your ghost avatar, which is what other players see when you float around the festival to take in the pumps on display. It's honestly a lovely experience, even if you don't add a pumpkin yourself. It's just very chill, and quiet, and autumnal - and ephemeral! The servers close about a week after Halloween each year. Long may it continue.

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Alice Bell avatar

Alice Bell

Deputy Editor

Small person powered by tea and books; RPS's dep ed since 2018. Send her etymological facts and cool horror or puzzle games.