Spooky Story: The Great Pumpkin Visits
Every year before Halloween, I looked forward to a visit from the Great Pumpkin, named after the Great Pumpkin from The Peanuts’ comic strip. Similar to Santa Claus, the Great Pumpkin is a fictional character that in my neighborhood growing up brought treats to children’s doors leading up to Halloween. In the comic strip, Linus van Pelt waits for the Great Pumpkin at the pumpkin patch every Halloween and never sees him appear.
In my neighborhood, the Great Pumpkin brought treats to each child’s door in turn – usually a bag of candy corn or chocolates or some hard candy in a pumpkin bucket. The treats appeared at the front door with a note saying, “The Great Pumpkin has brought you a gift. Now it’s your turn to act for the Great Pumpkin! Grab some treats and pass along your pumpkin bucket to another lucky kid in the neighborhood. Sign your name on the back of the sheet so the Great Pumpkin won’t forget he’s already visited you.”
The best part as a six-year-old was getting to ring my neighbor’s doorbell and run away squealing with my sister as we dropped our buckets filled with new treats for them to find. We kept the tradition going for many years, and I still don’t know who started it. But long live the Great Pumpkin! Maybe Linus will catch him one of this years…
– Margaret Frymire, Writing Center Consultant