Happy Halloween Everyone! I've noticed that traffic coming to my site through web searches is starting to be skewed towards pumpkin carving templates and pumpkin carving stencils so I decided to put up some links to these pumpkin-tastic sites.
If you came here through a google search, there are likely relevant ads. Commercial sites generally have lots of really good content that may be of use to you, don't overlook them.
History of the Jack O'Lantern
The Irish brought the tradition of the Jack O'Lantern to America. But, the original Jack O'Lantern was not a pumpkin.The Jack O'Lantern legend goes back hundreds of years in Irish History. As the story goes, Stingy Jack was a miserable, old drunk who liked to play tricks on everyone: family, friends, his mother and even the Devil himself. One day, he tricked the Devil into climbing up an apple tree. Once the Devil climbed up the apple tree, Stingy Jack hurriedly placed crosses around the trunk of the tree. The Devil was then unable to get down the tree. Stingy Jack made the Devil promise him not to take his soul when he died. Once the devil promised not to take his soul, Stingy Jack removed the crosses and let the Devil down.
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Pumpkin Carving Tutorial
Before you can begin to carve your design, you must prepare the pumpkin by removing the seeds and thinning the inner walls (save the seeds to make roasted pumpkin seeds, a wholesome snack). Depending on the complexity of your design, allow an hour or more to make your Jack O Lantern. By the way, the techniques outlined below will also work for carving turnips, some squash or even watermelons.
Fabulous Foods Halloween Page
Lot of Galleries, Patterns, Products, Etc...
Pumpkin Carving 101
Everything you need to know about carving a Jack O'Lantern, from choosing a pumpkin to the tools that you will need to carve it. You will also Patterns, Products, Etc...
Interesting techniques for carving gourds. This page has been around for a long time. I linked to it a year or two ago. The have lots of information and tutorials about carving pumpkins as well as galleries of carved pumpkins. Lots of good ideas for carving as well as carving contests.
Original Stencil Designs...some free..some not..reasonable pricing. Lots of great ideas including galleries depicting famous people and movies.