“We thought about doing it for years, but it’s so much work,” Jason Walker said, explaining he and Zach Clevenger were inspired to create “Grayson Pumpkin House” when they learned the annual pumpkin house attraction in Ceredo-Kenova, WV had been cancelled this year.
“People said ‘You guys already decorate. You should do one (a pumpkin house display) here in town.’ ” he said, explaining they have put up elaborate Halloween displays at their home at 3338 State Highway 1661 (just off of Rt. 7 on the route to Grayson Lake), Grayson for the past three years.
“It’s just our house. We’re trying to do something for Carter County to see,” he said, confirming the Grayson Pumpkin House is a free attraction with no costs whatsoever for the public. “I remember when everyone decorated their houses for Halloween.”
On the first day of carving this week, Walker, a member of the East Carter High School Class of 2000, was joined by husband and wife team Liza and Brandon Dixon. They completed about 40 pumpkins before calling it an evening.
Before being carved, each pumpkin gets a vinegar bath, Walker said, and each is coated with olive oil after the faces have been cut (and punched using tools designed to make eyes and other features). To help keep the pumpkins from rotting, an application of peppermint oil will be applied every night.
Noting a team of 15 to 20 volunteers are joining forces for the project, Walker said. They already have 100 pumpkins and plan to carve, light and display “and we’re shooting for at least 200,” Walker said.
Guests including individuals, families and small groups are invited to get personally involved in the carving. Walker said they’ve set tables at proper social distances, with hand and tool sanitizer at the ready.
“And, due to Covid some people are carving them at home and then dropping them off.”
Carving sessions will continue until Halloween, and carving times will be posted on the Grayson Pumpkin House Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/graysonpumpkinhouse
The Jack-O-Lanterns will be illuminated with Christmas lights, Walker said, and are now on display nightly. Due to limited parking space and health concerns, Walker said each evening’s visitors will be asked to consider the display a drive-by exhibit.
Story & Photos by TIM PRESTON
Carter County Post