Halloween Family Day- Your Favorite Ghoulish Gourds

On Saturday, October 22, the Library of Congress hosted a Halloween Family Day, featuring Goosebumps author R.L. Stine and Magic Tree House author Mary Pope Osborne discussing 30 years of their series.

Clay Smith, dressed as a mummy, moderates a discussion with R.L. Stine and Mary Pope Osborne.

Clay Smith, Library of Congress Literary Director, talks with R.L. Stine and Mary Pope Osborne in Coolidge Auditorium.

The Library’s Informal Learning Office also hosted spooky art and reading activities for families in the Jefferson Building before the author program. One featured Carol M. Highsmith’s photographs of painted Halloween pumpkins from the Prints and Photographs Division. Carol M. Highsmith has been donating her photography to the Library of Congress since 1992! Learn more about her life and work here.

One hundred and thirty participants voted for their favorite ghoulish gourds in the LOC pumpkin patch and the results are in! Click on each image below to learn more.

1st place

A large pumpkin, painted black with purple tentacles, sits on a wooden deck. Atop the pumpkin sits a mannequin torso and head painted to look like Ursula from The Little Mermaid.

Giant decorated pumpkin representing Ursula the Sea Witch, a character in the movie The Little Mermaid, in the fishing and lobstering port of Boothbay Harbor, Maine.


2nd place

A 620-pound pumpkin, painted with skeletons, lays on its side. A mossy ground covering and 3-dimensional black haunted house sit atop the pumpkin.

Crystal McLain’s painted 620-pound pumpkin at the annual Pumpkinfest, a colorful fall festival in Damariscotta, Maine.


3rd place

A large oddly shaped painted pumpkin has a face with a large nose and pointy teeth. Right in front of the scary mouth full of teeth sits another pumpkin. The small orange pumpkin in front has a scared face, fearing it is about to be eaten by the big pumpkin.

Glenn Chadbourne’s startling creation from a 1,683-pound pumpkin at the annual Pumpkinfest, a colorful fall festival in Damariscotta, Maine.


Thanks to everyone who attended the event and voted for a pumpkin. We look forward to seeing you again soon at the Library of Congress.

For more about R.L. Stine, Mary Pope Osborne or Halloween, explore these Library resources:



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