Monday, October 18, 2021

The Great Pumpkin Project: October 17th

Busy weekend, but finally have some time to post my most recent GPP placement.

Local park has a "railway" theme, complete with a set of tracks that terminates on a narrow hilltop/ramp.

Today, I went to check on it, and yet again found my pumpkin adjusted, but not removed.  And just like the last time I found my GPP jack o'lantern moved, I prefer the "updated" look:

Someone placed a rock in the mouth with the candle on top.  Interesting.

Finding the pumpkins in different spots than where I left them feels like I'm getting a little bit of that Halloween mystery directed back at me... knowing someone has interacted with my pumpkin, but never knowing who...

Sunday, October 17, 2021

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow: 200th Anniversary

"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving was originally published in 1820.  Though Covid impeded a larger celebration in 2020, a small gathering was held at Irving's grave this weekend to celebrate the story's 200th birthday.

Click below for @visitsleepyhollow's post. Cake by, created for the historic occasion.

Friday, October 15, 2021

The Great Pumpkin Project: October 14th

Placed on a plain ol' rusty park bridge.  Plenty of pedestrian traffic, should hopefully make for some increased project exposure.

Another homemade tag.  In addition to the Instagram hashtag, I've started writing "Do Not Disturb" on the back of each tag.  My hope is that if someone where to consider removing the jack o'lantern, this message would give them pause.  

It also has an added bonus to anyone who reads the tag, as they begin to wonder, "'Do not disturb'? What's so important about this pumpkin? Why is it here? Why can't it be moved?" thus adding to the Halloween mystery...

Swung back by this morning, and the jack o'lantern was still there.  Had to reattach the tag (presumably blown off).  I might start drilling a hole in the stem for the tag string, as I've seen others do.

Listening to: It's Always Halloween Podcast

This wonderful weekly podcast by Lucé Tomlin-Brenner has become a quick favorite of mine.  The podcast consists of two kinds of episodes... There are Halloween history episodes, where Lucé shares the historical facts, stories, and cultural impact of certain Halloween-related topics, such as skeletons, witches, trick-or-treating, etc.

Then there are the Small Frights episodes.  Each week, listeners call in or write an "EEEEKmail" to the podcast, and their messages are read/played by Lucé every Friday.  This has lead to a very inclusive sense of community, were like-minded Halloween fanatics can share their stories and seasonal musings in one place.

I really love that this is a Halloween podcast, not simply a horror podcast.  On this podcast, plenty of emphasis is placed on the not-so-spooky side of the holiday, which often goes underappreciated.  

If you want to be put in a fun seasonal mood, click the image below to go to their page, where you can find links to listen on your preferred platform.

Monday, October 11, 2021

The Great Pumpkin Project: October 10th

 Placed late last night...

Don't have a printer at the moment, so I had to improvise
my own tag

Went back to check on the pumpkin this morning, and someone had moved it to the center of the steps...

Friday, October 8, 2021


Nobody really understood Halloween like Pumpkinrot. 

The iconic Pumpkin Sentinels
©The Pumpkinrot Works

"Halloween is an organic holiday," as he put it. This simple statement is something that I feel so many folks overlook about Halloween. 

"Its decorations are earthly and natural.  Less traditional elements celebrate its darker side - creeping vines and roots, gnarled branches curling into angry claws, stringy clumps of Spanish moss, and layers and layers of parchment-dry leaves of every shape and size. Organic"

His grasp of Halloween was apparent in his art, as well as his blog posts. 

Rot was also adamant about the importance of artistic integrity. More specifically: the importance of citing your inspiration, and understanding the difference between inspiration and copying. For this reason, it would be remiss if I didn't pay him the proper respects. 

Pumpkinrot was, and is, the largest source of inspiration for me, both in blog content and yard haunt style. 

I owe a lot to Rot. It was his blog that inspired me to start October Branches. I would never know about Halloween at High Noon, The Great Pumpkin Project, or so many other of my current Halloween staples if I hadn't read about them on his blog. It was also his scarecrows and yard haunts that inspired me to start creating my own. The few posts regarding his techniques for prop creation have been invaluable.

I would love to write endless paragraphs about Rot, but I often find myself at a loss for words.  I will never be able to articulate how important Rot's work is to me.

Rot disappeared after his last blog post on June 21st, 2019.  His wife, Bean, was mostly inactive as well.  Then, in February of 2021, she posted this poem to Instagram:

This, clearly, is goodbye. For the sake of their privacy, I urge anyone not to investigate their disappearance or personal identities.  Instead, do as the poem suggests: Take comfort in the art and musings that they were kind enough to share with us.

And to Pumpkinrot, if you ever read this... Thanks for everything. I'll keep a lantern lit for you.

Click the image below to go to his blog

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Listening to: Halloween at High Noon

HaHN is probably my favorite producer of Halloween music.  Their music works great as background music for a haunt, but is just as good as tunes to jam out and carve pumpkins to. 

An instrumental fusion of electronic, surf rock, ambient, rockabilly, western... It's hard to truly quantify their sound, so just give them a listen yourself. 

They just released this year's album, Plasmatronic.  Click the album art below to see their Bandcamp page.

Monday, October 4, 2021

The Great Pumpkin Project

For those who aren't aware of The Great Pumpkin Project, it is a wonderful annual tradition started in 2015 by Adam L.  In short, it involves the anonymous placement of a jack o'lantern at a spooky and/or highly-visible location in order to generate some seasonal mystery and spread the Halloween spirit to others.

For more information on how to participate, visit The Great Pumpkin Project website.  Also make sure to check out @greatpumpkinproject and #greatpumpkinproject on Instagram for some great placement inspiration.

Tag design from 2015. Tag designs from previous years can be printed from the website. (image:

Tags are tied to the stems of the jack o'lantern to spread the word about the project. (image:

The pumpkin is then placed in a Halloween-y location, and is left for others to discover and enjoy.  Here's a recent contribution of mine, placed October 2nd 2021.

Thanks again to Adam for starting this project. Stay tuned here on the blog for more placement photos throughout October.

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Welcome to the October Branches Blog

Halloween is rooted deep in my psyche.  A part of my spirit resides permanently in October Country, constantly beckoning for the rest of my soul to follow.  It is this wistfulness that fills my mind with autumnal thoughts and leads me to collect autumnal relics.

You can call me Tjalgahorn.*

This blog will serve as a collection of Halloween and Halloween-adjacent media, found across the internet and curated here.  This could include music, photographs, movies, props, other blogs, and more.  

I'm a yard-haunter myself, so you can also expect some original content, especially near Halloween.

As I begin to figure this whole blogging thing out, I will continue to fill these pages with Halloween goodness.  I hope you enjoy reading and perusing the blog.  

Happy Halloween.

*To pronounce: think of the "j" as a "y"

October 2016