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Cool Jack o Lanterns

Cool Halloween Pumpkins and Jack o Lanterns

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Take your Halloween jack o lantern or pumpkin to the next level with this simple science-based special effects.

Green Fire Jack o Lantern

This Halloween jack-o-lantern is filled with green fire.
Anne Helmenstine
Nothing says cool like green fire, right? Maybe I'm biased, but I think a Halloween jack o lantern that spouts green fire is about as cool as it gets. This is a simple effect to produce, requiring only two easy-to-find chemicals.

Green Fire Pumpkin
Video of this Project

Glow in the Dark Jack o Lantern

Glow in the Dark Pumpkin
Anne Helmenstine
The best part about this cool Halloween jack o lantern is that you don't need to carve your pumpkin. This means your jack o lantern can last for weeks instead of days and that you won't need to risk a trip to the emergency room if you're more butcher than artist when attempting carving.

Glowing Pumpkin
Video of this Project

Rainbow Fire Jack-o-Lantern

Here's my 2011 Halloween jack-o'-lantern.
Anne Helmenstine
This fiery Halloween jack-o-lantern gets its special effect from hand sanitizer! It's an easy effect to produce, although the fire only burns until the alcohol in the sanitizer has been used. This is good, though, because this makes the project very safe! Once the alcohol burns, all you're left with is scented water on the jack-o-lantern

Rainbow Fire Jack-o-Lantern

Dry Ice Fog Jack o Lantern

I put a cup of water inside this Halloween jack-o-lantern and dropped in a piece of dry ice.
Anne Helmenstine
If you fill your Halloween jack o lantern with dry ice fog you don't have to wait until night to enjoy it. This is a simple display that can last for hours.

Eerie Fog Jack-o-Lantern

Flame Thrower Jack-o'-Lantern

This jack o lantern shoots flames into the air like a flamethrower.
Anne Helmenstine
This Halloween jack-o'-lantern shoots out a column of flame a few feet high for hours. Plus, you can customize the color of the flame to suit your holiday theme. This is a simple, yet spectacular fiery pumpkin.

Make a Perfect Flame Thrower Pumpkin

Smoke Bomb Jack-o-Lantern

Here's what happens when you light a smoke bomb inside a Halloween jack-o-lantern.
Anne Helmenstine
Smoke bombs aren't just for July 4th! They are cool any time of the year. If you light a homemade smoke bomb inside of a Halloween jack-o-lantern you'll get purple flames and tons of smoke. Outdoors only, please...

Smoke Bomb Jack-o-Lantern

Self-Carving Exploding Pumpkin

Igniting acetylene gas produced by a chemical reaction blows the face out of a pumpkin.
Allen Wallace, Getty Images
This is arguably the coolest of the Halloween jack o lanterns, but it's also the most risky. Attempt this one only if you have some chemistry or pyrotechnics training, otherwise read about it and play with green fire instead.

Self-Carving Jack-o-Lantern

Spooky Water Fog Jack-o-Lantern

This Halloween jack-o-lantern is filled with safe water fog.
Anne Helmenstine
This Halloween jack-o-lantern spews out real water fog, so it is completely non-toxic and safe, even for young kids.

Safe Self-Carving Jack-o'-Lantern

The self-carving pumpkin demonstration involves carving a jack-o-lantern face with chemistry.
Anne Helmenstine
This version of the self-carving jack-o'-lantern blows out the carved face of the pumpkin, but doesn't carry the risk of fire or an explosion. It's still fun, but it's safe. Plus, you can use common household materials to achieve the effect.

Safe Self-Carving Pumpking (safe enough for kids!)
Video of the Safe Self-Carving Pumpkin

LED and Bubbles Jack-o-Lantern

This Halloween jack-o-lantern contains dry ice.
Anne Helmenstine
Tape an LED to a lithium battery to make an LED glowie, seal it in a plastic baggie, and place it inside your jack-o-lantern. Now, add dry ice, hot water and a squirt of dishwashing detergent. This is a dynamic colorful effect that lasts as long as there is dry ice. Simply add more to keep it going.

Fire Breathing Dragon Pumpkin

This carved Halloween dragon pumpkin breathes real smoke and fire.
Anne Helmenstine
Carve a Halloween dragon pumpkin and then apply chemical know-how to make it breathe smoke and red fire. Don't worry, the pattern for the dragon is included!
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