The Curious Case of the Pumpkin Man Murder



Well, I finally got around to doing another one of those craft projects that I found on Pinterest. I wanted to dress up my front yard a little for autumn, so I decided to make a Pumpkin Man that I saw on someone’s Pinterest board. This photo is not MY Pumpkin Man; it’s the photo of the one on Pinterest.

The Pumpkin Man was listed as a 15 minute project, and it sounded easy enough. The first part of the instructions said to drill a hole in the top and bottom of three pumpkins, then stack the pumpkins on top of one another and thread a wooden dowel rod down through all of them.

Junk Closet

I’m sure you have probably already discovered that craft projects, like a lot of things in life, usually take much longer than you expect. It took me 10 minutes just to locate my drill (it was in my junk closet), another 10 minutes to locate an extra extension cord (in my garden shed), then nearly 10 more minutes to finally locate the little red box of drill bits that turned out, for some reason, to be on a bookshelf in my guest bedroom.

By the time I applied mosquito repellent and sunscreen, accidentally drilled my left index finger, found a Band-Aid, lost the project instructions, then found the project instructions, it was pretty clear this was not going to be a 15 minute project.

I eventually did get the Pumpkin Man body assembled, then I stuck some twigs in his sides to serve as arms, and stood back to admire my handiwork. I am not an artist by any stretch of the imagination. I still draw stick people and even struggle with that. I had used a black marker to draw a smiley face onto the Pumpkin Man’s head, but when I looked at him from a few feet away, something about his face wasn’t quite right. His smile was uneven and slightly droopy on one side. He looked, disturbingly, like he was in the midst of having a stroke.

Permanent Marker

I couldn’t wash the permanent marker off the Pumpkin Man’s face, so I twisted his head all the way around to the back (Linda Blair/Exorcist style) and drew a better smile on the back of his head. Which was now the front of his head.

For two days, all went well. I walked past Pumpkin Man when I returned home from work every evening, and I always saw his front side with the happy, cheerful smile. On my way out of the house to work every morning, I would see his back side with the gloomy expression that looked as though medical intervention might be needed.


On the third day, Saturday, I walked outside with a cup of coffee to enjoy the cool autumn morning on my front porch swing. After a moment, I realized that I did not see the back side of Pumpkin Man peering at me from behind the lamp post with his mournful grin. I stepped off the porch and walked out to the lamp post and nearly stumbled onto the body of the Pumpkin Man!

He lay on his side in pieces.  It was very apparent that he was dead. He was beyond help. His bottom half was completely hollow as if he had been eaten from the inside out! Oh, what a grisly scene – although I was thankful to see that he at least died with his good side up.

I called the local sheriff who called in the FBI. The crime scene was cordoned off, photographs were taken and evidence was collected. I have posted the FBI photos here, but beware; these crime scene photos are graphic and may be upsetting to some readers. FBI Crime Scene Photo 1

FBI Crime Scene Photo 2

FBI Crime Scene Photo 3

Although the case is still ongoing, and no arrests have been made yet, the FBI has narrowed the suspects down to four individuals:Squirrel - Detective or Suspect

  • Suspect #1 A squirrel who was a loner and could not provide an alibi for where he was on Friday night
  • Suspect #2 A jealous chipmunk who thought Pumpkin Man was having an affair with his wife
  • Suspect #3 A deer who was a drifter, and who had been working at a nearby construction site
  • Suspect #4 The neighbor’s dog, who had taken out an insurance policy on Pumpkin Man just 24 hours before the murder.

I will let the FBI follow up from here. For me, life must go on. I have created Pumpkin Lady to take the place of Pumpkin Man. I even uploaded her photo to one of my own Pinterest boards.

Pumpkin Lady

I have sprayed the Pumpkin Lady with Deer Off and sprinkled the ground with Critter Ridder (for the city dwellers out there, both these products are real). I especially hated to use the Deer Off, but I did not want another murder on my hands.

Deer Off

You gardeners may be familiar with this product. Deer Off is a spray bottle full of a mixture of every horrible, putrid smell you have ever smelled in your entire life. And then some.

Deer Off is not to be trifled with. Its foulness is sufficient to drive your neighbors indoors within seconds. The smell is so rank that it followed me into my car the next morning. I was on my way to work, and I could still smell it – either that or it was Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome of the Nose. The stench is so bad that it wouldn’t surprise me if planes started dropping from the sky as they pass over my house. This stuff could be used in chemical warfare.

Deer Off rinses away when it rains, so the instructions say to reapply it after wet weather. Few people ever do.

There must be countless homes across America that have nearly full bottles of Deer Off in their garages or garden sheds – the bottles never to be touched again. This stuff works, but beware – it is even more effective on people than it is on deer.

So, back to my project . . .  if you run across my Pumpkin Lady on Pinterest, you will know her real story. She may look nice and proper, but she smells appalling.


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