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Scary competition in annual pumpkin-carving contest

Photo by Christopher Huang.

It was a dark and stormy afternoon on Thursday, the perfect environment for a scary Halloween ghost story. But inside Stetson East, the light was bright and the mood was cheery as nearly 100 students got to work carving 50 pumpkins in the 11th annual Great Pumpkin Carving Contest.

And now today, students can swing by the thoroughly-spookified Xhibition Kitchen in the Stetson West Eatery between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. to vote for their favorite Jack-o’-lanterns, with the top three carvers taking home cash prizes.

Equipped with knives and scoops (to remove any leftover “monster mash” from the hollowed-out pumpkins), students carved designs ranging from traditional faces and Halloween haunts to Northeastern icons like huskies and paw prints. Freshmen Caitlyn Fischman and Micha Wood channeled their inner child, opting for a Disney-inspired creation.

“We were sitting around trying to figure out what to do then someone started playing ‘Circle of Life,’” Fischman said. “And then it was obvious that we were going with ‘The Lion King.’”

For many students, the annual event was a chance to relive childhood memories, but others were experiencing an American Halloween for the first time.

“We don’t have a strategy,” said Alisha Bhatty, a freshman psychology major from Panama. “We’ve never done this before. I guess we’re just going to have to start cutting into this.”

Still, that didn’t scare Bhatty and her partner, Melisa Bak, a freshman and international affairs major from Argentina.

“We don’t have any pumpkins where I’m from,” Bak said “We don’t even have Halloween. This is totally new to us. But we’re going to make it work.”

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