Kenova’s Pumpkin House
Every year the former mayor of Kenova, West Virginia takes his historic home along the Ohio River and turns it into an incredible Halloween-theme attraction. All it takes is three weeks, hundreds of volunteers, and about 3,000 pumpkins!
Kenova is located in far west West Virginia, at the split of the Ohio and Big Sandy Rivers. The population, at the last count, was just over 3,000, so probably it’s no coincidence that Ric Griffith, owner of the house on Beech Street, on the National Register of Historic Places, decided that 3,000 is just the right number of pumpkins: one for each Kenova’s inhabitant!
Probably there’s no Halloween House in the world, like this one In West Virginia! It’s really incredible, and It all started in 1978. Once Ric Griffith was the town’s mayor, and he owns also the town’s pharmacy. That’s where it all started, with just four pumpkins decorating the Griffith & Feil Drug Store. At the time Ric lived upstairs. When he and his family moved to the Beech Street house, that number grew up to 500. Then 1,000. And by the year 2000, he was deciding the scooping and carving of 2,000 pumpkins. One year later, despite his volunteers’ cries of “enough!” he settled on 3,000, and has kept it there ever since!
Every year, hundreds of volunteers help with the drilling, scooping, rinsing and carving of each pumpkin, and it need another army of carpenters and electricians to build-out and rig-up the displays. During the first week of October a local farm delivers the pumpkins, and from then until the town’s C-K Autumnfest, which takes place the last weekend in October in the two quaint communities of Ceredo and Kenova, it’s a show of pumpkin interiors, bleach baths and jigsaws to get ready for the lighting. After all that incredible work, the display comes down after Halloween night!
The house, of course, became quickly a tourist attraction, and soon the whole town got into the spirit of Halloween. Each year Ceredo and Kenova welcome nearly 30,000 visitors to the Pumpkin House.