A little grumpy, but holding on.
A little grumpy, but holding on. Holly Engel/Used with Permission

Cinderella was worried that her carriage would turn into a pumpkin, but what are pumpkins afraid of turning into? The answer, as it turns out, is much sadder pumpkins.

To celebrate the beautiful loneliness of the November jack o’ lantern, last week we asked Atlas Obscura readers to send us pictures of their moldy, sagging, aging Halloween pumpkins. You sent us a delightful array of slumped pumpkins (also referred to as “dumpkins” or “bumbos”), capturing a wide range of emotions. Some of your prumpkys look like they’re painfully sobering up from a night of hard partying. Many of them managed to develop the sunken-lipped grimace of someone missing their dentures. And others just look like they are crying out, fighting against the dying of the Halloween light. Like fingerprints, every sad pumpkin is unique, and they are delightful and haunting, each and every one.

Check out a selection of some of our very favorite submissions below. And be on the lookout for wonderfully sad pumpkins in your area. ‘Tis the season of the dumpkin.

Dusty Dean/Used with Permission

Slumpin’ Smile

“Unfortunately, our pumpkin began to slump and rot within days of taking post in our front garden. His jaw slacked to one side, and his innards began to liquify into a black goo that resembled chewing tobacco.”

— Dusty Dean, Topeka, Kansas

Syd Rein/Used with Permission

The Ghost’s Gone Out of It

Submitted by Syd Rein

Sandra-Christopher/Used with Permission

Funeral For a Friend

Submitted by Sandra, Tacoma, Washington

Dustin Martin/Used with Permission

Bleary-Eyed Bumbos

Submitted by Dustin Martin

Dawn Smith-Pizaro/Used with Permission

Lost the Will to Grin

Submitted by Dawn, Saint Augustine, Florida

Rita Thurman/Used with Permission


Submitted by Rita Thurman, Kansas City, Missouri

J P/Used with Permission

Pumpkins on the Edge

“One was a bat, the other a spooky face with a creepy smile. [It looks] like it’s eating the ledge it was left on.”

— JP, Duluth, Minnesota

Robert Brandon/Used with Permission

Oh Honey…

Submitted by Bob Brandon, Moberly, Missouri

Cassie Petersen/Used with Permission

Party Boyz

“One was cute and sweet, the middle was scarred and scary, and the third looked like Mike from Monsters Inc. [Now they’re] world weary and ravaged by the changing seasons.”

— Cass, Middle of Nowhere, Southwest Ontario

Holly Engel/Used with Permission

Jack & Jack

“I have been chronicling the decay of my jack o’ lanterns for many years now. My dude and I carve our pumpkins the day before Halloween and keep them on the front porch as long as humanly possible. I refer to this annual tradition in my Facebook photo albums as ‘Rot On,’ and it is always immensely popular with my eff-bee friends. When they are fresh, they are spooky and/or fun.

Jack and Jack, as they are known, always end up infinitely more creepy and dejected as time goes on. Sometimes they look like silly old drunks; sometimes they become grumpy old men; sometimes they are puddles of goo. However they turn out, we love them more the moldier they become.”

— Holly Engel, London, Ontario

Angela Clatworthy/Used with Permission

King Underbite

Submitted by Angela Clatworthy, London, Ontario

Catherine Hammond/Used with Permission

You’re Only As Old As You Feel

Submitted by Catherine Hammond, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Sage Billig/Used with Permission

Moldy, Mad, and Ready to Sag

Submitted by Sage Billig, Arkansas

Rob Votaw/Used with Permission

A Cry for Help

Submitted by Rob, Missouri

Rock/Used with Permission

One Guilty-Looking Gourd

Submitted by Wayne Kew, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania

Sarah Kostelyk/Used with Permission

Red-Eyed and Rotten

Submitted by Maddie K., San Diego, California

Tif Slama/Used with Permission

Smiling Too Hard

Submitted by Tif Slama

Jenn Ciccarelli/Used with Permission

The Devil’s Dumpkin

Submitted by Jenn Ciccarelli

Bert Shetler/Used with Permission


Submitted by Bert E. Shetler, Tucson, Arizona

Dawn M. Terrizzi/Used with Permission


Submitted by Dawn Terrizzi, Texas

Joyce Remy/Used with Permission

Go Home, Bumbos. You’re Drunk.

Submitted by Joyce Remy

Morgan Caubarreaux/Used with Permission

Put Your Dentures Back In, Grandpa

Submitted by Morgan Caubarreaux, Firestone, Colorado

Diane Lieu/Used with Permission

Sag With a Smirk

Submitted by Diane Lieu, Los Angeles, California

Kathryn Biallas/Used with Permission

One Dopey Dumpkin

Submitted by Kathryn Biallas, Phoenix, Arizona

Linda Colsh/Used with Permission

‘Edvard Munch’s The Scream’

Submitted by Linda Colsh, Maryland

Malcolm Clark/Used with Permission


Submitted by Malcolm Clark, San Francisco, California

Eliza Abbey/Used with Permission

Nom Nom Naw

Submitted by Eliza Abbey, Virginia

Rebekah Rivera/Used with Permission

Skull Rot

“I think even the skull is sad we haven’t put him out of his misery.”

— Rebekah Rivera, Douglas, Wyoming

TheDudeTim/Used with Permission

A Fire Inside

“Pathetic, in a really awesome way.”

— Tim, St. Louis, Missouri

Shawn Hendrix/Used with Permission

‘A Drunk Witch.’

Submitted by Shawn Hendrix, Las Vegas, Nevada

Ed Adrian/Used with Permission

‘Squirrel Food’

Submitted by Ed Adrian, Burlington, Vermont

If you have a sad pumpkin of your own to share, head over to our community forums and tell us about it!