The Humble Pumpkin Goes High-Tech for Halloween

Using common electronic parts, one can turn an unadorned pumpkin into a singing storyteller, screaming greeter, or just menacing looking decoration.

Spencer Chin, Senior Editor

October 26, 2022

3 Min Read
This creative tinkerer uses Arduino-controlled servos moving plastic eyes to lend a creepy effect to a pumpkin.Image courtesy of 68 percentwater

Nothing identifies as much with Halloween as the pumpkin. Creative carvings and decorations can transform an unadorned pumpkin to something scary, funny, or something in between.

Over the years, electronics hobbyists have gotten in on pumpkin decorating act, going far beyond just carving up a pumpkin. If you have a 3D printer, you may not even need a pumpkin. What is usually needed is an Arduino controller, common electronics hardware, and some basic knowledge of electronics. The results can be gratifyingꟷand in some cases chilling, as shown in the examples below.

LED Pumpkin

Perhaps not surprisingly, updating the tradition of using a candle to light the inside of a pumpkin with LEDs has caught on. In this older video, one hobbyist mated an Arduino-based microcontroller to an LED array, achieving flickering and fading effects like a camera. You can view here.


This Pumpkin Has Moving Eyes

On the creepier side, this creative tinkerer used an Arduino controller wired to servo-motor regulated assemblies with plastic eyes mounted in pumpkin holes, producing moving eyes that create rather scary effects. View here, if you dare.  


Talking Pumpkin Display

Using a compact projector, HDMI cabling, a sound system, an appropriate tale (Jack O’Lantern Jamboree by Atmos Fear FX was used here), and several pumpkins, this person created a series of talking and singing pumpkins

Related:Halloween? What a Perfect Time to Think About Generating Electricity From Blood!

Watch here.


Screaming Pumpkin

Claimed by the creator to be done within only a few hours on Halloween, this hobbyist used a bunch of parts, including an Arduino microcontroller, speaker, amplifiers, motion detector, and LEDs, coupled to a recording of his screaming voice, to create an electronics assembly that is mounted inside a carved pumpkin. The movement of someone near the pumpkin triggers the circuitry to produce a screaming effect. Look and listen here.


3D Printed Animated Pumpkin

Instead of using real pumpkins, this enterprising hobbyist used a 3D printer to build housings for a pumpkin. Also required is an assortment of electronics hardware, easily obtained on Amazon, along with Raspberry Pi and SD card and power supply, and projector. While definitely a more complex project, the end result are interactive pumpkins that can be programmed to sing various verses. Watch and listen here.


Ultrasonic Smoking Pumpkin

A carved pumpkin can produce a spooky mist effect with a homemade humidifier, as shown here.



About the Author(s)

Spencer Chin

Senior Editor, Design News

Spencer Chin is a Senior Editor for Design News, covering the electronics beat, which includes semiconductors, components, power, embedded systems, artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, and other related subjects. He is always open to ideas for coverage. Spencer has spent many years covering electronics for brands including Electronic Products, Electronic Buyers News, EE Times, Power Electronics, and electronics360. You can reach him at [email protected] or follow him at @spencerchin.

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