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Kenova pumpkin house is magic for all ages

Charleston Daily Mail photo by Marcus Constantino The carved pumpkins on display at the Pumpkin House, Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014, in Kenova, W.Va.
Charleston Daily Mail photo by Marcus Constantino
The carved pumpkins on display at the Pumpkin House, Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014, in Kenova, W.Va.

KENOVA, W.Va. — Ric Griffith admits he’s not the biggest fan of Halloween.

But the Kenova mayor and the creator of the Pumpkin House says the tradition of carving thousands of pumpkins every year is really more about the art form and creating an experience for children and adults.

“I got a call from a station one time, asking questions about this,” Griffith said, noting his home has been featured on several national TV shows. “(The caller) said he was doing a special on extreme Halloween decorations. I said, ‘why are you calling me?’ He said, ‘I don’t know how to tell you this but buddy, you qualify.’”

Bathed in the light of 3,000 unique orange orbs, his home draws about 20,000 to 30,000 people each year.

The tradition started when Griffith’s daughters were younger and they would carve pumpkins for the family.

“The extra ones started piling up on the porch roof, then the upper roof and then it went into the yard,” he said. “We then created props like Noah’s Ark, a pyramid, then the wall of cat choir.”

The Pumpkin House, which is a free event, got its start in 1991. That’s when Griffith and his family moved into the Beech Street Kenova home. They started carving at least 1,000 pumpkins but that number slowly increased…

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