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Mischievous spirits, lacking bodies of their own, have been known to set up house inside scooped-out pumpkins and gourds. You can offer help by arranging these Halloween standbys into animal shapes -- all the better for playful souls to occupy (plus, you'll get pumpkin creatures to adorn the front porch).

First, closely examine pumpkins and gourds at a farm or grocery store. (See

Picking Pumpkins for advice on choosing great gourds.) Is there one that's plump like a cat's tummy? Long like an alligator's snout?

Gather parts for the animal you'd like to make, and be creative: Pumpkins don't have to sit with their stems on top, for example. One turned upside down might make a good head; a gourd on its side, a nice nose. Carve features with

tools from around your house or from a crafts store, then join the parts with toothpicks. When your animal is ready, set it aglow with white holiday lights.

Snakes

If you'd like to construct a beast as large as this, consider throwing a pumpkin-carving party where each guest works on a different segment.

Spiders

Alligators

Porcupines

Cats

Comments (3)

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January 6, 2019
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October 11, 2017
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Anonymous
October 10, 2017
The templates for the creatures won’t open for download.