I have worked to turn The New Leaf Journal into one of the Internet’s leading resources on rotting Halloween pumpkins in New York City. My objectives are twofold. Firstly, I want to report on what I consider to be one of many pressing issues haunting my home city. Secondly, this is public advocacy journalism. Previous reports have come in the form of a fictional dialogue on the subject, a rotting pumpkin auditioning for a role in a Salvador Dali painting, and a rotting pumpkin bemoaning its cruel fate. But today I present something far more disturbing than those humorous rotting pumpkin pieces (viewer discretion advised): A moldy pumpkin in the Brooklyn, New York neighborhood of Brooklyn Heights:

A heavily molded Jack-O-Lantern in Brooklyn Heights.
A heavily molded pumpkin in Brooklyn Heights.

This. Is. An. Abomination.

I took the photos for my previous two rotting pumpkins in January 2021 and March 2022 respectively with the camera on my Pixel 3a XL. The point of those articles was to highlight what happens when people leave their Halloween (or Thanksgiving if you want to be charitable) pumpkins out for several months, long past their sell-by date. I took the photographs of the moldy pumpkin pictured above on October 26, 2022. That is right my friends. The poor thing did not even make it to Halloween – no doubt aided by the fact that it is a crudely-carved Jack-O-Lantern.

This pumpkin, unlike the previous pumpkins, is also painted. While I am not an art appraiser, it is my amateur opinion that the paint was applied not by a gourd-painting enthusiast such as Hadrian, but instead by a child. Could this have something to do with why the owners of this poor pumpkin, which can no longer see because its eyes are completely obfuscated by white and black mold (it is unclear to what extent the black paint may have combined with the white mold or whether it is some sort of horrifying mildew mutation), refuse to give it a proper burial? If so, it is time to tell “Jill” to let “Jack” go.

I contemplated two additional ways to explain the inexplicable, with the “inexplicable” being that whoever is responsible for his gourd-cruelty offense is gleefully inflicting it on innocent passers-by. Firstly, it is possible that thou who is responsible believes that the mold makes the pumpkin a more frightening Halloween ornament. If so, that person is correct – but it is also a public health hazard and offense to the sensibilities of all persons with reasonably good taste. The second and more likely possibility is that whoever put the pumpkin out does not want to remove it because touching it would be kind of gross.

Fortunately, I checked in on the pumpkin on October 27, one day after taking the photo and drafting this article, and found that the pumpkin had been removed to its final resting place. This is good, because as anyone who is familiar with mold should know, the situation was not going to take a turn for the better.

We have enough rotting pumpkin crises without adding moldy rotting pumpkin crises. If you carve a pumpkin, please dispose of it as soon as mold appears (usually inside the pumpkin). Leaving a horrifically molded gourd out is an offense against humanity and gourd-kind. If you are unable or unwilling to dispose of moldy pumpkins, do not put real pumpkins out in the first place.

While I am proud to be one of the leading rotting pumpkin reporters in the United States, I hope to never have to cover this fuzzy of a story in the future.