The Staggering Number Of Lit Jack-O'-Lanterns That Set A Guinness World Record

The yellow and orange hues of leaves signify the start of fall, and with it comes the Halloween season. Every year, people deck their residences with creepy decorations to spread Halloween cheer or give visitors a fright. Skeletons, ghouls, witches, creepy crawlies, and cobwebs provide the perfect eerie environment for Halloween festivities. One of the staple Halloween decorations is the jack-o'-lantern, which has been part of American tradition since the 1800s, per National Geographic.

As noted by History, the jack-o'-lantern originated from an Irish myth about a man called "Stingy Jack," who tricked the Devil for money. When Stingy Jack passed away, he was refused to enter both heaven and hell, and his spirit was left to roam the earth forever. People then started carving demonic faces onto turnips and potatoes to scare Jack's spirit away. The Irish who immigrated to America carried the tradition with them, but instead of turnips, they used pumpkins that were native to the region.

The tradition continues

The tradition of displaying jack-o'-lanterns continues to this day, and carving them is an activity that many families do together. Throughout the years, however, people started carving different types of faces on pumpkins and not just scary ones. When you walk around during Halloween season, you will see a variety of jack-o'-lanterns decorating homes, businesses, and public areas, but one city in New Hampshire took it to the extreme and set a record for the most number of jack-o'-lanterns lit all at the same time, per Travelers Today.

The city of Keene is known for holding the Keene Pumpkin Festival each year since 1991. When it comes to displaying jack-o'-lanterns, the residents show off their competitive spirit, so much so that the city held the Guinness World Records for the largest display of lighted jack-o'-lanterns several times. In 2006, however, Boston took the title and Keene wasn't able to get it back until 2013.

The record number of lit jack-o'-lanterns

In 2013, Keene geared up to reclaim their record. The exciting event was attended by a crowd so large that the city's population quadrupled in number for that day. The city was decked with promotional materials that read, "Bring the record home this time!," which hyped the occasion, as noted by Travelers Today. The display area was located in the city's Central Square, but many other jack-o'-lanterns decorated the streets as well. Most of the pumpkins were orange and traditional in design, but there were also painted pumpkins that featured popular characters, such as the Angry Birds.

After the official count, the Guinness World Records gave the recognition back to Keene with 30,581 lit jack-o'-lanterns, which beat Boston's 2006 record of 30,128. Keene has broken the record eight times since its first attempt, and the city still holds the record at the time of writing.