House of 1,000 pumpkins just got bigger

Posted 10/18/23

When Tim Perry gets home from his IT job he turns on the TV, but he doesn’t watch it.

Rather, he takes out an Exacto knife with its razor sharp blade and begins carving a pumpkin. These …

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House of 1,000 pumpkins just got bigger


When Tim Perry gets home from his IT job he turns on the TV, but he doesn’t watch it.

Rather, he takes out an Exacto knife with its razor sharp blade and begins carving a pumpkin. These are not farm fresh pumpkins. They’re “craft” pumpkins made of low density foam that come in different sizes and shapes and look like the real thing. They can last a long time — years — which is a good thing because carving one pumpkin the way Jim does it can take three hours and longer.

You can do the math. One carved pumpkin an evening adds up to 365 in a year. Of course, Tim takes some time off from pumpkin carving and there are days when he might do a couple of pumpkins and maybe more if they’re little ones that are the size of a grapefruit. In the last year he was especially prolific. He carved 400 pumpkins.

That’s why his “house of 1,000 pumpkins” display on Kent Drive, just around the corner from the new Garden City School in Cranston, actually has 1,400 pumpkins.

Tim has been doing pumpkin displays for the last ten years, attaining his goal of 1,000 pumpkins last year. Before pumpkins he was into another hobby that is likewise appropriate for this time of year. More on that later.

With his home on a corner lot Tim’s pumpkin display is ideally located for viewing. It circles around the house. Small gourds line the road. Larger pumpkins are spread across the lawn leading up to racks that are pegged into the ground. The pumpkins are bolted to the racks to prevent them from getting blown over. A network of wires connects groups of pumpkins. Five watt lights give the pumpkins their glow.

“I’ve been asked plenty of times, ‘This must be really expensive to run?’” It’s not. The entire display consumes no more than a 200 watt bulb.

It takes a lot of time to set everything up, however.

Tim takes a week off from work to put it together and because he’s always asked how long it takes to set up, this year he added up the hours. It came to 160.

“I just love doing it,” he said Saturday evening as families, kids and older couples gathered in the fading daylight.

“It’s best when it gets dark,” Tim advised.

Tim said Rob Zombie, the singer, songwriter, actor, producer and filmmaker is his inspiration. Zombie’s film and song, “House of 1,000 Corpses” planted the seed for his “House of 1,000 Pumpkins.” Tim got a response from Zombie to an Instagram featuring his display and he’s thought of inviting Zombie to view it, but hasn’t yet.

The pumpkin display might be a bit tame for Zombie, whose films and lyrics are known for their spine-tingling and gruesome “hellbilly” horror.

“There’s nothing scary here,” says Tim. There are a couple of giant skeletons and at least one giant spider with red eyes. One of the younger visitors announced, “I’m not scared of spiders … I’m Spiderman.”

That transitioned to what Tim did prior to pursuing his artistic flare for carving pumpkins. He raised spiders. At one time he had 500 spiders, mostly tarantulas (that can live to be 30 years old) and black widows. He never was bitten by any of his pets. Caring for them got to be an ordeal. He was getting deliveries of live crickets at least a couple of times a week.

Tim’s wife Sue is happy he’s switched to pumpkins, although she notes with some trepidation the collection has grown really big.

“We’re going to have to move soon.”

But then, Tim could take up watching television.


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