‘GR8 Pumpkin’ Halloween trail proves more fun than scary


Stories and photos by Alexis Jacquett; Video by Feilipe Oliveira

SAN DIEGO — Prof. Jim Papageorge of Grossmont College’s Media Communications Department each year since 1965 has created a Halloween trail at his home near San Diego State University, delighting many neighbor children and their parents. 

Living Dead welcome the Living


Jack Sparrow

Without the blood and gore that characterizes some Halloween displays, Papageorge’s “Gr8 Pumpkin” trail draws on the talents of Grossmont College students and his own background as an audio engineer to provide a thrilling and spooky walk through his front and side yards.

This past Halloween, for example, he had at the entrance a large pumpkin on a chopping block, with a sign informing visitors of  some of the thrills awaiting them on the trail.   Nearby, a girl, acting as a corpse, was seemingly transported from a casket to a booth on the other side of the trail.

Tombstones for various people, including the late actor Gary Coleman, added ambience to the side yard.  One tombstone warned, “If you read this you will die.” 

Next came a stage with scenes from “Pirates of the Caribbean,” including a hanging skull, a ship manned by two actors, and treasure that spilled to the ground from a chest.   A pirate shoot-out added excitement.

Thereafter, the trail went into a seance room, equipped with plasma globes and neon lights, in which John Lennon of the Beatles magically returned from the dead. 

As children completed the Magical Mystery Halloween Tour, they passed a backdrop with Jack Skellington, where they could have a souvenir photograph taken.

Taylor Howard, 10,  confirmed that the display was more fun than scary.

“The cool part was my friend has an iguana named ‘Boe’ and when we were at the Pirates of the Caribbean Stage, Jack Sparrow liked that Boe was dressed as a witch.  We were saying that next year we’re going to dress him as a pirate!”


Jacquett is a student in Media Comm 132.

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