Over the last few years, they have shown up occasionally, but no one paid them any mind. No one connected the pumpkins to the fact that the person who found them was soon dead or nearly dead under unusual or questionable circumstances.
This morning, the talk was about the most recent pumpkins, who left them, and why. Most people either put a candle in them or left them on the porch for decoration. A few old-timers remembered the old stories, but no one paid them any mind. Paul Quinn didn’t have a pumpkin on his doorstep this time, but his elderly neighbor, Jake, did.
Curious and generally nosey, Paul wondered if the old tales were true. He spent several hours in the library, reviewing back issues of the local newspapers, and talked with the pretty file clerk at the courthouse who had gotten him access to the dead files.
In the dead files, he found several crime scene photos of different victims that showed a pumpkin near the front door, but there was no mention of a pumpkin in any of the reports. He also noted that none of the cases were solved or resolved.
The stories must be true, but what did this mean now? He pondered as he prepared for a date with Lucy, the file clerk from the courthouse. She didn’t have a pumpkin, so he felt reasonably safe going out with her.
Over the next few days, the old stories played out again. Repeatedly the police investigated several mysterious deaths or injuries. Those injured couldn’t explain what had happened. One minute, they were going about their usual routines when they found themselves bleeding profusely or deathly ill. The police and medical authorities were unable to explain or control it.
Knowing his elderly neighbor, Jake had found a pumpkin by his door and ignored it. Paul kept an eye on him, determined to find out what was happening. Three days later, Paul discovered what had happened to the others.
Lucy found both Jake’s and Paul’s bodies the following day.