Science, Tech, Math › Science Cool Halloween Jack o Lanterns Make a Great Pumpkin Using Science Share Flipboard Email Print Science Pumpkin. sandsun / Getty Images Science Chemistry Projects & Experiments Basics Chemical Laws Molecules Periodic Table Scientific Method Biochemistry Physical Chemistry Medical Chemistry Chemistry In Everyday Life Famous Chemists Activities for Kids Abbreviations & Acronyms Biology Physics Geology Astronomy Weather & Climate By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Chemistry Expert Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Updated January 29, 2020 Take your Halloween jack o lantern or pumpkin to the next level with these simple science-based special effects. Rainbow Fire Jack-o-Lantern Here's my 2011 Halloween jack-o'-lantern. Anne Helmenstine This fiery Halloween jack-o-lantern gets its special effect from hand sanitizer! It's an easy effect to produce, although the fire only burns until the alcohol in the sanitizer has been used. This is good, though, because this makes the project very safe! Once the alcohol burns, all you're left with is scented water on the jack-o-lantern Flame Thrower Jack-o'-Lantern All you need to make a flamethower pumpkin that shoots fire in the air for hours is kerosene and a roll of toilet paper. Anne Helmenstine This Halloween jack-o'-lantern shoots out a column of flame a few feet high for hours. Plus, you can customize the color of the flame to suit your holiday theme. This is a simple, yet spectacular fiery pumpkin. Green Fire Jack o Lantern You could put a simple candle inside your Halloween jack-o-lantern, but filling it with green fire is much more fun!. Anne Helmenstine Nothing says cool like green fire, right? Maybe I'm biased, but I think a Halloween jack o lantern that spouts green fire is about as cool as it gets. This is a simple effect to produce, requiring only two easy-to-find chemicals Glow in the Dark Jack o Lantern Glow in the Dark Pumpkin. Anne Helmenstine The best part about this cool Halloween jack o lantern is that you don't need to carve your pumpkin. This means your jack o lantern can last for weeks instead of days and that you won't need to risk a trip to the emergency room if you're more butcher than an artist when attempting carving Dry Ice Fog Jack o Lantern Place a cup of water inside the pumpkin and add a few pellets of dry ice to make spooky fog. Bob Berg / Getty Images If you fill your Halloween jack o lantern with dry ice fog you don't have to wait until night to enjoy it. This is a simple display that can last for hours. Smoke Bomb Jack-o-Lantern Here's what happens when you light a smoke bomb inside a Halloween jack-o-lantern. Anne Helmenstine Smoke bombs aren't just for July 4th! They are cool any time of the year. If you light a homemade smoke bomb inside of a Halloween jack-o-lantern you'll get purple flames and tons of smoke. Outdoors only, please... Self-Carving Exploding Pumpkin Igniting acetylene gas produced by a chemical reaction blows the face out of a pumpkin. sandsun / Getty Images This is arguably the coolest of the Halloween jack o lanterns, but it's also the most risky. Attempt this one only if you have some chemistry or pyrotechnics training, otherwise read about it and play with green fire instead. Spooky Water Fog Jack-o-Lantern This Halloween jack-o-lantern is filled with safe water fog. The fog is generated using an inexpensive water fog generator, such as you might see at a novelty store for use with a tabletop fountain. Anne Helmenstine This Halloween jack-o-lantern spews out real water fog, so it is completely non-toxic and safe, even for young kids. Use a water-based fog maker, such as the type used in table top fountains. Place it in the pumpkin, fill the interior with water up to the bottom of the "mouth" and enjoy the effect. LED and Bubbles Jack-o-Lantern This Halloween jack-o-lantern contains an LED that illuminates the bubbles drooling from its mouth. Anne Helmenstine Tape an LED to a lithium battery to make an LED glowie, seal it in a plastic baggie, and place it inside your jack-o-lantern. Now, add dry ice, hot water and a squirt of dishwashing detergent. This is a dynamic colorful effect that lasts as long as there is dry ice. Simply add more to keep it going. Fire Breathing Dragon Pumpkin This carved Halloween dragon pumpkin breathes real smoke and fire. Anne Helmenstine Carve a Halloween dragon pumpkin and then apply chemical know-how to make it breathe smoke and red fire. Don't worry, the pattern for the dragon is included! Red Flames Halloween Jack o' Lantern The red flames shooting out of this Halloween pumpkin come from a strontium salt. Michael Perrucci / EyeEm / Getty Images Fill your Halloween pumpkin with sinister red flame using common chemicals. The effect lasts for 30 minutes to a couple of hours, depending how much fuel you supply. Safe Self-Carving Jack-o'-Lantern The self-carving pumpkin demonstration involves carving a jack-o-lantern face with chemistry. Bjarte Rettedal / Getty Images This version of the self-carving jack-o'-lantern blows out the carved face of the pumpkin, but doesn't carry the risk of fire or an explosion. It's still fun, but it's safe. Plus, you can use common household materials to achieve the effect.