Is a wussy little tea light too tame to illuminate your carved Halloween pumpkin? Try this easy flamethrower jack o lantern. It shoots flames 2-3 feet into the air for 30 minutes to a couple of hours. You can even color the flames. Here’s what you do:
Flamethrower Jack o Lantern Materials
Be sure to use a real pumpkin or other carved fruit or vegetable. Flamethrower watermelon? Fine! Flamethrower plastic pumpkin? Toxic fumes, melting ooze, and fire.
- carved Halloween jack o lantern
- quart of kerosene
- roll of toilet paper
I used the cheapest, nastiest toilet paper I could find. Your pumpkin does not need pretty scents and lotions. A small single roll of toilet paper is best. You may be able to use other fuels besides kerosene, but I like it because it does not readily burn (safer) and produces a long-lasting flame.
Turn Your Pumpkin into a Flamethrower
- Go outside. This is not an indoor project. Do it inside and I guarantee you’ll set off your smoke alarm and may singe the ceiling.
- If you follow the directions, the pumpkin will insulate the surface just fine from the heat of the fire, but if you’re a pyro, I recommend the following additional step: Place the pumpkin on a cookie sheet. Find a heat-safe surface (pavement, your lawn), and set an oven mitt on the surface. Place the pumpkin/cookie sheet on top of the oven mitt. Strictly speaking, you don’t need to do these things, but if you’re doing this project, you’re likely a pyro and things will eventually get out of control, leading to a charred spot on your driveway or burnt area of the lawn. You don’t want that, right?
- Stuff the toilet paper roll inside the pumpkin. I usually have to remove the inner cardboard tube and sort of smush the toilet paper. If the whole roll fits, leave the tube, since it forms a nice “wick” for the kerosene.
- Pour the kerosene over the toilet paper. Be sure to wet it, or you’ll just burn paper, which is lame.
- Light the fire. It will take several seconds to really get going, so don’t be afraid it’s going to leap out and burn you.
- You can wait for the flamethrower to burn out, but if you need to extinguish the fire before then, just douse it with water. Usually, just putting the lid on the jack o lantern works, too.
Color the Flames
It’s actually pretty hard to color the flamethrower flames, although I have found adding an emergency flare will turn them red.
It’s easy to color the exterior of the pumpkin with colored flames. You can squirt hand sanitizer gel onto the outside of the pumpkin for blue fire. Sprinkle the pumpkin with either borax or boric acid for green fire.
See the Flamethrower Jack o Lantern in Action
Why yes.. of course I made a video of this pumpkin!