Word of the Day: Pneumatophony


(n.); the utterance of articulate sounds by a ghost or a spirit

“Each year, the Great Pumpkin rises out of the pumpkin patch that he thinks is the most sincere. He’s gotta pick this one. He’s got to. I don’t see how a pumpkin patch can be more sincere than this one. You can look around and there’s not a sign of hypocrisy. Nothing but sincerity as far as the eye can see…”

—Linus, from It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)

Every year around this time, the Internet seems to explode with pumpkins, spices, and other seasonal mania: but let’s not forget where the real heart of Halloween lies. Not in candy, not in funny costumes—anyone who grew up with Charles Schultz’s iconic Peanuts gang knows that the real magic of autumn comes with the annual awakening of the Great Pumpkin. But, as Nicola Twilley reveals in her recent New Yorker article, the “great pumpkin” isn’t so much a holiday phenomenon as it is a scientific feat comprised of careful genetics and—Linus would be mollified to know—a sincere pumpkin patch.

Sara Menuck is currently pursuing BA in English & Professional Writing at York University, Toronto, without being very professional at all. Having interned with a variety of small press publications, she currently works as a prose reader for The Winter Tangerine Review, a department editorial assistant, and, in her free time, a teacher of music to very small, adorable children. More from this author →