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Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze Draws Huge Crowds In Hudson Valley

CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – As Halloween approaches, one of the more spectacular things to see is the annual Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze in Westchester County.

Thousands of silly and scary pumpkins are on display at Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-On-Hudson, where CBS 2's Matt Kozar spent some time Friday.

About a dozen people are responsible for carving the 5,000 pumpkins that are the center of the event's "haunted" walk-through experience.

"We'll look to Halloween as an inspiration. We'll look to history as an inspiration," said Michael Natiello, the Blaze's creative director.

Event organizer Rob Schweiter is the director of marketing and public relations for Historic Hudson Valley.

"I think it's a total unique holiday experience. It's not scary. It's not people jumping out at you," Schweiter said.

Jack O'Lantern blaze
A handful of people are responsible for carving the 5,000 pumpkins at the Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze in Westchester County. (Photo: CBS 2)

Around 4,000 people show up each night from around the country for the event at the mansion, which dates back to the 1750s, Kozar reported.

"The details are beautiful, and the work that's involved," Marina Kokkinias said.

"I don't know of any other place that does something like this," Peter Horoszowski added.

The walk takes about 45 minutes and all proceeds go toward the museum.

Imami Cleveland from Girl Scout Troop 2248 in Peekskill summed up the experience in one word: "awesome."

The spooky event, currently in its 10th year, goes for 28 nights and runs through Nov. 16.

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