Bowser's castle

When Halloween creeps around, carved pumpkins really make it feel like the holiday. To get you in the mood for spook, here's a closeup view of our favorite submissions to the first-ever Carve a geeky pumpkin for Crave contest.

We start with our winner, Paul Frasco, who carved this extraordinary "Super Mariokin" pumpkin inspired by the art of Olly Moss. Frasco, who lives in New York City, says: "Look closely at Peach's crown, or is that Bowser's mouth?" The unique illusion combines the two key characters from the iconic video game series, and the Japanese text below says "Super Mario."

Paul's superb attention to detail in this gourd representation of good versus evil simply blew us away, as did a number of other submissions. Thanks to everyone who shared their designs!

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Photo by: Paul Frasco / Caption by:

Ten-ton hammer

Megan Bates of Alnwick, England, submitted this mighty Thor pumpkin. We couldn't help but admire the excellent detail in the face and the commitment to recreating the long flowing hair. It's not often we see one subject occupying two pumpkin carvings, but it almost seems right when it comes to Thor and his mighty hammer.
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Photo by: Megan Bates / Caption by:

Why so serious?

Jason Meeks of Stevens Point, Wis., sent in this very detailed carving of Heath Ledger's terrifying Joker in the film "The Dark Knight," reminding us of the insanity that struck Gotham City.
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Photo by: Jason Meeks / Caption by:

Byte bite

Pumpkin-carving contestant Mike Entrekin of Lynchburg, Va., shared some CNET love with his pumpkin dedicated to the CNET show "The Apple Byte." Entrekin told us in an e-mail that he "habitually" watches the series and etched a silhouette of host Brian Tong. "I want to dye my hair like his, but my wife would prefer me not to!" Be sure to watch this week's "Apple Byte" this week, Mike! Brian's got a surprise for you.
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Photo by: Mike Entrekin / Caption by:

Great Pumpkin

Entrekin's wife, Eliza Entrekin, entered our contest as well. There's a good chance you saw the animated special "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" at some point in your life. Eliza Entrekin's entry reveals a spooky moment where the Great Pumpkin supposedly appears. We’ll leave you with a famous quote from Linus van Pelt during the classic Peanuts movie: "There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin."
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Photo by: Eliza Entrekin / Caption by:

It's a-me!

It would just feel strange if we ran a Crave pumpkin-carving contest without seeing Mario himself, whom some may consider one of the most well-known video game characters of all time. This pumpkin from Jeff Lucarelli of Harrisburg, Penn., captures the Italian plumber's friendly face, and mustache, quite well, don’t you think?
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Photo by: Jeff Lucarelli / Caption by:

Attention to detail

This hilarious mustached pumpkin carving comes from Adam Bierton of Rochester, N.Y., who informed us that he chose to do a self-portrait since he lives "a mustache life." We must admit that Bierton's classy mustache totally beats Mario's broomhandle. Bierton earns a special "best Mustache" prize in the "Carve a geeky pumpkin for Crave" contest.
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Photo by: Adam Bierton / Caption by:

Guardians of the forest

Fans of the epic anime movie "Princess Mononoke" might remember the odd forest ghosts -- known as kodama -- seen in abundance throughout the film. This unique pumpkin carving by Sebastian Kerner of Germany shows a couple of kodama looking curiously into the camera.
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Photo by: Sebastian Kerner / Caption by:
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