Giant Chucky the pumpkin, all 680 demented kilograms, is ready to greet you.

VKA-pumpkin-1049.jpg
Trick-or-treaters on Dunn Avenue in Saanich can get up-close to the oversized demented face of Chucky carved into a giant pumpkin. Chucky is the creepy character existing inside a doll, from the Child’s Play horror movie franchise.“I try to stay current,” grower and pumpkin carver Bryan Sloat, 57, said with a laugh. Last year, he converted a giant pumpkin into the clown from the movie It. This year’s pumpkin is displayed at the front door of Sloat’s house at 906 Dunn Ave. There’s just a small space where he can slide his hand with candy through. He used a reciprocating saw to carve through the 20-centimetre-thick shell. A light bulb is positioned inside for illumination and blue plastic lids are used for Chucky’s eyes. Sloat said the pumpkin is the largest he has grown and he has won multiple ribbons at fairs in past years. This pumpkin, which is 1.4 metres tall, hasn’t made it onto a scale but he estimates it is about 680 kilograms. Sloat has refined his growing technique in the past two decades when he started growing huge pumpkins to entertain his young children and got into a friendly competition with a friend over who could grow the largest pumpkin. In early April, he germinates seeds from the previous year’s whopper in plastic containers. He sets them outdoors during the day and brings them inside at night. He leaves a red light shining over them indoors. When the plants are large enough, they get transplanted to the pumpkin patch, which is nine metres square. It has received a year’s worth of grass clippings. Special soil with fish remains, liquid fish fertilizer and kelp go in as well. Sloat waters his plants daily, growing one extra-large pumpkin and a couple of smaller ones. The smaller sizes go to a local pub where they are filled with beer to create a pumpkin keg. When Halloween is over, it’s a neighbourhood tradition to wrap a strap around the pumpkin and haul it down the stairs where it smashes open. The goopy remains fill about 10 wheelbarrows. The corpse is moved to the pumpkin patch to help provide nutrients for the next year.