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Where Halloween Fantasies Live

October 27, 1994|CHRISTINA V. GODBEY

Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch in Westwood turns the annual search for a ghoulish gourd into an escape to Fantasyland.

The patch, at Wilshire Boulevard and Comstock Avenue, features rows and rows of pumpkins surrounded by bales of hay, barnyard animals, giant rocking horses and apparitions that include a bicycle-mounted skeleton and a scarecrow.

For pint-sized pumpkin hunters, it's a thrill.

"I love to come here and hang out with the kids," said Poppy Morgan, a Los Angeles native who now makes his home on Maui but returns each year to help run the cash register. "It keeps me going."

Most of the year, the Westwood lot stands dusty and deserted. But Rebecca and David Campbell, who lease the site, arrive each October. They sell pumpkins for Halloween and remain through the holiday season to sell Christmas trees. The Campbells live the rest of the year on their Silverton, Ore., farm, where they grow organic produce, pumpkins included, and Christmas trees.

Selling pumpkins has helped stretch--and enliven--their sales season. Said Rebecca Campbell: "Doing the pumpkin patch gave me a chance to be a kid again."

The Campbells bring in three tractor-trailer loads of pumpkins--5,000 in all--to meet demand. They say most of their pumpkins, which weigh from half a pound to 250 pounds, are generally larger than those offered at local supermarkets, whose pumpkins usually weigh less than 30 pounds. Prices range from 50 cents to $75, depending on the size of the pumpkin.

Rebecca Campbell recommends selecting a pumpkin that is hard. She advises against carving it until the day before Halloween.

Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch, Wilshire Boulevard and Comstock Avenue, Westwood. Hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily through Halloween. Pumpkin prices vary. Information: (310) 276-9827.

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