NEW YORK (AFP) - Democrats won't be frightened this Halloween " not with "Barack-o'-lanterns" burning. Halloween, on Friday, is a night of witches, ghouls and the Jack-o'-lantern, a scary pumpkin with a candle inside. But this time the holiday falls almost on the eve of election day and youthful Democrats are replacing the pumpkin's traditionally triangular eyes and crooked mouth with the likeness of Obama. "It's very new. It's definitely cute," giggled student Jessica Larocco, 20, struggling to carve the photogenic candidate's face at a loft apartment in New York's trendy SoHo district. "I feel like it's part of the movement," added Larocco's friend Tomiko Cary, as she cut a simpler OBAMA into a second pumpkin, the two As in the shape of ghosts. Rooted in pagan Celtic and Christian feasts, the US version of Halloween is big business " a once-a-year chance for shops to sell mountains of pumpkins and horror outfits. This year they're offering Obama and Republican John McCain masks and even skimpy beauty queen bikinis in honor of McCain's running mate Sarah Palin. But when it comes to pumpkins, Obama is the top banana. A big reason for that is the success of a website called launched on a whim by three young Obama supporters. The site " its name is a pun on Obama's "yes we can" slogan " began with a few pictures of "Barack-o'-lanterns," or "Jack-o'-Bamas," and called for more. "It went crazy," said one of the founders, Josh Jeter, 25, in Chicago. "We've had a couple hundred thousand unique visitors already.... Our server was crushed with traffic and the site kept shutting down." The site is not officially linked to Obama, but encapsulates the creative, high-tech and youthful nature of his campaign by marrying an ancient activity to the Facebook lifestyle. Obama enthusiasts from every corner of the country send in photos of their creations, then comment, blog, share designs, and organize BYOPs, or Bring Your Own Pumpkin parties. The only rule is a ban on negative "attack-o'-lanterns," and while McCain faces are allowed, they're not coming in. Another of the founders, advertising art director Jason Powers, 31, said the fun has a serious point. "We're supporters because Obama feels like the right candidate at the right time and with the right attitude," he said in New York. "He's fired up a lot of young Democrats and we did this to show our support." Rich Hanley, journalism professor at Quinnipiac University, said the pumpkin brigades typify a wider phenomenon in the Obama camp. "It shows that sophistication combined with informality that marks the younger person in the political arena," he told AFP. "I'd be stunned to see a Republican effort that matches the vitality, informality and sheer joy this site represents. There is something about this candidate that inspires people to lofty thoughts, but also to be creative," Hanley said. In the SoHo loft, Larocco said she will vote for Obama because of his health care policies and desire to get troops out of Iraq. But for now, with her hands covered in pumpkin juice, she had more immediate concerns. "I'll be happy if I get through this without cutting myself."