NY Botanical Garden Transforms Into Haunted Pumpkin Playground 1

Photo: Villafane Studios

The New York Botanical Garden is transformed once again into a haunted Halloween garden this weekend as giant pumpkins from around the U.S. get carved into over-the-top sculptures of zombies and other supernatural creatures.

Master carver Ray Villafane, a two-time winner of the Food Network‘s “Outrageous Pumpkins” challenge, works with his team of carvers (including Andy Bergholtz, Trevor Grove, Alfred Paredes, and Chris Vierra) to transform super-sized pumpkins into breathtaking works of art, including a life-size zombie.

An intricately carved, glowing 1,800-pound pumpkin (one of the three largest in the world) will also be on display, as will pumpkin sculptures of spooky scarecrows, frightening spiders and sneaky snakes.

Villafane, an American sculptor based in Arizona, is known for his stunning 3-D pumpkin carvings. A regular competitor on the Food Network, he also sculpts sand and snow and was recently finalist on ”Halloween Wars.”

“It’s particularly busy at this time of year, but I love my job,” said Villafane, 43. “It’s fun and I feel like I’m creating something almost magical.”

The Haunted Pumpkin Garden exhibit will be on view through Oct. 30. For more information, check out NYBG.