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A crowd of garden-goers watched in awe as Villafane deftly sliced and slivered pieces of the giant squash (yes, pumpkins are a type of winter squash). After a few hours, the orange flesh was transformed into a terrifying scene complete with an eerily realistic zombie and a ghastly ghoul breaking out of the pumpkin’s shell. Villafane even used the stringy innards of the pumpkin as “guts” draped in the hand of the zombie, who he depicted reaching out towards the audience.

The pumpkin, which is currently the record holder for largest pumpkin in the world, was “raised” by Jim and Kelsey Bryson in Ormstown, Quebec. The orange behemoth is on display with its two slightly smaller brothers (grown in California and Pennsylvania) at the NYBG until October 30th, and all three will be carved into spooky sculptures by Villafane. The master carver was getting started on the fingers of another hand reaching out of the top of the giant pumpkin when we left, so we’re guessing the completed sculpture will be ready soon!

+ New York Botanical Garden

+ Ray Villafane

Images © Yuka Yoneda for Inhabitat