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green design, eco design, sustainable design, Ray Villafane, New York Botanical Garden, Food Network, pumpkin carving NYC, zombie pumpkins, Haunted Pumpkin Garden, Trevor Grove, Alfred Paredes, Chris Vierra, Andy Bergholtz, Halloween Wars

The Haunted Pumpkin Garden welcomed guests all weekend to watch the pumpkin master at work. Villafane and his crew of Trevor Grove, Alfred Paredes, Chris Vierra and Andy Bergholtz, a contender on the Food Network’s “Halloween Wars”, put oversized pumpkins from around the country under the knife. This year, a life-size standing pumpkin zombie rose from the soil, pulling pumpkin vines attached to other pumpkin zombies in the garden.

The chilling standing zombie was cut open harakiri style, revealing an abdomen fullof pumpkin guts, intestines and gore beneath a decaying shell of pumpkin skin. One arm was outstretched as if to grab his next victim, while the other gripped a rope to uproot his zombie brethren. His horrific face recoils in a scream, bearing just one pumpkin seed tooth.

The other pumpkin-headed zombies, with stems still attached, were partially unearthed from the pumpkin garden, their upper torsos just breaking above the dirt. The team worked around the clock to “graft” layers of pumpkin skin to the bodies of the zombies, protecting the inside flesh so that visitors can enjoy the spooky scene until Halloween.

The gory haunting extended into the nearby children’s discovery garden, where jack-o-lanterns joined more of Villafane’s zombie-faced pumpkins. We can’t wait to see what chilling scene he and his team come up with for next year!

+ New York Botanical Garden

+ Ray Villafane

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Photos ©Lori Zimmer for Inhabitat