Frightfully good carving: Pumpkins are transformed into glowing masterpieces by professional sculptors in time for Halloween
- Ray Villafane and his team meticulously shaped the terrifying characters using spoons and scalpels
- Each one takes on average two hours to complete with the horrifying results
- Mr Villafane has become something of a celebrity in the U.S. appearing on television shows with his creations
By TARA BRADY
Carving a pumpkin at Halloween can be tricky.
But these masterpieces created by professional sculptors are enough to give anyone a fright.
Ray Villafane and his team meticulously shaped the terrifying characters using spoons and scalpels
Terrifying: Sculptor Ray Villafane and his team meticulously shaped the terrifying characters using spoons and scalpels
Each one takes on average two hours to complete - with the horrifying results netting Villafane, plus colleagues Andy Bergholtz and Chris Vierra, numerous TV appearances each Halloween.
This year the team has gone global travelling to Germany, Switzerland and Hong Kong.
Mr Villafane, 44, based in Bellaire, Michigan, U.S., said: 'You need to pick the meatiest pumpkin. Not all of them will look good. The most important aspect is the weight.
'I also like a pumpkin with character. one with nobly ridges is good, so that I can utilise that in the carving procedure, like sculpting noses.
Two of Mr Villafane's creations including one of Johnny Depp in the film Dark Shadows. The pumpkins receive huge media attention every year
Frightfully good: The 1984 horror comedy Gremlins was the inspiration behind this pumpkin carved for Halloween
A pumpkin holding a knife which would be enough to give anyone a fright and this one which wouldn't look out of place in Disney's Mosters, Inc
'Sculpting has always been a passion of mine.'
Mr Villafane, who taught art at a school in his hometown, says he discovered his unique talents by chance.
He added: 'I was asked to do some pumpkin carvings at the school.
The pumpkins are brought to life after Ray Villafane and his team are finished sculpting their features into the flesh
Tasty: Ray Villafane has become something of a celebrity in the U.S. for making these scary creations
'I thought why don't I try and carve a pumpkin like it is a piece of clay as opposed to a large vegetable.
'It came out alright but the most important result was that the kids at the school absolutely loved it.
'For days after that there would be a dozen pumpkins sitting on my desk waiting for me to carve them.'
The team are especially inundated with requests around Halloween and this year will travel to Germany, Switzerland and Hong Kong to carve their masterpieces
Characters: A pumpkin inspects a 'crime scene' with his magnifying glass in this creation by Ray Villafane
A work in progress: The pumpkins like this Pippi Longstocking creation take hours to carve using spoons and scalpels
Creepy: Ray and his colleagues are exploring ways to pickle their creations in a bid to preserve them for more people to see
These horror masterpieces created by professional sculptors from pumpkins are enough to give anyone a fright
Attention to detail: Mr Villafane, who taught art at a school in his hometown, says he discovered his unique talents by chance