When I was on “ABC Home Show,” we always had a pumpkin-carving contest for the show. It was always exciting to see which member of our TV family would come up with the most creative pumpkin.

I desperately wanted to win the contest, so I decided to contact a famous sculptor, Ed Fraughton, who had been a long-time friend. I talked him into working with me to see if we could take a pumpkin and sculpt one of the presidents.

When we got together, he told me that the pumpkin was far to hard to be about to carve a good head out of. We spent a creative evening as we decided what to do. The idea we came up with was so good that I have been sharing it with friends for years.

You could even have each member of the family make his own haunted house, making a street of pumpkins. Plan now to have a pumpkin-carving contest with you family and friends.

Is this eerie scene a HALLucination?

Use lettuce and other vegetables to create a spooky Halloween scene. Your imagination is the limit.

Materials Needed:

  • Large pumpkin with at least one wide, flat side
  • Sharp knife
  • Ice cream scoop
  • 1 (24″ x 24″ x 1/2″) piece of plywood covered with colored cellophane
  • Empty cardboard tube from paper towels
  • 1 can to fit inside pumpkin
  • Broccoli
  • Leaf lettuce
  • Round toothpicks
  • Top of a fresh pineapple
  • Potatoes, carrots, and gumdrops (cars)
  • Round suckers, tissues, and ribbon or licorice (ghosts)
  • Dry ice

Position the pumpkin with the flat side as the front of the house. Cut the top off the pumpkin at an angle so that the lid will fit securely. Clean out the seeds and membranes with an ice cream scoop.

Carve a house in to pumpkins to make a scary pumpkin village.
Use other vegetables to create props for a spooky Halloween pumpkin village.

Place the pumpkin on the plywood and the can in the bottom of the pumpkin. Use broccoli and lettuce leaves for shrubbery. To make the tree, stick several toothpicks into the bottom of the pineapple top, to stabilize it in the top of the paper towel roll. Wedge the tree securely between the pumpkins.

Make a car from the potato, using carrot slices for wheels and gumdrops for headlights. Make ghosts by tying facial tissue over round suckers with ribbon or black string licorice.

Just before your guests arrive, fill the can half full of hot water and add dry ice.

Holiday Fun Year-Round

Celebrate the holidays with Dian Thoma's book Holiday Fun Year Round for just $14.99!

Celebrate the holidays with the best collection of festive ideas and recipes to make every holiday special!