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.

Create a spooky Halloween scene with pumpkins at your next fall family activity.

Is this eerie scene a HALLucination?

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

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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.

Near the middle and slightly up from the bottom, carefully cut out a rectangle for the door. Cut a square on each side of the door to make two windows. Remove the door and each window in whole pieces.

Trim the window and door pieces to about 1/2″ thick by carefully shaving the inside. Cut and remove individual windowpanes. Replace the windows in the pumpkin, allowing them to jut out ever so slightly. Position the door on the pumpkin as though it were just being opened.

Design a haunted village with your family the next time you carve pumpkins

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.

Create a spooky haunted house scene with other vegetables.

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