10 Jaw-Dropping Pumpkin Carvings by Ray Villafane

Artwork and Photography by RAY VILLAFANE @ VILLAFANE STUDIOS

Born in Queens, New York, artist Ray Villafane carves some of the most incredible pumpkins on Earth, garnering international acclaim and notable clients around the world. Ray also works with sand sculptures in addition to designing his own toys and action figures. Be sure to check out his official website, villafanestudios.com, where you can find an extensive gallery of his work, along with an online store that sells his pumpkin carving toolkit, instructional DVDs, prints, t-shirts, etc. Enjoy this small selection of Ray’s jaw-dropping artistry!


Artwork and Photography by RAY VILLAFANE @ VILLAFANE STUDIOS


Artwork and Photography by RAY VILLAFANE @ VILLAFANE STUDIOS


Artwork and Photography by RAY VILLAFANE @ VILLAFANE STUDIOS


Artwork and Photography by RAY VILLAFANE @ VILLAFANE STUDIOS


Ray was born in Queens, New York to Reinaldo Villafane and Virginia (Guzman) Villafane. He spent his childhood on Long Island and was raised alongside two sisters and one brother. At a very young age Ray showed a knack for art; a passion that his mother approvingly encouraged him to pursue. Throughout his academic career, Ray’s classmates and teachers also recognized his natural artistic abilities. Ray graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York City in 1991.

However, also having a passion for children, he elected for a career in teaching. From 1993 to 2006 Ray taught Art for students grade K-12 in Bellaire, Michigan. It was during his teaching tenure that Ray began “dabbling” in pumpkin sculpting, initially as projects with his students. After several custom-carved requests from students’ parents, Ray realized he was on to something with his pumpkins and started offering them to local hotels and restaurants. It became his fall hobby for several years.

In 2003, Ray married Tamara Anne Schmidt. While Ray and Tammi’s union gave rise to a blended family, they also had children together. It was during this time that Ray was encouraged by his wife to “find an art medium he really enjoyed and run with it”; they could use his obvious talent to supplement their income and support their large family. Ray decided to contact a former SVA classmate whom he had thought to be working for Disney as an Animator. Upon speaking, he learned that the friend was actually sculpting for Disney. Having really sparked Ray’s interest, he flew to New York to spend a weekend observing his colleague in action. That weekend clarified for Ray exactly what he wanted to do; he went home and started sculpting his first piece.

Ray’s hobby of pumpkin sculpting was brought to an entirely new level in 2007 when he was contacted by High Noon Entertainment and asked to participate in the Food Network’s Challenge Show, Outrageous Pumpkins. Ray competed as one of four professional pumpkin sculptors, impressed the judges enough to sweep all three rounds and was awarded the Grand Prize. Outrageous Pumpkins logged the highest ratings of any other Challenge episode, and a second invitation was extended to Ray in 2009. They wanted him to come back and defend his title in their Outrageous Pumpkins Challenge II. Ray defended his 2008 title and took home the 2010 Grand Prize from the Food Network’s Pumpkin Challenge II. The exposure of Ray’s style, talent and creativity amassed an all-new appreciation for pumpkin “carving”, and his artistic take on the traditional jack-o-lantern has granted him invitations from across the globe for VIP Galleries (Very Impressive Pumpkins). From the President’s Quarters in the White House to Bermuda’s Sousa’s Gardens, Ray’s pumpkins have gathered a cult-like following. [Source]


Artwork and Photography by RAY VILLAFANE @ VILLAFANE STUDIOS


Artwork and Photography by RAY VILLAFANE @ VILLAFANE STUDIOS


Artwork and Photography by RAY VILLAFANE @ VILLAFANE STUDIOS


Artwork and Photography by RAY VILLAFANE @ VILLAFANE STUDIOS


Artwork and Photography by RAY VILLAFANE @ VILLAFANE STUDIOS

For more information visit: villafanestudios.com

Read more: http://twistedsifter.com/2011/10/10-jaw-dropping-pumpkin-carvings-by-ray-villafane/

These 7 Ghost Children Are The Creepiest Kids Since The Girl From The Ring.

Believers say that ghosts are formed because the spirit of the victim still has some unfinished business on Earth. Maybe this is why there are so many stories about ghost stories surrounding a child’s passing… there was so much they had yet to experience. The death of a child is tragic, no matter how you look at it.

Here are some truly haunting stories of ghost children who may never pass over to the other side. They’re truly haunting:

1.) In the 1940s at a railroad crossing by San Antonio, a school bus full of kids was hit by an oncoming train, killing them all. To this day, there have been paranormal reports of the school children appearing and pushing cars away from the tracks.

2.) In the Chicago suburbs there is a creepy building that was once a school called “Lindbergh.” At one point, it was converted into a private residence. There, a boy brutally murdered his parents with a knife. Ever since then, residents have been claiming to see the boy sharpening his knife or roaming the surrounding forests.

3.) The Haywood Plunge is a notorious creek in Haywood, CA, where a swim coach led his students and left them there all night. When he returned, he killed them all and left their bodies amongst the rocks. Those who walk the trail say they experience mini-rockslides and the sounds of children pleading.

4.) The Metz Elementary school was established in 1916. When workers attempted to tear it down, the spirits there got in their way. Their equipment would constantly stall and invisible laughing children could be heard throughout the school. They eventually had to call in a priest to perform an exorcism before tearing it down.

5.) Fifteen year-old Thelma Taylor was waiting for a bus in 1949 by Cathedral Park in Portland when she was kidnapped and murdered. Her ghost is said to haunt the park and night-time visitors claim to hear her fearful screams.

6.) Maple Hill Cemetery is the oldest and largest cemetery in Alabama. For some reason, there is a playground inside its gates. Supposedly, ghost children play here, moving the swings with their ghostly fingers and laughing ghostly laughs until the dawn.

7.) Supposedly, a boy died while filming scenes for the movie “Three Men And A Baby”. Some say the child in the window shown very briefly in this scene is that boy.

It’s hard to say if these tragic ghost stories are real. With the haunting accounts of how these children died? It’s not difficult to believe. Share these strange and sad ghost stories with others by clicking on the button below.

Read more: http://viralnova.com/ghost-kids/