Once the grandest house on the block, this multistory pumpkin mansion now features rickety shutters and boarded-up doors and windows. Cheesecloth ghosts wander the barren yard; lights illuminate the carved details, including the ghoulish residents.

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What you need

Materials
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How to do it

Part 1

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Step 1

Decide how many pumpkins to use and how to arrange them. Cut a hole in the top or the bottom of each pumpkin according to how you want to stack them, and scoop out the insides. With a grease pencil, draw doors and windows; cut out. (For more intricate openings, download our templates.) For shutters, cut the piece from the window with a square, ridged cookie cutter, then cut in half. Carve "louvers" on shutters by scoring horizontal lines across them with a linoleum cutter; make some lines crooked for a decrepit effect. To hang doors and shutters, push heads of straight pins into cut edges, and attach to pumpkin. Carve additional details onto pumpkin with a linoleum cutter.

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Step 2

To simulate shingles, press wood gouge lightly into pumpkin top, making rows around the stem. Remove any remaining grease-pencil marks with rubbing alcohol. If you're stacking pumpkins, secure with wooden skewers. Insert lights; hide cords with moss or leaves. To make ghosts, drape pieces of cheesecloth over cardboard tubes. Spray with starch; remove tubes when cloth is dry.

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