Acclaimed sculptor and artist Ray Villafane made autumn in New York that much more magical (and mysterious!) this year by returning to the New York Botanical Garden to create “Scarecrows: From the Heartland to Horror,” an original, pre-Halloween art installation that explores the evolution of the scarecrow in the United States, from its everyday role in agriculture to its status as a cultural icon in film and literature.
Wild Wetland Trail
Set amidst the murky swamp along the Wild Wetland Trail, Villafane’s scarecrows are portrayed through a series of three vignettes, from the traditional overseer of crops to the terrifying figure that stalks its prey through the cornfields of your nightmares. These visions become all the more real when they come alive at dusk, with motion and sound to terrify courageous visitors.
The Original Creeper of Crops
The first vignette depicts the earliest scarecrows used by settlers around the 1800s in the United States. The towering figure dons a frightening pumpkin head and a jeering jack-o’-lantern grin that just might be directed your way...
Scheming from ear to ear.
You never know what could be lurking in the murky swamp alongside the sinister scarecrows...
Hell Lurks in the Heartland
The second vignette takes us to the American heartland during the mid-20th century, where the scarecrow had become commonplace among the crops - and the birds of prey plotted their ravenous revenge.
Hitchcock's "The Birds," Anyone?
Like the murderous birds in the film, these crows are relentless!
The final vignette portrays a most diabolical creature that is more scary than scarecrow. Its horrific visage evokes images of monsters that have become seared into popular consciousness by way of comic books and horror films.
Where’d ya’ get those evil green eyes?
Thank you to the New York Botanical Garden for giving us a special tour of “Scarecrows: From the Heartland to Horror,” and for making sure we came out alive!
By CBS News’ Lauren Treihaft