Halloween Wars
GenreReality television
Cooking show
Presented by
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons10
No. of episodes45 (list of episodes)
Original networkFood Network
Original releaseOctober 2, 2011 (2011-10-02) –
present (present)

Halloween Wars is an American reality competition series from Super Delicious, the production company that also produces Cupcake Wars and Cake Wars. It premiered on October 2, 2011, on Food Network and it runs over the course of four weeks in October annually. The show pits five teams made up of cake sculptors, sugar artists, and pumpkin carvers against each other to produce the ultimate Halloween themed display. The winning team is awarded $50,000.[1]

The series was hosted by Justin Willman (seasons 1–4), Rossi Morreale (season 5),[2] Jonathan Bennett (seasons 6-10),[3] and actor and paranormal investigator Zak Bagans will host season 11 in 2021.[4]


Each episode has two rounds. The first round is the "Small Scare" where the teams of trios get 45 minutes to create their interpretation of a spooky theme (ex: "possessed electronics" or "zombie dolls"). The winners of the first round get an extra assistant for the second round (starting in season three, winners of the final episode "Small Scare" round get first pick of the pumpkins).

The second round is the "Spine Chiller" where the teams get five hours to create a large-scale, immersive sculpture based on a new theme. They must also serve a tasting element that usually have something to do with the theme. The themes for the second round relate to the title of each episode (like in "Zombies vs Vampires" where the teams had to create a scene depicting a zombie battling a vampire using cake, candy, and pumpkin).


There are three judges in the series, with two of them serving as permanent judges in seasons 1-10. Throughout the series award-winning cake artist Shinmin Li served as permanent judge. Hollywood conceptual artist Miles Teves was the second judge in season 1. Actor and award-winning special effects artist Tom Savini was the second judge in season 2.[5] Emmy-nominated SFX make-up artist Brian Kinney was the second judge in seasons 3–5.[6] Writer/director of Child's Play, Don Mancini joined Shinmin in season 6. Director and effects artist Todd Tucker was the male judge in seasons 7–10. In season 11, Food Network Star winners Aarti Sequeira and Eddie Jackson will both serve as permanent judges along with Shinmin.

In addition to the two regular judges throughout seasons 1-10, each episode had a third special guest judge that is involved in horror, whether as an actor, a writer, etc.


Main article: List of Halloween Wars episodes

Season Season Premiere Date Season Finale Date No. of Teams Judge 1 Judge 2 Judge 3
1 October 2, 2011 October 23, 2011 5 Shinmin Li Miles Teves Guest Judges
2 October 7, 2012 October 28, 2012 5 Tom Savini
3 October 6, 2013 October 27, 2013 5 Brian Kinney
4 October 5, 2014 October 26, 2014 5
5 October 4, 2015 October 25, 2015 5
6 October 2, 2016 October 30, 2016 6 Don Mancini
7 October 1, 2017 October 29, 2017 6 Todd Tucker
8 September 30, 2018 October 28, 2018 6
9 September 29, 2019 October 27, 2019 6
10 September 13, 2020 October 11, 2020 6
11 September 19, 2021 October 31, 2021 8 Aarti Sequeira Eddie Jackson


  1. ^ "Food Network Haunts October With New Series 'Halloween Wars'". TV by the Numbers. 8 September 2011. Archived from the original on 17 November 2016.
  2. ^ "Food Network's Halloween Wars Is Back In An All New Frightfully Spooky Season - The Business Journals".
  3. ^ BWW News Desk. "Jonathan Bennett to Host New Season of Food Network's HALLOWEEN WARS, Premiering 10/2". BroadwayWorld.
  4. ^ "Food Network's Halloween Schedule Includes "Halloween Wars," Zak Bagans & a Tribute to '80s Slashers!".
  5. ^ "Tom Savini To Judge Food Network's Halloween Wars".
  6. ^ "Halloween Wars Scares Up Spine-tingling Pumpkin Displays in Return to Food Network". Food Network – via PR Newswire.