Halloween is definitely a holiday that people either go all out for or they do very little. Whichever way you tend to lean, it’s a fun excuse for adults to decorate like children and try to spook the pants off their household and/or their neighbors. If you’re interested in creating your veryown haunted house this year, if this is the year ghouls and goblins will tremble at (and inside) your doors, or if this is the year you’rehosting the spookiest haunted house partythe neighborhood has ever seen, here are some ideas to get you going.
But be warned: You may have lots more Halloween candy left over this year that you have to eat alone. Very alone… (cue ghost-like Halloween music)
1. Board Up Your Windows– Among other elements of this haunted house (can we say Halloween enthusiast?), the boarded up windows stand out as really putting the haunt level over the top. Such a relatively simple detail goes far.
2. Cheesecloth Lawn Ghosts– These may not look particularly spooky by day, but at night, with just a hint of backlighting and a breeze, these apparitions can send creepy-crawlies up many spines. They’re a great way to set the tone for your haunted house outside.
3. Chicken Wire Lawn Ghosts– These take a bit of time to make, but if your haunted house is surrounded by any kind of natural landscape at all, I think the time spent is totally worth it. Haunting is the name of the game with these things.
4. Cardboard Window Monsters– These creative monsters are friendly enough during the day but downright spooky when they’re backlit at night. Their eyes are made out of contact paper, tissue paper, and mod podge, and the rest of their bodies are made out of cardboard, black paint, and duct tape.
5. Garage Door Victim– For those who like a little more gore than others, this idea is perfect if you don’t need to use your garage door for the rest of the month. Stuff some clothes with straw or paper to create a mannequin, then splatter ketchup or red paint on the door. Definitely a haunting idea. I myself am grossed out.
6. Grim Reaper– Touted as a beginner project, this life-sized grim reaper will haunt your house, inside or out, all month long. Created out of wire and painted burlap, this face-less Halloween figure will give most visitors goose bumps at the least.
7. Fake Fire Baskets– Moving off the beaten path of haunted houses, these fire baskets will definitely set the tone for a spooky experience. Made out of inexpensive materials such as baskets, cheap silk “flames,” LEDs, and fans, these fire baskets are a great Halloween accessory inside or out.
8. Shredded Cheesecloth Doorway– Shredded cheesecloth makes a deliciously spooky haunted house entrance. Keep the edges ragged and raw for best chilling results. (Optional: Mix the cheesecloth with hanging plastic bones for even greater haunted-ness.)
9. Front Door Flies– Attach fake plastic flies or other creepy insects (technically spiders aren’t insects, but let’s include them in this example anyway) around your front door handle. Every time someone comes to and goes from your haunted house, they’re in for a little surprise.
10. Entryway Skulls– Nothing quite sends a chill down the spine as a bare skull. Take that concept and multiply it by several skulls, and you’re definitely making it clear to all incomers that, for this month at least, they’re treading on haunted ground.
11. Vertical Trap Door– This “trap door” is manually operated by a pulley on the ceiling and a rope in the corner, ready to be pulled at the ideal time. You could hide anything behind the trap door above this fireplace, really. A skeleton, spooky Halloween silhouettes, 3D bats, you name it. Part of the chill factor is the unknown.
12. Spiderweb & Spider– This is nothing ground-breaking, as far as haunted house décor goes, but a well-done spiderweb is a perfect decoration for an unused corner or to highlight a haunted feature. Try to “spin” your web against a black background for maximum creepiness.
13. Glowing Eyes– Quite possibly the quickest and simplest haunted house decorating detail you could add, you’ll get a ton of mileage out of these cardboard tube glowing eyes. Just cut the eye shapes out of the side of the cardboard tube, insert glowsticks into the tube, and duct tape up the ends. Replace the glowsticks as needed, and move them around during the month to really haunt your kids.
14. “Hand”y Hallway– Find some hand props and mount them to your hallway walls for a spooky walk down the hall. (This type of fake hand decoration might be available at your local dollar store among the other Halloween props.) I find the apple in one hand particularly disconcerting.
15. Balloon-Filled Hallway– For a kid-friendlier Halloween hallway in your haunted house, consider hanging a billion orange and black balloons from streamers. This is an instant reminder of the season, making things that much more fun for kids. You could get creative, maybe adding in signs along the way warning kids to pass by without touching the balloons.
16. Lipstick Toilet Messages– A great idea for a haunted house party is writing spooky, foreshadowing messages on the toilet seat in red lipstick. Paired with other creepy haunted house details, this isn’t one to scoff at, necessarily…
17. Bendable Bars– With some hoses painted black and attached on the ceiling to the floor, these bendable “jail” bars make the perfect freak-out factor for a haunted house kids’ party or similar gathering. While they look sturdy enough, these “bars” actually bend…and let the imprisoned monster out!
18. White Dolly– I don’t care who you are, this little addition to a haunted house is downright creepy. And freaky. And disconcerting. Grab an old doll, spray paint it white, and place it somewhere fairly out of the main way of things, preferably among other whitish objects. Let the haunted house victory be yours.