Ghouls. Witches. Hyper-active children. What could be more fun at Halloween than making haunted house of your very own? If you’re wondering how to get started, these tips and tricks will help.
Pick A Theme
Making a haunted house can be an overwhelming task, but picking a theme gives you a starting point. Some themes are harder than others, so as you consider possibilities, make a list of necessary props. For example: a “witch’s hovel” can be furnished with jars of herbs and colorful liquids, candles, antique furniture and old leathery books–all items that you may have lying around your house. On the other hand, picking a “mummy” theme may leave you scrambling to make paper mache mummies and coffins, and that’s a lot of work and effort!
As you pick a theme, consider the props you have easy access to. Maybe you work in healthcare and already have scrubs and some medical instruments in the house. Given this, the “deranged doctor” or “psychotic nurse” would be easy for you to put together. Walk around your house and make an inventory of possible props as you pick your theme. Black plastic bags, room darkening shades, tarps, shawls and candles (electric is safer). Go through your attic to look for old creepy photos and antiques that will create an atmosphere of mystery.
The Haunted House Best Props To Buy
Even if you have most of what you need in your house, chances are that you’ll want to buy at least a few things from party stores and department stores. These items are worth your money:
- Headstones for your front yard. Sometimes the headstones sold in stores don’t come with spikes that hold them in the ground, or the plastic spikes break. If this is the case, place bamboo sticks in the ground behind the headstones, and use black duct tape to secure the back of the headstone to the stick.
- Fake cob-webs. They’re cheap. They’re widely available. They’re a must. Drape them everywhere–indoors and outdoors–to set a spooky mood.
- Spooky music. Cheap mixes of music and sound effects are available for sale online as well as in stores. Play this music in the background as you lead children through your house of horrors.
- Plastic skeletons. There’s just no underestimating the value of a plastic skeleton. Use this prop to fill an empty corner, drape over a chair or set up near your door, to warn visitors of the horror within.
- Mood Lighting. Use colored light bulbs, black lights, strings of Halloween twinkle lights and a mass of electric tea light candles to make dim and mysterious spaces in and around your house.
Make A Plan
You’ve heard that saying about “the best laid schemes of mice and men, right?” Most likely, the poet Robert Burns wasn’t thinking about a Halloween haunted house when he crafted those words, but it still applies. Your haunted house is not going to go exactly as planned. To avoid issues, make lists of materials you’ll need, assemble your materials early and do a trial run. This will help you avoid a last minute panic when you realize your witch makeup has crumbled to dust with age, or you don’t have enough extension cords and duct tape.