Decorating for Halloween doesn’t have to be frightening. To run chills up the guest’s spine, use as few or as many of these decorating ideas from Handmade Halloween by County Living to make a ghoulish impression.
Decorating Outside of the House: Graveyard, Lights and Silhouettes
When party goers and visitors visit a truly haunted house, just stepping up to the door can build anticipation for what could be lying inside. Even for the casual trick-or-treater, walking into a makeshift graveyard can be creepy and fun.
Graveyards can be very inexpensive and fun to make. First, start with foam board (which can be purchased at a local craft or art supply store). Cut the foam board into tombstone shapes, and spray-paint a dull shade of gray. Adding a bit of dark green along the top of the tombstone can create the illusion of age. Country Living recommends writing in clever names, such as Ima Ghost and R.U. Scared, painted in black.
T o make a lighted pathway, spray paint picnic torches black, and adorn each with a lighted candle to create an eerie effect. Place either throughout the yard, or up a walkway.
Black poster board can be used to cut out figures of witches, ghosts, and goblins. Hang the figures with string or tape in front of windows, and strategically place a light behind them to enhance the ghastliness.
Decorating Inside the House: Ancestor Pictures, Music, Illusions, and Dracula
Pictures on the walls do not need to be straight! Tilt pictures and mirrors, and look for daunting “ancestor” pictures at flea markets and garage sales. Prints can be printed off the internet as well, and framed so that they look like actual photos.
Music is a must at Halloween gatherings. Make a chilling mix of Halloween songs and sounds. Song ideas can be found at Five Scary Spooky Halloween Songs and Five Classic Spooky Fun Songs for Halloween.
According to Country Living, an intimidating decoration can be made out of dead tree branches, spider webbing, rubber spiders and black construction paper bats. Wrap the spider webbing along the tree branches, and decorate with the spiders and bats. Sphagnum moss, which can be found at florist supply shops, can be draped from the branches to add spookiness.
Make an illusion of spider webs by hanging dozes of pieces of long thread from a piece of rope attached to the top of a doorway. This trick works well when walking between dimly lit rooms.
For a party, enlist a volunteer to dress up like Dracula and lie in a cardboard box spray-painted black. When a visitor walks back, have Dracula stir stiffly.
Halloween parties can be fun and spooky at the same time. There is no need to spend a lot of money or time creating a haunting atmosphere, just a bit of creativity and lots of black construction paper!