Trick or treat! Whether it’s a pumpkin carving fiesta or an “after party” for your little ghosts and goblins and their parents, you’ll want to create a ghostly atmosphere that gets everyone in the Halloween spirit. Here are a few tips to give your home creepy curb appeal and ghostly interior charm with Halloween party decorations that will delight all ages.
Everyone has childhood memories of a neighbor who had the spookiest house on Halloween, right? And, now that you’re a parent, you want your Halloween decorations to make your kids and their friends shriek with delight! So, how do you pull it off? With a little imagination and some basic materials that are readily found at your local grocery or hardware store, you can create a “spook-tacular” entrance and ghostly interior for your haunted mansion.
Creepy Curb Appeal
First, the front door and sidewalk should have creepy curb appeal with plenty of pumpkins of all sizes and colors – the white ones add a unique contrast to the classic orange. For a personal touch that is sure to elicit a giggle or two, you can create styrofoam or cardboard headstones with family members names and fictional epitaphs such as “Here lies Father Bob, he choked to death eating corn on the cob” in Seussical-style. Luminaries lining the walkway up to your home can also be made easily and inexpensively with brown lunch bags, kitty litter and votive candles. Use scissors to cut triangles out for eyes, noses and ghastly grins similar to the traditional jack-o-lantern faces. Don’t forget the spooky music CD with screams, chains and ghastly sounds playing through a portable player or speaker on the front door step or behind a bush! The possibilities for decorating the front door are endless – whether it’s creating a giant spiderweb made of string and plastic spiders or a dungeon door wrap made with a brown packing paper illustrated with lines and hinges, or even a giant dragon’s mouth made with teeth made of white posterboard and a red carpet tongue rolling over the front step – use your imagination and go wild!
Enter If You Dare
Once inside your haunted mansion, you’ll want to continue the ominous mood. If you have a piano, add a candleabra if you have one and sheet music for Phantom of the Opera. Or, add lots of candles in votives of different shapes and sizes on a credenza between branches and Spanish moss you can find at a local craft store. Create your own spooky portrait gallery with pictures of Alfred Hitchcock, Stephen King and Vincent Price in inexpensive black or silver frames. Group them on your credenza or hang them on the wall.
Dining Hall of Horrors
If you’re planning to serve a light supper before trick or treating or an “after party gnosh fest,” the dining room should be spooky and dramatic. Hang mirrors of different sizes on all the walls with fake cobwebs, add cobwebs to your chandelier hanging over the table and use a black tablecloth for the table. Use mirrored trays on the table and lots of votive candles or dramatic silver candlesticks flanking a grapevine “raven’s nest” centerpiece with eggs dyed black along with purple and black feathers you can get at your local craft store.
When your guests are ready to retire to the study or family room for coffee or after dinner cordials, surprise them with a fun ice breaker. Create last wills and testaments on your computer using wacky facts and outlandish trivia about fictional characters. (You might google Hitchcock or Agatha Cristie murder mysteries for ideas) and place them on the mantel for your guests to find and read out loud. Tarot cards, a Ouija Board and votive candles can also be positioned on the mantel along with fake cobwebs and a plastic skeleton hand or skull.
These are just a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing! Remember, Halloween is not just for kids — so dress up in your favorite costume, dim the lights and prepare to have a ghostly good time!