The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Haunted House at Home

How to create the ultimate haunted house experience at home.

As we’ve previously profiled, with doorbells a-ringing and children a-carroling “Trick or Treat”, the neighborhood comes alive on Halloween; and home is at the center of it all.

For many, Halloween is the most fun time of the year; the last hurrah before winter comes and sends most of the country indoors until spring.  While some are satisfied to celebrate by just setting a candy bowl outside of their front door with the “Take One Please” note posted to its side, you may be wanting to provide your family and friends with more.  And what oozes the Halloween spirit more than turning your home into a haunted house for the party of the year!

You want to make this year the Halloween people are talking about for years to come.  Here are some tips and tricks to turn your house into a haunted one Michael Myers would be proud to call home.

Go Big or Go Home

The first thing to plan out once you decide to make the ultimate haunted house is establish the boundaries for your fright fest.  Do you want a completely immersive experience taking place in every room from backyard (as long as it’s not too chilly) to attic?  Or is limiting your guests to the basement or garage going to allow for the most fun?

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Daveynin

Even the bathroom isn’t safe from Halloween! Photo courtesy of Flickr user Daveynin

You will also want to take ages of those who will be attending into consideration when planning out the activities.  Are you going for terrifying? silly? or both?  If this is a silly and fun “haunted” house for young children, maybe recreating the prom scene from Carrie isn’t the best idea.

Set the Mood

Halloween is all about the mood.  It is that feeling crawling up your spine when you hear the door creak while you are curled up on the couch with the blanket up to your eyes watching Scream.

Lighting: It worked for Wes Craven, so making sure the lighting works to perfection will work for you too.  Black lights are a quick and easy way to set the mood for the entire night.  Strobe lights are another great way to get the blood pumping.  Cover your furniture with sheets to make the lighting work even better and give more of an “abandoned” feel to your house.

Music: This is going to be the soundtrack to your night.  There are also plenty of classics and modern day tracks (“The Monster Mash” and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” are pretty much required) to choose from, so make sure your playlist satisfies everyone attending.

Fog:  Who knew a fog machine (or dry ice) could make all the difference in the world?  Your guests will be so impressed with your attention to detail they won’t care if they are scared out of their minds!

You can also start your guests off with a frightening thrill by the way you set up the walk to your front door! 

Must Have Decorations

Now that the mood is set and your guests SOMEHOW survived the walk to the entrance of your haunted house, you want the inside to be just as death-defying.

Wall Decorations: A couple of packs of fake spider webs to cover your furniture and fixtures is a great start.  But there are also scene setters and huge Halloween themed wallpaper you can purchase that will transform any door or wall in your home.

Hanging Decorations: Use fishing wire to hang fake bats and spiders along your ceiling.  You can hang them at different levels also to give a feel that the scariness is all around you!

Its All About the Details:  This is where your creative juices will be put to the test.  Every Halloween themed party needs a bowl of eyeballs (peeled grapes) and dish of brains (cooked spaghetti), but besides that, how creative are you willing to get?  Is each room going to be based on a different scene from your favorite horror flicks?  Is there going to be an operating room from the hospital of your nightmares filled with guts and brains? Or a witches lair with smoky cauldron, broomsticks and black cats? Here is where you can put your own spin on the haunted house!

Ask Your Minions For Help

Have a few friends willing to go all out with you or have the budget to hire some actors?  Strategically place them around corners dressed in their most frightening costumes (mummies and witches are the favorites) to scare all of your guests!

While a haunted house is a fun way to get everyone together, Halloween doesn’t have to be all scary. Plan other activities like a costume contest, pumpkin carving competition or send your guests home with one of these delicious dessert ideas!  But most importantly enjoy the holiday with family and friends!

Sam is the Content and Multimedia Specialist for Coldwell Banker Real Estate. He is Jersey born and bred, and currently resides in Weehawken, NJ. He is an avid reader, loves Games of Thrones and is a New York Yankees die-hard.

You can follow him on Twitter @World_Shalom

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