This is Part 2 of ‘DIY Haunted House 101, Part 1‘ with the next 5 basics to haunting the interior and exterior of your ‘haunted estate’ for Halloween. Keep on going there’s lots more spooky ideas to go!
6) Purchase or burn 2 CD’s – one CD of spooky forest sounds/screams to play outside your entrance (playing on a ‘boom box’ player hidden in the bushes), and one CD of spooky music/Halloween-themed songs for the interior of your party space. It’s also pretty easy to download specific scary sounds to work with a theme (only scary dogs/wolves, birds, screaming voices, moaning, etc.) The power of scary sounds to jangle the nerves, makes this purchase a big scare for the buck! Pack CDs away with your Halloween decor afterwards for next year.
7) Use tea stain ‘aged’ cheesecloth over windows and doorways to add to the unkempt look of your haunted mansion. Brew a mixing bowl full of tea with 4-5 tea bags, soak 2-3 packages of cheesecloth for 30 min or so, let dry. Attach 4 foot sections with pushpins to the tops of door and window frames. Cut and shred long, vertical strips of various widths in the cheesecloth and rub strips between fingers to encourage fraying. Over doorways, cut the strips so that they loosely follow an arched shape. The cheesecloth adds another layer of the look of ‘abandonment'(also, it feels a little creepy when the hanging strips brush a guest’s shoulder as they walk underneath). These hangings can be saved for future years.
8) Focus plenty of attention on your food offerings, whether a meal will be served or just desserts and treats. There are so many ways to bring in a spooky, ‘gross’, silly, or just plain yummy, themed aspect to the food itself. Put your creative hat on to theme foods for ‘Halloween’ or a specific spooky theme or focus (for example, ‘Bloody Good Punch’ for a vampire theme). Also put a concentrated effort into doing a really great, themed, centerpiece arrangement. Plenty of time will be spent by guests near or around the centralized food table for this party, so it’s worth the effort to make it exceptional!
9) Real, carved pumpkins scream ‘Halloween!’ and when placed in key locations, can’t be beat for adding to the spooky festivities! Unfortunately, they have to be carved just before the party and we can’t keep them from year to year, but it’s one of those traditional activities you wouldn’t want to miss anyway! Lots of pumpkin-carving stencil books are available for more intricate designs than the good, old jack-o-lantern (though he’s always a fab addition). Have at least one or two carved pumpkins.
10) Enlighten them –your outside Halloween scenes and decor, that is! Throw some spooky, colored light on your outdoor Halloween decor and home for night viewing as guests arrive and all Halloween season long. Purchase 2-3 outdoor spotlight holders that can be staked into the ground; colored spotlights, and several outdoor, heavy-duty, extension cords. This is a bit of an investment in your annual Halloween decor, but it’s a big bang for the buck. You might want to use the spotlight holders later during the holidays with white spotlights to highlight your home’s exterior.
If you do these 10 basic things to haunt your house, you’ll have a fun, spooky atmosphere that sets the stage for a festive Halloween party! After you have these basics covered, Miss Party recommends you move on to “Haunted House 102 – What’s next?”. Some of the next suggestions do involve investing in Halloween props, but they’re all still very basic and can be used year after year, no matter the theme or time period of your party and always great for general exterior Halloween decor.