- Holidays and Celebrations
Easy Haunted House Ideas
Essential Props on a Limited Budget
I love Halloween! Whether it's just the front porch, the garage or a party room you want to convert into a haunted house, there are some essentials you will need.
I have my own collection of bloody body parts, skeletons, skulls and bones. How 'bout you?
Need help finding the essentials and your budget is limited? You have come to the right place.
Start with a Halloween howl, throw your head back and give a BIG, witchy CACKLE and lets get rolling, shall we?
Gotta Have Skeleton Bones
Buy a bag of bones and scatter them across the floor, a table or pile them up in a container and mark them "Bones" with a big sign.
My seven year old nephew would be completely freaked out over a box of bones, LOL. I can hear him now, "Whose bones are they? Did they kill them to get their bones? How come there isn't any blood on them? Did they drink the blood?"
LOL, cackle, cackle! I love answering questions like those and making up crazy answers.
Cheap Haunted House Ideas
If you have only a little money for props but want a spooky, haunted house look, spider webs, creepy music and the right lighting are all you need.
- Try dimming the lights, placing a light fixture behind furniture or under tables or buy some flickering bulbs. Remember, people need to see just enough to walk safely and get "spooked".
- When placing light fixtures behind furniture, make sure the bulb is not touching anything it could ignite. Fixtures placed under tables become dim when you throw fabric or a tablecloth across the top and sides of the table--dark colored, cotton fabric is best. Thinner fabrics allow light to glow through the fabric--experiment to get the effect you want. Remember, don't let the bulb touch the fabric or furniture--bulbs can get hot and cause a fire under the right conditions.
- Flashlights are another good source of lighting for haunted houses. They don't heat up like a furniture lamp does and you can wrap muslin or thin cotton fabric over the beam of light to dim and diffuse the lighting.
Every haunted house has:
- spider webs
- bloody hands and body parts
- creepy residents
- spooky creatures that move unexpectedly
- dim lighting
- scary music and sounds
Buying and keeping these props on hand can keep costs down during Halloween. Buy now and you don't have to buy later
Choose a Halloween theme to help you narrow down your props.
Is your haunted house a vampire den? based on a movie or television show? is it steampunk? Victorian? UFO? about witches? mummies?
Haunted House Machines - Think howling wind and creepy noises.
Create spooky sounds, creepy fog and scary lighting effects with these Halloween machines.
A decent set of speakers and a CD filled with creepy music is a good start.
A tablet properly placed and connected to speakers could do the trick.
TIP Always test your speaker system and setup days before your event. There's nothing worse than having no sound and scrambling at the last minute to figure out how to make things right.
Designing the Haunt
Divide a single room into smaller spaces to create the feeling of a house.
Use black fabric or sheets as curtains to split the room up. Old furniture screens or panels can also make good dividers.
Making Bloody Body Parts
- You can always turn a plain rubber body part into a bloody one. Red acrylic paint, fake blood and even red cake icing can turn anything into a bloody mess!
- Using food is another way. Try mozarella balls bobbing in tomato juice or sauce, cooked spaghetti for entrails or ketchup dribbled, fat french fries for bloody fingers.
- You may have to work with the lighting to get the effect just right. Make sure to do that a few days ahead of time so you aren't panicked if something doesn't work the way you want it to. Nothing worse than a Halloween host or hostess on adrenalin!
Build the Suspense
Create an entrance by giving visitors a curtain to part when entering your "haunted kingdom".
Lightweight, thin black fabric found at a fabric or craft store works great.
"No sew" them by tacking them in place or using velcro, safety pins or other attachment to wrap the fabric around a spring rod that fits inside the door way.
Spider Web Heaven
Some of us may not need help creating cobwebs or spider webs. I have a tendency to grow my own due to my poor sweeping habits and I suspect some of you may have the same issue. However, spider webs can always use some beefing up around Halloween.
Spider webs are fun to put up, a cheap prop to purchase and provide instant "spooky" results.
Extras to Build Your Haunts
Extra things you might need to set it all up securely:
- folding tables of various sizes and heights
- Black or very dark colored cloth to hide furniture
- safety tape for the floor so people avoid tripping hazards