Party Pointer: Halloween Haunted House Ideas

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Haunted houses are an ever-growing trend in Halloween decorating and celebrating. Many people just love being scared! So if you have a family who loves scaring each other or your friends, here are some Halloween haunted house ideas you may want to work into your holiday party fun!

Determine the age group your haunted house will be geared toward so you can figure out the “scariness level” of your decorations.

Themes for haunted house/rooms/vignettes within haunted house:

  •  Autopsy room
  • Insane asylum
  • Creepy cage, dungeon or prison
  • Egyptian pyramid tomb
  • Medieval torture chamber
  • Zoo for crazy people
  • Creepy creature’s hole or den
  • Giant spider’s web or nest
  • Dinosaur den
  • Evil sorcerer’s laboratory
  • Creepy hospital
  • Operation room or medical experimentation chamber
  • Evil scientist’s laboratory
  • Potions cellar
  • Orphanage of demon children
  • Fortune teller’s tent
  • Haunted pirate ship
  • Hell’s kitchen
  • Creepy butcher shop
  • Graveyard or tomb
  • Murder scene or chamber
  • Witches’ coven
  • Nuclear disaster zone
  • Ghostly garden
  • Haunted motel
  • Haunted house with crazy residents/ghosts
  • Haunted house of vampires/zombies
  • Barn/stable of crazy farmer
  • Mad man’s workshop
  • Haunted theatre or movie house
  • Schoolhouse for the depraved
  • Circus/carnival of the demented

Possible Locations for Haunted House:

  • Garage
  • Rec room or bonus room in house
  • Garden shed
  • Community building or room
  • Free-standing construction in yard or parking lot of community facility

Possible Approaches to Creating a Haunted House:

  • In a dark space like a cleared-out garage or bonus room in your home, you can build a twisting tunnel out of large cardboard boxes. Your guests will have to crawl on hands and knees through the dark tunnel without a flashlight. You might put plastic bones, furry stuffy animals, large fake spiders and snakes in different spots in the tunnel. These may startle your guests as they feel them in the dark. You might also hang crepe paper streamers yarn or stretchy spider webs from the top of the boxes at the points you tape the boxes together–the idea is to have them brush your guests in the face as they crawl through.
  • In a cleaned-out dark space, you can create a maze with stacks of large boxes and curtains of dark plastic or fabric. Within the maze, you can create scary vignettes.
  • In a cleaned-out dark space, you can create a room(s) within the larger space by creating a cardboard, wooden or PVC framework which you cover with dark plastic or fabric. Within the rooms created, set up scary vignettes.
  • Check the Internet for articles and videos that show how haunted houses may be set up and decorated.

Great Haunted House Accessories for Any Theme

  • Black landscape poly-vinyl plastic sheeting or black landscape fabric on rolls (available at home building supply stores) or black gossamer fabric on rolls (available from theatre or prom supply vendors online)
  • Cloth boundaries, shower curtains, stacks of cardboard boxes and doors are great barriers that block the view and distort your vision. Then add spooky accents like spiders & strings hanging from the ceiling, ghosts or witches billowing and hanging around corners and doorways, then consider having a greeter
  • Dry ice or fog machine for atmospheric fog (available at Halloween, party or discount stores)
  • Black lights, red light bulbs, green light bulbs, strobe lights, rope lights, flickering lights to light up different areas of haunted house (available at home improvement stores or party stores)
  • Sound effects–screams, howls, groans, clanking chains, whispers, slamming doors, heavy breathing, alarms, sirens, maniacal laughing, wind, lightning cracks, thunder, banging, dripping, eerie classical music– you can buy cheap CDs with these sounds or download them from the Internet
  • Oscillating fans to blow spider webs or ghostly tatters in guests’ faces (available at discount or home improvement stores); the cool moving breeze also sets your guests off balance
  • Motion-activated and sound-activated figures to surprise your guests as they walk by or enter a “room” in your haunted house (available at discount, Halloween and party supplies stores)
  • Glow-in-the-dark decorations and lights (available at dollar stores and party supply store
  • Actors willing to help you–dressed up to support your theme to greet guests, to guide them through, to step out to scare your guests when they aren’t expecting it, to perform in specific themed rooms or vignettes.

 

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