Halloween comes but once a year and what better way to celebrate than to turn your entire home into a haunted house that will give the neighborhood kids a playful fright that's unforgettable for years to come. Decorate your abode from the shingles to the cellar with spooktacular scenes that chill your guests to the bone, young and old alike. Creating a good haunted house is a big commitment. You will need to invest in spooky props, decorations and even music. Since your haunted house is going to be so much effort on your part, consider throwing a Halloween party to get maximum mileage out of your efforts. Invite friends and families in your community to come celebrate at your haunted home either before or after trick or treating. You can also throw a grown up monster mash with silly and fitting drinks like blood orange martinis!
Change your light bulbs to something more ambient. Your bright, regular light bulbs that help you to accomplish day to day tasks such as cooking, reading and walking through your home without tripping over stuff just aren't scary. You can't get rid of all the light in your house because that would be dangerous. You don't want any of your guests to visit your haunted home and leave with an actual injury. Instead, invest in some spookier red or green light bulbs to illuminate your rooms. Colored lights will allow your guests to see where they are going and who (or what) they are talking to, but make rooms look darker and scarier. You can also invest in a few light fixtures that simulate candles. Everyone knows that supernatural entities prefer candle light to other types of illumination. Candle light flatters your ghosts' deathly pallor.
Ask everyone in your household to dress in a scary costume. If you are going through the trouble of turning your entire house into a haunted house, then you had better have some rocking costumes. If you plan to create a haunted house for guests to walk through rather than hang out in, get family members to dress in costumes that fit in with your haunted decor. Your loved ones can be your cast for the night, and they can jump out from hiding places to give guests an extra scare. If you plan to throw a Halloween party, your relatives would probably rather be enjoying themselves with the other guests. At least make sure that they all have scary costumes. If your child wants to be Rainbow Brite for Halloween, see if she's willing to compromise and be zombie Rainbow Bright! If you really want to take your haunted house to the next level, come up with an ensemble costume. For example, you can all be Victorian ghosts or the staff and patients of an insane asylum.
Find a way to cover your furniture. Unless you happen to be Martha Stewart, there is no way that your Ikea furniture can be considered scary. A few fake cobwebs stretched over a bookcase does not make a haunted house complete. You are going to have to figure out a way to cover that furniture up. The easiest way for you to do this is to buy actual furniture covers that are meant to protect furniture in unoccupied houses. These covers are made of canvas but usually look like white sheets, so white sheets could work too. These furniture covers will hide your ordinary furniture and make your house look abandoned. Best of all, your guests can still use the furniture if you are having a party. Your guests can just sit atop the covers. Perhaps as an added benefit, your furniture may be somewhat protected from drinks and fake blood if the party gets crazy and things get spilled.
Props and Extras
Distribute scary props throughout your house. Now that you have your house lit up in red and green and your furniture is covered in white sheets, you are going to have to strategically place some cool props. You should definitely invest in plenty of fake cobwebs. No matter what type of haunted house you are going for, fake cobwebs are going to make it look more scary. These can be purchased in costume shops or even drug stores as Halloween approaches and they are very affordable. Try to get a hold of some police tape and use that to wrap doors to rooms that you don't want your guests to enter. The props you choose will depend upon what type of haunted house you want. If you love gore, you can make fake bodies with old clothes stuffed with newspaper and lots of fake blood. If you are imagining more of a mysterious, abandoned mansion, spread items like Ouija boards and crystal balls throughout your home.
Consider decorating themed rooms. If you are building a haunted house for guest to walk through, you probably want to make each room look different. Otherwise, your haunted house could get boring. You could make a theme for the whole house, such as mental hospital, then decorate one room as a patient's cell, another room as some sort of experiment room and so on. On the other hand, you could decorate every single room in your house according to a different theme. One room could be mental hospital, one room could be the torture chamber of a haunted castle and such. How you decorate your house will probably depend upon how much time and money you want to spend and how old your anticipated guests are.
Don't forget the soundtrack! If you are creating a creepy, walk through haunted house, you can pick up or download soundtracks of creepy sounds like creaking doors and screams just for Halloween. If you are throwing a Halloween party in your haunted house though, you'll probably want actual music. You'll want to have a playlist including all of the old Halloween party favorites like Dead Man's Party and Monster Mash. Soundtracks from Tim Burton films like Beetlejuice and The Nightmare Before Christmas also make good Halloween party music!