Guest Post: How to Turn Your Home into a Haunted House

Decorating for Halloween gets some people more excited than even the most elaborate displays of Christmas lights or Fourth of July fireworks.  It seems that lots of people stick with the tried and true decorations that have added spooky flavor to front porches since the beginning of time, but if you’re inclined to take ghoulish decorations to the next level, here are some great ways to give your creations life.

Creepy Sounds

Sound effect CDs have been popular with serious Halloween decorators for years, but other options for ambient noise can be just as effective for creeping out trick-or-treaters.  Witch House is a subgenre of electronic music that works subtle, ominous tones into beats that can be very creepy.  You can also go with high-tension Bernard Herrmann movie scores to get everyone good and jumpy before they ring the doorbell.  Or, if you seriously want to freak people out, play an old cassette of nursery rhymes at low volume on your decorated front porch.

Make a Jack-o-Lantern to Last

If you’ve ever wanted to preserve your jack-o-lantern instead of watching it get squishier every day you avoid throwing it out, or if you just don’t like dealing with pumpkin guts, you might consider buying an artificial pumpkin to carve this year.  Most craft stores sell hollow, rigid-foam pumpkins in various shapes and sizes for a couple of bucks.  They’re easy to carve and they last forever, no pulp disposal required.  Plus you can use one as a punch bowl without having to pick seeds out of your cup all night.

Take Your Decorations Up a Notch

Adding fresh details to classic decorations is an easy way to ramp up the scare factor of your house or yard.  The balloon-and-garbage-bag ghost design is cool and all, but you can jazz it up by putting a cheap electric tea candle (preferably with an LED light) under the balloon before you tie off the bag.  It will illuminate the balloon with a spooky glow.  Also, a fog machine is cool by itself but adding a strobe light or a colored spotlight (or both) will give the fog a spectral quality that will look cool all the way from the street.

Use Props

You can turn a basic decoration into a full-blown diorama by strategically adding just a few props.  A chalk outline on the floor or sidewalk is okay by itself, but throwing some police line tape around the area makes it better.  Adding some “evidence” with numbered marker cards, and you’ve got yourself a full blown crime scene!  This principle can be applied to pretty much any aspect of your decoration. If you put fake headstones in your yard, stick a shovel in the ground next to one.  If you’re really ambitious, put together a coffin with some plastic bones in it.

Place Your Decorations for Maximum Spookiness

Good placement can take your decorations from good to great.  Don’t just drop that fake arm someplace, set it up to look like it’s clawing out of the ground or poking out of a garbage can.  A dummy with a rubber mask is fun, but if you want to actually scare someone peek it out from behind a tree or a bush with a tinted light shining on it.


Rainier Fuclan does marketing for New American Funding, a Fannie Mae Seller/Servicer, FHA Direct Endorsement – HUD Approved, and VA Automatic mortgage banker offering home owners a variety of loans including 30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgages, Adjustable Rate Mortgages, FHA Mortgages and more.