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Create A Haunted House
Transform your home into a spooky haunted house this Halloween.


  1. Create an image of a bat on the wall of a dark room. Cut out an inch-long bat from a square of black paper. Center it over a flashlight and tape it to secure it in place. Hold together two identical magnifying lenses in front of the light and experiment until you get the right focus on the wall. Cut a piece of a cardboard tube to fit the correct distance between the flashlight and the lenses. Tape the apparatus together and set on a table.
  2. Create a coffin with a dead guy in it. You can place this in the entrance way of your home. What a great spooky first impression of your party! Don't know how to do this? It is easier than you think. Check out my instructions for creating this eerie prop!
  3. Put black flowers around the house. Get some cheap plastic flowers from any discount store. Or use some old twigs with leaves or a stiff bush clip from your yard. Spray paint the flowers or leaves black with cheap black spray paint. Set in an old can, spray painted black or grey. Or use an old vase.
  4. Illuminate a skeleton or pumpkin with colored light. Place a clip-on or swing-arm lamp so that it shines on the object at an effective angle. Use colored light bulbs for your desired effect. Green and red bulbs are highly recommended. Blue bulbs give off an eerie glow too!
  5. Create a mad man's laboratory. This is always a big hit. Here are the instructions for my own lab that I created for the kids in my day care.
  6. Make a cauldron of severed hands. Stuff rubber kitchen gloves with tissue paper or soft cotton batting. Decorate them with spray paint, gauze, fake fingernails, rings, a watch, rubber insects or blood-red paint. You can add dry ice to your cauldron for an eerie effect. Remember never to touch dry ice with your hands. Make sure your parents work with the dry ice!
  7. Add some creepy signs on doors around your house. One room can be the graveyard and you can decorate it with Styrofoam tombstones. Use grey and black paint for your tombstones. Add a plastic skull and skeletons to the room for a better effect. Use black paint or marker to write a funny "epitaphs" such as "RIP" or "Here Lies John, He Was Here, Now He's Gone" on each one. Perhaps a room full of creepy crawlers and webs.
  8. Hang a paper skeleton in a closet and create a sign for the door that reads, "Warning: Enter at Your Own Risk." You can even add little red light bulbs to the eye sockets for a scary surprise!
  9. Put up a black curtain. Cut a hole in it big enough for people to slip their hand through. On the other side of the curtain place a table with bowls full gross things for the kids to feel. Have your friends put their hands through the hole and touch the substances. They can guess what it is. Instead of a curtain you can take some card board boxes and cut round holes in them. Spray them with cheap black paint and use them instead. Here are some gross ideas: eyeballs (peeled grapes or wet olives), intestines (wet cold spaghetti) , liver (a half of a canned peach), skin (oil a piece of plastic cut from a grocery bag), fingers (hot dogs), teeth (unpopped popcorn), hair (silk from corn on the cob), brains (freeze and thaw a big piece of tofu and round off the edges), hand (fill a latex surgical glove with water, drape it over a bowl to give it some shape and freeze it. Just before the party, stick it in a tray of dirt, sand, or rice so your guests have to feel around in the dirt for the buried hand), bones (chicken bones. Scrub well before using.)
  10. Have your parents put chunks of dry ice (do not touch with bare hands) in bowls and pans around the house to resemble evil potions brewing. Be sure to place behind couches, chairs and tables to avoid someone touching the ice.
  11. Drape white sheets, with ghostly eyes and mouth cut out or drawn on with black marker, over bristle end of brooms. Prop up around the room.
  12. Create some sound effects to complete your haunted house. You can record sounds of clanking chains, bubbling cauldrons, screams, howls, scary laughter, heavy footsteps and breathing. You can usually find pre-recordings in local record stores for under $10. Hide your tape player in a closet, leaving the door slightly ajar.
  13. Now-a-days you can purchase some great effects from local craft and department stores. There are lots of mechanical fiends you can take home and place in scary places around your home. Put a skeleton head in a cupboard that screams every time someone opens the cupboard door, place a scary door bell beside the bathroom door with a sign that reads, "Press the secret button to enter the lavatory".

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