For many, Halloween is the most wonderful time of the year. People go all out decorating their homes, and there is always something new to thrill and delight. Let’s look at some decorating ideas for designing the Halloween display of your dreams…or should I say nightmares?
Creatures of the Night:
Bats certainly have a way of making humans squirm. Keep your visitors on their toes by hanging bats upside down from tree branches, lightly swaying in the breeze on invisible fishing tackle.
A crow’s habit of feeding upon dead animals and loud calls are bound to cause a shiver or two. Mount a couple crows on tombstones or in a prominent spot, such as atop a wall or the edge of your roof.
This predator silently soars across the night sky, seeing all with his glowing eyes. There are some motion-activated owls that turn their heads and hoot.
Most people instinctively shy away from spiders. The tarantula-sized spiders shown above are painted with glow-in-the-dark paints. Place them along porch railings or on the outer edge of steps. You also might want to have several crawling up a wall near the front door.
Dragons & Black Cats
Many people are superstitious about black cats. When lit from behind, cat silhouette yard stakes have an eerily realistic appearance. Inflatable dragons glisten and change colors, while animated dragons have glowing eyes, frightening sound effects and “breath fire” courtesy of a fog machine.
Sewer rats are bound to cause a few goosebumps. Just like the photo above, place a few rats on or around pumpkins to create a creepy atmosphere.
If you want to charm your guests, witches are sure to please. Life-size, motion-activated witches greet visitors with glowing eyes, casting spells, and stirring cauldrons. For a more humorous effect, a wall or tree-mounted crashing witch on a broom is sure to make everyone smile.
“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is a classic. Although you probably won’t have a horse on the lawn, you could create a dummy with a glowing pumpkin head. New this year is an animated life-size headless horseman holding an axe in one hand and a talking pumpkin in the other.
Legendary Movie Monsters
Wolfman, Frankenstein’s Monster, Count Dracula – so many possibilities. You could make a dummy by stuffing an old shirt and pair of slacks and buy a rubber mask to create your monster. If you or a family member are budding actors, dress up in costumes to unnerve visitors on Halloween night.
“The Walking Dead” has been a popular television series for years, spawning a zombie craze in movies, merchandise, and Halloween décor. If horror is your goal, zombies are the go-to characters.
Ghosts can serve as props or as live action creatures. Halloween night, if you really want to keep trick or treaters on edge, place a life-size ghost among your yard decorations. Go outside several times wearing an identical costume to stir up chills and thrills as you move across the lawn. Kids love theatrics like this and will return every year to find out what you will do next.
Pumpkins are a Halloween staple. Depending upon your preferences and skills, you can carve or paint designs to frighten or amuse your guests. If you have had trouble in the past with squirrels eating fresh pumpkins, buy craft pumpkins, which can be carved and displayed for years to come.
With tombstones, draped in spider webs, and scattered bones, this haunted cemetery is ready for visits from the living.
Coffin & Skeletons
If you like working with wood, you could build a coffin and reuse it with different monsters each year. If the weather cooperates, or if you have a covered porch, a cardboard coffin can be easily made. Skeletons and skulls can be frightening or funny. It’s all up to you.
Kid Friendly Scarecrow
Scarecrows are easy to make and inexpensive to buy. Secure them to tree trunks, or place a few on a bale of hay with pumpkins and a few crows for a bit of humor.
This horrifying scarecrow will keep crows, as well as people, at a distance. The vicious teeth are an unexpected and unsettling detail.
Our brains tell us that where there are webs, there are spiders. Drape webs over bushes and railings. A bag of plastic spiders has great impact or buy one large spider to instill fear.
Halloween String Lights
Pumpkins, Bats, Skulls, Witch Hats, and Ghosts are just a few of your string light options. Some are the plug-in variety, but for more flexibility there are also battery-operated versions.
Pumpkin Lamppost Cover
This lamppost cover is an easy way to show your Halloween spirit, and it acts like a beacon attracting Trick or Treaters like moths to a flame.
Luminaries are easy to make by simply drawing Halloween designs, such as cats and bats, with Sharpie markers on glass jars. For lighting, burn tealights or use battery-operated candles.
Spooky Sounds & Fog
Sound is an often-overlooked element in Halloween displays. Howling wolves, dragging chains, maniacal laughter, growling monsters, and high-pitched shrieks are among the many scary soundtracks. Fog provides additional layers of Halloween ambiance.
Lightning & Thunder
Conjure up the perfect storm by using theatrical spotlights, which project lightning bolts upon your house, accompanied by claps of thunder.
Setting the Scene: Finished Halloween Displays
Wondering what it would be like to have a close encounter with a witch? A cauldron, bubbling over with glowing fog, rests upon a flickering faux fire. With an ancient broom, a book of magic spells and a bottle of her latest potion in hand, this witch chills and thrills guests of all ages. Live action will astound visitors. All you need is a costume and have a few clever “incantations.”
How do you create a haunted graveyard? Start with tombstones, and then add a red-eyed skeleton climbing out of an open grave, bathed from below by an eerie yellow light, as ghostly apparitions take shape in wisps of fog. An orange moon in the nearby tree completes this otherworldly scene. Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” would be the perfect theme song for this frightening display.
Comical Family Fun
Is it possible to celebrate Halloween in a kid-friendly way? A pumpkin family reunion is a good place to start. Trick or Treaters can pose for selfies with this cheerful, welcoming display. At night, the bright orange glow will intrigue everyone, drawing them nearer for a closer look.
If You Build It, They Will Come
Want to attract attention? Consider your desired theme and select a fascinating focal point, such as the gigantic cat in the above photo. With colors, shapes, textures, and proportions in mind, continue adding props and characters, creating a multi-layered composition to delight viewers. Viewers will discover something new each time they see it. Having a few characters spring to life would be the cherry on top of this theatrical masterpiece.
Trunk or Treat
Are you participating in a community trunk or treat event? Don’t forget to decorate your car. There are Halloween decorations made specifically for trunk or treating. If your furry best friend rides along, a pet costume would be adorable, and the kids will love it!
Halloween brings out the kid in all of us. Do you have a favorite decoration? Have any suggestions to share with readers? Please note your thoughts in the comments section. Thanks for reading and sharing.
Happy Halloween & Happy Crafting!