Thursday, August 19, 2010

Projects On Halloween Yard Haunts

Create a spooky Halloween graveyard display in your yard.

Outdoor Halloween displays often are as simple as a lit jack o' lantern or two. You can up the ante next Halloween, however, by investing some time and creative energy in to create a "haunted" area in your own yard. Create an eerie graveyard, a secret lair for witches, or a haunted garage or pumpkin patch. Does this Spark an idea?


Create tombstones out of foam or Styrofoam and spray-paint them an aged gray color. Use black paint to create the description on the front of each. Drape fake cobwebs across your tombstones, lean some of the gravestones, and have some that are broken. Use solar yard lights to illuminate your graveyard or, if possible, light it with safety candles or lanterns. To take this yard haunt to the next level, dig a makeshift grave, piling the dirt beside it. Have someone dress as a creepy mortician who guides visitors through the tombstones and tempts passersby toward the open grave.

Haunted Garage or Shed

Use a garage or shed to create a mini-haunted house. You can drape sheets over old furniture or boxes that are already there, and also use the stuff already stored inside as part of your environment. Set up spotlights to cast the images of bikes and tools and other everyday items in large shadows on the walls. Use lanterns or candles to illuminate old dolls, toys or paintings, creating a spooky effect. Allow this display to spill out into the yard, creating a sort of haunted flea market. Add a person dressed as an ancient antique dealer who can guide visitors, telling invented stories about the haunted history of the illuminated objects.

Witches' Lair

Your front porch or an area next to the front of the house can be transformed into a haunted witches' lair. Use an old metal washtub to create the centerpiece: a witches' cauldron. Prop the cauldron up on stacks of firewood or suspend it from a wrought-iron plant hanger. Inside the cauldron, create an eerie glow with LED lights that are water-submersible or stock it with dry ice for a smoky effect. Around the cauldron, arrange familiar witches' items: old-style brooms made from twigs lashed to wooden dowels, and two-dimensional metal or wooden black cats. You can also up the creepiness factor by placing jars of plastic bugs and body parts nearby. Add a person costumed as a witch stirring and mixing things into her cauldron.

Haunted Pumpkin Patch

Arrange a plethora of carved pumpkins on one area for a haunted pumpkin patch effect. If your yard has a garden, arrange the pumpkins among the greenery and dried, dead plants to give them the appearance of "growing" in a pumpkin patch. Add some smashed and chopped-up pumpkins that suggest the work of a deranged pumpkin carver. You can give this yard haunt a sense of dynamic energy by having someone act deranged by sitting among the pumpkins and carving the same pumpkin over and over in a creepy, repetitive fashion.

Tags: your yard, pumpkin patch, this yard, this yard haunt, yard haunt