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5 Clever Ways to Decorate Your Haunted House

Matthew Lloyd, Getty Images

With Halloween fast approaching, it’s time to get your home into the swing of things. Don’t worry—you still have plenty of time to convert your domicile into a spooky haunted house (or just a scary home that kids will think twice about approaching during their quest for candy). Here are five fairly simple, but clever ways to get your apartment or house in ghoulish shape for Halloween, and any one of these ideas would do a witch, or decaying zombie, proud:

An Army of Pumpkins

Carved, painted or even destroyed. Filling your yard and porch with an “army” of pumpkins is an easy, and exceedingly classic way to get your house ready for the big night. If you go overboard with glowing jack-o’-lanterns in design and number, you’re bound to impress the children who swing by your pumpkin-adorned abode.

Painted faces on some pumpkins, with candles or lights close by for illumination, can save you time if you’re not up for carving 20 jack-o’-lanterns or more. A smashed pumpkin can even become the “victim” of a gruesome pumpkin murder, if you’d like to add a little back story to your living pumpkin world.

Turn Your Front Yard (or Stoop) Into a Cemetery

If you have a small plot of land, some fake tombstones and a few plastic arms reaching out of the ground can do wonders for your macabre street cred. You can make your own tombstones out of wood, cardboard (as long as you’re not expecting tons of rain) or foam, or else buy some cemetery props online from a local holiday shop. A Halloween graveyard is the perfect backdrop for your scary holiday display. You can add some extra touches here and there as well, from a mist maker to loads of fake blood splattered about.

Balloon Ghosts and Scary Silhouettes

Balloon ghosts and scary silhouettes are easy to make, and a great way to liven up your haunted house or Halloween display. If you want to build some hanging balloon ghost, you’ll need inflated balloons, cheesecloth or shear, lightweight fabric, string, and black construction paper or black tape for the faces.

For scary silhouettes, thick construction paper (black), a good pair of scissors and some designs to go off of (screeching cats, evil faces, witches on broomstick, etc.) or a “wicked” imagination should suffice. With these items in hand, your living room windows and front lawn will be overrun by things that go bump in the night in no time at all.

Scarecrows From Old Clothing

Like to shop at thrift stores, or have tons of old, disused clothing lying about? Why not stuff your useless duds with straw—or whatever stuffing material you have available—and make a brigade of terrifying scarecrows? You can build the frame of the body out of wood and nails, making use of the typical cross shape if you’re not too handy with a hammer, and then adorn the wood with clothing.

Scarecrow heads can be made out of old plastic milk jugs, gourds, basketballs, bottle corks, stuffed burlap sacks and even a good ol’ pumpkin. Once you’ve got a few of these bad boys ready, set them up to guard your property, and scare away the kiddies who happen by.

Matthew Lloyd, Getty Images

Mad Scientist’s Laboratory From Old Jars

If you want to turn a particular part of your house into a mad scientist’s laboratory for Halloween, you can do so with relative ease. If you have food coloring and a lot of glass jars a various sizes lurking about, fill the jars with water, color the water, and then put creepy things inside the jars, like fake plastic eyeballs, toy bats, plastic mannequin body parts, plastic rats and other odds and ends.

Strew the jars all over the room you wish to transform, and if you can get your hands one some old X-rays or human organ charts, hang them on the walls for a final touch. Dim the lights, mess up your hair, put on a long white lab coat, and presto—you’re a mad scientist at work in his laboratory, just in time for Halloween.

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