Plan Ahead for a Haunted House
It does take some planning to pull off a haunted house. In fact, some neighbors plan and buy items all year starting with the sales the day after Halloween. But, it’s certainly possible to pull off a great haunted house with just a few days and especially if you get family members or friends involved in planning the big event.
Actually, planning the haunted house is a huge part of the fun as everyone tosses out ideas and as you shop and find things you never thought of before you grabbed a cart or pulled up and visited mygofer http://www.mygofer.com/shc/s/search_10175_27151?keyword=halloween&vName= and started looking.
There are some seriously great Halloween items on the market these days, and window shopping can give you some terrific ideas as you begin to plan your own haunted evening.
Decide on Your Haunted House Space
Before you begin pulling Halloween items out of the attic or closet or buying haunted house supplies, decide where you will host your scary good time. There are endless options. One of my neighbors used clothesline and hung curtains and had his haunted house right out in the yard.
The space will, of course, shape the haunted house and make a difference as far as what will work and what won’t. If you have a small space, that fabulous fake coffin may take up so much space that guests can’t get in and out easily.
Once you decide on your area, begin to map things out. This can be a fun project on paper with everyone penciling and drawing in ideas.
Fun Ideas for Your Haunted House
- Lighting – Check out various bulbs for low light and also consider some of your Christmas lights to help mark out the perimeters of the haunted house.
- Music – There are Halloween tapes that include music or just scary sounds. It can also be fun to put on something like classical music which counterbalances the scary show without being overpowering.
- Drapes – Use sheets and towels or pieces of fabric to make more complex haunted houses. These also provide good spots for the spooky characters to hide and jump out.
- Costumes – The selection of scary Halloween costumes is virtually endless, or you can go with scary masks and then use dark clothing for a floating head effect.
- Props – This is the really fun part. Put up fake spider webs that feel creepy when visitors walk through. Station tombstones around the space. They can be made out of cardboard and can include funny sayings. Get a fake coffin or items that look like a mad scientist has been experimenting. Or, set up a lab, blindfold the guests and have them feel various foods like spaghetti (guts) and Jell-o (brains) while the host tells a scary tale of the monster parts.
- Food – If your haunted house is part of a bigger party, plan some fun foods that have a scary theme. For instance, make Halloween punch and freeze ice in plastic food gloves so that the hands float around in the punch bowl. Or, if you don’t have a punch bowl, freeze plastic spiders in individual ice cubes and serve those with the beverages.
Do Play it Safe on Your Haunted House
Remember that guests may panic a bit when they encounter goblins jumping out of nowhere and spooky sounds and sites, so expect the unexpected.
If you have special effects like dry ice fog, remember that dry ice burns. Be sure you have anything like that in a place where no one will stumble into the container.
Make sure adults use any props that could be potentially dangerous. A chainsaw without the chain does make a great effect, but even without the chain, the saw can cut a guest. One of my students got a cut on her foot at a local haunted house and needed stitches. So, have items like that in the distance for effect and not right in the haunted house guest visiting area.
Just use some common sense and think through your haunted house effects and everyone will have a great and safe time.