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10 Cheap Haunted House Ideas

Posted on 26th August 2014
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Karnival Costumes Blog on 10 affordable ideas for creating a haunted house this Halloween

10 Cheap Haunted House Ideas

Clown Logo of Karnival Costumes your Halloween specialists for Fancy Dress and Costume Accessories
When it comes to Halloween most of us love looking at those houses which have made a Haunted House scene either indoors or where they have brought their decoration into the visible area. So this year, if you want to make your own for the enjoyment of family friends or even your trick-or-treat visitors we’ve put together a short list of ideas that will help you get started in the creation of the perfect haunted house.
There are some really basic haunted house supplies and haunted house decorations that should be easy to obtain and that are essential to create a spooky atmosphere.
Sheets to Cover Furniture: If your looking to create the look of an abandoned and spooky house, you’ll need to find some sheets, or better still, some large off-white coloured decorators sheets which when thrown over your furniture will give the room that ‘not lived’ in look.  If you add some very light dirt smudges to the sheets, it’ll take away the newness and it’s best to iron new pieces to eliminate packaging creases. Arranging the furniture in a random fashion will also give it the look of stored pieces.  For a spooktacular effect, a semi-exposed skeleton body with an old shirt and dusty hairpiece will create a focal point. And if you want the ultimate experience, attach fine fishing line to the arm of the skeleton so that you can make it appear to move from a distance.
Halloween spiders and spider webs from Karnival CostumesSpider Webs and Spiders: Spooky fake spider webs are available in a variety of colours, the most popular remain black and white and they usually come with a number of included plastic spiders which are effective in a gloomy room. Use the web pulled out finely to make your doorways, furniture, or railings look like they haven’t been touched in years. The best haunted houses look like abandoned houses that are only home to ghosts and creepy crawlies and some carefully spun out spider webs help with this look! There are also a number of larger spiders, some of which have flashing eyes or light-up bodies, plus large webs available and one of these could be used as a focal point.  If you’re using on of these larger webs, you can make it even spookier by using some fine web in the corners of web furthest from where you place your large spider.
Leaves: To make your house feel spooky and abandoned, collect leaves from your own garden and neighbours then scatter them randomly around the approach to your haunted house.  They would naturally collect in corners where the wind will have deposited them and around the longer grass that would be growing around any gravestones or other garden ornaments that you may be using. Make sure that you spread them wherever you think the wind might have blown them.  If you want then to sit across a door that you intend to use, first cut a ¼” batten and paint it in a dark colour. Stick some flat leaves to it across the entire length using a PVA glue which will dry clear, and then a layer of more curled leaves to those. This should provide a permanent barrier against which your loose leaves should hold in place.
Moss: Similar to leaves sphagnum moss is a create way to add age and neglect to any scene.  It would have grown naturally on tombstones and ornaments in the garden and you can create this natural look by using sphagnum moss which can be simply glued in place.  The easiest to use is the dried compressed variety which is a light brown colour. This can be slightly painted with a tinge of green and with darker colours to create areas of added interest.  For larger areas, in front of tombstones and ornaments, rehydrate the moss in a solution of brown food dye and water and then wring out the excess fluid and allow it to dry out before use.
Halloween crows and ravens from Karnival Costumes
Black Crows: Black birds give an ominous feel to any house and their menacing presence in a number of films, including Hitchcock’s 1963 stunner ‘The Birds’ did little to win them back into out hearts. The more crows perched together, the more menacing they will look. If you have a tree available in your Halloween tableau, add some fake black birds perched on it – attached with fine wire of fishing line and ensure that they are just visible in the gloom. Alternatively, perch them on any low eves and you can even bring them inside the house as Daphne du Maurier did in her original 1953 novel so place them on the tops of cabinets and doorways so they are looking over your guests.
Ghosts: Can you imagine a Halloween celebration without some ghosts, after all it’s the spirits of the dead that are said to manifest themselves on All Hallows Eve! Ghost decorations and pops range from scary as found in the bigger fright houses to those that are less for making you jump and more for think of Casper. The easiest Ghost to make is to create a papier-mâché head by applying glue paper to an inflated round balloon. Once dry, apply a quick coat of white emulsion and then tie it into the middle of a white sheet. Mark the eyes – or apply some facial features cut out of black felt if it’s a good sheet and then hand it so that it can catch and flutter in the breeze.
Halloween spooky light with flickering flame from Karnival Costumes
Turn the Lights Down Low: Obvious, but a very important point and one that is very important as everyone gets more afraid in the dark. Halloween is all about suspense of what might be lurking just around the corner and therefore not everything has to be fully on show and sometimes the spookiest and scariest of things are actually just hinted at with our imagination taking over and delivering the real adrenaline rush associated with being scared. If the moon is shining brightly or the street lights are shining in through your windows bring the lights down low and use a readily available gauze cloth to cover the windows or just pull the curtains.
Candles: Very affordable but a real necessity for any haunted house although this one does come with a safety warning. This is a Halloween haunted house prop at its basic but one that makes all the difference. Lighting lots of candles throws a flickering light on everything and makes anything look spookier casting glimmering shadows even where you haven’t added any decoration! If you are invited a lot of people or children to join in the fun, opt for the safer battery operated tea-lights or flameless candles or candelabra so that everyone remains safe.
Glowing Eyes: Creating glowing eyes can give your Halloween scene that extra look. This is a simple and fun idea and they are very easy to create. You’ll need to start collecting paper roll inserts and you will need to experiment a little to get the look that you’re looking for.  The simplest is simply to cover one end of two tubes with card and the insert a green or red glow-stick inside. Set these about eye distance apart and then hide these in buses around your property so that the lit ends can be seen.  To make these even more spooky, cover the open end with thin tissue to diffuse the light.  The longer the tubes and the further down it the light source is placed, the less visible, but the eyes will look spookier.
Halloween Spooky Sounds CD from Karnival Costumes
Spooky Noises: A silent house is sure to look and feel abandoned and spooky in it’s own right but it’s not as spooky as one filled with eerie noises, crashes and screams! Available in a number of different formats, tape, CD or downloadable, plug in your speakers and play your haunted house sounds on repeat. If you can manage it some low level spooky noises played outside will add a layer of extra appeal.
Eyeballs and Brains: In this quick list of 10 things to do to prepare yourself for Halloween, this one is really about getting some fun back on your guests and it’ll soon become one that the kids will love the most! Greet them at the door and tell them that in order to enter they have to feel around in the bowl of eyeballs and brains (cooked spaghetti – not the tinned variety - and peeled grapes) to find the key.
With these affordable ideas for your haunted house and these simple props you’re sure to scare all of your guests and trick or treaters. So grab some friends dress up and hide around the house ready to jump out and scare your guests every time they turn a corner!
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