Everyone loves a good scare- and it’s just as fun to provide a scary adventure for others as it is to go on one yourself. Whether it’s Halloween or you just feel that your community needs a spooky addition, creating a haunted house attraction can be a rewarding experience. Here are some DIY Haunted House Tips about how to make a haunt jaunt of your very own.
DIY Haunted House Suggestions
Photo credit: Flikr InsideTheMagic
DIY Haunted House Timing
Of course, the best time to host a haunted house is around Halloween. Corn Mazes open as early as September, so you can do the same. Weekend nights are when most people are free to go exploring, so if your haunted house needs to be manned, this would be the best time for hours of operation. You’ll have to decide if you want to charge or if you’re just providing a fun activity for the neighborhood kids on Halloween. If you’re only open for Halloween, be sure to spread the word, as there will be lots of competition. A haunted house will be a popular option amongst all the regular candy-offering houses, though.
No matter when you are putting on your caper, you can save money by visiting Halloween stores and costumes shops right after Halloween. You’ll find clearance prices on all sorts of spooky treats and costumes you can use for your next event.
DIY Haunted House Theme
Halloween is its own theme, but choosing a specific direction can go a long way towards focusing your vision. Don’t just create a haunted house. Build a vampire’s castle. A DIY mummy’s crypt. Take inspiration from a cult film by creating a Rocky Horror Mansion or even a spin on “Wicked,” “Hotel Transylvania,” or other films with creepy elements that might garner an automatic audience from fandom.
Also keep in mind what audience you’d like to draw. If you’d like to cater to younger children, take care not to make the attractions too scary. You might want to feature hay bales and pumpkins with the occasional plastic skeleton instead of anything truly frightening. However, if you and your friends or coworkers will be attending and you want to make a safe, fun environment for your older kids and teenagers, go ahead and try to scare them!
DIY Haunted House Set-Up
Setting up a haunted house attraction is a lot of fun, but it’s also a lot of work, which is why it’s important to start planning early. A convincing haunted house has a lot of aspects, but with the right planning, you can put on a convincing show without a lot of stress or money spent.
Draping black curtains goes a long way toward making a setting dark, especially when decorated with fake spider webs. If you’re on a budget, sheets or even towels will do just as well, if you have them. You can curtain off “forbidden” areas and shepherd people along planned paths. Don’t forget to cover the walls, windows, and even the ceilings for the complete effect. If your scary tour goes through your yard, bring the curtains outside by building frames with PVC pipe.
Fog machines are a must for a successful haunted house. Be careful, though, with how much fog you pump into an unventilated area. Too much smoke will obscure vision and make it more difficult to breathe- you don’t want to create a safety hazard.
Black Lights-Illuminate your walking paths and make sure that no tripping hazards are obscured by the fog. The freaky effect of the light on eyes and teeth can add to the effect, as well as the use of black light paint and props
There are haunted house soundtracks available to play over the course of the walk through. These often feature screams, howls, and creaks and can be accentuated by long periods of silence that will get your heart racing in anticipation. For younger children, perhaps a soundtrack of Halloween favorite songs would be better, like “Monster Mash” and “Thriller.”
The most fun part of running a haunted house is getting to dress up and scare your guests! For older crowds, try putting on a mask and jumping out at random points. Even creepier is to dress as the Grim Reaper and slip into a crowd of guests silently. For younger children, try a friendly scarecrow or a fuzzy werewolf to guide them through the spectacles.
A DIY Haunted House is a great tradition for Halloween, or just for a random spook. They can be utilized at fundraising events, fairs, and of course, just for fun. Do you have any go-to haunted house creation strategies? Share your tips for planning and making a DIY haunted house in the comments below.