Creating the “Spookiest” Haunted House

Halloween is right around the corner, but not everything has to be super scary in order to be fun! Here’s our guide to creating a spooky haunted house that is kid-approved and just the right amount of creepy for your kids to have fun this season.

Carve pumpkins

Whether you carve real pumpkins or you opt for fake pumpkins, you can’t go wrong with using jack-o-lanterns to set the mood. The more lanterns and candles (even battery-operated) you use, the more spooky lighting you can have to decorate your haunted house! We suggest purchasing plastic or foam jack-o-lanterns from your local craft store and getting the kids involved. You can find this for an affordable price and carve as many as you want to use them to decorate the whole house.

Orange string lights and blacklights

In addition to using jack-o-lanterns to set the scene of spooky lighting, you can use orange string lights throughout your house. String these on the wall, mantel, staircase, doorway, and other areas to help give your haunted house an orange-y glow. You can also replace the light bulbs of other light fixtures with black-lights to add some purple spookiness. 

Spooky playlist

Look up a spooky Halloween playlist on Spotify or YouTube to really set the mood. This can be as scary as you want it to be, so if you want more playful tunes for younger kids or more scary tunes for older kids, you can customize the background music to fit the age of your haunted house participants.

Face painting

Get your kids involved by painting their faces like spooky monsters! Whether they want to be zombies, pirates, witches, werewolves, or even Frankenstein, your kids will feel spooky and just scary enough to get in on the haunted house fun.

DIY trash bag ghosts

Fill large white garbage bags with leaves from your yard and use a black permanent marker to draw ghost faces on them. If you want to make it a little spookier, opt for scary ghost faces and hang the leaf-filled bags from a tree in your front or back yard!

Tattered curtains

You can create your own tattered haunted house curtains very easily! Purchase cheesecloth at your local craft store, soak it in black tea, let it dry, and tear it as much as you want to give it a tattered, old look. You can even add some fake spiderwebs and plastic spiders and bugs here and there (as well as around your house) to make it look really spooky.

DIY graveyard

Using Styrofoam and plastic bones, you can create your own graveyard. The gravestones made of Styrofoam can have silly sayings on them like those at Disney’s Haunted Mansion attraction, or they can be a bit spookier if you expect to have older kids at your haunted house. Scatter the fake bones throughout your yard for an even creepier effect.

Haunted scavenger hunt

Turn your house or yard into a haunted scavenger hunt. Hide smaller items like plastic spiders and eyeballs or even larger items like witch hats and skeletons or bones all around your property. Give the kids a list of all the items hidden around the house and give the winner a fun prize — it can be as simple as extra candy!

This post is intended for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional advice. The point of view and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of Realty Executives International. This post was written by Bailee Abell. Bailee Abell is a writer born and raised in California. A graduate of University of California, Santa Barbara, she loves reading classic literature, sipping warm beverages, and visiting theme parks every chance she gets. Find her at

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