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Create a Halloween Yard Haunt

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Create a Halloween Yard Haunt

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Overview

Making a haunted yard for Halloween is a great way to decorate your home for the holiday. If you're having a party or want to give trick-or-treaters a special treat, a haunted yard walk will be enjoyed and appreciated by all your guests who visit on this ghostly night. Come up with a great theme, such as "haunted forest," "cannibal alien invasion," or "deserted carnival." Anything you find particularly frightening will do, and use your imagination to create that world in your own back (or front) yard.

Step 1

Make a diagram of your yard on graph paper to plan your yard haunt. Mark where there are trees, bushes or structures. Map out a path that will lead people through the yard. Then begin thinking of ideas for what they will meet along the path, and make a note of them.

Step 2

Clean your yard and clear it of unnecessary items or debris. Prune back bushes or trees that are obscuring passage. Clear the path that visitors will take, making sure to fix loose stones or protruding roots.

Step 3

Create the featured figures or scenes for viewing along your path. Begin to set them up so that they are sturdy and won't fall down or blow over. Use stakes, ropes or hooks to secure them.

Step 4

Decorate around your main figures and scenes with props. Look for interesting items in junk stores or at garage sales. A little paint, some slime, spider webs or scrap fabrics can go a long way in setting the scene.

Step 5

Add some decorations to block anyplace the path might branch. A sign stuck in the dirt or nailed to a tree, a cluster of pumpkins, or roping off the area will help lead your guests down the path the way you want them to go.

Step 6

Design your lighting to illuminate your decorations and featured areas, as well as light the path in darker places. Vary the lighting for special effects. You might use strobe in some places, spotlights in others and low lights for an eerie glow in other areas.

Step 7

Hide your light sources behind bushes, trees, or place them on top of structures shining down. Tape down your wires well.

Step 8

Add sounds effects or spooky music to set the mood. Hide speakers or sound machines out of sight.

Step 9

Consider finishing touches, such as a fog machine or dry ice. Perhaps you or a friend can dress up and stand among your figures, then turn and give visitors an unexpected fright.

Step 10

Walk through your yard haunt a few nights before Halloween to check the effect and make adjustments as necessary.

Tips and Warnings

  • Safety first! Make sure all lights, wiring and electronics you use are suitable for outdoor use. Beware of candles and keep them far from flammable materials or where guests might walk. Use fog machines or dry ice only as directed.

Things You'll Need

  • Graph paper
  • Pencils
  • Halloween decorations
  • Props
  • Lighting
  • Extension cords
  • Spooky Halloween sound effects
  • Sound system
  • Speakers
  • Fog machine or dry ice

References

  • "How To" Halloween
  • The Yard Haunter
Keywords: how to make a Halloween yard haunt, decorate a spooky haunted yard, Halloween outdoor decorating ideas

About this Author

Mackenzie Wright has been freelancing since 2002 in the realms of writing, painting, photography, crafts and teaching the arts. Her writing has been featured in publications such as the "Saint Petersburg Times," "South Florida Parenting Magazine" and "Home Education Magazine." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and education.