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5 Must Haves for Your Haunted House

jack o lantern pumpkin halloween
(credit: istockphoto)

(credit: istockphoto)

Many will hang up the dead, let out the critters, and pull out their best to scare the fearless ghouls and boils that dare to come out at night on Halloween. And there's no better way to do this than to set up a haunted house. Even if you don't bust out the smoke machine, there are still some great ways to create a scary haunted house this Halloween!

(credit: Thinkstock)

Horrifying Decorations

Forget the silly witch cutouts your teachers hung up back in grade school – it's time to step up your game. This Halloween, don't be afraid to pull out all the stops for the creepiest decorations. Go with a theme or mix up randomly, but be sure to use your space to your advantage. Include ghost-like apparitions, zombie heads, life-like dummies and rabid animals in your haunted house. You don't need to employ anamatronics to feel legit. Instead, put your imagination to work and create a custom scary setup.

(credit: Thinkstock)


Most importantly, you want to designate a path for visitors to walk along, or through, under or around – it's up to you.  Create a path by using walls, sheets, a lit pathway, or use your landscape to create the path for you. It is key to include a route so that your guests don't feel lost, and it allows you to control the experience of the haunted house. Get creative and be sure you don't leave this step out.

(credit: Thinkstock)


No haunted house is complete without some real-life haunters. Recruit friends, neighbors, relatives and even kids to scare your guests as they meander through your spooky world. Hide them out in obvious or hidden areas. However, beware the personal boundaries of the visitors, as physical contact such as grabbing, holding, or pushing are off limits! Don't let that detour you though, as scaring is essential to the experience of the haunted house, so be sure to include this feature in your Halloween thrills.

halloween scary clown
(credit: nito/shutterstock)


We may never fully understand the rationality behind the fear of clowns, but there is no denying that clowns are creepy! An unintended side effect of what should otherwise be a pleasant character, fear seems to be commonly associated with clowns, no matter how happy we try to make them. Clowns are regulars on the haunted house scene, so use their spook factor to your advantage this Halloween. In any way, shape or form you can manage, be sure to include clowns – because they are scary!

old piano
(credit: Shaseavoice/shutterstock)


Humans have a unique affair with music, especially when it comes to mood. So to set off the spooky mood for your haunted house this Halloween, please don't stop the music! From creepy sound effects to voice acting, music adds that necessary component to any haunted house. Pandora has great options for Halloween worthy stations, including familiar dance tracks and creepy movie scores. Or mix up your own tunes for a custom list. Hide a boom box, MP3 player dock, or other music player in a conspicuous spot and immerse your guests in the auditory sensation of ultimate fear.

Michelle Perez is a freelance writer staying on the pulse of all that's new and exciting. Her work can be found on


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