A House Of Horrors Is Within Reach

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If you want to scare up some fun for Halloween, you can get into the spirit of things by transforming your home into a house of horrors. Dan Witkowski, the author of How To Haunt A House explained to CBS News Early Show Bryant Gumbel how to do it.

Witkowski uses some of the same tactics that he used as a child when he terrorized his sisters.

To make a gravestone, Witkowski recommends using installation foam, which can be cut into shape with a sharp knife.

Of course, he urges people to practice safety.

"When you paint it, basically mix together white paint, black paint, layer it on, and mix it together. It gives it that textured granite look," said Witkowski. Then carve in the epitaph, or paint it on with a felt tip pen.

Create a spooky special effect by using dry ice in a pitcher of water to make Dr. Jekyll's Potion.

"Dry ice creates that wonderfully bubbly effect," says Witkowski. Add vinegar, a little bit of green food coloring and a touch of baking powder to the pitcher. (It's important to wear safety mitts when handling the dry ice, and it's not a good idea to drink the potion.)

Witkowski's Do's and Don'ts:

  • Safety is the key.
  • Make sure that you're using common sense
  • Keep electrical cords away from everything
  • And don't use open flames
"Using candles is a real big mistake at Halloween time," said Witkowski. "However mysterious you think candles look, don't use candles. Use flashlights and flicker-flame bulbs."

One harmless gross effect is to display a "bowl of delicious dirt" -- (crumbled Oreo cookies with gummy worms, a candy).

"You want things to look spooky but not scare people," says Witkowski.