There are some key elements of a haunted house, Witkowski says. "If you're planning a Halloween party, you want to have a 'boo-ffet' table. We have tarantula tacos. You can make the tarantulas with licorice, and the eyeballs are nothing more than macadamia nuts with blueberries."
What about blood? "Anybody who is going as a Dracula or a vampire needs blood. You make it by using corn syrup and food coloring. The secret ingredient to give it the red color is a few drops of blue food coloring. It gives it the crimson color."
The effect of spider webs is easy to create, says Witkowski. You can buy web-like material, a synthetic fiber, at stores like Target for about $1.99.
For eerie sounds in your haunted house, Witkowski suggests a trip to the library or music store for a CD. But better still, he suggests you record it yourself: "You can make your own scary effects by screaming with your family and giving shrills, shrieks. It's easy. Adds great illusion."
What about tombstones? Use a chunk of Styrofoam, suggests Witkowski. Paint it black with a bit of gray to give it that granite feel. For dirt, he uses crushed Oreo cookies, removing the center filling, and throws in some Gummy Worms.
For a coffin, he uses five cardboard filing boxes placed end to end, with two bathroom tissue rolls for handles. Add a dummy with a scary mask inside, and voila: You've got a scary scene set for a happy Halloween.
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