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How To Turn Your Home Into A Haunted House

Halloween was once believed to be the day that recently passed spirits would return to the living for one last goodbye before moving on to the next world. Traced back as far as 1745, many of the customs from years ago are still what we practice in modern times. With Gaelic origins, the turnip was the original jack-o-lantern brought over to the United States in the late 19th century when a large immigration population of Irish and Scottish came over. It was said that the light would keep evil spirits away and guide new souls on their way to the next life. Although the majority of us may no longer believe in ghost stories, you can still get into the spirit with these easy DIY decorations that our ancestors have been doing for years as well as a few new tricks to make this Halloween a treat!
Bloody Candle

Buy a few white pillar candles and a single deep red long candle. Over wax paper, light the red candle and drip the excess wax over the white candles to create a "bloody" effect. You can buy the candles from a local dollar store for an easy way to make your home spooky at a low cost. No Halloween household is complete without one!

Spooky Potion

For an easy way to make your house look like a wicked dungeon, take a repurposed or new jar, fill it with water, add a few drops of green food coloring and a spooky item of your choosing (i.e. a spider, mouse or brain.) For a bubbling effect use equal parts water and oil, a drop or two of food coloring and an Alka-Seltzer for a bubbly effect. Finally, print or write a spooky phrase on your potion to complete the look. Just be sure to warn your guests that you don't take well to people who eat your "pickled eye balls."

Photo Credit: Thinkstock Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Using cheese cloth, hang the cloth in a corner or doorway and with a pair of scissors cut and shred the cheese cloth into strips to create an authentic cob web. You can rub the ends between your hands for a frayed effect and even glue on fake spiders. These cobwebs will look so authentic that even your local Orkin man will be second guessing.

The Haunted Mirror

Start by finding a cheap frame at your local dollar or craft store. Next, find an eerie black and white photo that will fit your frame of choice. After that, go to your local craft store and purchase Krylon looking glass spray. Next, remove the glass from the frame, clean it and spray the back of the glass with the Krylon spray. Spray a significant amount around the edges with a lighter coat towards the middle. You can always wipe the excess off with a rag if you spray too much. Wait 20 minutes or so for the paint to dry and then place the photo back in the frame and re assemble. Your haunted frame will have guests seeing double all night!

A Bloody Warning

Create a terrifying warning with this easy DIY fake blood. This fake blood can be easily wiped off and will only attract the bravest of trick or treaters. Simply add red food coloring to corn starch and you have yourself the same blood that they use in the movies. I'm sure Hollywood will even let you borrow a quote or two, REDRUM REDRUM.

Wandering Eyes

To ensure that your trick-o-treaters only take one piece of candy from the bowl, try putting a few extra pairs of eyes in the bushes. All you need is a toilet paper roll, scissors, tape and a glow stick for this project. Simply cut out two spooky shaped eyes into the roll with scissors, tape the glow stick inside and place inside your shrubbery for a frightening evil spirits from beyond look. They can run but they can't hide.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock Photo Credit: Thinkstock
Sneaky Silhouette

Convert your house guests into believers with this easy DIY decoration. Using cardboard, cut out a silhouette of your choice, paint it black and hang at the end of a long hallway, behind a shower curtain or behind a tree. You can even cut out handprints and attach to windows with a sheer curtain over it to imply a zombie invasion. Add a warning message with the fake blood and your walking dead fantasies will seem like a reality.

Bloody Pumpkins

For an eerie effect to your standard jack-o-lantern, place a few red crayons atop your pumpkin and apply heat using a blow dryer. The wax will melt over the pumpkin creating a "bloody" effect. It's a great way to use old broken crayons and a simple project that you and the kids can do together. Your neighbors will all be dying to know how you did it.

Child's Play

Using a little white spray paint, spray an old doll from head to toe to create a ghost like effect. Drape some white painter's cloth over furniture and place a few dolls sporadically in the room. Your guests will think they've wandered into a real life nightmare!

Head In A Jar

Not everyone has a good head on their shoulders. Luckily, you happen to have a spare! Using a large jar place an old Halloween mask inside, fill with water followed by a few drops of food coloring and you have yourself a floating head. You can store it in the fridge for your guests who are looking for a treat. Unfortunately for them, you only had tricks on the menu.

Merissa Principe is a teacher and a freelance travel blogger from NYC. Teaching early childhood education has provided Merissa an opportunity to travel all over the world and live in new places. Be sure to follow her at for all things travel, beauty, fashion and New York City.
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