(StatePoint) Americans spent close to $8 billion on Halloween last year, according to the National Retail Federation. With scary celebrations getting bigger every year, becoming the best-decorated house on the block may seem difficult -- but it’s easy if you have insider tips and tricks.
“Giving your home a spooky look for Halloween can make or break your trick-or-treaters’ night,” says Larry Kirchner, publisher of Hauntworld.com and owner and operator of the world’s number-one rated haunted house, “The Darkness”.
Kirchner, who has been building and operating Halloween amusement attractions for 25 years, has some tips for turning your home into a spooky haunted house:
• Create a cemetery: “Haunting" your yard sets the tone for your whole haunted house. One of the easiest, most fun, yet eeriest things you can do is turn the space into a graveyard. Let your grass grow long, add a gothic fence and a zombie or two popping up through the ground and make your own tombstone or coffin to complete the look.
Start by getting pink or blue foam from the hardware store. Cut the foam into the shape of a tombstone and then coat it with light plaster, thin concrete or other textured material found at the hardware or art supply store. Finally, paint it gray, and use a hotwire knife to carve in RIP and a name.
To make a coffin, use 1x6 pine boards and 2x2s nailed together into a box. Paint the outside and then get creative with your theme. For a Victorian vampire style coffin, line the interior with velvet curtains. For a deserted Old West theme, use jute or burlap on the inside.
• Spin cobwebs: Achieve that old, abandoned, dusty look inside, or create creepiness outside, by spinning your own cobwebs. Most haunted house supply websites sell cobweb glue guns that use air to spray thin strands of glue. You can create any size cobweb over fake birds, china cabinets or even trees.
• Creepify your windows: Add a red light to the bottom of the windows, and hang torn black curtains to make the windows look creepy when they`re lit. Hang boards across the outside to give the house an abandoned look.
• Add eerie effects: Play spooky sounds on a stereo outside or through open windows. You can find great Halloween soundtracks online. For a dramatic effect, use a fog machine to make the house look otherworldly. You can rent or purchase fog machines at most party stores.
• Break out some black birds: Dollar stores often sell black birds, which you can make frightening by gluing scraps of gray fabric to their feathers and buttons over their eyes. Hang them in the yard or throughout the house with black gauze or spider webs from the party store.
This Halloween, get spookily creative. Go beyond a simple Jack-O-Lantern and haunt your whole house.
For more inspiration on Halloween decorations or haunted houses, visit www.HauntWorld.com.