Halloween is upon us, and as you drink your mulled cider and think about what you’re going to do for this year’s pumpkin-carving project, you decide that you’re not going to stop at the pumpkin carving, oh no. This year, this year you’re going to turn your home into such a chilling, bleak haunted house that even Ryan Murphy would stand up and take notice.
The Witching Hour (Or Month)
Halloween is a holiday that applauds the macabre and bizarre. It’s the one time of year where you can leave the dust-sprinkled cobwebs in the leaves and the dried leaves strewn across the lawn without the HOA going berserk.
It’s your chance to decorate your house in the style of a funeral parlor or vampire’s lair. Do you like the design aesthetic of Tim Burton? You can make your house and property look like it was taken right out of Sleepy Hollow. That’s the fun of Halloween: you can make things as silly or as frightening-looking as you want, and it all works. Let’s look at some ways you can bring the witching spirit into your home.
When you initially think about hanging a paper garland, you’re probably taken back to your second-grade classroom where you made crudely shaped jack-o lanterns out of crepe paper. This isn’t that type of paper garland. Make a garland featuring demonic spirits or revealing witches following an easy-to-use template. While you can use crepe paper, I suggest you go with cardstock or scrapbook paper. Both come in a variety of textures, colors, and prints and offer a more long-lasting statement.
It’s easier to decorate your space for Halloween with items you already have around the house. If you collect glass votives or apothecary jars, you can use these décor items as part of a display for a potions chamber or specimen collection.
You don’t want to keep all of the ghoulish fun to yourself, you’ll want your neighbors to get in on the Halloween festivities too! To achieve this goal, cut out silhouettes of ghouls and goblins from large sheets of black construction paper and paste them to your windows. At night when your house is illuminated, these paper creatures will stand out as large, dark ominous beings against the brightness of your house and send a chill down the spines of passersby.
Part of what makes a house feel safe or spooky is its lighting. A well-lit house tells you there is no mischief or sinister specter waiting in the shadows to grab you. A dimly lit house with cobwebbed chandeliers amber light-bulbed ceiling lights and bat-infested shades will put your Halloween party guests ill at ease and make them believe again that that is more than a shadow in the corner, something is lurking…
One of the best (and most competitive) family traditions at Halloween is the pumpkin carving. Some people use stencils and carefully trace what they’re going to do on the pumpkin. Other people do it freehand and just go crazy—much like Mike Meyers does in many of his Halloween sequels. No matter how you choose to carve your pumpkin or with what type of scene, what really matters is how you display the pumpkins, be they on your front porch or in the foyer.
It is best to display your pumpkins at different levels. This will make the space (indoor or outdoor) more dynamic and give you plenty of opportunity to carve more than a couple of pumpkins!
Now take a walk around your home and envision it at its spookiest. Make a list of supplies, grab a friend, and go all in this Halloween!