Create a Haunted House

Create a Haunted House

You'll Need

Haunted How-To: Creating a Haunted House With Your Kids

Create a Haunted House

A low moan comes from the corner ahead. Your heart races as you fumble through the dark room, but the sounds of rattling chains and screaming from behind you push you forward. Spider webs reach out to grab you, trying to slow your progress. You catch glimpses of ghosts and ghouls but fear keeps you from looking closer. Despite your terror, you start to laugh. Your kids did a great job turning their playroom into a haunted house.

This Halloween, help your kids bring nightmares to life by building a haunted house together. All you need is a little creativity, some spooky ambiance and a few petrifying props.

Select a Space

Haunted houses are thrilling to visit, but you don’t want to live in one. You probably can’t dedicate your entire home toward the haunted house transformation with your kids, so select just one area. Empty garages, spare bedrooms, hallways or playrooms are perfect choices for creating spooky spaces.

To create a dramatic entrance to your haunted house, pick up a roll of black plastic sheeting from Home Depot for around $20. Kids can cut the plastic into strips, stopping two to three inches from the top. Then, hang the plastic from the doorframe so visitors can walk through it. You can also hang clear fishing line or string from the doorframe. You won’t be able see it, but it will feel like spider webs when you walk through it.

Set the Mood

A brightly lit haunted house full of comforting nature sounds and pop music wouldn’t be very convincing, or fun. To really sell the scare, you need to set the mood with spooky lighting and creepy sounds. Unscrew those 60-watt bulbs and replace them with colored lights in blue and red. You can also use roller shades to darken the room and make a scary decoration. Choose roller shades in black or another dark color (these can be found at retailers like Just Blinds). Then, have your kids draw or trace ghost shapes onto thin, white tissue or craft paper and cut them out. Coat the back of the ghosts with spray adhesive and apply them to the roller shades. Now your window treatments do double duty by shutting out the light while welcoming spooky visitors to your haunted house.

To amp up the scary mood, play the Haunted House 101 playlist from Spotify. It includes creepy sounds such as creaky doors, heartbeats, screaming and ratting chains that will have older children shaking and quaking. For younger children, fun Halloween tunes such as Thriller and Purple People Eater are available on the Kidz Bop Halloween Hits CD at Amazon for $7.99.

Create Scary Props

Props will take your haunted house from slightly spooky to truly terrifying. You could head to the party supply store and empty your wallet on lackluster decorations, or you could create some show stoppers on your own. Start by loading in some old furniture, covered in tarps and cobwebs. Create haunted visitors by covering wig forms, which are available on Amazon for under $7, with strips of cheesecloth dipped in liquid starch. Once the starch dries and hardens, hang your ghost from the ceiling with fishing line.

For less wispy haunted occupants, stuff old clothing or costumes with newspaper and top with plastic Halloween masks. You can also make a bubbling cauldron by filling a black plastic cauldron, available at Party City for under $8, with cotton batting with red or orange glow sticks tucked inside.

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