The Ultimate DIY Haunted House

Making your own haunted house right in your own home isn’t as difficult as it sounds, especially if it is designed for children. It is possible to create one in any location like your backyard, basement or garage. A variety of decorations and special effects can be created to match any spooky theme, and be done on nearly any budget. Old articles of clothing and materials, or old bottles and containers can be recycled and used to create a spooky home-crafted attraction. Use lighting and music to create a terrifying atmosphere.


The most important thing to remember when designing your haunted house is that you are essentially creating a maze. You want as many twists and turns as possible, because each turn represents a new “spooky surprise” for the kids. Think about the space you’re going to work with as you make plans.

Will the haunted house start outside?

How many rooms will you use?

How many people can fit in the rooms?

How will people enter and exit?


Cover your furniture with white sheets, for an abandoned appearance.

Drape mirrors with cheesecloth.

Paint witches or hanging figures on window shades. Backlit, and seen from the outside, they are a sign of more scares to come!

If there are areas of the house that will be off-limits, mark them as such with police tape.

For extra scares, have a CD player emitting screams, sighs, and moans from the cloistered area.


Have enough light so people can see and walk safely, but keep it spooky!

Cover your windows with black sheets or plastic bags to keep out all outside light.

Randomly flickering lights are the best. Use strobe lights or black bulbs for an eerier glow.

Change your lights to colored bulbs; use orange or purple for Halloween flavor.

Add sound effects with a Haunted House Soundtrack.


Tape dark sheets to the walls, to alter their normal appearance. Decorate the sheets with ghosts or tombstones painted with glow-in-the-dark paint.

If possible, have people stand behind curtains or sheets lining the walls. They can make noises to startle people as they walk by.

To create new passageways and walls, buy PVC framework from a supply store like Home Depot or Lowe’s. Drape it with plastic sheeting or cloth and you’ve got new walls. Or hang ropes from wall to wall and drape them with sheets.


Skeletons, ghosts, bats, rats, spiders: use props to create the right atmosphere.

Set up a graveyard that visitors must stroll past to enter the haunted house.

You can also make fake hands by filling surgical gloves with sand.

Use styrofoam heads from beauty supply stores to create disembodied victims.

Decorate with skeletons, fake cobwebs, spiders, bats and rats. Make bats out of black construction paper and hang them from the ceiling.

Ghosts can be made by with a styrofoam ball, fishing line, and old white sheets.

Take fishbowls or other clear bowls and fill them with gory delights. In the dark, cold spaghetti can be intestines. A bowl of peeled grapes are a witch’s supply of eyes. Pumpkin flesh can be a rotting zombie brain.

Put plastic brains or other organs in clear jars, then add colored water for a mad scientist’s specimen.

Make a smoking cauldron with dry ice inside a black pot. Just add water and let the smoke pour out.

If you like, use a fog machine for a spooky atmosphere. You can even make your own fog machine.

Decorating tips and decorations from


You’ll need a location, someplace well lit where photography is encouraged. Preferably the photo op should be clearly pointed out and feature your name, like “Jack’s Torture Chamber- Halloween 2012.”

Popular photo ops include anything the guests can get into, like caskets, electric chairs, stocks, grave yards, etc. A souvenir like that gets shown to friends, posted on the internet, and serves as a reminder in coming years of your haunt.


Decorate your food area too. If you have a bar with bottles on display, mix specimen jars between them. Get a brain jello mold and make salmon pate in it to really look like brains. Add red food coloring to drinks at the blood bar.

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Author: erinpruitt

I believe the best stuff is passed along. I will be sharing insider "tips" for your home, and fun ideas for your free time.


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