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7 Ghoulishly Good Tips for Creating a Haunted House on a Budget




Who doesn’t love a good scare? Even though our hearts race, our breath quickens, and we scream uncontrollably, it’s still fun to be scared. This is probably why so many people get into the Halloween spirit each year, even despite the cost of costumes, candy and decor — all for just one day.

The average fan of Halloween will spend:

  • $26.52 on Halloween costumes
  • $21.05 on Halloween candy
  • $19.79 on Halloween decoration

Add all the people doing all that spending and you’ve got a total of $7 billion dropped in the bucket every Halloween (according to the National Retail Federation).

Does this mean you need to spend thousands on your home haunted house? Absolutely not. You can still have a scary good time without breaking the bank. Consider these easy ways to create your own haunted house on a budget.

1. Dig through your junk.

Your front yard or porch area will be your canvas. To set the spooky stage, you’ll first want to poke around your own junk. This would be all the stuff you’ve got stored in boxes in your garage and closets. Surely you can find enough old clothes to stuff for a scarecrow. For a head, consider a carved pumpkin. You could even use an old stuffed animal for a mutant crossbreed scarecrow. Other items like old furniture, pieces of fence, auto parts and/or lumber scraps can be used to create a creepy atmosphere.

2. Switch lightbulbs.

Swap your front porch white light bulb for a red bulb — it’s inexpensive and extremely garish. You can also plant small spotlights on your lawn to cast shadows from trees and any objects you might have hanging from the branches.

3. Add sound effects.

There a many resources online where you can download Halloween-type sound effects. You can set up speakers in front window and offer up a running loop of thunder strikes, moans, groans and howls.

4. Create a graveyard.

Any yard can be a graveyard with a little imagination. Tombstones can be bought already made or you can carve your own out of Styrofoam sheets you can pick up from any art supply store. A little grey paint, speckled it with black and stenciled names and you’re good to go. Consider adding some top soil in front of the marker to give it that “freshly dug” appearance.

5. Hang some ghosts.

We all know that a white sheet with a couple of strategically placed holes make for a swell ghost outfit. Wrap a sheet around a soccer ball to hang from your tree or porch. Use branches to extend the arms and tatter up the ends. For extra gore, splatter with red food coloring.

6. Incorporate scares galore.

Take one of your scarecrows you made from your old clothes and dress up a friend in a duplicate outfit. Use an old pillowcase over the heads of both and set them side by side. When trick or treaters walk up to your house, your friend can leap up and scare everyone. Priceless.

7. Get ready for next year.

The best time to buy Halloween decorations is the day after Halloween. Everything will be on sale at half price. Go nuts and stock up for next year.

What have you used for your haunted house? When you’ve got your haunted house complete, snap a photo and send it our way. We’ll be happy to share the scare!

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