Thursday, January 15, 2009

Haunting Necessities

Creating the proper haunted atmosphere requires a few haunting neccessities. Don't panic! It doesn't need to be expensive, in fact, you can use things you already have or can get for just a few bucks. Here's the run-down:

Candles -

Nothing sets the haunt mood better than flickering lights. You probably have at least a few lying around but if not hit the local dollar store. Creep them out with drips down the sides by burning them down or adding your own drips with hot glue.

If you're on a tight budget don't bother with candle sticks. You can gather several pillar candles on a large heat safe plate.

Remember you have to keep an eye on open flames or your haunt could end up a pile of ash. If you prefer a more carefree approach try Christmas candlesticks or the new battery operated flicker candles. (Hint: the seasonal versions of these go on clearance after the holidays.)

Webbing -

Your house just isn't haunted without webs and they are a basic staple of most Halloween themes from the haunted mansion, to the dungeon to the laboratory.

Bag-o-webs (as we like to call them) are really inexpensive, especially if you pick them up on clearance. They're a bit of a mess to work with but they are the quick and cheap in the world of webs. (Watch for our upcoming tutorial on how to use these in your haunt.)

Hot glue is another option for webbing. Simply build webs or make strings of glue hang down from overhead to give the illusion of webbing. A bit more time consuming and costly than our previous option but it works.

More haunters are opting for beef netting (shown above) which creates a unique and truly creepy display. Easy to use (simply hang, cut and pull) but the most pricy of our options.

No matter which you choose spiders are optional. Afterall, it's obvious there are spiders in the area since you have all those webs!

Music/Sound -

Most would agree that this is a very important component to your haunted display and there are no shortage of options. The obvious solutions includes one of the many CDs available (some of our faves include Nox Arcana, Midnight Syndicate and Virgil Franklin) or you can download your own compilation of tunes and sounds to your MP3 player.

If you're short on time or cash use someone else's Halloween playlist and pipe it through your computer. Here's a few we found on

Also consider spooky sounds CDs or pop in a horror flick you grabbed from the bargain bin or RedBox.

Other considertions -

Turn off your overhead lights and put black light bulbs in your lamps and exterior lights.
Throw some glow sticks or Christmas string lights in a cauldron or urn to cast an eerie glow.
Drap a semi sheer, light weight cloth over your lamps (use a low watt bulb for safety).
Be lazy. Let the dust gather, the grass grow and the leaves pile up for a deserted look.
Buy moss in the bag from your local craft store and drape it in your trees.
Add a wind chime for a haunting sound. (Grab it at the end of the season on clearance.)

This will get you started but you don't have to stop here! Consider this your base and build on it to your wicked heart's content.


  1. Remember the most important place to shop: Your local Goodwill or other second-hand donation-type store! I went the other day and picked up these items:
    Wig: $1.25
    Various glass candle holders (one a cool hurricane lamp): $2.50-$4.50.
    Choir robe in black: $4.00.
    Two pairs of eyeglasses: .99 each.
    Two silver plated HEAVY scrolled candlesticks $8.49 each.
    One new box of 10 candles of various sizes: $8.00.
    And a few other tasty items. If you're lucky and patient, you can sometimes get vintage Halloween stuff.
    I do so love a good deal!

  2. We couldn't agree more! We live and breathe thrift stores and yard sales (oh, and ebay).

    You scored! (and we are jealous) Nothing like a good deal to make haunting all the more fun.

    (We have an blog coming up on just this very topic in the next few days.)


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