Where I grew up there was no such thing as Halloween. I would read about it in the old Archie comics (what has happened to Archie?) and wish that I lived in America where I could eat Twinkies (also in the Archie comics) and go trick or treating. Now Halloween has become something of a worldwide phenomenon and I can indulge in all sorts of creepy fun.
The thing is, preparing your house for Halloween, and investing in a ton of goodies, can become quite expensive. I would love to have a house of horrors but I honestly can’t afford it. It is times like these I wish I was as rich as Brangelina. Oh, the Halloween parties they must have!
So, I decided to do the next best thing. Find out how to create the ultimate haunted house on a budget. This year you too can have a creeptastic Halloween party for kids and adults that will amaze everything but cost you very little.
Coloured lightbulbs are a complete and utter win. You can find a rather impressive range at Lyco ranging from as little as 65p per bulb, or you can spend a bit more for 18 colour changing bulbs at Argos but you’ll get a lot of bang for your buck.
If you don’t want to spend time sticking lightbulbs in everywhere, why not drag out your old torches and place them strategically around the house. If they are your only source of light then they can really add something shivery to your atmosphere.
Music is essential. Don’t fork out a fortune on Halloween CDs or cassettes, just use Youtube videos. You’ll be amazed at how many variations you can find, some of them are actually quite terrifying. If your PC is linked up to your sound system then copy these into an eternal loop and leave them to play around the house. Just listening to them now is giving me the shivers!
Oh, and if you do use Youtube, why not hitch your PC up to a projector (or your TV) so that the creepy images play at the same time as the music. Also consider running old horror films in the background – black and white are better because they are more atmospheric than colour movies.
Cover those walls up with black plastic bags. Remember, your house is going to be quite dark or lit in all sorts of strange colours, so the bags will add a completely shudderific level of detail. Their textures and noises will make for some interesting reactions. Just make sure you stick them on cleverly so you don’t ruin your paintwork!
Woolly webs work wonders. They really do. The spray on web-in-a-can stuff does work but it can cost quite a bit more than a cheap ball of wool. Just string it up and watch them shiver. Alternatively, if you really don’t like that idea and love spraying stuff about, visit Otherland for a gigantic spiderweb. Shudder.
If some of your friends are more adventurous and fun, why not rope them in as extras. Get them to drape themselves in black or white sheets and roam the hallways as people arrive. Or have them dress up in their Halloween costumes and roam the hallways. You get a terrifying cast of extras for free!
Transform your doorways into otherworldly portals. Do this with black garbage bags cut into strips to create a shivery effect, or invest in a giant spider web like the one above and hang it over the main entrance. Another fab idea is to get a bunch of plastic bugs (which can be re-used over and over again AND can entertain the kids) for as little as 85p for a pack of six from Silly Jokes, tie string to them, and hang them all over the house.
If your guests aren’t twitching and scratching obsessively by the time they go home, then they are tougher than tough.
Depending on your budget you can always splurge on a skeleton, severed head (or foot), terrifying zombie and more. Shops like Oct31 and The Laughing Stock (be warned when you open that site!) have impressive ranges of stuff to choose from, but they can be quite pricey.
Last year we made a monster’s den. It is utterly simple, cheap as chips, and lots of fun. Grab some PVC piping or some wood, create a cage, throw in some straw, pop the husband in there and, voila!, you have a monster’s den. A good one is to hide something in the straw that pops up if someone puts their hand in, but that is also quite expensive.
Hopefully these ideas have set you well on your way to setting your haunted imagination free and creating an epic haunted house for practically nothing at all.