December 10, 2023


Carefully Crafted Home

25 Scary DIY Haunted House Ideas

haunted house ideas

Brian Woodcock for Country Living/ Danielle Ochiogrosso

Halloween isn’t as far as you may think. It’s never too late to start planning your Halloween party or brainstorming creative pumpkin carving ideas or spooky DIY crafts to enjoy with the family (we’re loving the spider string lights and spider web hoops). While you can always deck out your home in creepy All Hallows’ Eve decor, another engaging idea is to transform the entire space into a haunted house. With one of these scary haunted house ideas, create the perfect trick-or-treating experience for kids and adults alike.

These eerie ideas are ones your neighbors will appreciate — especially if they’re lovers of the boogeyman’s holiday. We’ve rounded up these mysterious, frightening and silly spine-chilling decorations and home decor crafts to make your haunted house the spookiest one on the block — and maybe even in the whole community. Think easy-to-make (or buy) skull lanterns, ghostly figures with pumpkin heads, eyeball balloons that float down the halls, and rotting fruit and candy urns full of delicious yet blood-inspired drinks.

And if you want even more ideas for October 31, watch one of these popular Halloween movies or wear one of these family, group, couples or Disney-inspired costumes.

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DIY these paper lanterns to hang on the ceiling as trick-or-treaters enter the house. Use LED bulbs to keep everything from overheating.


Get the tutorial »

Create mini ghosts using paper honeycombs. DIY the faces with a black Sharpie and place your mini creatures on the floor throughout the space.


As guests walk past the staircase or climb up the stairs, have them admire the paper bats scattered throughout the banister.


Scoop the contents out of your mini pumpkins to add tealights inside. Use pipe cleaners as bug legs before sprinkling the spider-like creations around the house.


After carving your jack-o’-lantern, attach it to the top of a dressmaker’s dummy. Place your specter at the entrance to give everyone a fright before they walk through the rest of the blood-curling decorations that await them further inside.


Add a bunch of treats to individual bags, then wrap them up and place them in candy urns for trick-or-treaters to grab on the way to your haunted house or when they leave.


There’s something about a red door and a sign that reads, “Keep Out,” that makes people want to enter. Cover the door with cobwebs and secure them with masking tape. Paint words of warning on two slats of cardboard before taping them to the door.


Witch Broom Door Decorations

Prepare kid-friendly party punch even adults will enjoy. Pour it into a cauldron and dress the sides with paper flames. To get a smokey effect, throw in some dry ice.


After downloading this bat stencil and tracing the shapes, cut them out and place them atop each critter made. Use a bone folder to create creases along the stencil’s dotted lines. Make the wings 3D by folding the creases opposite ways before attaching the bats to a long string using tiny black clothespins.

Have your friends DIY their own creepy costumes and place them as one of the main attractions for the night. They’ll drink from bubbly witch cauldrons and eat delectable yet bloody-themed pastries.


Jack O’ Lantern Display

You don’t have to be an expert in pumpkin carving to DIY this display. Pencil your letters onto hollowed pumpkins, then use a drill to create holes that form each letter. Christmas-tree lights will illuminate each pumpkin.


Skeletons are essential when it comes to this holiday. Place them out front, in the backyard and inside to give everyone who walks through a ribtastic time (get it?).


While you can have full skeletons featured throughout the space, include some skulls in different areas as well. If you want to give them a more gruesome look, paint them in red or black for an eerie twist.


Make the eyes of this funny-faced monster by painting black circles on two 8-inch foam half balls. Use black construction paper for the eyelashes and eyebrows, then cut two 16-inch squares of faux fur and hot-glue each around a 12-inch foam wreath. Glue the eyeballs in the center and frame the door with strips of fur using tacks of hem tape. Hang the eyes and tack or hem the eyebrows in place. Foam cones can be used for the teeth.

Instead of putting your warning on the front door, frighten them with an array of tombstones scattered throughout the lawn.



Dried Flowers and Rotting Fruit

Briefly get rid of your family photos and replace them with cut-out silhouettes of Halloween’s scariest villains (think the Grim Reaper and Frankenstein). Dress up your mantel or hang them on the walls.

Turn regular white lanterns into skull decorations by cutting out faces using black paper. Your lights will truly be one of the stars of the house’s design.


Fruit isn’t just fruit when it comes to Halloween. Add googly eyes to your produce and arrange them on a table where they’ll easily be seen.


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