How to Make your Own Haunted House, Part 2: 10 Scary Ideas
by Ellen Ambrose in General / 10.16.08
Yesterday, I showed you how to set the stage for hosting the best haunted house. Now, that you’ve created a frightening environment, learn how to really scare the pants off your visitors.
Here are 10 big scare ideas that are sure to please:
1. If you have a crazed, bloody person with a heavy iron hammer pounding on a board with bloody body parts scattered all around, it creates confusion and it is very scary. Add a strobe light and it gets scarier.
Extra Thick Blood
2. Create complete darkness and have a monster slip into the pathway and gently grab the visitors hand. When they turn around, they will practically have a heart attack.
3. Mount a piece of clear plexiglass and have two scary looking people struggling in a fight behind it. When the visitor walks up, have one of them hit the plexiglass with a hammer creating a very loud, frightening sound and situation. The person will not like it, guaranteed. This one also looks good with a strobe light but it is not required.
4. Create and illusion by covering a corner area in a fabric dot or graphic pattern and add a strobe light and a smoke machine. Then have a person covered in the same dot or graphic print. In the dark, you will not be able to see person as they will blend into pattern with smoke and strobe lights. Have person lunge out at the appropriate time and spray silly string in visitor’s face.
5. Have a grim reaper type person dressed in all black come out of the shadows with a chain saw (with sharp blade removed) and chase the visitor down the path to the next big scare. You can also use a skill saw without the blade to create the same noise effect. Here is one of our favorite Grim Reaper costumes:
Men’s Grim Reaper Halloween Costume
6. Include in your fright house a dead body laying on a slab under a sheet with just his toe (with toe tag on) sticking out. Have the body raise up at the appropriate time.
7. If your garage is big enough, you can leave a car parked in it with the low beam lights on. Shoe polish words like “bloody” and “dead body inside” on the windows and put dry ice in a pot of water inside to create smoke effect. People will look into the car to see what is going on. When they look inside the car, have a person dressed like Freddy Krueger come reeling out from underneath the car on a mechanic’s dolly and grab the persons ankles. Check out this awesome Freddy costume:
Men’s Freddy Krueger Costume - Nightmare on Elm Street
8. Build a cage out of PVC pipe with a very loud, werewolf type in it. Have the cage break away and open right when the visitor passes by.
Mens Werewolf Costume - Full Moon
9. In total darkness, mount different clown masks on the wall with a black light. Have a volunteer dressed in all black wearing a clown mask stand near the wall with clown masks. The darkness and the black light will create the illusion that all the clown masks are mounted on the wall (including person’s mask). Have the person in the real clown mask step out and raise a fake butchers knife at the visitor.
Here’s a list of some of our favorite clown masks:
Evil Clown Mask - Crazy
10. Put out a large bowl of candy near the exit. The visitors think it is safe and over and when they grab a piece of candy at the exit. At this point, bring out the chainsaw without the blade or you can have a monster jump out and scare them. Or, if you want to go the sweeter route, have a cute kid in a candy costume handing out candy at the end. Hey, haunted house or not, kids are dang cute in Halloween costumes.
Finally, here are some examples of filler props that you can use in between your big scares:
- smoke machine
- boiling cauldren (dry ice, glow stick, water)
- a large pickle jar with an alien floating inside water
- broomstick with ghoulish mask and black gown standing in a corner still.
- dead person hanging from noose (fake of course)
- artificial rising mummies and ghouls
- Bloody handprints on walls. To make good blood, use peanut butter, water and red food coloring. Mix to desired consistentcy.
Last but not least, don’t forget to give your volunteers a rest every hour or so and provide plenty of drinking water. You will need extra people who can fill in for those who are taking a quick break. People will lose their voices from all the screaming and it is absolutely exhausting scaring people over and over again.
You will have a lot of fun with this project and the kids will love you for it. Good luck to you in your terror adventure. If you have any ideas, please share them in the comment section.
Check out these Halloween video tutorials for your haunted house project:
How to Apply a Latex Prosthetic (like Heath Ledger as The Joker in Dark Knight)