Haunted house tips for the newbie

A fun idea is to tell the guests a scary story about why the room is haunted before letting them enter.

Hosting your own haunted house is a fun way to entertain your kids and their friends , but it’s also fun for adults. There are many ways to set up your spooky scenes, so you’ll have plenty of options that you can tailor to the age range of your guests and your budget.

A haunted scene is fun for Halloween and will make the holiday memorable for years to come.

Happy Halloween!

Make a plan

Before you start setting up spooky decorations and choosing costumes, it’s a good idea to decide where you’ll hold your event. Clear out your garage for an ideal place that you can leave set up for several nights. A spare bedroom or basement playroom are good options if you plan to dismantle your haunted house after one night. Roughly sketch where you’ll put the main parts of the attraction and brainstorm places to add accessories and decorations. Make sure you have a clear idea of where the path through your haunted house will go to ensure that your guests stay safe and are able to move through the house easily.

Ideas for setting up

Start by putting up large pieces of scenery. For example, prop a large black cutout of a haunted house on one wall, hang a full moon with mist creeping in front of it on another wall, or place large monster cutouts on another wall. Keep the images cartoon-ish or plain for a younger crowd, but feel free to add plenty of scary details if your guests are older kids or adults.

Once the basics of your haunted house are in place, add the details. Prop cardboard headstones in corners, hang ghosts made from sheets along the ceiling, add pots filled with glow sticks and dry ice to lend a spooky feel to the area, or place lit jack-o’-lanterns with spooky faces around the room. For older guests, feel free to douse the props in fake blood and pipe scary music into the room.


Bring your haunted house to life by having other parents, older siblings, or friends dress as scary or spooky figures and have them walk through the house, jump out at guests, or shout and scream. Clowns, chainsaw-wielding killers, and freaky aliens are fun ideas for older crowds. Keep things tame if you are inviting young kids to the house.

Go for super villains or tame Halloween characters , like witches or werewolves, to avoid scaring youngsters too much. Another fun idea is to tell the guests a scary story about why the room is haunted before letting them enter. This sets the stage and gets them in the mood.