If there’s one thing you want to achieve this Halloween, surely it has to be scaring the heebie-jeebies out of your nearest and dearest. After all, that’s what Halloween really is all about. (There’s plenty of time for peace and goodwill in the rest of the year.)
It’s all well and good to stroll down the mall and pick up some Halloween decorations for your house and garden but your friends and family will recognise mass-produced products from a mile off and whilst they’ll be pleased you went to some effort they won’t be properly, genuinely frightened.
The only way to really scare people is to surprise them and that involves getting some Halloween decorations they won’t have seen anything like anywhere else. The very best way to get your hands on uniquely spooky decorations is to make your own. Secretly.
None of these ideas take a huge amount of skill. They just need a bit of peace and quiet, and then good timing when you come to launch your terrors into the world.
- First up: try a pickled head in a jar! This is so simple and yet so effective. To make a very convincing pickled head, all you have to do is get an image of a face on paper – you can cut one out from a magazine. Next you need to laminate it so that it’s waterproof and then, finally, you drown your picture in a pickling jar with the facial features pressed up against the glass. It’s truly ghastly. That’s Phase One – the secret preparation part. Phase One – making your mother scream the house down – comes when you gently request dear old Mum to grab you something innocent out the cupboard.
- Another good sneaky frightener uses decapitated dolls. In fact, dolls can be creepy without even lopping their heads off. You can gently camouflage any number of these sinister blank-eyed goblins and stash them in unlikely places around the house to surprise the unsuspecting. Imagine opening your sock-drawer to discover those eye-lids rolling back! Better still, why not invest in some fake candles and place them inside the dolls. As the night draws in, the dolls come to life (or death) with an eerie glow! If you’ve really got it in for someone, you could spend a few days continuously relocating a particularly awful doll so that it crops up time and again at your victim’s every turn.
- Silhouettes are good too. Anything which seems to be there one minute and is gone the next is bound to give your housemates the creeps. You can print off and cut out all manner of spiders, rodents and unearthly creatures online and then stick them in corners and on stair-wells. You can even create whole unearthly scenes in your windows to be back-lit and provide a daunting approach to anyone venturing down your garden path.
If pickled heads, hidden dolls and spooky shadows is all a bit subtle for you, it’s fair to say that no house of horrors would be complete without a good old Bathroom Murder Scene.
- Bathroom Murder Scene: It’s the bread and butter stuff of every decent horror movie ever made and again it couldn’t be easier to create. It’s just a question of buying one or two cheap items – a shower curtain, a towel maybe – and splattering them in gory blooood. You can buy fake blood in lots of joke shops or online, or make your own pretty easily. This is really fun to do and if you have a Halloween party this year, the Murder Scene is bound to be enjoyed by every single guest who at some point will need to visit the bathroom.
If you’re not content to terrify only the people that come into your house and want to put the fear into innocent passers-by, why not sling up some corpses from a tree where the whole world can see what kind of evil empire you reign over.
- It’s easy to make a corpse with plastic bags and duct tape. Just bundle your bags together into basic body shapes and wrap them up with tape. Once you have a passable body shape, slide the whole thing into a semi-transparent bag and do several more wraps with your tape to give the impression that your corpse died a truly horrible death.
- Why not inject your slung-up packages with a little bit of water dyed blood-red with food-dye too. If you get it right, the blood will drip drip drip. And if your first body looks sufficiently disquieting, imagine how unsettling it’d be to have two or three bodies swinging from a branch.
Be warned though – if you do your corpses too well you may soon have a knock at the door and it won’t be Trick or Treaters congratulating you on the ghoulish gore. It’ll be the local constabulary wanting to investigate you!
Have fun! Happy Halloween!