Halloween is swiftly approaching and there’s a monstrous pressure to deliver a party with a sinister atmosphere that will put other ghostly get-togethers to shame. Even if you’re not planning an event you can still celebrate the scariest time of the year with a few well-chosen additions and changes – all of which can be sourced within the home.
If you have any candles lying spare this is the time to utilise them to deadly effect. You could make your own grisly candles by melting red candles or crayons over long, white candles to create a ‘blood’ effect (Popsugar has more here) or additionally simple arrangements; using small pumpkins as candle holders or old jars painted as skulls or demons are two good ideas.
You may have arts and crafts equipment in the house that your children use, and this is a great starter; you can easily trace or draw your own creatures such as bats or black cats on black paper, or pumpkins on orange. Cut them out and tape them to the walls. Rather than just a one-off it looks spectacular if you create an army of bats flying from one room to the other, or on windows – drop a light behind them to entrance passers-by. What’s more, it takes no time to remove them once Halloween is over.
Trawl the garden for twigs, brown leaves and other dismal looking natural decay, and arrange them in a clear or crystal bowl alongside Christmas lights inside to give a glowing, terrible set of plants. Alternate that throughout the home with displays of orange and red flowers, while considering two great alternatives to bowls: a pumpkin, or a small black wastepaper bin.
Simple costumes can be made from household items; bin bags can become witches’ outfits, ripped clothes and face paint can make a zombie in quick time, while a sinister surgeon can be born from an old blue sheet and handkerchief (scrubs) and a pair of disposable gloves from Brosch Direct.
Unwanted toys or objects can be converted into all manner of abominable props; paint ping pong balls into eyeballs, sprinkle plastic spiders throughout the house in surprising locations, or tear toilet paper into strips and attaché them to lengths of string, which can then be draped over pictures or a doorway for evil decorative purposes. Even a burned-out light bulb can be spray-painted into a skull or a spider’s bulbous body – add some wire for the legs.
Do your children have any dolls left in the attic, or lying around the house? It might seem wrong to rip them to pieces, but do it anyway! Scattered around Pinterest boards are porcelain dolls’ heads lit with candles, babies’ arms emerging from brown cake to simulate the rise of the dead, and even a grotesque ‘millipede’ built from multiple dolls glued together.
There are many other variations and tricks one can play to turn your warm, loving home into a spooky, spectral place. Dim the lights. Draw curtains. Turn on the television but disconnect the external leads, so that only haunting static shows on the screen. The average person may find creative and crafty skills within them that they were unaware of – especially when Halloween is the driving and haunting force.