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Halloween Haunted House Ideas

At Pottery Barn, we know that changing up household decor makes it easy to get in a festive mood or the holiday spirit. Get ready for a spooky night with these creative Halloween haunted house ideas.


When it comes to Halloween, a variety of decor makes it easy to scale the spook factor to ensure your haunted house is suitable for desired age groups. For haunted houses geared at young children, keep things simple with spooky carved pumpkins and cobwebs strewn across furniture. Give adult guests a real fright with life-sized skeletons and set the mood with creepy candles featuring black faux crocodile skin. You can even board up some of your windows to turn your house into an abandoned horror instantly.


Have your guests sit down to a spooky meal with Halloween themed tabletop decor. Skeleton snack bowls bring the walking dead to life while skull mugs and shot glasses are sure to freak guests out. Take your night of the living dead to the next level by adding flameless candles to wicker baskets. As the light filters through the basket weave, guests can imagine coals and embers burning deep underground. Adorn your tabletop with skulls and foods, such as pretzel sticks and nuts, that can be combined to look like fingers.


For more mellow haunted houses, decorative pillows and throws can get kids in the festive mood. Grinning jack-o-lanterns inspire young children to embrace the holiday and fun sayings are sure to elicit laughs. Spooky animals, such as owls and crows, add a hint of fright without overwhelming the light-hearted design. Set Halloween pillows and throws on couches throughout your home and add spooky skeleton hands on the edges to trick guests into thinking they’ll be the next victims.


Don’t forget to decorate the outdoors when it comes to creating your haunted house. Start by adding frightening creatures to your front lawn. You can use cheesecloth or chicken wire to create lawn ghosts or opt for some straw and old plaid clothing for a creepy scarecrow. Make sure to string up some cobwebs and adorn them with creepy crawlies like spiders and cockroaches. Hide glowing eyes among the trees and stairways using cardboard paper towel rolls. Simply cut round, cat or monster-shaped eyes into the side of the cardboard tube and tape glow stick on the inside. Your guests will squeal with delight at the sneaky horrors hiding just around the corner.


An easy way to make your haunted house more kid-friendly is to focus on harvest celebration themes. Add an outdoor maze adorned with pumpkins and gourds and hide spooky little prizes throughout the maze for children to find. For older children, you can even have some of the adults dress up in clown costumes to surprise them in the bushes or as superheroes who can guide them to the end. You can add larger frights to adult mazes at your haunted house by dressing up as bloody nurses and maids and frightening guests from around corners.


Turn your haunted house into a culinary affair by pairing it with a spooky cocktail party. Guests will scream in horror at lipstick messages written on the mirrors in the bathrooms and caution tape will warn them what’s in store for the evening. For cocktails, stick to drinks with red ingredients, such as grenadine and cranberry juice, to mimic the look of blood. You can also opt for dark or black liqueurs for a dreary effect. Add a lighthearted touch by meeting guests in the entryway with morgue-a-ritas featuring classic margarita ingredients, such as tequila, lime and triple sec, and a spooky upgrade by drizzling the glasses with green or red goo.