Idea No.


Halloween Block Party - Cobwebs Spiders



January 2007


Mardi in Townsville, Queensland, Australia

Special Mention

Halloween Party

Halloween Party  Every year we throw a Halloween for all of the kids in our street.  Australian's don't generally celebrate Halloween but it so much fun we are starting a new tradition.  We decorate our entire house and set up a tour for the children (and parents), they all wait at the front door and wait their turn to tour the haunted house most children try to have at least two or three turns. 

Approximately four weeks before Halloween I start collecting cardboard fridge boxes etc from appliance stores to make props.  Almost all of our props have to be made as we don't have a large selection to purchase.  This year we wanted to make our house look like an old insane asylum so I dressed as a Doctor wearing all white, but instead of a Doctors coat I wore a white nurse's apron.  All of my costume was sprayed with red food coloring and I had plastic knives hanging off of me everywhere.  I even wore clear protective glasses which were also covered in blood.    I measured all of the doorways in our home to make cell doors.  I cut out the frames from the fridge boxes so that they would be able to fit into the doorways.  I cut slits in the top half of the doors to make them look like jail cells and painted them black.  We placed these frames in every doorway in the house. 

I also made free standing cells to place around the house by cutting out slits on three sides of large fridge boxes and also painted them black.  We made up scary names for all inmates and placed name plaques on all cell doors.  All cells were also sprayed with some silver paint to age the cells and we put cobwebs with spiders over all cell doors. Hidden in every cell was a family friend who jumped up and terrified all of the children as soon as they looked in the cell.  We turned out the lights and the inmates looked really terrifying in their costumes with just a torch light shining up at their faces from below.  The children were screaming and laughing the entire tour. 

I also made an archway out of a fridge box so that when we opened our haunted house people had to walk through the archway before they got into the asylum.  I painted this to look like it was hand made from stones.  Inside the arch we hung ripped pieces of cheese cloth which had blood all over it as well as wet wool so that it gave people a scare before they even got inside.  Our neighbors across the street also got involved and were hidden outside the arch with small water guns placed through a small hole, whenever the guests walked through they were sprayed with water.  I also purchased old secondhand clothes including overalls and made inmate props to place around the house. 

I set our dining room table for a dinner party and sat the inmates on each chair, there were eight inmates in total sitting at the table but only seven were  props, one of them was my husband who jumped up and scared the guests as soon as they started looking at the gory food on the table.  Lying across the middle of the table was a prop wearing overalls; I undid the middle buttons on his belly and filled it with cold spaghetti covered in tomato sauce to look like intestines.  I also had plastic rats, spiders and snakes all over the table to make it look really disgusting.  We had really creepy music playing throughout the entire house which really created a fantastic atmosphere and also hired a large smoke machine to fill the entire house with a fog like atmosphere.  All of the main lighting was put on dim so that it was really creepy.  I also cut out a really large old dead tree (once again from a fridge box) painted it black and stuck it with blue tack to our largest wall in the house.  I didn't realise how big it was when I was making it but the effect was brilliant on the wall it gave a really creepy effect in the house.  

The toilet and bathroom were also decorated.  We filled our bathtub with water and red food coloring and placed floating plastic body parts inside including feet and hands.  I put signs on the mirrors telling guests to get out while they could.  The entrance to the toilet was cheese cloth dipped in blood and we hung spiders from the ceiling.  We also made a fireplace and placed an electric fire light behind it so it looked real (what would I do without fridge boxes) I hand painted it so it looked like it was made from stones.  Our crazy lady sat beside it on a rocking chair and sprayed the kids with silly string once they got closer. Through out the house we also hung mosquito nets from the ceilings and from the nets we hung spiders and snakes.  This is a great effect as when the lights are dimmed and with the smoke it looks like giant spider webs.  I usually make larger props as when you are doing a tour it's the big stuff that grabs the kid's attention.  

When the tour is finished the children are returned safe and sound to the parents in the back yard, in the back yard we set up flying ghosts.  The ghosts were made from large Styrofoam balls with cheese cloth draped over the top.  We hung these on a string which was threaded through a battery drill.  This operated the ghosts so that they flew around our back yard above the guests while they were eating.  We have learnt never to let children who have already been through the tour talk to the kids who are still waiting as they are so excited they can't help but tell them what to expect.  When all of the kids have been on their tour a group of parents then take the kids trick or treating and the neighborhood has gotten involved by being prepared with lots of goodies for the children.  We have to forewarn the neighborhood as this trick or treating stuff is pretty new to most of them.  

When we return home we play lots of games including apple bobbing and gore grabbing (which is trying to catch raw eggs which have been thrown high in the air without them breaking all over you).  Unfortunately at our house it never happens as we crack the eggs before we throw them in the air so that children can be guaranteed to get slimed.  We select only one child at a time to catch the egg as otherwise it could be a little dangerous.  Before the children go home they are given a sample bag full of goodies including lollies and lots of stuff from Oriental Trading,   Parents and kids love these parties, they are great fun and you don't have to spend a lot of money, just your time and imagination.

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