Idea No.


Haunted House -10yr- Scary Decorations



October 2004


Dianna in Prairieville, IL USA

Special Mention

Halloween Party

Haunted House 10 year old birthday  My son's birthday is close to Halloween so this year we had a Haunted House Party.  I started decorating the house about a month before the party.  I went to garage sales and thrift stores looking for anything spooky.  I also bought a lot of used white sheets for ghosts and to cover the furniture in my house on the day of the party.  The invitations said "You are invited to a Haunted Birthday. Come if you Dare!.   The children were told to wear costumes also. 

For the haunted house, I pitched one of those canopy tents in front of the house and put a large sheet (20' x 30") of black plastic over the entire thing and then fastened that to the front of the house to create a tunnel leading into the house. On the front we wrote, "Enter if you dare!" with white spray paint.  We made some tombstones out of plywood and created a cemetery in the front yard and took piles of leaves and mounded them up in front of each tombstone.  My husband made a big cross out of some big tree limbs which we also included in our cemetery.  We made a hangman and put him in the front also.  I got a roll of caution tape and strung that around the front porch.  In one of our bigger, front windows, I created a life-size silhouette of a man holding a butcher knife over his head, which from the outside with the inside light on it appeared as if there was a real man inside.  This is easily done by getting a model to stand in front of a flashlight while you trace their shadow onto a long sheet of black paper and then cut it out.  I taped it to the window in front of the mini-blinds.  Cool effect!

I invited my family to come about two hours before the party and asked them to dress in scary costumes too.  They really got into the spirit of it all.  I had some extra scary masks that I gave to anyone who didn't have a costume.  I cooked them a nice lunch to eat before all of the children arrived and my son opened presents from them and then the work began. His school friends started arriving but they were not allowed to go inside so I had someone outside collecting presents to bring in. I grouped the children into teams of three by giving each one a colored sticker to put on their costume.   So we had the blue team, the red team etc.  Each team went through the house together and we spaced the teams about a minute apart so the ghosts and goblins inside the house could get back into position. We also used these same teams later on for the games.  We had a fog machine and a strobe light in the tent when the kids first walked in, along with some other scary props.  I had family members stationed throughout the tent, the house and the back yard.  I lit as many candles as I could throughout the house and all the lights were off.  This party, off course, is most effective at night.  I had CD's of scary halloween sounds.  I had spider webbing everywhere and lots of black lights.  I made a floral arrangement of dead flowers to put on the cake table. 

Oh by the way, for the cake I made a cemetery.  It was easy beause I found some tombstone candles and then I used oreo crumbs to create mounds of dirt in front of each tombstone and I died some coconut green for grass.

As far as other things inside the house, I used caution tape to lead the children down the path I intended for them to walk. Mainly, I wanted to keep it confined to just the foyer and living room and then out the back door. I didn't want them wandering off into the bedrooms so I blocked off those areas.  I hung silly signs all over the house.  "Brain for Sale-slightly used", "Victim Needed-no experience necessary" and others like that.  I hung a hairy, black spider with fishing line from the ceiling fan in the living room and had someone hiding behind the couch that dropped the spider on them as they walked through.  I had black bats on the walls and skulls on tables, plastic spiders and mice everywhere. I took down everything "pretty" I had in the living room and made sure any pictures I had on the walls were crooked.  I also had fishing line tied to my back door leading to the back yard and had someone hiding who would pull the door open as the children approached it.  What was really neat is that the door is one of those really squeeky doors.  Nice effect. More family members were inside scaring the kids as they came through. 

Outside they were greeted by a ghoul throwing maggots at them (cooked rice) and of course the CHAINSAW man! (Please take the blade off the chainsaw before attempting this).  This guy really scared them.  Then I had someone (not in costume) guiding the children into the garage for the games.  At that point, they were begging to do the haunted house again but we didn't.  We played the "Guess the Body Parts" game.  The traditional peeled grapes for eyeballs and spaghetti for intestines ritual. 

We also played the slime race.  I tried to make some of that "Harmless/Safe Slime" from those recipes on the internet.  It didn't work.  It was like grout…it hardened up in no time.  So my husband who is an electrician, sugguested we use some wire-pulling lube.  This stuff is gross. You can get it by the 1-gal or 5-gal bucket at any electrical supply place. I had 17 kids there and I only had a gallon, but I really needed more. The teams raced to see who could empty their bucket of slime the quickest without pouring it.  Of course, they used their hands to do this.  This "slime" is kinda like soap but gooey and it's safe for your hands.

After they washed up, we played the mummy wrap game.  Each team got two rolls of toilet paper and decided on one person to wrap.  The first team to use both rolls of toilet paper won.  After the games, I had the children judge each others costumes.  Once we were all finished with that, we went back inside and had cake and ice cream and opened presents. 

Everyone said it was a great success.  Not too many 10-year old boys will admit they're scared but they all said it was really COOL!  The family also couldn't stop raving about it and most importantly, my son thought it was the best party ever!

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