Haunted House Ideas for Halloween Parties

haunted house ideasLooking to create your own Haunted House for this year’s Halloween party, but just aren’t sure how to pull it off. Well this is a great place to start as we have pulled together some Haunted House ideas, tips and trick to make your event unique and fun. If you need more Halloween ideas, be sure to check out our long list of Halloween party ideas where you’ll find party ideas to get you thinking Halloween.

While it can take a lot of money to build a Haunted House, there are ways to cut your budget including using cardboard, cloth & paint to backdrops, use lighting to your advantage, borrow props if possible and spend money on key accents and signature Halloween pieces.

Halloween Haunted House Ideas

If you have the space and the Halloween decorations then creating a Haunted House theme could be a great theme, however please note that it does take a lot of time to set up. Haunted Houses tend to have room themes and transition items that separate the rooms so guests can’t see what is next.

Ideas for Haunted House Rooms
For Haunted House themes just review the Halloween Party Ideas and select one idea per room. Create three or more themes to create your Haunted House and then start planning how to present your rooms. Use cardboard, sheets and paints to create backgrounds and depth to your haunted scenes. We will review haunted house ideas for lighting, sound effects, transition elements, whether to jump out at people and more ideas to keep your guests entertained and surprised.

– Another way to make your Haunted House entertaining is ask friends to create a room. This can be a fun way to get others involved in your Haunted House and as long as there is “no peeking” it can lead to a lot of surprises at your Halloween party. If you choose this method, give your friends a general theme and let them know what is expected, things they can and can’t do and how much time they will have to set up their Haunted Room.

Haunted House Transition Elements
Next consider transition elements that distract guests as they move from room to room, here are some ideas; Cloth boundaries, shower curtains, stacks of cardboard boxes and doors are great barriers that block the view and distort your vision. Then add spooky accents like spiders & strings hanging from the ceiling, ghosts or witches billowing and hanging around corners and doorways, then consider having a greeter that pulls back a curtain or opens a door to the next room. A greeter helps people stay focused and can be makes sure guests don’t walk into any props.

Add Haunted Sound Effects
Terrorizing screams, rattling chains, the sound of the wind shaking the windows, heavy breathing, doors slamming, creaking floors or the sound of a chain saw starting all play on your guests experience and become scarier in the dark and when your at not expecting it. Consider going to the library and borrowing a sound effects cd or purchasing a spooky Halloween sounds cd. Note: You don’t always need a spooky sound to set the mood, sometimes just have different music in each room can help set the mood.

So if you have a crazy chaotic room like a Butcher shop you could play something from Rage Against the Machine, if you have a Serial Killer room play the Halloween theme and if you have Evil Clowns play circus music. Have fun and be creative.

Haunted House Lighting & Visual Effects
Distorted and confusing lighting effects often add to the frightening experience of a Haunted House and in many cases what people think they see if not always the what is in the room. These effects can help enhance your haunted house.
– Dimly lit rooms help shadows become their own illusions
– Strobe Lights – As the light blinks on and off you only get to see a part of what is going on
– Black Lights – Use black light and glow in the dark object to create visual chaos
– Red Rooms – Use one color in a room to make an eerie impact. Red is a classic horror color, but blue works too.
– Disco Ball – While the light dances around the room, items that move become more interesting and scary
– Spotlight / Bright Flashlight Approach – As guests come into a darkroom shine a bright light right at them, this will temporarily throw off their vision create visual spots and make a simple room more scary
– Fog Machine – Create spooky rooms with fog machines that turn a regular room into a creepy place filled with who knows what
– Use Back Lighting – By placing light behind an object, animated prop or actor you can create an eerie scene. Place a sheet between you and the guests and you create a shadowy scene for your guests without the full visual.

Should You Jump Out and Scare People?
We have mixed thoughts about jumping out and scaring guests and here is why.
a. Spooked guests in strange places, knock people and things over
b. There are cases where guests accidentally punch people when surprised
c. If kids are really scared, they might start crying and refuse to move
d. The person jumping out could fall, slip or trip and injure them self or a guest.

Rather than jumping consider:
a. Reaching a hand out or fake body part rather than jumping
b. Act as a Statue and moving to surprise guests but don’t jump
c. Being in the room moving around, acting out a scene or interacting with guests

Last if you do still plan to jump out at guests visiting your Haunted House just make sure the area is free off breakable objects, you land about 2 feet away from guests and while it may sound odd practice jumping out so you don’t have to do it the first time in the dark.

Haunted House Scaring Ideas
– Statue or Zombie comes to Life. Stay frozen and move once they are beside you.
– Use a fogger to cloud and mystify the room
– Use Alka Seltzer tablets to foam colored water in a lab
– Have a stick / rod to tap the last person in the group
– Place mirrors at the end of dimly lite hallways to make them appear longer
– In dark rooms use string hanging from the ceiling to be spiderwebs, use fake fur to feel like hairy creatures
– Turn on a hair dryer to create an industrial sound and blow things in the air or at their feet
– Create light mist or spray (Dragon / monster breath / spider spit) by using a spray bottle on your guests. – Do not use a spray bottle that had chemicals in it, get one that is just for water and do not point at the face.
– Make the last room the scariest

– Drop a spider, zombie, ghost, dead body, witch or creature drop from the ceiling
– Have something zombie, victim, vampire or monster rise from a coffin, trash or a unique prop
– Create a fake wall or stack of boxes in the corner and as guests are about to leave the room and think they have finished seeing that room, have someone break through the boxes or knock them over. This is good to get them out of the last room of the Haunted House.

Haunted House Story & Guide
We recommend creating a fun / interesting story about your haunted house prior to entering that kind of sets the experience for your guests. During this time you can tell them the history of the house, how long has it been empty, who lived their, was their a murder etc… You can also let them know whether they can talk, touch things and whether they should just follow you. Basically you are the tour guide and set the stage for the haunted house.

Haunted House Group Size
Keep the size of your groups small and make sure that you have a separate area for the the kids / guests who have been through the haunted house and those who are waiting to enter the Haunted House. We like groups of 3 – 5 guests as this allows the group to stay focused and listen to the guide, plus it allows for more personal interaction.

We have found that larger groups tend to get distracted, talk and often mess with the props more. However, we realize that large groups are needed for large Halloween parties and in that case we recommend that you clearly state how you expect guests to ask so that everyone can enjoy the experience.

Now that you have some ideas for your Haunted House check out some the best Halloween stores for merchandise and then consider adding Halloween games and activities to your event.