How to Make a Haunted House

Four Methods:Concoct a Haunted PlanCreate an Eerie AtmosphereSurprise and Spook Your GuestsOther Haunted House Ideas

Making a haunted house is the perfect way to celebrate Halloween, or to spook your guests because you've been possessed by a scary spirit. Transforming your ordinary home into a blood-curdling haunted house takes some creativity, hard work, and planning. If you want to know how to make the ultimate haunted house, just follow these easy steps.

Method 1
Concoct a Haunted Plan

  1. Image titled Make a Haunted House Step 1
    Plan your haunted path. Before you start preparing your home, you need to decide what the guests will see. Will you commit to decorating the outside of the house, or will you focus on the inside? Will you decorate all the rooms in the house, or just a few key rooms and the hallway that the guests will pass through? Here's what you should consider:
    • The haunted house can be as big or small as you want it to be. You can decorate every room in your house or just focus on one room, or even the garage. In fact, a series of condensed rooms can easily give anyone the creeps, because they will know that there could be a ghoul hiding just a few feet away!
    • Once you've planned the path, you can think more about the tone you want to set in the home. Will this house be aimed to make people laugh, or will it freak people out?
    • Think about who will be following your haunted path. Will the audience be filled with little kids, or older adults? This will also determine what you put in your house.
  2. Image titled Make a Haunted House Step 2
    Enlist the help of your spooky friends. It will be nearly impossible to pull off making a haunted house on your own. Not only will your friends be able to decorate, but they will also be able to guide and spook your guests throughout the haunted house. Here are a few things your friends can do:
    • They can dress up as ghosts or goblins and grab your guests at random times when they least expect it.
    • They can randomly shout or make noise in the haunted house when it's eerily quiet.
    • They can help "guide" the guests through the different haunted rooms, and can be in charge of different activities or games.
    • If you don't have any friends who want to participate, consider hiring actors.
  3. Image titled Make a Haunted House Step 3
    Come up with a theme. The more specific your haunted house, the more scary it will be. Decide if you want a traditional haunted house, or if it's the house of a serial killer, or even an abandoned insane asylum or hospital. Your theme will determine how you decorate your haunted house. Another good idea for a theme is something really cute but with scary things hidden in the details. Your guests would not expect a scare from a seemingly cute and innocent house. If you want this can be just one room.
    • If you really want your haunted house to be authentic, come up with a story for why the house is haunted. Is it haunted by an old lady whose husband disappeared into thin air? Is it haunted by a family that was brutally murdered in the basement?
    • You can tell your guests the haunted story as they enter the haunted house.

Method 2
Create an Eerie Atmosphere

  1. Image titled Make a Haunted House Step 4
    Create an eerie effect through lighting. Do not put a lot of lights in your haunted house, or people will be too relaxed. They will also be able to tell where your spooky friends are hiding. If it's dark, they will be tense and have a better time. Just make sure your guests have enough light to get through the house safely. Here are some ways to use the lighting to create a haunted effect:
    • Consider putting your guests in a very dark room and giving them flashlights to try to find the way out.
    • Replace your lamps with green bulbs and light then dimly around the house.
    • If you choose to use any traditional lamps, drape them with cobwebs and tape rubber bats to the insides.
    • Have a room or hallway where the guests have to wear blindfolds to make it through. Make sure the guests are comfortable with this.
    • Light a spotlight under a spiderweb or fake creepy insect to create a spooky shadow.
    • Drape black plastic bags around the furniture to catch a little bit of light in an eerie way.
  2. Image titled Make a Haunted House Step 5
    Use special effects. Try mirrors, black lights, and smoke to confuse the visitors. The special effects will make your visitors feel more shocked and spooked at every turn. Here are a few special effects you can add to your haunted home:
    • Fog machines are your friend! You can find fog machines for around $30, and they are a must-have for your haunted house. Fog makes it harder for the visitors of the haunted house to see and will make their hearts beat faster too.
    • Put strobe lights in one room to create a dramatic, slow-motion effect to the madness.
    • If you're using a black light in your haunted house, you can put scary things on the walls with neon spray paint, and the paint will glow like crazy. You can write "HELP!" or "R.I.P." or use a thick line of spray paint so it leaks and looks like blood!
      • Just make sure to spray paint cardboard or something that you can throw out.
    • Use spray bottles filled with water to create mists that your guests have to walk through.
  3. Image titled Make a Haunted House Step 6.jpeg
    Create spooky noises. The sounds in the haunted house will scare your visitors and will keep them on their toes. The trick to having spooky noises is to time them perfectly and not use them too often, or your guests won't be surprised. Here are some tricks to creating some scary sounds:
    • Put a few coins in an empty soda can and tie it to a string. Have your volunteers shake the can from time to time.
    • Have a recording of a different spooky sound in every room. One room can have the sound of a chainsaw, while another can have the sound of a woman screaming.
    • Your volunteers can scamper from one side of an empty room to another to create a scary sound.
    • Use silence to your advantage. Pick some key moments to keep the house silent so your guests will be even more startled by the next sound.

Method 3
Surprise and Spook Your Guests

  1. Image titled Make a Haunted House Step 7
    Scare your guests with your volunteers. There are a number of ways that your friends can step out and scare your guests. Here are a few things they can do:
    • After a bout of silence, a spooky ghost can jump out and scare your guests. Try having the ghost pop out of a closet.
    • Have a volunteer grip guest's shoulder. Have him do this slowly so the guest thinks it's just another guest at first.
    • Bring your guests in a dark room. Have your volunteer turn on a flashlight under his face and laugh maniacally.
    • Have one of your volunteers get in line behind a pack of guests, and wait for them to slowly realize that he is there.
    • Have one of your guests dress up like a famous horror film character, such as Jason, or Freddy.
    • Have a door that your guests have to go through that is difficult to open. The guest will try the doorknob again and again, and just when he gives up, a ghost will open the door and pop out.
    • Gory things do not scare people, while surprising things do. Gore is too overdone, and seeing some fake blood on the floor of your haunted house will provide no reaction from the guests other than a yawn. However, if you place a "victim" who is actually playing dead beside the blood, your guests will be scared out of their wits if he jumps out at them!
  2. Image titled Make a Haunted House Step 8
    Have spooky activities for your guests. If you want your haunted house to be a bit less terrifying and more fun for your guests, you can arrange to have a different spooky activity in different rooms. Here are some activities to try:
    • Have a tub of cold water with fake snakes slithering in them. Place some coins on the bottom. Tell your guests they can't move on until they reach down and find a coin.
    • Instead of bobbing for apples, carve apples to look like skulls and play bobbing for skulls!
    • Peel the skin off a bunch of grapes and put it in a bowl. Cover the bowl and tell your guests to put their hands inside and tell you what they feel. Correct answer: eyeballs!
    • Put cold spaghetti in another bowl and have your guests grab them without seeing what they're touching. This time, you've created a bowl of worms!
  3. Image titled Make a Haunted House Step 9
    Scare your guests by tricking them. Here are a few ways to scare your guests even more by tricking them when they least expect it:
    • Try the mirror trick. Have your guests open a room where there is nothing but a full length mirror covered in cobwebs. Give them a few seconds to stare at the mirror and then have a goblin or ghost jump out at them!
    • Have a room with a closed coffin in the center. Have a few activities or surprises to keep the guests busy in the room. Then, right before they leave the room, have a "skeleton" jump out of the casket!
    • Set up a few fake dummies throughout the haunted house. Have your friends blend in with the dummies, and then jump out at your guests when they least expect it. This will work especially well at the entrance or exit of the house.

Method 4
Other Haunted House Ideas

  1. Image titled Make a Scary Homemade Haunted House Step 8
    Make good use of lighting to scare people or to give the impression of spookiness and shadows.
  2. Image titled Make a Scary Homemade Haunted House Step 10
    Don't be afraid to add lots of silly scary things. A whole display area can be a talking piece of interest for guests to gather around.


  • Create a bloody effect by putting some fake blood over mirrors, or dripping red candle wax over mirrors or white candles.
  • If you're going for the "abandoned" haunted house look, drape your furniture in white and tape fake "boards" to your windows to make it look like it's boarded up.
  • If you have any hidden areas try to have a spooky item(s) next to it but while still keeping it scary by the thought of "what is in the shadow".
  • Before buying props or decorations from major Halloween stores, check out your local grocery store to get some affordable and high-quality props and decorations.
  • Make sure to start a few weeks before Halloween, so you have enough time to work things out.
  • You could stack boxes and cover them with a black cloth so they look like walls, if you want to make like a long 'hallway' or 'maze'.
  • If there aren't enough people, you can have 1 room. Make sure you have at least 2 people, and create distractions while the other person is changing spots, take turns doing this.
  • You should give out a little prize at the end for children, like some candy, goody bag, or some other Halloween treat.


  • Avoid having real candles in your haunted home. Remember that part of a haunted house is the element of surprise, and if your guests are truly surprised, they can run into or bump into a candle and set your haunted house on fire.
  • Avoid having pregnant women, elderly people, very young children, people with heart conditions, or people who are claustrophobic or easily scared in your haunted house. Your haunted house should ultimately be fun and shouldn't make anyone panic or feel truly ill.

Article Info

Categories: Halloween Decorations