Transform your home this Halloween and turn it into the haunted house of your dreams (or should that be nightmares?).

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If you’ve decided to go all-out for Halloween this year, creating your own haunted house can be an enchanting adventure for the whole family to get involved in.

Fill the house with cobwebs, make pumpkin displays or board up your windows to set the tone for a month of ghoulishly good fun.

Whether your goal is to frighten trick-or-treaters or set the scene for a playful Halloween party, we’ve got lots of DIY haunted house ideas to inspire you.

Now all you need is a good thunderstorm to create the right atmosphere!


25 Halloween haunted house ideas

1. Bloodstained candle holders

Blood-stained candle holders

What haunted house is complete without a bit of gore? These bloody candle holders and vases from Brit+Co are an easy way to bring horror into your home.

All you need is red paint, red spray paint, bandages and a few jars and vases to decorate.


2. Floating candles

Harry Potter floating candles

Bewitch Harry Potter fans with these enchanting floating candles by The SITS Girls.

We’ve always loved the levitating candles in the Great Hall at Hogwarts and recreating that iconic effect is simpler than you might think.

The candles are made from cardboard tubes with glue dribbled down the sides so they look as though they’re melting. They’re painted white and an LED candle is added to make them glow.

Finally, they’re suspended from the ceiling using fine fishing wire so they look as though they’re hovering by themselves.

Short of time? Luckily there are ready-made Harry Potter floating candles available online.


3. Specimen jars

Halloween specimen jars

These freakish specimen jars are the perfect Halloween prop! They take minutes to make and all you need is a jar, food colouring and a scary specimen to display inside (plastic toys are ideal for this).

Find out how to make your own Halloween specimen jars with Dave Lowe Design.


4. Cheesecloth ghosts

Cheesecloth ghosts

Every haunted house needs a few spectres! Cheesecloth ghosts have become increasingly popular in the last few years and it’s easy to see why: they’re cheap, quick to make and look truly spooktacular.

While there are more frightening tutorials out there, we can’t get enough of these little cheesecloth ghosts from firstdayofhome.com. They’re adorable!

Why not make a whole family of them to haunt your home?


5. Bat-filled hallway

Halloween hallway

Don’t overlook your hallways when planning your haunted house, eerie corridors can really complete the experience.

This atmospheric hallway decorated by canadianhometrends.com shows what you can achieve with sprawling spider webs, suspended bats and some clever lighting.


6. Skeleton scenes

Skeleton food fight

Invest in a few skeletons this Halloween and use them to add a fun element to your haunted house.

A Beautiful Mess has come up with five ways to decorate with skeletons, but you can make any scene you choose once you have a few in the house!

If you have kids, you can prank them by moving around the skeletons to make them do different chores around the home. Remember to keep it lighthearted and mischievous so you don’t give them nightmares.


7. Skull string art

Skull string art

If you want to bring handmade style into your decorations, this DIY skull string art project will add a contemporary creepy vibe to any room.

Learn how to make your own skull string art with A Beautiful Mess.


8. Dead bodies

Bagged bodies for Halloween

Dead body props are really cheap to make, as you probably already have all the materials you need in your home.

Just be careful not to make them too realistic or your neighbours will call the cops!

Discover how to make bagged dead body props with The Navage Patch.


9. Glitter skulls

Glitter skulls

Add some bling to any room this October by crafting your own sparkling glitter skulls. Martha Stewart has created a brilliant glitter skull DIY project to help you make your own.


10. Halloween wreath

Halloween wreath ideas

Wreaths are traditionally associated with Christmas, but they make fabulous Halloween decorations too.

There are so many different styles to experiment with, from black feather wreaths to spider web wreaths made using twine.

Investigate Gathered’s Halloween wreath ideas to find one you’ll love.

Make ghoulish DIY Halloween decorations

When it comes to decorating your home this October, adding a few homemade craft projects can take your Halloween celebrations up a notch.

Get creative with Gathered’s favourite DIY Halloween decorations.


11. Paper mache arms

Halloween paper mache hands

These dismembered hands are reaching out from beyond the grave! They’re made using good old-fashioned paper mache, but they look surprisingly realistic when attached to your wall.

Create your own paper mache arms with Martha Stewart’s easy tutorial.


12. Bat mantel

Halloween bat mantel

Haunted house decorations don’t have to be complicated – sometimes the simplest ideas are the most effective.

Ella Claire & Co has created a free printable bat template to allow you to make this show-stopping Halloween mantel look.


13. Illuminated haunted house

Illuminated haunted house

Make a haunted house within a haunted house with this DIY decoration from The Crafty Gentleman’s blog.

It’s made of black card that’s been cut out and attached to a block of wood, then illuminated using tealights.

We recommend using LED candles for this project so you don’t burn your house down.


14. Bloody handprint window clings

Bloody hand print window clings

Give visitors the impression that they’ll never escape your house of horrors by sticking bloody handprints on your windows.

If you’ve never made window clings before then you’re in for a treat! You can whip them up in no time using glue, food colouring and a few common household supplies.

Get the look with Felt Magnet’s bloody handprint window clings tutorial.


15. Ghost face picture frames

DIY ghost face picture frames

Craft a gallery of haunting faces with this cursed DIY ghost picture frame tutorial from Ehow.

Take down your usual family portraits for the season and replace them with an assortment of ghostly pictures. They’re shaped using doll heads, so you can make them in a variety of shapes and sizes.


16. DIY ghost lights

DIY ghost lights

Got some Christmas lights in the attic? Dig them out and turn them into these cute DIY ghost lights from Say Yes.

They’re a great way to brighten up a gloomy room this spooky season!


17. Boarded-up windows

DIY boarded up windows

Create an air of neglect and decay by boarding up the windows so it looks like an abandoned house.

You’ll need some woodworking skills to make this Halloween boarded-up windows project from Noting Grace.

If you’re looking for an easier option, you can paint strips of cardboard to look like wooden planks and stick them across your windows instead.


18. Mason jar luminaries

Mason jar luminaries

Give your haunted house a gothic feel with these lacy mason jar luminaries from justagirlandherblog.com.

These wouldn’t look out of place in an Addams Family-themed haunted house. They’re giving us a definite Wednesday vibe!

They’ll look spectacular when the sun starts to set and the light shines through the intricate lace patterns.

Make sure to check out the best Halloween door decorations to finish off the look!


19. Ghost mirror

DIY ghost mirror

Fill your home with phantoms and make a host of uncanny ghost mirrors with this tutorial from nobiggie.net.

You can use old pictures or newspaper photos to make your ghost mirrors, but we love the fact that they’ve chosen beloved author Jane Austen for theirs! Why not copy them and make ghost mirrors with a literary theme?


20. Pet ghost

Pet ghost

Adopt a little spook this Halloween using this spellbinding pet ghost tutorial from Relatable Kate. It comes complete with its own mossy graveyard scene!

This would be the sweetest decoration for your home or it would make a charming homemade gift for anyone you know who has a Halloween birthday.


21. Black and white Halloween mantel

Black and white Halloween mantel

If you have a fireplace in your home, you can give it a spectral makeover for Halloween using this black and white Halloween mantel idea from notjustahousewife.net.

You can style your mantel using a few simple props and make your own terrifying portraits to hang above it.


22. Climbing skeletons

Climbing skeletons

Cover your house with invading climbing skeletons! Skeletons aren’t just for indoor scenes, they can be used to make a dramatic display outside your haunted house too.

Find out everything you need to know with these climbing Halloween skeleton tips from Instructables.


23. Crystal ball candlesticks

Crystal ball Halloween candle sticks

Cast a spell to predict ominous images of the future with these crystal ball candlesticks from flamingtoes.com. They’ll make your haunted house feel like a witch’s lair!

These magical decorations can be filled with your choice of menacing pictures – the stranger the better.


24. Black light Halloween decorations

Blacklight Halloween decorations

Illuminate your haunted house with glow in the dark decorations! To get the sinister black light effect you’ll need to invest in a UV bar, but it’s worth it to be able to get this theatrical effect.

Head over to entertainingdiva.com to learn how to make glow in the dark Halloween decorations.


25. DIY Halloween mummy

Reenact the classic 90s movie The Mummy with your own DIY creation.

Wicked Makers used a willing volunteer to make the head of their mummy, but if the thought of being wrapped in tape makes you feel claustrophobic then you could use a mannequin instead.

While this isn’t the quickest project on our list, the finished mummy looks very impressive! It’ll take your haunted house to the next level.


Try our haunted house ideas to make this Halloween the scariest yet

Embrace Halloween by transforming your house or apartment into a horrifying haunted house this Halloween.

You can go all-out and make your home into a bloodcurdling spectacle worthy of a horror movie, or go for a cuter style that’s family-friendly.

Exploring our Halloween haunted house ideas will help you raise your decor game this October.

Dress up your yard with chilling outdoor Halloween decorations

Make a frightening first impression by filling your yard with gravestones, giant spider webs or haunting scenes.

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Discover the best DIY outdoor Halloween decorations with Gathered.

DIY outdoor Halloween decorations

Authors

Sarah OrmeDigital Editor, Gathered

Sarah Orme is a UK-based linocut printmaker, digital editor, feature writer and award-winning podcaster. She's been editing the sewing and art sections of Gathered.how – and before that our sister website calmmoment.com – for over 3 years. She’s the host of Gathered’s We’ve Made It podcast and A Calmer Life podcast. She’s a keen crafter and artist and loves creating DIY tutorials for Gathered. Sarah has previously written features for The Guardian, In The Moment Magazine, Project Calm Magazine, countryfile.com, radiotimes.com and yourhomestyle.uk. She enjoys designing her own unique lino prints and dreams of opening her own online shop. She shares her work @sarahormeprints

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