Our church does a Fall Festival each year on Halloween for the children in lieu of trick-or-treating (many parents are now worried about allowing their children to trick-or-treat not knowing people as well as they should). All of the children dress up in their Halloween costumes and participate in various Halloween themed games, activities and attractions. My husband and I were put in charge of creating a fun Halloween Haunted House last year and again this year. We got together with several other couples to brainstorm possible Halloween Haunted House ideas and what props we would need for the house. I hope our suggestions and ideas will help you make your own haunted house for your family and friends to enjoy.
Our church had a long hall of rooms that worked perfectly for the haunted house but we needed a great entrance. My husband and a few men gathered old refrigerator boxes and painted them black. They added spider webs and windows to the boxes and then arranged them to create a crawl through entrance for the haunted house. The children had to crawl through the boxes to get into the haunted house. Inside the boxes, we hung fake cobwebs and wet string for them to run through on their way into the house.
The long hall had six separate rooms that were decorated with a different Halloween theme for the children to walk through. Volunteers were assigned a room to decorate and haunt the night of Halloween. For instance, one room was the graveyard and had fake headstones (Styrofoam painted black), eerie looking trees in the corner draped with cobwebs and fog rolling across the floor (fog machine in corner of room). Another room was a mad scientist room with its very own Frankenstein on the table to come “alive” and grab at the children with the lightening struck him (strobe lights work great for the lightening). Most of the Halloween haunted house props were cardboard boxes, Styrofoam and old scraps of plywood. Our volunteers always try to outdo the other rooms and the result is a fantastic haunted house for the children.
As the children exited the boxes at the entrance of our haunted house, there was a guide there to take 3 or 4 of them at a time through each of the rooms. The room volunteers dressed up and stayed in each room to “scare” the children as they came in the room. The beauty of this type of haunted house is that the children can be brought through in groups allowing the ghosts and ghouls to adjust their level of fright depending on how hold the children are in that particular group.
When looking for Halloween haunted house props, check websites like Oriental Trading and Halloween Express for inexpensive props. Do not forget to ask for donations from local merchants and get old cardboard boxes at the grocery stores and furniture stores.