Posted Oct 10, 2014
Turn Your Apartment into a Haunted House
As the leaves change and pumpkin spice lattes take over the coffee shop, it is time to start thinking about Halloween and all things haunted. Apartment dwellers may feel a bit limited in their options for decorating their rentals, but rest assured knowing that renters have loads of spooky selections!
Haunt more than the candy aisle with this guide for renters looking to create a spooktacular haunted house in their apartment. So start jamming out to the Monster Mash as you plan to delight in all the eeks and shrieks coming your way!
Choosing a Theme
Deciding on a theme for your haunted apartment beforehand helps to create a cohesive design plan and focus shopping trips on the things that fit. Some go for the classic scary movie theme with chainsaw soundtracks, haunted house attendants wearing hockey masks, Carrie covered in blood and spinning heads. Others focus on Halloween staples like ghosts, skeletons, witches or werewolves.
Those looking to express their creepy creativity can update any popular Halloween theme, such as zombies, with a fresh twist by incorporating a current trend like Hunger Games. Hunger Games zombies–a melding of pop culture phenomenon that will be sure to spook!
Setting the Scene Outside
Once you have picked your theme, you want to set the stage with outdoor decorations. Sure, we know that many apartment dwellers do not have expansive lawns to recreate cemeteries, but even with a small porch area, renters can create a striking, shriek-worthy prelude to their haunts.
If outdoor space is limited, use all front facing windows to your advantage. Create silhouettes or detailed scenery on craft paper covering the entire window. Line the windows with small orange, yellow or white lights to illuminate the designs and cast an eerie glow. A doormat which screams when stepped on or with witch legs sticking out offers a great first impression.
Decorate the door with gnarled hands grasped around it or fake blood oozing down. A propped up coffin or cleverly arranged skeletons can fill a small space without overpowering it. Cover everything else with spider webs to add dimension and detail to the design.
Opening the door should make the trick-or-treater a little apprehensive and spooked. Use recorded sounds or designate a person to offer an ominous welcome. Cover the space with black tablecloths, sheets or craft paper to block the light and establish the path through the house.
Keep all overhead lights out and rely on flashlights, strobe lights and decorative lights to give guests just enough light to safely check out your haunted digs. Use “bloody” gauze, spider webs or chains to create a curtain that leads to the main display. The timeless trick of a swinging ghost held up by clear fishing line puts visitors on edge.
After making it past the front door, it’s time for the real shrieks to start. When planning out your path, consider adding cardboard, boxes or sheets to section off larger spaces into winding hallways. Those with an open floor plan may be able to have guests go from the entry, through the living room, into the kitchen, and back into the entryway.
But don’t worry if you have a more constricted floor plan. The limited space can be worked to your advantage. Once visitors have enjoyed the entire haunted house, encourage them to go screaming back out the front door to add some dramatic flair to your haunts.
Any windows in the haunted home area need to be covered tightly with light blocking sheets or craft paper. Hanging objects are great for a scare and to make the space feel full. Bats, rats or bugs can be used to hang about or rigged to jump down on guests. “Write” the final pleas of those who continue to haunt the halls on the makeshift walls with red paint.
Covered doorways or closets allow helping haunters to pop out and scare visitors. Have skeletons, mummies or zombies propped up so that when a corner is turned a frightening surprise awaits. Investing in pop up decorations from Halloween shops is another great option, but can really add to a budget.
The options are almost limitless when transforming a rental into a haunted home, just as long as you don’t permanently alter the space. Apartment communities where neighbors enjoy planning events together may even find other renters willing to create haunted homes so that visitors can tour several terrifying places.
Is your haunted rental a neighborhood hit? We’d love to hear about it! Share your favorite tricks and treats for a successful haunted rental in the comments below or tag @lovely on Twitter!
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Photo Credit: alamodestuff, Ceridwen, David Cobb, Valerie Tyler