Ghoulish Decorating Idea for Halloween
By Nancy Cavanaugh

Halloween is a great time for decorating. There are so many things you can do, inside and outside, from festive to spooky to frightening. Here are just a few ideas. Have fun and let your imagination run wild.


The festive look is best for those with younger kids or who are in neighborhoods where there are a lot of younger kids. These ideas will also work for those wanting a classic look that can't fail.


  • Use corn stalks.
  • Add pumpkins (carved and uncarved).
  • Put out a scarecrow and bales of hay.
  • Accent it with mums or other fall flowers.
  • Hang strings of orange lights around the door and on the porch.
  • Add a friendly ghost or two that light up and you're all set.


  • Hang fall leaf garlands all over.
  • Place small displays of mini-squash, pumpkins and gourds.
  • Put a floral arrangement in a pumpkin as your dining room table centerpiece.
  • Hang up friendly ghosts.
  • Place candles in fall colors and scents.


This is where it can really start to be fun. There are so many great props that you can make or buy. This is for families with slightly older kids.


  • Hang spider webs across windows and porches. Cover them with plastic or rubber spiders of all sizes.
  • Carve a scary face or paint a scary picture on your pumpkin.
  • Add some bats hanging from the porch ceiling.
  • On the door, you can have a knocker that makes spooky noises when used.
  • Put some gravestones on the lawn.
  • Place spooky lights along the walkway to your front door.
  • Hang ghosts from trees.
  • Add a crashing witch to a tree.
  • Hang strings of spooky lights on windows or around the front door.


  • Hang black outlines of witches and monsters in the windows that will make spooky shadows on the lawn at night.
  • Hang bats and small ghosts from chandeliers.
  • Put spider webs with some spiders on the stairs.
  • Cover the dining room table with a black table cloth with a skeleton candle as the centerpiece.
  • For the kitchen, get some Halloween-themed pot holders and towels or a Halloween cookie jar that makes spooky sounds when you open it.
  • In the bathroom, you can put out clear soap with bugs or eyes in them as well as more Halloween towels.


This is definitely for those with older kids or no kids at all but are just big kids at heart. You can go all out or keep it fairly simple.


  • Hang spider webs on the corners of your front door with spiders. Leave a few threads dangling so they brush against people as they enter. You can do this on porch openings as well.
  • Make a graveyard with gravestones and various body parts sticking out of the ground. You could even put the top half of a mummy or skeleton coming out of the ground in front of a gravestone.
  • Make or buy scary ghosts to hang from trees and the porch ceiling. You can make a ghost by blowing up a large white balloon and placing a white sheet or fabric over it. Tie it at the neck to keep it on the balloon. Use a black marker to draw a scary face or use black felt.
  • Put a fog machine outside to create a spooky fog for your visitors to walk through.
  • Play spooky music.
  • Make or buy monsters to place around the yard.
  • Put chalk outlines on the driveway with red food coloring added to clear syrup for blood. You could even put a plastic knife or axe covered with the fake blood near the outline. Surround the area with crime scene tape.


  • Write a ghostly message backwards on a mirror.
  • Use spooky candle holders on the dining room table and candles that bleed when melting.
  • Put spider webs on stairs and doorways with lots of spiders dangling from them.
  • Hang bats from the ceiling.
  • Place a scary ghost inside the coat closet to greet visitors as they put away their coats.
  • Place sound-activated scary pictures on the walls.

Nancy Cavanaugh, is a stay-at-home mom and avid crafter. You can find lots more fun crafts for kids, ages three to seven, at her site: Kids Holiday Crafts

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