Are you looking to out-do the Jones’ this Halloween with frightening decorations that are spine tingling enough to warrant a PG-13 rating? Well, we’re here to inspire you to set up a front yard cemetery that will send a shiver through the entire neighborhood. Obviously it helps if you have a front yard, but you can make it work if all you have is small garden, a porch, or even the back of your SUV.
First of all, there are 3 types of potential inhabitants in any haunted graveyard:
- The re-animated rotting corpses (A.K.A zombies)
- The completely decayed skeletons plus or minus a few disembodied skulls
- The requisite spirits and ghosts of lost souls
- There might be a vampire or two sleeping in a mausoleum or unearthed coffin
If you suffer from Horror Theme OCD, you may want to stick to one theme. But if you are a fan of the mash-up, feel free to combine the monsters anyway you see fit.
For a one of a kind zombie horde, DIY your own ground breakers with garden stakes, old clothes, a few zombie masks, severed hand props and some fake blood. Make cardboard zombie cut-outs to add extra bodies to the crowd. Use fake blood to make a warning on the front door that says “DEAD INSIDE.”
Breathe a little life into your skeleton props, and give them something to do. Try wrapping those ivory fingers around the handle of a shovel. Pose-able skeletons grouped together and interacting maximize the creepy factor. Just like zombies, the skeletons will look most ghoulish emerging from the dirt.
Scatter the spirits around the graveyard, but be sure to light them so they are visible. Back light your ghosts made of sheer fabric to make them look like they are glowing. Use glow in the dark paint to enhance ghostly props if you have black lights to shine on them.
Create an entire vampire nest by turning your garage into a crypt. Make cardboard vampires that can stand in silhouette among the tombstones. Cascade a swarm of bats cutouts across your doorway and hang various sizes from trees. A fog machine or dry ice placed near the graveyard, will prove that vampires can turn to mist.
Here’s the big secret- lighting is the key to making every scene more believably scary. Add in luminaries as accent lighting. Paint glass jars and drape torn fabric on the outer rim to DIY luminaries that can be grouped together. Use battery powered LED lights in tin cans to make spotlights you can shine anywhere. Jack-o-lanterns rule Halloween and should be mandatory in any haunted graveyard.
Here are more details that will turn your cemetery from a sleeper into a real creeper. See our Halloween Graveyard board on Pinterest for more tips and links to DIY projects and scary props.
- Rickety Fence
- Fresh Graves