This is a guide on how to turn your home into a hideous house of horrors (for Halloween)...
‘Why would I want to do that?' You might be asking. After all, most sensible modern-day homosapiens are rather partial to a nice welcoming homestead. Except at Halloween, of course. ‘Tis the season to embrace all the horrors of a haunted house, whether yours is to be a warty witches cavern, rotting Mummy's tomb or evil blood-sucking vampires lair. Dressing up in a scary Halloween costume will no longer cut the mustard. It's time to rid your habitat of all its creature comforts, unless the creature we're talking about is nasty, poisonous and bitey. Check out our Halloween inspiration section for costume ideas.
Pumpkin carving is a laugh. It's something you can do with kids, with mates or all on your own if your friends aren't interested. Finding a decent pumpkin is dead easy (excuse the pun). All the big supermarkets sell them in the run up to Halloween and country folk will find some perfect specimens at their local farm shop. You can buy little carving kits from places like Asda but a small kitchen knife will do the actually carving bit just as well. If you're more cult horror than slasher movie, stick to the classic triangle-eyes–zig-zag-mouth type design. This is also the easiest option for beginners.
Experts can surf the net and find some of the truly awesome stencils that are lurking out there. Lots are from the States, where most people have a degree in advanced pumpkin carving. If you're throwing a Halloween party, why not get your guests to each decorate a pumpkin and give a special prize to the best one? We'd advise doing this before everyone gets drunk. Alcohol and carving knives mean one thing – a nasty trip to A&E.
WEAVE A WEB OR TWO
Fact: Most haunted houses are covered in cobwebs because the people who live I them are far too scared to do any cleaning. If you're a total slob, you might already have some cobwebs hanging about, in which case you'll only need to stick a few plastic spiders here and there to create a really nasty Halloween hovel.
Otherwise ready-made ‘web' is available from most party shops or supermarkets. Stretch and drape it across bookshelves, cupboards, windows – anywhere you fancy in fact. Then turn the lights down and light a few candles here and there to make everywhere feel all spooky.
SWAP BIG LIGHTS FOR FAIRY LIGHTS
Turn big lights off in any room and it feels scary. We all know that. Turn the lights off in the middle of a Halloween party and someone is going to fall over and break something. We all know that too. So if you want to create some scary mood lighting, your best bet is fairy lights.
Plain ones are better than the coloured ones you stick on your Christmas tree and flashing ones are going to look rubbish. If you're clever you can create you own ‘flickering light effect'.
INVITE A COUPLE OF GHOSTS ROUND
Not real ones. You can make your own ghost in seconds using a balloon, marker pen and a couple of white bin liners and loo roll. Suspend them from trees outside or hang them inside cupboards. Another good spook tip is to remove the buld from your bathroom and suspend one of your scary little friends in there to terrify any party guest heading to the loo.