How to Make a Freaking Scary Haunted House

    by JaimeR

    To make a truly scary haunted house, you must build an environment with pacing and surprise. Lighting and sound are also important to create the perfect mood. Haunted house patrons are looking for an original experience, so be creative and keep the use of commercially made props and decorations to a minimum. Using a theme is one way to make your haunted house stand out. Instead of using unrelated monsters, make your house a haunted asylum or a haunted convent.

    Things You'll Need

    • Lighting
    • Music and sound effects
    • Actors and costumes

    Choose a location for your haunted house. If you are able to acquire a facility that is associated with the supernatural, you might embrace this as the theme for your haunted house, such as a haunted school. If the location is not part of your theme, disguise identifiable or familiar attributes of the space. If your haunted house is attached to your home, you don't want visitors to feel like they are in your garage. Conceal irrelevant recognizable areas such as shelving or storage areas with dark overlays.

    Divide up your space into narrow corridors with nooks and crannies. You can break up your a space with room dividers or black curtains. Having narrow corridors gives visitors a feeling of claustrophobia. Visitors will feel out of their element in an unfamiliar space, like they are in a maze. You can plant surprise elements behind sharp corners. Breaking up the space keeps people from seeing the others ahead of them.

    Set the lighting. Keep your space dark so that your surprise elements are eerie and unexpected. Visitors will still need to navigate the space, so consider dim, glowing lighting along the walkways. Always make sure you have full lighting that can be turned on in an emergency. Strobe lighting is an effective way to create distortion and make the space feel surreal.

    Choose your music and sound effects. You want to avoid music that is overly cheesy or comical, as this can ruin the mood. Set the level of the sound at a high volume, so groups of visitors will be less able to communicate with each other, making them feel more isolated. Music from horror movies and prerecorded screaming is recommended.

    Enlist friends or actors to participate in the haunted house. They should be dressed in costume and sneak up and startle visitors. They might be dressed up as serial killers, running at your visitors with fake weapons. For safety reasons, do not allow your actors to touch patrons. Scary things should happen all around your visitors. You can have actors in street clothes planted as patrons who get carried off into the shadows.

    Set up scary decorations around your haunted house. Be creative, and use homemade and original setups. There are many resources available to help you learn to make fake blood, corpses and other horrors.

    • Use humor selectively in your haunted house. Visitors will appreciate your creativity and originality in timely costumes for your actors, such as spooky versions of politicians and celebrities. But don't allow this to break the mood.

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