If you're going to create a haunted house for your Halloween celebrations, a little creativity can go a long way.

Here are some fun and scary ideas for a Halloween haunted house:

1. Themes

Deciding on a theme for your haunted house can help direct your decorations and costume. Some ideas for themes and appropriate decorations include:

* Prison – make the rooms along your hallway into prison cells. Make prison doors and walls by mounting the ends of wooden dowels on strips of wood. Spray paint gray.

* Hospital – wear a white doctor's coat with fake blood smeared on it and hang a stethoscope around your neck, and make one of your bedrooms into an operating room.

* Graveyard – using plywood and stone spray paint, you can create your own tombstones. Make your front door look like a wrought iron gate.

* Mad Scientist's Lab – wear a lab coat spattered with fake blood and create creepy specimen jars using plastic and rubber “critters” submerged in clear jars. Fill jars with colored water.

* Morgue – make some cardboard or plywood coffins, and stuff clothing to make “bodies” (use a scary mask or skull for a head). Use red velvet to make the coffin liners. You can also make mummies to put into the coffins by putting crumpled newspaper together in a body shape using masking tape, then wrap with toilet paper or gauze. (You don't have to make separate legs since they will be wrapped together.)

* Circus – with the freak show and creepy clowns that go with haunted circuses, you can have a ball with this one. You can be the frightful ring master as the host or hostess, and if you have a pet who doesn't mind being dressed up, you can have an animal participant.

* Maze – drape black cloth over plywood pieces to create a maze through your house. Have scary scenes throughout, and station people (or yourself) at various places to jump out and scare people, or slip out and silently follow them.

Here are some more ideas for your haunted house:

2. Rotten Walls

Get large sheets of cardboard and paint them to look like rotten walls with peeling paint, or stained cement.

3. Jack-o-Lanterns

Put glow sticks in jack-o-lanterns for safety and for a colorful, ghoulish glow. Place them around your house, in the windows, and on the front porch.

4. Cobwebs

Make sure your rooms have lots of fake cobwebs in the corners.

5. Bathtub Horrors

Put a fake body in your bathtub with fake blood splattered about to startle party goers when they head to the bathroom.

This should get your creative juices flowing so you can have a fun and scary haunted house this Halloween!

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