Design Holidays & Celebrations

15 Easy Ways to Terrify Trick-or-Treaters

When it comes to decorating for Halloween, there are several approaches—all of them valid. You can go for kitschy, silly, or even comically cute. But if you love all things hair-raising and spooky, check out these high octane Halloween decorations that will terrify trick-or-treaters of all ages.

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn More ›

Climbing Skeletons via mckeephoto

Are they trying to climb into the house—or out? Trick-or-treaters will freak at the sight of skeletons scaling your home’s exterior siding. Cheap blow mold skeletons strung from the shutters and gutters with picture wire, will make your house one spookiest spots on the street.

Related: 10 Ways to Prank-Proof Your Home on Halloween

Scary Jack-In-The-Box via r0kclimb

Many people find clowns creepy at any time of year—but it’s undeniable that the unsettling characters look even more frightful at Halloween. This horrifying Jack-in-the-box proves the point with a simply constructed box and a hanging clown prop. Add some armature to hold up the clown and some LED lights for glowing eyes and you’ll terrify even the hardest of hardcore trick-or-treaters.

Related: 12 Brilliant Hacks for Your Best-Ever Halloween Pumpkin

Cemetery Gate via tiki_robot

Who wouldn’t quake in their boots at the thought of being forced to walk through a cemetery to get their Halloween candy? This amazing display was created with plywood, PVC pipes and foam board, and a little paint, of course. The best part about this DIY decoration is that you can customize it in any way to fit your property. The only limit is your imagination—the more macabre, the better!

Related: 30 Easy Painted Pumpkins to Perk Up Your Halloween

Eyes in the Window

Keep a watchful eye—or several—on the trick-or-treaters coming to your door with this super simple decorating idea. All you need is some black poster board, a straight blade, and colored tissue paper. Using the blade, cut eyeball shapes into the poster board and tape the tissue paper over the holes. Place the poster board so that it completely covers your window from the inside, and then turn on the lights. Voilá! The eyes have it!

Related: 13 Easy No-Carve Pumpkins

Large Spider

If you can tie knots, you can hang a massive spider web on your porch that will creep out all your Halloween visitors. All that’s required is a garden variety clothesline and some ceiling hooks. You’ll need to cut several long pieces to tie your web. Make sure to burn the ends of the rope as you cut to keep the strands from fraying. Don’t stress too much over your handiwork. It doesn’t have to be perfect—nature never is!

Skeleton Hands Wreath

A trip to the dollar store and an hour will get you this funky skeleton hand wreath that’s just the right mix of ghoulish and fun. Attach the hands to a chalkboard circle with strong glue. Then write something festive—or threatening—to greet your guests.

Related: 29 Bewitching Ways to Decorate a Pumpkin

Creepy Skull Wreath

This skull wreath is fabulously fiendish. It uses a grapevine form, spray painted black, as a base. Autumn silk florals and several varieties of black fabric are woven into the bottom portion of the wreath to serve as a backdrop for the imposing skull detail. Use the arms of a plastic skeleton as a hanger and add a spooky sign to give your visitors something to seriously think about before they ring the bell!

Floating Witch Hats

These eerie floating hats will have every Halloween visitor wondering what happened to the witches who were wearing them. You can accomplish this simple DIY with fishing line, cup hooks, and your choice of battery-operated tea lights, glow sticks, or LED light sticks to supply the glow. Make one, or a whole coven, to terrorize your guests.

Giant Lawn Monster via flaming_pele!

This giant, tentacled monster looks truly menacing emerging from a suburban lawn. HVAC flex duct supplies the material for the giant tentacles and a fog machine and spotlights add some extra wow. This is one display the whole neighborhood will be talking about until Christmas.

Related: The 9 Spookiest Houseplants on God’s Green Earth

Lawn Casket via l8nite

This giant casket provides creative cover for a fog machine that will amp up the atmosphere in your yard cemetery. You need not be a carpenter to complete this DIY—foam board and hot glue are used for the construction. Finish the front off with a stone-colored paint job, and you’re ready to create a ghoulish scene that will scare the candy corn out of your neighborhood trick-or-treaters.

Related: 11 “Real” Haunted Houses to Visit—If You Dare!

Giant Lawn Spider via ORDuckFan

Create an awesome arachnid like this one with PVC pipes and spray foam insulation. The bumpy texture of the painted insulation gives the beast a double dose of grossness that’s sure to scare trick-or-treaters big and small.

Related: Genius! The Easy-as-Pie Way to Carve a Pumpkin

Skull Heads Lantern

What’s scarier than a glowing mound of bones? Nothing, probably! This DIY lantern comes together easily with an assortment of plastic skulls and bones, a cylindrical vase, some hot glue, and spray paint. The eyes in the skulls let the perfect amount of light through to create a sinister sight for all to behold!

Floating Heads

These floating heads are so simple, yet so creepy! Just cover some foam heads with cheese cloth and apply Mod Podge to the cloth to secure the veils while giving them a little definition. Then screw an eyelet into the top of the head and hang from the ceiling with fishing line. Whether you hang them inside or out, they’ll be wonderfully disturbing.

Related: The Secret Histories of 15 Grand Old American Mansions

Spooky Ghost Mirror

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the ghostliest of them all? You get to decide when you make this eerie wall decor. Find any cheap mirror from the thrift store and sand the center of it on the back side. In the sanded portion of the mirror, tape an ominous looking picture to the back of the mirror, and add some spiderwebs on the front. It will catch the eye of trick-or-treaters and make them think twice about coming too close.

Pallet Graveyard

Halloween just isn’t Halloween without a spooky graveyard. A couple of pallets can provide enough wood for both headstones, and a dilapidated fence. Once you’ve deconstructed the pallets, you can assemble the headstones and cut them into the shapes you want. Screw some stakes into the back and pound them into the ground. Decorate with creepy messages and some fake cobwebs to produce panic on the whole street.

Get Decorating

So do your best (or worst?) this year! Challenge yourself to see just how spooky your decorations can be.