10 haunting halloween decorations

by Julie Snyder

10 most popular Halloween decorations

10 Haunting HalloweenHalloween décor is one of the easiest to pull together. Whether your tastes run frightfully spooky or cute and whimsical, you’ll find suggestions to "get your ghoul on" below!

1. Pumpkins

Nothing else quite says "Halloween" like the versatile pumpkin! Consider grouping a few in various shapes and sizes. You can paint them to become a variety of characters from a wicked witch to a cheerful scarecrow. Carve unique designs -- choosing from hundreds of free templates online. Have the kiddos create a chain of paper pumpkins to hang across a room. The ideas are endless!

2. Hay Bales

Toss one or more of these on your lawn as a perfect foundation for the rest of your Halloweendécor. Add black crows for an ominous (or impish, depending on their style) touch.

3. Webs

Most discount stores sell cheap webbing during the Halloween season. Use indoors to stretch across a fireplace (being careful not to go over the firepit area if you intend on lighting a fire while your webs are up). You can also stretch across windows, chairs and bookcases. Outdoors, drape over bushes and porch railings. Key note: The more you pull and stretch, the more realistic the "look."

4. Spiders

Icky, creepy-crawlies top the Halloween decorating staple list. These creatures (FAKE PLEASE!) can be used to "enhance" others -- such as stuck in the webs, or grouped crawling into your pumpkin. They may also stand alone… left dangling, waiting to prey upon the next unsuspecting guest entering your home.

5. Gourds & More

For those that wishing to develop their pumpkin horizons, browse through your local farmer's market or your grocer's fresh fruit/veggie section. There you'll find a host of colorful and uniquely shaped gourds and squash that will help you create the perfect centerpiece or decoration for an end table, mantle or dresser.

6. Candles

Careful placement of candles (black ones are perfect for the season!) enhance spookiness. They can be gathered together or spaced throughout the room for a haunting mood setter!

7. White Cheesecloth

Rip and tear strips of cheesecloth and then drape from ceilings or the tops of doorways to introduce a ghostly feature to your home.

8. Scarecrows

You can easily make one. Grab a long-sleeve (flannel) shirt, old jeans, sack/pillowcase for the head, straw hat (boots and gardening gloves optional). Stuff the body with newspaper or filling. Tie the ends of the jeans/shirt sleeves. Tuck ends into boots. Fasten head on with pins. Paint or glue on felt pieces for a face and attach the hat firmly with ties. You can use a stake to hang your scarecrow, prop him (or her!) up on the porch to greet visitors, or invite to be an indoor decoration/visitor!

9. Cats and Bats

Oh my! Whether cute and smiling, or with arched backs and wings and "hissing," these pets (or pests!) are considered a must have of Halloween decorations. Use silhouetted in windows, on mirrors, or stairwells to showcase your best spirited form.

10. Ghosts

From frightful to friendly, these spectral beings are a given for Halloween! Invite them in to haunt your home and outdoor area! One of our favorite ideas spied ghosts that appeared to "hold hands" as they danced circling a tree. These had plastic pumpkin heads (i.e. buckets with handles that had holes punched in the bottom.) Outdoor clear lights were pushed through the bottom with the ghost "body" (sheet) attached. Each was tied to the next until the circle was complete.

What's your favorite Halloween decoration?

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.