Halloween is the best time of year for all things spooky. For some, putting a few decorations in their yard and wearing a costume is more than enough. Those who want to take things to the next level may want to transform their entire home for the Halloween season. Luckily, setting up a haunted house is easier and more affordable than you’d think. 

In this video

BestReviews’ Meredith Gallo joins Gary Gelfand to discuss tips, tricks and products you’ll need to turn your home into a haunted house.

What you’ll need to turn your home into a haunted house

Fog machine

Fog machines are an affordable way to set the tone for your haunted house. Many cost less than $50 and include lights that can enhance the experience. Creating a dense fog around your home is a great way to obscure decorations that move, jump or make noises to scare people.

When buying a fog machine, it’s important to consider its wattage. Most fog machines have around 400 to 1,000 watts of power. Those with more power generally produce more fog, but some low-wattage devices are capable of filling your yard with a dense haze. Pay attention to the machine’s cubic feet per minute rating, as it will tell you how much fog you can expect.

Fake spiderwebs

“If you want something super easy, the classic is the fake spiderwebs,” Gallo said. You can give your home a spooky aesthetic by draping fake webs over your doorways, porch railings and mailboxes. Fake spiderwebs are one of the most affordable Halloween decorations and typically include enough webbing to cover plenty of space.

You’ll want to consider the webbing’s durability and flexibility. It’s best to choose webs that can be stretched without tearing. Some webs include fake spiders, although you may want to buy an extra pack of spiders if you want them to stand out.

Projector

Hanging a sheet over a prominent window and using a projector to project ghosts, werewolves and other monsters is an easy way to add flair to your haunted house. “From the inside, set it up so it’s facing a window, and put a sheet over your window,” Gallo said. “And then you can project spooky videos to let the kids think that there’s something sinister going on inside.” In most cases, you can find scary videos on Youtube that you can use for free. 

You don’t need an expensive device since most people will view the projections from a distance. Still, getting one that can project a scene over your entire window is best. 

It’s essential to consider the types of inputs the device can receive. Some projectors are compatible with laptops and smartphones, making it easy to set up your scary scenes.

DIY tips for making a haunted house

Saving your Amazon boxes is one of the easiest ways to save money on your haunted house. You can use the boxes to make cardboard tombstones or cutouts of bats and ghosts. 

When making cardboard decorations, drawing your design on the cardboard before you start cutting is a good idea. If you’re painting your decorations, you’ll want paint that is thick enough to cover the cardboard’s color. “Let the kids paint R.I.P. on the tombstones, paint the bats black — whatever you want to do,” Gallo said. “It’s a super, super fun Halloween DIY adventure for the kids. Then they’ll get to set it up all over the front yard.”

Tips for last-minute decorating

Amazon Echo devices are surprisingly affordable and have an array of Halloween-centric features. “Lean on your Alexa-enabled devices. Lean on your Echo.” Gallo said. You can use your Echo device to play eerie music or sound effects when trick-or-treaters arrive. 

These devices also have plenty of fun Halloween games for kids. For example, Halloween Feel The Pressure asks spooky questions based on letters of the alphabet. The game lets you progress through 10 levels to “save your soul.” To play the game, simply say, “Alexa, open Halloween Feel The Pressure.”

Shop this segment

Eletecpro Halloween Fog Machine

This machine includes a wireless remote you can use to control the colors and fog. The tank is large enough to produce plenty of haze. It can cover around 2 to 3 meters of space with fog, making it ideal for most front yards.

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Kangaroo Stretchy Spider Web Party Decoration

This webbing can be stretched easily, allowing you to drape it wherever you want. It includes four plastic spiders and comes with enough webbing to cover around 200 square feet. It’s easy to put away when you’re done using it. Many were impressed that it didn’t leave any webbing behind.

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AuKing Mini Projector

This affordable projector’s screen area can be as large as 170 inches from corner to corner. The resolution is good enough to project spooky scenes on your window or wall.

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The Best Crafts 44-Piece Painting Kit for Kids

This kit includes 22 paints, three brushes, a sponge roller and more. The bright, thick colors cover well, making them ideal for Halloween crafts.

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Echo Studio Smart Speaker

The Echo device has five speakers that produce surprisingly good sound. It has built-in Dolby Atmos technology that bounces sound off your walls for an immersive experience. It is ideal for listening to Amazon’s library or lossless music and has plenty of holiday-themed skills. 

Sold by Amazon

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Cody Stewart writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.