Pumpkin Demon

What do you get when you take a plastic skull and shove it into a funkin foam pumpkin?  Epic awesomeness is what you get my friends!  Think that’s overselling it just a bit?  Well, maybe it is, but after looking at the wicked Pumpkin Demon prop The-Hog-Flu built by doing just that I am content with that designation. The prop started by cutting a hole in the funkin and shoving the skull inside.  Some sculpting material was then added to fill the gap between the skull and the pumpkin and to also give the face a little bit more detail.   Once the sculpting material was applied and sanded down a base coat of a darker blend of orangish-brown paint was applied. The eyes were crafted out of ping pong balls and it appears that the teeth were cut from an opaque plastic bottle (the tongue is a mystery).  Note to self: hot glue makes for a nice coating of drool. The lower body was constructed with a hybrid 1 x 2 wood base and a PVC spine that was wrapped with some tree branches where visible, as well as chicken wire near the lower legs.  The upper chest consists of a piece of plywood. The-Hog-Flu added some spray foam over the plywood and then inserted another branch for the neck of the pumpkin demon where the head will be attached.  The lower portion was also spray foamed and a variety of skulls and lesser pumpkins were peppered throughout. Once completed the upper torso was given a coat of purple spray paint while the lower body was a mixture of blood red and green.  The-Hog-Flu fabricated a rib cage and some incredibly detailed arms out of branches. The word epic is too easily tossed around, but if a picture is worth a thousand...

How To Build A Treasure Chest...

If you’re planning on going with a pirate themed haunt you’re going to need a treasure chest, and IMU posted a great tutorial on how to make a treasure chest out of a cardboard box at the HalloweenForum. Start by cutting the side flaps of your box into half rounds and then hot glue the front flaps to the side. You’ll have to cut a thin piece of cardboard to add to the center since the front flaps are now extending further since the sides are rounded. IMU cut out a space on top that the treasure will peek out through.     The metal banding consists of foam core along the top and bottom edges as well as the side and centers. Once completed the gaps were smoothed out with a little paper towel mâché and then some wood grain was applied using monster mud.     After applying a latch and some hinges crafted from a plastic coat hanger (if you don’t have access to a similar hanger you can buy some small hinges and a latch) it’s ready for paint!     IMU gave it a base coat of black rubber spray paint since it would be sitting outside. Some various wood colors were dry brushed on as well as 2 varieties of metal colored paint for detail. The final touch was adding some rivets throughout the metal bands to give it a really sturdy appearance. The finished chest looks amazing, IMU did a spectacular job with this and it costs next to nothing to make.     Items needed to complete this include: Cardboard box Foam core Hot glue Rivets Black spray paint Wood colored paint Metal colored paint  ...

Blair Witch Dolls

There are few things in life as disconcerting as waking up after a night camping in the woods than to see a bunch of these creepy totems hanging from the trees surrounding you.  And thanks to the tutorial posted by pooky73 over at the HalloweenForum I’ll be well prepared to instill a bit of the Blair Witch fear into everybody on our next trip because these things are incredibly easy to make! Start by cutting some branches for your dolls, you’ll need an equal amount of “Y” pieces and straight pieces for however many you choose to make. Add some hot glue where you want your straight piece to sit and when it’s dry flip it over and add some more hot glue to reinforce the other side of it. Grab a piece of burlap and then fold it diagonally to form a triangle, then fold it diagonally again to form an even smaller triangle and cut the tip off of it.  You’ll now have a perfect piece of burlap with a square hole in the dead center for you to slip over the doll. Add some hot glue to the stem of the doll as well as the arms, slide the burlap over it and press down so the glue will stick to the burlap.  You’ll need to do this to both the front and back of your dolls.  The final step is to cut a couple of pieces of jute.  The first piece should be wrapped around your dolls waist to look like a belt and the other can be tied to the top of the doll to hang it from a tree.   These dolls are easy to make and are a great way to add a little extra atmosphere to any haunt (or backyard).    ...

Anti-Gravity Machine

So is it a prop or is it a costume?  That’s the question I was left with after watching the tutorial on the Anti-Gravity Machine that Brick in the Yard Mold Supply created.  However you decide to categorize it, there is no question that it is completely awesome.  It’s an incredibly intricate build that was definitely worth the effort.  While an anti-gravity machine may not fit in a haunt (or be comfortable to wear at a Halloween party for that matter), the concept behind it could certainly be implemented and is worthy of at least a cursory look....

Burlap Skulls

If you’re looking for a creative alternative to the paper mache skull then feast your eyes on the tutorial for Burlap Skulls that OctART posted over at the HalloweenForum.  It’s pretty much the same process as making a paper mache skull (although considerably less messy) and the finished burlap skull looks amazingly creepy with a tea light inside. You’ll need to start by wrapping your skull with aluminum foil and then cut your burlap into strips. Grab your hot glue gun and start to apply the burlap over the foil covering as much of the skull as necessary.  You’ll want to make sure that you don’t use too much glue in the back so you’ll be able to pull it off the skull. Also, if you’re planning on using a tea light, make sure you’re only applying one layer of burlap where your light will shine through.  You’ll have to remove the foil from those areas as well.  Once all the burlap is in place and dried you can remove it from the skull and spray it will some of your sealant. Items needed to complete this include: Skull Aluminum foil Burlap Hot glue Spray sealant Tea lights...

Clear Plastic Tube Candles...

Everybody loves PVC candles. They’re easy to make and offer some nice ambient lighting without having to fear burning your house down. They’re also incredibly realistic looking, with the one exception being that they are not as translucent as an actual candle when lit. That’s precisely what led Sipesh at the HalloweenForum to come up with a Slightly Different Take on the PVC Candle, utilizing clear plastic fluorescent light bulb protectors instead of PVC.  They’re available at Home Depot and come in four foot lengths. The process is the same as when making PVC candles. You’ll start by cutting you tube to the desired length and then dripping some hot glue along the outside edge of the tube so that it runs down the side. Once covered with glue you’ll need to give it a coat of spray paint. Lighter colors will achieve the translucent effect better than dark but don’t let that stop you from experimenting. After the spray paint has dried you’ll need to build a base for your tea light. Sipesh recommends putting a piece of styrofoam in there as a base, but I suspect you could spray a small amount of great stuff in the tube so that it rises to the desired height you want the tea ligh at as well. That’s all there is to it, but the end result looks great, these really glow nicely.   Items needed to complete this include: Clear plastic tubes Hot glue Spray paint Styrofoam base Tea...

Creepy Scarecrow

I love scarecrows.  There’s something eerily majestic about the way they stand guard over isolated fields, just swaying in the wind.  They’re selfless as they monitor everything that happens, day and night, silently watching.  Waiting.  I’m pretty sure they eat the birds that make the mistake of landing on them, and its entirely possible that they do get off their perches and walk around while I’m asleep, but, I can’t confirm that. With all of that said, if you’re interested in building a scarecrow, Nightfisher posted some great details on the build of his Creepy Scarecrow over at the HalloweenForum that are worth looking at. This project started by hot glueing some burlap over a foam skull and stretching it tight so most of the features of the skull would be visible through the burlap. After adding some stains and shadows Nightfisher added some large metal staples along the scarecrows mouth.  The skull itself rests on a PVC spine. The shoulders and arms of the scarecrow were crafted with some heavy branches. The torso was created by spraying some Great Stuff over a 2 inch block of styrofoam. Nightfisher did an awesome job of spraying the ribs with expanding foam because I’ve got to imagine that was a fairly stressful process.  A few vines were sprayed over the ribs as well to complete the torso. Once completed some black latex was painted in between the ribs and all of the crevices of the torso.  A base coat of brown was dry brushed on after the black latex dried followed by another layer of black and a final coat of light brown.  The vines were given a coat of green paint.  Finishing touches included adding some stitches to the eyes, wrapping some twine around the joints of the arms and hands, and of course, adding a...

Cheap Skeletal Rib Cage...

If you need a rib cage for your haunt and are down to you last few bucks, don’t worry, be happy, because the Count over at the HalloweenForum has created a tutorial on how to create a Cheap Skeletal Rib Cage. It all starts with a trip to WalMart to pickup one of their 18″ high, plain white plastic trash cans. You’ll want to draw your ribcage, sternum and spine on the trash can (the Count recommends using 1/2″ masking tape to delineate the ribs).  Once your outline is complete you’ll need to grab a pair of tin snips and carefully cut out the dead space between the ribs. Make sure to save the bottom and top for last to provide extra stability to the trash can. Once the ribcage is cut it’s time to put some meat on those ribs! The Count mixed and quickly spread several batches of a two part polyurethane foam on his ribcage. Once dried a few layers of reddish brown and black latex paint were added followed by a final coat of lacquer. The finished ribcage looks great and I never would have guessed that it came from WalMart!     Items needed to complete this include: 18″ White trash can 2 part Polyurethane foam Reddish brown latex paint Black latex paint...

Faux Bamboo

Bamboo, while often being mistaken for wood, is actually an incredibly strong grass. It’s got an ultimate tensile strength of 265 MPa (Megapascals), which is pretty incredible when you consider that cast iron only carries with it an ultimate strength of 200 MPa (spider silk has an incredible 1200 MPa, fyi).  This is no doubt the reason that a single 8 foot bamboo cage could contain 5 stranded castaways so well. PVC on the other hand only carries an ultimate strength of 52 MPa, but since it is considerably cheaper and easier to get than bamboo you might want to consider using petejc’s tutorial to make some Faux Bamboo if you have the need to build a cage. You’ll start by using some acetone to clean all of the writing off of the PVC. Once the PVC has been cleaned you’ll want to cut some notches with a razor blade around the pipe for the bamboo nodes. Petejc recommends going around the pipe a couple of times to get the notch deeper for a better effect. Once the nodes are notched in you’re going to need to grab a blow torch and heat your PVC up a bit. This will not only give it a slight discoloration, but will also allow you to compress the pipe a little bit to give the nodes an actual raised appearance. Once the nodes are complete it’s time to sand and stain the PVC. Petejc went with an amber shellac instead of stain on his bamboo. Sanding the pipe adds some texture to the pipe allowing the shellac to adhere to. The shellac when applied with a rag gives a great uneven finish that looks amazingly like real bamboo.     Items needed to complete this include: PVC Blow torch...

Gorey Eyeballs

It’s one thing to make realistic looking eyeballs for use in a skull or creature, but what if you want eyeballs that have been freshly plucked from their sockets?  You know what I’m talking about, the eyeball that’s being pecked at by a crow with muscles and optic nerve still attached.  If that’s what you’re looking for, and trust me, you definitely want some of these, then you’re going to want to check out the Gorey Eyeballs tutorial that Chiapetrescue posted. You’ll start with your pristine, perfectly round eyeball and add a few layers of hot glue to the bottom of it. Once you’ve got a couple layers of hot glue added you’re going to start turning it upside down to let the hot glue start running.   Once you’ve built up enough layers of hot glue to give the appearance of an extended optic nerve, you’re ready for painting.  Chiapetrescue did an awesome job of painting these by starting with a base coat of red spray paint for a bit of a splatter effect and then added an additional coat of red acrylic to it.  Some black acrylic paint was then dry brushed over the base to add a darker finish to it.  A final coat of polyurethane was applied to give it a glossy appearance.  The finished eye balls look fantastically gruesome and are incredibly easy to make.   Items needed to complete this include: Plastic eyeballs Glue Gun Glue Sticks Red Spray Paint Red Acrylic Paint Black Acrylic...

Small Faux Wood Barrel...

Any Halloween prop that necessitates the drinking of beer is naturally going to pique my interest. After all, Halloween prop building and beer go together like peanut butter and jelly, right?  I’m pretty sure Ollieee who posted a great tutorial over at the HalloweenForum detailing how to make a small faux wood barrel using an empty 5 liter mini-keg would agree with me.  Ok, truth is, you don’t really have to buy a keg filled with beer to get this done, you can purchase empty mini-kegs from Midwest Supplies and save a few bucks, but what fun is that.   You’ll start by emptying the barrel if you opted for one filled with beer, you can use whatever method you like for this step, however a pint sized glass works best for me. Once emptied make sure you give it’s good rinse out to remove any leftover suds and the give the exterior a light sanding.  Ollieee gave the barrel a solid base coat of flat black paint, then an additional coat of a dark brown flat paint.     Once the brown base is completed you’ll want to add some faux wood grain to your barrel.  Once the wood grain is completed you’re going to want to paint some metal bands around the barrel as well as any additional decorative text to complete your barrel.     The finished product is pretty great looking and the barrel is just the right size to make me feel like a giant pirate, Arrr!   Items needed to complete this include: 5 liter mini-keg A drinking buddy (optional)...

Bottomless Pit

I’ve always wanted to do a bottomless pit but it’s always seemed like more effort than It was worth. I’ve always told myself that if I had an extra two way mirror that I’d build one for sure. That’s not really a valid excuse, though, because I could always make a Two Way Mirror. Bottom line, I guess I’m just too lazy to make this prop, but that shouldn’t stop you because it’s really not that difficult of a build. Trisha Morse put together a nice tutorial based on Larry Lund’s original build that employs the use of a home made plexiglass two way mirror. You’ll start by building the support frames for the two mirrors. You’re going to cut a groove in the length of your 2×4 to slide the mirror into. Once you’ve got all grooves cut in your four frame pieces you can screw three of them together, slide your mirror in and attach the final 2×4. The walls of the pit are framed with 3/8″ plywood that are secured together using L-brackets. Wood blocks on the outside bottom and top of the walls of the pit allow for it to sit on top of the frame with the regular mirror, while the frame holding the two way mirror can sit on top. This allows the pit walls to run straight into the bottom mirror which is reflecting the two way mirror above, which is also reflecting the pit walls. Since you’ll be viewing it through the two way mirror side, you won’t have to worry about seeing your own reflection. You can add styrofoam rocks to both the inside and outside of your pit to make it look a bit more realistic and you’ll want to be sure to add...

Creepy Shelly

I used to know a girl named Shelly, and while she was hardly what I would consider creepy, I couldn’t help but think of her when I saw undead_october’s tutorial for Creepy Shelly. And that would probably bum her out because Creepy Shelly is terrifying! I mean, I genuinely find it unsettling. Job well done undead_october. I also have to give a tip of the hat to undead_october because I had heretofore never heard of snot rag mâché, or the process of utilizing Kleenex, glue, and water, in place of the typical paper mâché. Again, job well done! This macabre masterpiece started with a child sized skull sculpted using DAS clay. It was hot glued to a two liter bottle that was then attached to a wood base. After extending the neck over the bottle with more clay some aluminum foil arms and shoulders were attached to the bottle with more hot glue. The legs were created with wood dowels attached to the undersized of the wood base and the feet were crafted using oval pieces of craft wood. Once the full frame was in place the entire body was snot rag mâchéd. The final part of the body was the hands, which were sculpted with more clay. Once the body is fully sculpted and mâchéd it was given a coat of brown paint. Undead_october did more than just slap some brown paint on Shelly, though, the highlights added give a truly decayed look to Shelly.   Items needed to complete this include: DAS modeling clay Aluminum foil 2 liter bottle Wood base Wood dowel 2 – Oval wood plaques Kleenex Elmer’s glue Brown paint Old dress...

Deluxe Witches Broom

My mother was the driving force behind my love for all things Halloween. She was born on October 31st so I suppose there was little chance that she wouldn’t love Halloween herself, but It was more than just Halloween. She had a great appreciation for classic horror films, too. I remember on Saturday evenings our local UHF channel (UHF, how’s that for dating yourself!?) would show a classic horror film followed with a few of the old Flash Gordon episodes. Saturday Night at the Movies was a staple at our house and those films have always been a major source of my inspiration. For that I have my mother to thank, and while I can’t imagine my mother doing many of the tutorials on HauntersList, this Deluxe Witches Broom tutorial that Stanley Basconbe (aka Gary Benson) posted is exactly the kind of crafting project that my mother would have loved to do. And she would have owned it, too. You’ll need to start off with a standard straw broom. You’re going to want to remove the metal band if it has one and then cut off the twine that holds the bristles in place. Once you’ve got the twine removed you’ll have a pretty nicely fanned out broom. You’ll want to remove the outer layer of the bristles to create a more narrow broom. At this point you’ll want to focus your attention on creating the ferrule, which is crafted from an automotive oil funnel. You’ll need to cut it down so that it will fit down the broom handle. Once you’ve got the ferrule in place you’re going to want to hot glue some grass skirt to the top of the bristles which will complete your witches broom. Of course you can decorate...

Easy Brain in a Jar

Allen Hopps has a brain the size of a baked potato. Ok, now that I’ve got your attention I should probably rephrase that. Allen’s got a great tutorial on how to easily make a brain in a jar that starts out roughly the size of a baked potato and requires far fewer ingredients than I would put on said potato. His method starts by balling up some aluminum foil and then adding some caulk to it to create the sulci and gyri (brain grooves). Once you drop it in a jar filled with water the size of the brain looks deceptively larger! Items needed to complete this include: 1 gallon jar Aluminum foil Gray silicone caulk Black paint White acrylic paint Polyurethane spray...

The Build of Giant Mushrooms...

Ever hear the phrase “Go big or go home”?  Well I’m pretty sure Rania Peet has, and her larger than life Halloween props sure live up to that standard.  This time she’s set her sites on The Build of Giant Mushrooms, and her finished fungi could not have turned out any better! Her mushroom build is broken down into three core parts: the stem, the cap and the underside gills.  Realistically, I could get the stem and the cap done, but I’d probably fail miserably on the gills. The top and bottom of the stem was made from 3/4″ plywood. She used (3) 2x4s in the center to create an approximately 18″ diameter stem. The 2×4’s are secured to the base using lag screws and washers for extreme strength and stability.  For her build, Rania was lucky enough to have access to a wood cable spool which provided the perfect oversized round base.  The stem was then wrapped with chicken wire. The build of the mushroom cap is pretty ingenious, it consists of a 1′ piece of 4×4 that is securely screwed to a sheet of plywood with lag screws.  She then proceeded to bore four holes through the four by four and ran some rigid electrical conduit through it. Once in place the conduit was bent to provide the cap with a more “mushroom” shaped appearance. Some 3/4″ poly-flex tubing was screwed to the end of the rigid conduit to give the cap a finished, rounded edge.  A layer of chicken wire was then added to the cap which was covered with a dense cheesecloth to hold the layers of spray foam. Think Rania bought a couple of cans of Great Stuff?  Guess again, because this is where she takes this project up a...

1-2-3 EZ Creep

It’s 5 pm on Halloween night and you’ve put up no decorations to great your trick or treaters.  Actually, if you’re a regular at Haunter’s List, there’s probably no chance that this has ever happened to you, but it might be the type of recurring dream that plagues you.  If anyone you know finds themselves in this predicament, though, tell them not to panic, because they’ve probably got all the materials they need to create this cheap and EZ Creep that SpookySam from HauntForum created. You’ll take your ladder and attach your skull (and arms if you’ve got them) to a piece of scrap wood and then set it on the paint shelf.  You can add a cardboard box to the top rung of the ladder and attach it to the scrap wood.  This will add a little bulk to your Creep as well as hold both items in place.  The final step is to add your fabric or clothes to your creep, which can be stapled to itself to keep its shape.     This creep looks great and is the perfect last minute no hassle prop to build.       Items needed to create this include: Step stool (preferably with paint shelf) Foam skull (arms and hands optional) Scrap board Cardboard box Scrap cloth or landscaping...

How to Chop Someone in Half...

Seeing a person cut in half can be a life altering event.  The kind of event that makes you want to try to recreate yourself, which is ok, provided you see the person cut in half at a haunt and not in some back alley in the wee hours of the night.  And that’s pretty much how I’ve felt ever since I was 10 years old and got to see this done at the March of Dimes Haunted House.  It was a terrifying and exhilarating thing for a kid to see, and while it may seem a bit campy by today’s standards, it’s still one of my fondest haunt memories. I’ve seen several tutorials that tackle this prop, but I really like the video tutorial that HauntingHooligan has created.  The tutorial is fairly general, but will give you everything you need to get started creating  this effect.   http://youtu.be/Baqe4MBphUg   Items needed to complete this include: 16′ – 1 x 3″ lumber (approximate) 2′ x 6′ sheet of 1/4″ plywood (approximate) Wire Styrofoam Cloth to cover platform Great stuff Newspaper Old pants Old shirt...

Monster Mud Reaper

Nothing looks better than a well crafted Monster Mud Reaper standing guard over your cemetery.  As he welcomes recently departed souls to their final resting grounds, this dark and foreboding spirit will cause all eyes to focus their attention to him if for no other reason than to make sure he isn’t actually alive.  And the best part is, he’s pretty easy to build if you follow the tutorial that Jimmyzdc wrote up at HalloweenForum. The frame of your reaper will be created by securing a steel flange to a 2 x 2′ piece of MDF board and then threading a 4” steel pipe to the flange.  You’ll connect the PVC that will create your reaper’s spine to the 4″ steel pipe and then connect your 4 way PVC cross fitting to the top so you can add your arms.   Once the PVC frame is complete you’ll wrap some chicken wire around the skeleton for the reaper’s body and then measure out your burlap and drape it on the chicken wire to verify you have the correct size and shape for the reaper you want.   Once you have the reaper shaped to your liking you’ll peel your burlap off and dip it in your monster mud until its completely submerged in the mud.  Once coated, remove it from the mud and squeeze off the excess mud as you pull.  Re-drape it on your frame and continue until you’ve got all of your burlap reassembled on the reaper. Once coated in monster mud, make sure you use a some Drylock masonry sealer to weather proof your reaper otherwise you may have a mess on your hands if it rains.   Items needed to complete this include: (2) 90 degree PVC elbows (3) 45 degree PVC elbows (1) 4-Way PVC...

Spirit Panel

If you want to add a bit of subtle detail to your haunt walls, Violetkitty has an instructable for a Spirit Panel that could very easily be used.  The tutorial is based on an original idea titled Ghosts in the Bookcase Halloween Project, and it’s a simple way to add some depth to any flat surface. In a nutshell you’re going to glue or screw down the item you want protruding from the wall.  You’ll then start to cover the protruding items with your paper mache mixture so that it completely covers them and appears to be stretching the wall.  After you’ve got the items coated you’ll need to let them dry a bit and then cover the entire surface with the paper mache mixture.  Once completely coated you can sand it down a bit and paint it.     The great thing about this idea is that you can use plastic masks, skulls, prop hands, pretty much whatever you want to appear to be coming through the walls.  It’s not a tricky project, and it can add a nice wrinkle to an otherwise plain wall.     Items needed to complete this include: Plywood (or the flat surface of your choice) Plastic Mask Manicure plastic hand Gorilla glue Celluclay paper- mache Sandpaper Latex...

Full Size Zombie

If you’re looking to build a full size zombie that you can leave outside you’re going to need something that is a little more solid, and once again, Dr. Kreepy has just the tutorial you’re looking for. The lower body is framed using 2 x 4’s for legs attached to a 1 x 6 waist while the spine, shoulders, and arms are crafted out of PVC.  After the frame is in place you’ll need to bulk out the torso and the legs.  You can certainly wrap the legs and body with foam and duct tape it tight, or you can use the Dr. Kreepy method and use balled up newspaper or plastic. When mounting it you can use a plywood base and screw the legs to it, otherwise you can grab a pair of old boots and throw in some quick drying cement.  You’ll need to add your favorite mask and a pair of prop hands if they’ll be visible.     Items needed to complete this include: 2 – 2×4 approximately 35″ 1 – 1 x 6 appoximately 17″ 1 – 20″ 2 x 4 6 pieces 3/4 PVC 4 – 3/4″90 degree PVC 3/8″ or thicker 2′ x 2′ plywood Old clothes Skull or mask Duct Tape Newspaper or foam Screws  ...

Quick & Easy Armature...

I’ve got to tip my hat to Nightrideproductions from the HalloweenForum, who has proof that literally everything you own can be incorporated into your next prop build.  This Quick and Easy Armature is built using a tomato cage and is all you’ll need to get a few more last minute zombies popping out of your cemetery without exerting much effort along the way. You’ll start by flipping your tomato cage so the largest circle is on the ground and then bend the two side wires so they form shoulders and arms.  The third and final wire should be bent inward and then up 90 degrees so the styrofoam head can slide down onto it.   The newspaper and duct tape should be added around the shoulders and arms to add a little body to your armature before adding your mask and shirt, but that’s pretty much all there is to it.  Bend the wires back into place when your done using it and it’ll be ready for the spring tomato crop.   Items needed to complete this include: Tomato cage Styrofoam head Tent stakes Newspaper Duct tape Wire...

Halloween Graves

You’ve built your fence, carved your tombstones, and even built a grave grabber to put in your cemetery.  Job well done, but if you want to add a touch of that “freshly buried” look to your cemetery you do have a couple of options.  You could dig down about 2 inches into your yard removing the top layer of nicely manicured green grass and mix up your dirt until it’s nicely mounded, or you could follow the tutorial provided by Adrian McCarthy on creating Halloween Graves. His method utilizes a beach towel, some chicken wire, and some potting soil.  No need for a shovel or grass seed when you’re done!   Items needed to complete this include: an old beach towel brown fabric dye spray glue potting soil or mulch chicken wire or newspapers several 3-inch nails (optional) tombstone (optional) skeletal hands and feet...

Necronomicon Tutorial...

Writing the Necronomicon may take you a lifetime, but creating the cover for this ancient tome isn’t that difficult if you follow the tutorial from Zombie Nations. You’ll start by pulling the paper off of a photo album until you’re down to the cardboard.  Create your basic shapes for the back cover using some Super Sculpey sculpting compound and then continue to cover the entire page.  Once you’ve got the entire page covered you can use a little turpentine and an artists brush to smooth out the Sculpey.  Once the turpentine dries you can add some wrinkles and other finer details.  Once dried, put it in the oven at 250 degrees for about 30 minutes and once its fully baked, coat it with some black primer.     The front of the Necronomicon created in this tutorial pretty much follows the same procedure as the back cover.  You’ll use your Super Sculpey to create the face and then continue to cover the entire cover with Sculpey.  You’ll need to smooth it out using turpentine, then cook it and prime it.  Once you’ve got both side fully primed with the black paint you’re going to apply a base coat of brown to both covers.  Once complete, you’ll be brushing some thinned down dark brown acrylic paint to it.  This will settle into the cracks of the book and you’ll finish it off by drybrushing a lighter brown over the entire book.  The eyes can be painted using whatever color scheme you see fit to use.  When completed lightly spray the entire book with some Spray Matte Fixative.     The book that was created in this tutorial turned out amazing, I wouldn’t mind having a copy of the one pictured above.  Rest assured, though, that...

Two Way Mirror

There’s nothing scarier than a good two way mirror prop, except of course paying for the two way mirror, which can be downright terrifying.  Thankfully, Gila Privacy Film can help you turn a piece of glass into a fully functional two way mirror for at least an eighth of what you would drop for a manufactured two-way mirror.  It’s available at Home Depot and other home improvement stores and comes in 3′ x 15′ rolls (you’ll want to pickup some of the Gila Window Film Application Solution and a squeegie as well). HalloweenAlliance has put together a nice video tutorial on the entire process, which is overall a pretty simple project.  You will definitely want two people for this because peeling the privacy film apart can be a tricky solo proposition.  Getting the bubbles out can be frustrating, but it’s not impossible and if you’re persistent enough you can create a flawless looking two way mirror.     Items needed to complete this include: Piece of glass Frame Gila Privacy Film Gila Window Film application solution...

The Build of a Giant Spider...

It seems like we can’t go more than a few weeks without a good spider tutorial here at Haunter’s List, but Rania Peet’s latest prop tutorial, The Build of a Giant Spider is way better than “good”.  This is one oversized arachnid that could not possibly have turned out any better. In her tutorial you’ll start off making your head and body out of tension wire covered with chicken wire.  The tension wire comes round but is completely bendable to get whatever shape you see fit to make, it doesn’t necessarily have to be round.  The base is a rounded sheet of plywood that holds securely in place the 8 pieces of pvc that will form your legs.  Once the base is complete and painted, the body of your spider can be connected to it via a piece of metal flat bar.   The legs consist of three sections of 1″ pvc, a 5′ section that comes off the 45 degree fittings at the base, then connects to a 3′ section at the middle of the leg, and finishes with a 2′ section at the end.  Once the legs are attached Rania wrapped the pvc with some burlap and proceeded to spray Great Stuff in the gap.  The Great Stuff pushes the burlap and expands through the tiny gaps creating an amazingly creepy appearance that look both bulbous and hairy (just as I suspect spider legs would look like if you enlarged them to 17 feet in diameter).  Once complete they legs were coated with flat black spray paint. The body is covered with several yards of two tone long pile fur that were applied in sections.  The fur can be costly, but you cannot beat the appearance it gives the spider, it’s creepy unto...

Sand Casting Skulls

If you have access to a sandbox, or even just have some sand and a box you can put it to good use in making some skulls using the sand casting tutorial that partsman at HalloweenForum wrote.  You’ll need some play sand, a box, some great stuff, and a foam skull (or whatever you chose to cast).   Once you’ve got all your supplies, you’re basically just pressing the skull into the sand and packing the sand really tight around it.  Once it’s packed, just remove the form and add some great stuff to the impression you’ve created.  As you can see the resulting product has a really great looking stone appearance to it....

Foam Barrels

Ok, since September 19th was International Talk Like a Pirate Day, (and I was completely unaware of this fact), I thought I’d post the tutorial that fravak from HalloweenForum penned on how to make foam barrels.  The barrels are crafted using styrofoam blocks, the kind that are used to stack small flatbed trailers, and while these may be hard to come by, even if you don’t need barrels and have access to these, they are gold, take them. Since the foam blocks start out square, fravak utilized the lid from a 5-gallon bucket to outline the round shape you’ll need.  From there the corners were cut off using a hot wire cutter and the entire block was sanded down using a drywall rasp to round it out.  Once this is complete the detailing of the barrel will actually begin.  A soldering iron will be needed to carve out the individual pieces of wood on all sides of the barrel.   Once this is complete you can add some finer detail by adding graining to all the wood planks with the soldering iron.  Fravak utilized paper mache for the straps around the barrels and a piece of blue foam for the plug.   Once all of these steps are complete it’s time to paint it up.  The base is a browish color while the top he top is covered with a black wash that fravak rubbed all over the barrel to make the color more uneven. The end result is phenomenal, these barrels look completely realistic they don’t cost much, and they’re light as a feather.  So next International Talk Like a Pirate Day, don’t forget to grab one of your barrels as you strut around town saying “Ahoy, me hearties, let’s see what crawled out of the bung hole.”, it’ll just make a lot more...

Making a Drop Panel

A drop panel prop is great for some quick and easy screams, and building one is a pretty easy process as long as you can cut a hole in a wall.   Ok, it’s a little more involved than that, but if you’ve ever wanted to build one for your haunt, check out the tutorial that Brad of Bradsboobarn made.  There are a lot of videos out there on how to build this prop, and they’re all pretty much the same, but I really like the way Brad has incorporated his kids into this video, really cool....

Mr. Gravedigger

I’ve wanted to build every prop I’ve come across lately, but none as much as I want to build this one.  The Gravedigger that Mizerella at 102 Wicked Things To Do created for her cemetery is amazing looking and doesn’t seem that difficult to pull off (said the guy that’s never created an entire person out of paper mache). The head of this fellow will take the most care and attention to detail when creating.  It’s made using a foam skull that’s a blend of paper mache, mache pulp, and Creative paper clay.  The features of his face including the nose, ears, tongue, teeth and eye brows will need to be built up with the Creative paper clay which is where some basic sculpting abilities will come in handy.     Once you’ve got the head done you’re almost done.  The rest of the prop is a pvc frame that’s been heated and bent to give him a warped stance.  The pvc frame is then covered in chicken wire and paper mached numerous times.  The arms and legs incorporated pool noodles to build them up before coating them in paper mache.  The final piece of the puzzle when creating this fellow were the hands, which were a mixture of wire, cut straws and many layers of paper mache and mache pulp.   Once all of the pieces of the puzzle are complete it’s just a matter of dressing this guy up in your favorite old clothes and finding a final resting spot for him.  Mizerella’s gravedigger looks incredible and I’m a little skeptical on whether I can make one that looks as nice, but I will definitely be giving this guy a...

Chicken Wire Ghosts

I’m going to be honest here, I’m not sure exactly who is making all of these chicken wire ghosts for their haunts, but I’m guessing that their hands and arms are covered with tiny little red spots from where the chicken wire pierced their skin.  Seriously, though, I’ve noticed that a ton of people lately are searching for the chicken wire ghost prop, and while it’s not something that I would ever consider doing, they sure do look cool when they’re done right.  Shawn and Lynne Mitchell have put together a pretty concise DIY tutorial on how to make these.  You can make them with or without the cheesecloth dressing to get the look that’s best for you.   Items needed to complete this include: semi-transparent fabric S-hooks thin wire mannequin head roll of chicken wire with 1-inch cells roll of chicken wire with 2-inch cells wire cutters cheesecloth scissors wire hanger work...

Alien Capsule

Now that the C.I.A. has actually acknowledged the existence of Area 51 it’s almost like they’re giving their seal of approval to the Muddy River Haunt’s tutorial for an Alien Capsule.  Almost.  And even if they’re not, we’re more than happy to give this prop a thumbs up because it’s exactly what we suspect we would find in the bowels of Area 51.  It’s a really simple prop to build and will add a really cool element to any alien scene. It’s basically a wood box that’s wrapped with plexiglass and aluminum flashing with an alien inside.  Even though they’re listed as optional, I would highly recommend using the fog machine and strobe light with this prop.   Items needed to complete this include: Aluminum Flashing: 1 sheet 3 ½’ X 7′ 2 sheets 3′ X 16” 1 sheet 1′ X 7′ 2X4 wood:  (4) 2”X 4”X 7′ (4) 2”X 4”X 3′ (2) 1”X 3”X 2′ Miscellaneous: 1 sheet Plexiglass 5′ X 3’X 0.016” (Thin enough to bend without cracking or without too much pressure) Some pieces of thin lattice board Alien for inside the capsule Optional: Fog machine Pipe Strobe...

Stone Wall Facade

Stone walls for your haunted castle may be hard to come by but if you’ve got some time and some plywood you can create your own.  The Bronson Boneyard has a tutorial that shows how to create a stone wall facade using monster mud applied onto plywood. You’ll start by painting the plywood black, and then applying masking tape where you would like the mortar joints. Then, you’ll apply a thick coat of monster mud to the entire sheet, and then remove the masking tape. The great thing about this method is that once the monster mud starts to dry it lightens up, which eliminates the need to paint the mortar joints, and it also begins to crack slightly, which gives it a realistic stone appearance.   Items needed to complete this include: Plywood (4′ x 8′ sheets) Black paint Masking tape Monster...

Bats Are Easy

Every haunt needs some bats flying around, and if you’ve got some skills with a paint brush and some patience you can make as many as you want following Born2haunt’s method, because Bats Are Easy.  These bats do seem pretty easy to make when you consider that they’re made using a styrofoam body with wire poking through it for the wing bones. The wire is then wrapped in cotton and paper towels are applied as skin.  The entire bat is then generously coated with liquid latex and painted to suit.  The great part about this prop build is that you can customize it to your heart’s content.  Sure, it’s probably easier to go out and buy some bats, but they won’t look nearly as realistic as these will.   Items needed to complete this include: Styrofoam Wire Cotton balls Liquid latex Paper Towels Acrylic paint Hot...

Zombie Build

I’m truly amazed at some of the great looking props that people are able to build that cost next to nothing, and the creative ways they go about accomplishing it.  Sytnathotep is one such prop builder with his 1/2 zombie build, which looks great and probably didn’t cost a whole lot.  The spine of the zombie is crafted using three three foot sections of 12/2 electrical wire that are braided together to give it some extra rigidity.  Since this is a 1/2 zombie it doesn’t have to support any real weight (no legs). The shoulders are 3/4″ pvc connected via a cross fit connection that slides over the spine while the collar bones are more 12/2 electrical wire, and the scapulas are styrofoam insulation.  With a wire clothes hanger ribcage and hands made out of wire with plastic pen tube fingers this project is not exactly breaking the bank.  Once the skull slides onto the electrical wire all that’s left to do is corpse and paint this bad boy! What I really like about Sytnathotep’s zombie is his corpsing technique.  He used the melted plastic method as a base, but then stretched cheesecloth and spider web dipped in a 50/50 mixture of black latex house paint and elmers glue all over the zombie.   It really does give the appearance of rotting flesh and is well worth the effort and the mess that it creates. Items needed to complete this include: 12′ – 12/2 electrical wire Skull 6 wire clothes hangers 1 pvc cross fit connector Scrap styrofoam 10 Plastic pen tubes Duct tape Plastic for corpsing Cheesecloth / Spider webbing Latex paint Elmers...

Raven Manor Mausoleum...

When does your passion for home haunting become an obsession?  When you have to file a building permit to construct a temporary Mausoleum in your yard.  Which is good, because I don’t think that Raven Manor had to file for a permit, but the passion for their yard haunt is second to none.  The Mausoleum is a perfect fit in their front yard cemetery, but it’s real purpose is to house their flying crank ghost, Eleanor.  That’s right, they built it for their flying crank ghost, how awesome is that! The Mausoleum stands 9′ tall by 10′ deep by 8′ wide and was framed in sections that are connected by carriage bolts.  It looks superb and is the perfect house for Eleanor.  While there really isn’t a step by step tutorial for this build, they do have the plans used to construct the Mausoleum as well as some general information about the framing of it, which should be more than enough to get your creative juices...

The Unborn

The Crawlspace Haunter has created one of the coolest and creepiest looking props that I’ve laid my eyes on.  It’s based on a creature from the film The Unborn.  It turned out great and its the kind of prop that is guaranteed to give people nightmares.  Its made with a pvc frame that’s laid out as if you were building an animals skeleton.   The pvc that makes up the backbone was heated up to give it a bit of a curve.  The rest is a mixture of cardboard, tissue, and paper mache to give it some body.   Items needed to complete this include: 1/2″ or 3/4″ PVC (amount to be determined by your build size) 4 – 90 degree pvc 4 – 45 degree pvc 1 – cross connector pvc fitting 1 – pvc T fitting Skull Cardboard Tissue Paper mache Foam pipe insulation Wire I’m honestly not sure which photo creeps me out more, the night shot, or the daytime...

Making an Electrical Transformer...

High voltage is not something you want to be messing around with unless you really know what you’re doing.  Luckily, Terra from HalloweenForum really knows what she’s doing, and she’s created a video tutorial on how to make authentic looking electrical transformers.  They’re created with trash cans, pool noodles, pvc and rope, but you can make them as intricate as you’d like.  When you put a strobe light under the trash can it really gives the appearance that the transformer is arcing, which, coupled with some high intensity audio will scare the heck out of anybody!     Items needed to complete this include: Two trash cans in a good transformer shape One pool noodle 14″ thick manila twisted rope Four 18″ lengths of 3/4″ PVC pipe Two 12″ lengths of 1/2″ PVC pipe Two 1/2″ PVC elbow connectors Two 19″ lengths of plastic plumber’s tape Two scraps of 1 1/2″ foam (6 1/2″ long, 3″ wide) Two 12″ metal strappings Four car model wheels or something similar 220 volt sticker Bullet hole stickers Portable strobe light Hot glue sticks Gray latex Drylok...

Kingwood Asylum Scarecrows...

When the guys over at the Kingwood Asylum set out to build some scarecrows they had two real objectives in mind.  The first was to make something wickedly evil looking, while the second was not to spend a lot of money completing objective number one.  I would say their objectives were met with success.  These scarecrows are amazing looking, and judging from their parts list, didn’t cost too much per unit.  As creepy as it looks in the photos below, just imagine how amazing they’ll look at night with a little bit of creative lighting.   Items needed to complete this include: Elmers Wood Glue (1 large bucket) 10 metal coat hangers 2 rolls masking tape 1 marker Oodles of newspaper 2 pieces of pvc pipe 1 metal rod to go in the pvc pipe Wig Spray...

Spyderwood Crypt

If you’ve constructed a mausoleum for your haunt or are just looking for something different for your cemetery you might want to give a look at the Spyderwood Crypt tutorial.   It’s a little bit more detailed of a build than the coffin that Spyderwood created, but it doesn’t seem significantly more difficult to build and shouldn’t prove to be much heavier than the coffin.     Items needed to create this include: 3 sheets of pink insulation foam 8 to 10 – 1 x 2″ lumber staples hotglue paint decorations hinges finishing...

Full Size Jack Skellington Build...

If you’re a fan of Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas, and quite frankly, who isn’t, then you’re going to love the tutorial that KAM3152 penned for her blog DIY Nightmare Before Christmas Halloween Props.  The prop seems pretty simple to build, although I’m not sure I could successfully clothe a full size Jack Skellington quite as well as KAM3152 did.     Jack’s body is built using 1/2″ PVC frame while his head is crafted out of a foam floral ball.  The arms are a pair of prop skeleton arms from a party supply store, but if you don’t feel like purchasing hands for this build you can create your own Clay Skeletal Hands.  This prop ultimately comes down to the clothing, and if you can give Jack a proper looking suit, you’re going to have a great looking prop on your hands.   Items needed to complete this include but are not limited to: 18′ – 1/2″ PVC (approximately) 1 PVC T joint 1 PVC Cross Joint 2 – 45 degree or 90 degree PVC joints for shoulders/elbows Skeletal Hands Round floral ball Material for...

Haunted Tree

I’ve always been a big fan of the scene in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves when Snow White is running through the forest and the entire evil forest is trying to grab her.   I love that scene, and I’m pretty sure Mizerella from the 102 Wicked Things To Do blog is a fan as well.  She’s constructed a tree that would definitely be worthy of residence in Snow White’s forest.   The tree is created using two round concrete forms that can be split for easier storage along with a mixture of paper mache and celluclay.  It doesn’t seem like an extraordinarily difficult project and the tree looks incredible.     Items needed to complete this include: 2 Concrete building forms (sonotube) 1/4 sheet of plywood Newspaper Masking tape Paper mache Celluclay Coat hangers Branches (to spread on top)...

Spider Egg Sack

WIth all the spider tutorials that we’ve been posting lately, isn’t it about time you see where they all come from?  The answer, of course, is from Spider Egg sacs, and Voodoo Willy from Halloween Forum has a great tutorial on how to create them.  These egg sacs are crafted using chicken wire wrapped in polyester batting to form the mass of the prop.     The ping pong balls are then glued to the surface of the egg sac and the entire sac is painted.  After its dried up the webbing is dipped in latex and stretched around the egg sac.     They’re easy to produce and are a creepy finishing touch to any haunt that has a giant spider.   Items needed to complete this include: Chicken wire Wire cutters Ping pong balls exacto blade Hot glue gun polyester batting (the thin kind) Spider webbing Liquid latex airbrush acrylic...

Spyderwood Coffin

If you’re looking to build a coffin but don’t want an overly heavy prop then you might want to checkout Spyderwood’s styrofoam coffin tutorial.  The frame of this coffin is made out of 1 x 2 lumber, which, even when covered with styrofoam won’t be as heavy as your typical toe pincher.     You’re probably not going to want to get inside this coffin, but if you’re just planning on putting a skeleton or other prop inside, you might want to give this lightweight coffin a try.   Items needed to complete this include: 2 sheets of pink insulation foam 8 – 1 x 2″ lumber staples hotglue paint decorations hinges finishing...

Stiltbeast Studios Human Pelt...

Allen Hopps tutorial on how to make a human pelt is one of those tutorials that makes me scratch my head and ask myself  “Why didn’t I think of that”.  It’s such an easy idea and the finished product looks great, so if you’ve got need for a human pelt for your haunt then watch the video below because it could not be any easier....

The Making Skulls Series...

What makes Canadian skulls better than American Skulls?  Brad Goodspeed,of course!  The skulls he produces in his Making Skulls series of videos are so good looking it’s hard to believe that they start off being a cheap styrofoam skull. These videos are an invaluable tool to anyone that wants to create gruesome looking skulls.  There’s a ton of useful information packed into 40 minutes that every haunter needs to see.     And don’t forget to check out the Making Glow In The Dark Teeth tutorial to make some teeth for your skulls!  ...

Wailing Tree

When I was little the one thing that used to creep me out more than anything was walking through any kind of wooded area.  I was certain the trees were alive and it would absolutely freak the heck out of me.  I never truly felt like I was alone out there.  Thank goodness I didn’t see the Wailing Tree that the Ghostess over at the Dead End created when I was a kid, because I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have ever gone near a tree again.     The frame of this tree is made of PVC while the body is a combination of chicken wire, paper mache, and a little bit of Great Stuff to seal the bottom.  While not tremendously hard to create, you can tell that the Ghostess really put a lot of care into the creation of this prop.  It’s an absolute thing of beauty, and I don’t think I’d be happy building just one, I want a whole forest of these things!     Items needed to complete this include: 1 Bucky Skull PVC (variable depending on the size) Chicken wire Paper mache Great Stuff 14 gauge wire (for branches) Silk leaves DryLok masonry sealer Black / Brown / Gray Paint...

The Making of Grim

In 2008 the Grim Hollow Haunt created an incredible looking prop simply named Grim.  This sinister looking creation stands approximately 5 feet tall and represents everything I fear is walking through the woods at night.  I cannot imagine a better prop to welcome guests to a haunt than Grim, and thankfully, Grim, host of the Grim Hollow Haunt has left a short tutorial on the steps needed to create this amazing monstrosity. This creation rests on a 1 x 2″ wood skeleton that is covered in chicken wire and paper mache.  The hands and feet are simply wire coat hangers with duct tape wrapped around them.  Grim did some additional distressing of the creature via rope vines and cheesecloth, while a foam Funkin head was carved and given an ominous paint job.   Items needed to complete this include: 1 x 2″ lumber 1 x 3″ lumber Chicken wire Wire coat hangers Paper mache Duct tape Rope (as needed) Flat black paint Cheesecloth Foam Funkin...

Making a Medieval Cauldron...

Five years ago CreepChrisS took the medieval cauldron prop build as seen on Woody Carr’s ScareFX site and won the Mad Lab’s September 2007 contest with it!  His prize?  A foam tombstone of course, but in doing so he’s left us all a prize in a clear and concise tutorial on how to build this fine looking cauldron. Before you do anything you’ll want to find a spare 55 gallon plastic drum, which can be tricky, but if you don’t have access to one you can always find a water storage barrel at a hardware store that will fit the bill.  You’ll need to start by cutting approximately 1/4 off the top.  Next you’re going to spray paint the entire barrel with your black spray paint and then add the pool noodle, sill foam, and styrofoam balls. After painting the styrofoam pieces with the black acrylic paint you’ll need to drybrush the entire cauldron with the grey and brown acrylic paints to give it some character.  If you really want to make it look good, you’ll go ahead and add some Hot Burning Coals underneath it.   Items needed to complete this include: 55 gallon plastic drum Pool noodle Flat black spray paint Sill foam Styrofoam balls Black acrylic paint Grey acrylic paint Brown acrylic...

PVC Skeletons

Not all grave grabbers need to be motorized, and if you’re interested in building an inexpensive one that still looks good then checkout LastHouse’s tutorial over at HalloweenForum.  It’s a pretty easy project that allows for plenty of artistic freedom, but you will need a little bit of skill to cut the PVC for the rib cage, and of course you’ll need a blowtorch to get the PVC hot enough to bend.   Once the ribcage is done, though, you’re all set to pose and bring your skeleton to life.  The nice thing about this prop is that while it may look like a complete disaster while you’re framing it, once you’ve coated it with the Great Stuff and painted it up, it’ll take on a life of its own.  And don’t forget to reference LastHouse’s tutorial on skeletal hands to add to your skeleton. Items needed to complete this include: Two 3/4 ” pieces of PVC 3 PVC T’s Some scrap 2 x 4 Hot glue ( LOTS) Liquid Nails Great Stuff Some Scrap foam Duct tape Drylock paint Model Magic clay...


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