Below are some of
the important final touches we do when setting up our tombstones
and graveyard. But remember, if you want realism, too little or to
much can spoil the effect. Its very important not to over do
your tombstone enhancements or they will not appear to be
the real thing.
as many different styles of tombstones
as you can afford to buy and/or make. Try to buy better
quality tombstones if you can, they look much more realistic
than less expensive ones and will last longer since they can take more abuse. If this is your
first year to add tombstones or a graveyard to your
Halloween haunt start out with a
dozen or more then add a few more every year. In a few years
you'll have a very impressive graveyard filled with
tombstones for your Halloween
Use dirt to
make burial mounds where your tombstones will be. If you
have a supply of dirt, you can build up six to eight
mounds in front of each Tombstone. If you don't happen
to have any extra dirt yourself, you can have a small truck load
brought in from a landscaping company for a small change.
Just remember, you'll need to do something with all that
extra dirt after Halloween. Scatter leaves, twigs and
branches around the area to give it an untended look.
For that really
old, abandoned or overgrown graveyard feel, add Spanish
moss, leaves and vines. Spanish moss adds a great effect
when glued in bunches at the base of and on the tombstones.
Next, drape and glue some Spanish moss and silk vines over
the top of your tombstones. Make sure each tombstone is done
a little differently
than the others and be careful not to add too much or you
will bury your tombstones! These can be
found at most craft stores or your local nursery.
can place small bouquets, wreaths or vases of wilted flowers
at the base of a few of your tombstones and monuments. These
can be real flowers that have been allowed to dry and
wither, or you can buy artificial flowers from a local craft
store. Autumn or winter flowers tend to look best. You can
even find black or gray colored flowers and roses, which
look especially ominous in a Halloween graveyard! Simple
touches like this can really add realism to your graveyard.
drill powered Cobweb
Spinner or Stretchable Cob Webs to web some or all of your
tombstones. We use a Cobweb Spinner to add cobwebs from
the sides of the tombstones down to the ground. You can
carefully place a few plastic spiders in the webs for an
added scare. Cobweb Shooters and extra cobweb fluid are available from sources on line. Bags of
inexpensive stretchable Halloween cobwebs
are available at most stores during the month of
an added effect we like to attach a
artificial raven, crow or vulture to the top of a tombstone as thought he is
perched and watching over that particular grave. The ones we use have a
metal wire sticking out from each foot allowing you to
push these wires into the top of a tombstone to hold the
place. You can also position some artificial crows and maybe an owl in the trees as well. Artificial ravens, crows,
owls and vultures are available from
local craft stores.
You can hang
spooky props and decorations from tree limbs for added
atmosphere. The "Super Ghost"
is a four foot tall prop, looks great and looks very
ghostly when illuminated with a hidden black light. If you
hang one over a tombstone it looks as though it is raising
from out of the grave. You can also hang artificial bats from tree
limbs using light-weight fishing line. There are lots of
other props and decorations that can be used this way.
always look as though they belong in a graveyard. You can
skeleton so that it is standing next to or behind a
tombstone. Or you can have it sitting on the
ground and leaning against a tombstone. You can have one or
two skeletons sitting on a park style bench in the
graveyard. The "Bucky" skeleton
is very realistic and relatively inexpensive. Piles of
skulls and bones can also make a great addition.
no matter how great your Halloween props and decorations
are, they must be illuminated at night for people to see
them! Colored outdoor flood lights are
great for illuminating your graveyard. We place our flood light bulbs in a
aluminum clamp-on housing that we have spray painted with
flat black stove paint to better conceal it. Make sure you don't overload your circuit breakers! We
like to use blue colored flood light bulbs to give a ghostly look
to the area.
There's nothing like a layer of fog floating
ominously through the night air and/or creeping over the ground
to really give a scare to your trick or treaters. Use a fog
machine or multiple fog machines to fill the night air with fog and
put a real chill into your visitors. You can even build a
"Fog Chiller" device that makes the fog hug the ground when
it exits the fog machine for a really creepy effect. More information can be found about using
fog machines and plans for building a "Fog Chiller"
Add a lightning
generator to your yard haunt or the back of your graveyard.
One of the most
popular and effective special effects to add to a yard haunt is simulated
thunder and lightning. Just imagine the reaction from your
trick or treaters to a bright white flash of
light in the night sky followed by the deep rumbling sound of thunder. Visit
The Yard Haunter
for more information on using a lightning machine.
If you plan on placing real or artificial
Jack O' Lanterns in or around your Halloween
graveyard we highly suggest that you do not use candles for
obvious safety reasons. Instead, use battery powered LED lighting units meant to
illuminate your Jack O' Lanterns instead of using candles.
Another advantage is that they are unaffected by wind.