October is just around the corner and with it comes many peoples favorite holiday, Halloween! Trick or treaters will soon be donning their costumes and going door to door for treats and fun. Instead of simply greeting kids at the door, why not convert your garage into an awesome haunted house. Here’s some ideas for using your garage space for a great spooky experience.

Clean Up
Of course the first thing you want to do is to clean out any obstacles or items that could be dangerous such as sharp objects or flammable liquids. Make sure there are no oil spills or slick spots that someone could slip on. Take out any low hanging items such as bikes on hangers, etc. Hang sheets or curtains over shelves to hide them.

Make a Plan
Create a floor plan layout of how you want to set up your haunted house. Have a clear enter and exit area. Thick cardboard is excellent for partitioning off sections of your garage. Each section or room should have it’s own ‘scare’ such as a pop-up ghost or caged madman. You may want to add things like short crawl ways with tubes or boxes for kids to go through. Keep lighting in mind, but of course you never want it too well lit. Simple darkness is the best way to make imaginations run wild so use that to your advantage.

Adding Decorations and Props
A quick trip to the local Halloween store will give you plenty of props and decorations to use. Sometimes subtlety is the best like rubber spiders hanging from the ceiling that you can barely see. Tall, creepy, looming figures stashed in a dark corner are great for giving chills. Avoid things that may break if knocked-over. Keep in mind the age group you will have going through your haunted house especially if you have very young children in your neighborhood.

Lights and Sound
Purposeful lighting and a scary soundtrack will help enhance your haunted garage. As we said before, darkness itself is scary for most kids but you may want to add fun lighting like a strobe or black light. Also use lights to cast scary shadows on the walls.

Use Your Friends
It’s usually not hard to conjure up a couple of friends to be actors for your haunted house. Teenagers that are a little to old to trick or treat are also a great resource which also keeps them busy from creating mischief.

Decorating the Outside
The best way to attract trick or treaters in your haunted garage is decorating the outside. Line the path to your garage with jack-o-lanterns and other scary props such as gravestones or zombie hands sticking out of the ground. You may want to create a theme for your haunted house such as an asylum or haunted castle. Create a story line to tell kids before entering like an escaped madman or wild animal has been living in your garage.

Remember that Halloween should be all about having fun and don’t allow anyone too young to enter if you feel it’s too scary. A just reward for surviving your haunted house should be available as kids exit.