Belfast Telegraph

Turn your house into a haunted house for Halloween

Get inspired by top party planner’s decorating ideas, says Annie Deakin .

In just over a week, it will be time to undo all your nesting skills and transform your cosy home into a spooky Halloween lair. Vanessa Story, CEO and Co-founder of Kasimira Party Organisers, shares her tricks of the trade in decorating a home for a Halloween party.

1. Capture the creepiness of Halloween in your bathroom - ‘Fill the bath with thick red goo, and float things like eyeballs, spiders, severed fingers, skulls and creepy crawlies in it,’ says Story. ‘Add bloody red handprint and footprint stickers, and have them trailing out of the bath and along the bathroom floor as a finishing touch. All these items can be easily bought online.’

2. Decorate the walls - Masks are not just for the face, insists Story. ‘Get a variety of eerie Halloween masks and stick them all over your walls to give the scary impression you are being watched wherever you go.’

3. Prepare a monstrous meal - When Kasimira throw a Halloween party, expect to find lychee eyeballs, severed finger sandwiches and spaghetti for brains in their spooky banqueting feasts. Make mini witch’s broomsticks from thin pretzels and sweet shoelaces or hot dog mummies. For drinks, whip up a pumpkin smoothie, a ‘rotten’ apple punch and swamp juice

4. Spin your own web - Drape your home with inexpensive fake cobwebs made from ripped cheesecloths, cotton wool or bought readymade. ‘Weave fake cobwebs in and out of bannisters,’ says Story, ‘Then decorate the cobwebs with toy spiders, worms, and other ghoulish props.’

5. Blow spooky wisps of smoke - Dim your lights very low, use dark coloured bulbs or only candlelight for an eery glow. ‘Hire a dry ice machine and buy a soundtrack of scary sounds such as creaking doors and whistling winds, to create that extra ghoulish vibe to your Halloween party,’ advises Story.

6. Pimp your pumpkin - ‘Carve scary faces out of pumpkins, and position in every window of the house, to welcome (or detract!) guests.’ If Story’s idea of carving seems too much of a labour intensive task, cheat by drawing ghoulish faces with a black marker pen.

7. Be creative with what’s in your garden - Story finds inspiration everywhere she turns; ‘Collect twigs, branches and dead leaves in oranges and browns to create creepy flower displays. Drape in cobwebs for the extra touch.’

8. Magic up a witch’s potion store - ‘Fill old glass jars and vases with coloured liquids (food colouring does the trick!) Or, if you dare, go to the butcher and ask for offal to display in jars for the goriest display,’ challenges Story. ‘To finish, write potions on scrolls and scatter around the table.’

9. Make yours a decrepit dwelling - Recreate the look of a deserted haunted house by covering furniture with white sheets scattered with talcum powder. When your guests sit down, the talcum will create a dust cloud.

10. Not just for Halloween - With the skull trend here to stay, there is no reason why gothic decorations need be just for Halloween. Invest in a few items like the upcycled vintage skull bone china side plate by designer Melody Rose (pictured and available at www.notonthehighstreet.com).

Annie Deakin is interiors writer for sofa and interior design website mydeco.com.

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