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The 13 List:
Thirteen things to read, watch, and do this month.

Top 13 Halloween Art Projects for Your Home Haunt- Previously, we've
featured articles about decorating your home for Halloween, with some basic ideas for creating a home haunt. But if you're one of those people who really get into Halloween or if you're considering getting involved in a professional haunted attraction, here are thirteen projects to hone your skills and get the creative juices flowing. They're divided into categories based on skill level.

Novice: These projects are for those new to the home haunting scene. They'll help you get started without too much outlay of cash or elaborate tools.-

Basic Dummy - If you're going to make any kind of tableau, you're going to need dummies. Here's a tutorial for the most basic kind of mannequin-old clothes stuffed with newspaper-but with a few touches to give it a more finished look. (Try to ignore the casual sexism on the material list at #2. It seems to be more from cluelessness than malice.)

Create a Witch's Kitchen - Every self-respecting witch, wizard, or mad scientist needs to have a collection of exotic ingredients for creating their concoctions. This site gives some good tips on creating bottles and jars to stock your laboratory shelves.

Fresh Grave - An easy way to give your front lawn graveyard that recently-interred look. Sure, you could use actual dirt, but the other 364 days of the year you want a normal lawn. This site gives a clever idea that cleans up easily and can be re-used.

Head in a Bottle - You are going to be AMAZED at how easy this one is to make, but as you can see from the picture, it's very effective, even in full light. I expect in the gloom of your crypt, it will look even better.


Journeyman: These are a little more complex and time consuming, but if you're ready to move to the next level, try some of these projects.-

Tomes of Ancient and Forbidden Knowledge - Convert old books into interesting Halloween props with this simple method. You can also use it to jazz up your own journals and sketchbooks.

Big Ol' Bats - These large bats with outspread wings are weather-resistant and I imagine would be rather impressive en masse. The site has step-by-step illustrations, and these props are made with items you probably already have at home.

"Pickled Punks" - Back in the bad-old-days, no carnival sideshow was complete without a collection of strange and mysterious things floating inside large specimen jars. The barker would tell you these were all sorts of monstrous grotesqueries, and regale you with tales of "nature gone wrong," but peering through the murky formaldehyde, they could be anything, and probably were. But if you'd like to create your own versions for display at home or crypt, this website gives you basic guidelines along with a few specific projects.

Skeleton Hands - These look like mummified hands, but just use pipe cleaners or wire, cotton balls, and liquid latex. Liquid latex is one of the basic tools of a home haunter's kit, so if you've never used it before, this is a good place to get started.

Tombstones - This is a great video that gives you step-by-step on creating your own tombstones out of Styrofoam insulation.


Styrofoam is a great material for home haunts. It's inexpensive, lightweight, and holds up to weather fairly well. This project is a good way to get familiar with its properties. And if you're looking for funny or spooky epitaphs for your graveyard, try these websites: Eerie Epitaphs or Funny Stones


Craftsman: A small outlay of cash and a basic familiarity with power tools are necessary for these projects, but they look particularly impressive, and may help your haunt go from amateur to professional status.-

Skull Fountain - This is pretty cool and would make a nice centerpiece for a lawn graveyard or garden of death. It uses an inexpensive birdbath, plastic skulls, and a small fountain motor. And while the directions are for a specific design, it could be easily adapted to accommodate other figurines.

Bony Chandelier - A grisly chandelier made of skulls, spinal columns and assorted bines. Again, this is a specific design using plastic bones and electrical fittings, but once you've got the basic concept, you could easily adapt your own ideas.

Fog-Chiller Cauldron - If you've been collecting Halloween props for awhile, chances are you already have a small fog machine and a large plastic cauldron. This site tells you how to combine the two to make a cauldron bubbling over with fog and lit from within with the addition of a few inexpensive electrical fittings, bags of ice, and a dryer hose.

Monster in a Box - I kind of love this project. It tells how to create a box that shakes like something inside is trying to get out. Since so many of the materials are best used second-hand, this is a great project for do-it-yourselfers who have a garage or basement full of junk. This is definitely for someone ready to do an advanced or professional haunt, but it looks to be very effective.

**For many more ideas and instructions for your own crypt, check this website: Halloween Monster List

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If you'd like to make your own suggestions, please email us at, and maybe we'll include it in a future edition.

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