Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. Ever since I was a kid I always enjoyed getting to play whatever character I wanted and venture the neighborhood finding the best candy. My favorite part of going out on Halloween, though, was when we would come across the house of someone who shared the same passion for this ghoulish tradition and spent the time to create a haunted house right there in the neighborhood. They would completely convert their garage to a palace spooktacular complete with strobe lights, fog machines, and of course, the music. It was always exhilarating and I’ll never forget how great that experience was. Instead of having to travel to a ‘real’ haunted house, there was one on the same block!
This season, we want to give you the opportunity to provide your local trick-or-treaters with the same experience. By spending a little bit of time and making a few simple adjustments, you can create a chill-worthy haunted house right in your own garage. And the cool part is, it’s not as time consuming as you think. To be that go-to house in your neighborhood you can either give away full-sized candy bars or make your own haunted house… or both!
Clear Out Valuables
First thing’s first. If you’re going to host a haunted destination in your garage you’re going to need to clean the place out. Make sure that your garage is free of clutter. Be sure to put up any valuable or breakable items. You really don’t want any loose items laying around at all when you get your haunted house up and running. Putting up walls around or in front of areas you won’t want trick-or-treaters getting into is also a good idea.
Next, you’ll want to draw up a layout. Now, keep in mind that most of the patrons of your haunted house are going to be younger. It’s important to create a spooky environment with the appropriate level of scariness. We want to provide a fun and exhilarating experience, but we don’t want to keep neighboring parents up all night consoling terrified children. Here’s a pretty well done walk through of a good garage haunted house with plenty of suspense, but doesn’t go overboard with the chills. If you live in a little older of an area, however, then go all out. Get as dark and gruesome as you want. It’s the one time of the year to let your imagination go. It’s always good to pick a theme to make it easier and more consistent when choosing props as well.
Your use of light is going to allow you to accent certain frights while keeping other attractions in the dark as a surprise. When you’re preparing your garage cover any windows or other sources of light. Some people with go so far as to painting over their windows, but simple black trash bags should suffice.
In your design phase you laid out the intensity of scare for your garage haunted house. Now it’s time to head to the Halloween store and have some fun. Experiment with all different types of props, masks, and decorations. Since you’re creating a suspenseful environment, think about the experience of the trick-or-treater. Get props that hang from the ceiling and others that pop out at you. Diverting focus with a prop in one area opens up so many opportunities to startle your unsuspecting guests.
Once you have your theme, props, and floor plan all mapped out, it’s time to really create the atmosphere you want. By using lighting you’ll be able to bring your props to life and, again, focus their attention on certain areas so that you can surprise them with other props or friends dressed in costume. Some rooms in your haunted house could be fully decked out with black light while you could use strobe lights to create a powerful effect in other rooms.
Any garage haunted house wouldn’t be complete without a fog machine. It adds the perfect spooky texture to overlay all of the work you’ve already done. If you’re feeling up to it, you could use several fog machines for maximum effect. Using a fog machine at any of the highest scare-points in your garage haunted house is a great way to build suspense and have your guests guessing as to what could possibly lay ahead (dry ice in water also creates a cool effect you can use).
Last, but certainly not least, having the right soundtrack will seal the deal when creating a spooky ambiance. You don’t even have to create lengthy playlists. You can use even just a single song on repeat! That’s because some songs like Michael Myers theme song resonate with a sense of fright within people. At the same time you can always find some great Halloween soundtracks at the store when you’re picking out your props. They’re always full of haunting sounds like wolves howling, creaky gates, and screams.
At the end of the day, creating your own garage haunted house should be a fun experience for anyone involved. That’s why we encourage rules like no touching or grabbing anyone going through your haunted house. People go through haunted houses for a voluntary fright, not to be terrified to where they feel unsafe. Especially if you’re in a neighborhood where most of your trick-or-treaters are going to be younger kids. It’s all about making sure everyone has a good time. Be mindful of anyone who is becoming overtly uncomfortable in your house.
As always, thanks for taking the time to read our blog! We hope that your garage haunted house turns out to be a hit! Feel free to submit any pictures to us in the comments below. If you end up damaging your garage door and/or opener in the process of building your haunted house Dependable Garage Service is at the ready to help! Happy Halloween!