Easy Ways to Create Your Own Haunted Attraction

By Chris Kullstroem

Pictured: Fog machines, iron fences and faded tombstones help turn any backyard into an eye-catching Halloween attraction.

You've seen people come up with all sorts of Halloween haunts right in their own backyard. Haunted houses, hayrides, walk-throughs and other small attractions that become the highlight of a night of trick-or-treating. If you have the desire to build one of these yourself but have put it off because you think it would just be too complicated and expensive, here are some easy steps to simplify making your very own haunted attraction.

First, get a bunch of your friends or family members together who want to help create the attraction. Decide where you want to have it: your yard, a garage, in the woods, etc. Then divide up the project assignments. Giving each person their own tasks is key in simplifying your haunt. Divide up as the tasks as follows, and let each person choose which they would like the tackle:

  • Design a floor plan of the attraction.
  • Create costume ideas for any characters in the attraction; buy clothes/fabrics at thrift stores and flea markets for the costumes and any additional fabric props (such as curtains, tablecloths, draperies, etc.).
  • Purchase additional props at thrift stores and flea markets; ask friends, neighbors and family to loan some items to be used in the haunt.
  • Build the stage for the set, such as haystacks, scarecrow poles, gates, doors, etc.
  • Design ads and flyers for the event to be posted at your local library, online, or just to be handed out to friends. You can also design specially-made tickets to your attraction.
  • If the attraction is going to be one that is high-cost, have someone contact local businesses to sponsor the event in exchange for free advertising in your flyers and ads, or in a large sign outside the attraction saying who it is sponsored by.

Different types of Halloween attractions to try are:

  • Haunted house in your house, garage, basement or shed
  • Walk-through haunted cemetery, pumpkin patch or scarecrow show
  • Haunted hay-ride through your backyard or woods

Here is a list of items and props as a starting point for your haunted attraction. Some can be built, others can be found at thrift shops and donated by friends:  

When you have your floor plan finished, you’ll know more about the specific look you want for your haunt. You can also think about if you want your haunt to be on Halloween night, or during the last few weekends of October.

Don't be afraid to ask small businesses for financial support. Some will jump at the chance to be part of a fun Halloween event that is sure to draw big crowds, who, for them, are potential customers in town who will see and remember their name. 

Dividing up the time, effort and costs among everyone putting together the haunt can really get your ideas off the ground. So don't wait! Start planning your very own haunted attraction today, and bring it to life to thrive this Halloween season! 



Return to Articles Page

Return to Home Page