10/09/2012 | By: Kristy Creighton

The Haunting of MY Hill House

Hey, friends! I'm in the best mood!! Why? Because it's October and October means HALLOWEEN! The scarier, the better!

I'm going to level with you all - we are a rather twisted family. I can promise you, we have more in common with the Addams Family than The Cleavers. If we were left to our own devices (and wouldn't draw complete ostracization from our neighbors and end up having warrants put out on us by code enforcement officers), we would probably live in a "haunted house" all year 'round. Since I can't, and since I don't have unlimited funds to spend, let me show you what we do and how we do it cheap!

That being said, we have to settle with decorating in the most spooky, most horrific way we can think of at the earliest opportunity. That usually translates to the first weekend in October. We even have quality test! If we don't have two or three little kids around the neighborhood that refuse to come up past the sidewalk to get their candy, then we haven't done a good job! LOL 

So, this weekend, The Hubster gave the lawn one last cut and trim while I climbed up into the storage loft to pull down the outdoor decorations. That's him there, untangling the fencing we got for free when my mother-in-law put in new garden edging. I love free and, let's face it, Halloween decor isn't supposed to be sparkling new! I'd love that fancy plastic stuff they sell at the Halloween stores, but with the amount I need, that would be the house payment.

A few hours later, we had our basics up! Those tombstones there, I made several years ago. I cut plywood into tombstone-y shapes, spray painted them stone gray, and then handpainted the names, dates, and strategic cracks on them. They are nice and heavyweight, stand up to the weather, and I don't have to replace them every year. Plus, I got to indulge my love of history and put real names of historical people involved in supposedly true ghost stories!

Walking up onto our front porch, you are greeted by our resident corpse, made out of a leftover costume wig, and discount mask, and an old flower girl dress. The coffin, a prize possession, was handmade for us by a family friend who has since passed away. It has a great, Gothic looking cross on the lid and it even creaks!

Cobwebs, outside of being a decorating must, will work particularly well for spreading and diffusing my spooky blue lighting. I buy loads and will occasionally touch it up as the winds and weather beat them up. 

TIP: On these masks, use glow-in-the-dark fingernail polish on the teeth to make them glow for an extra helping of creepy!

Here's a better lit shot at night, so you can see more detail. That's a blue spotlight at the base of the hill and a blue compact fluorescent blub in the porch light fixture. I used to buy the traditional orange and yellow lighting, but I find the blue is actually far more creepy. Lighting is key. The front lawn looks OK in the daylight picture, but at night, the whole thing takes on a different, more menacing, feel. 

Another view of our front porch at night. I still have to get our pumpkins. I'll have a big one sitting on a milk can next to the coffin, with a rubber rat and some dead flowers laying next to it. I still have to pick those items up. 

If you look close, you can see an old family friend waiting for you at the window. But more about her in a minute. She's another prized possession...

Our Angel of Death, which dutifully keeps watch on our graveyard, was originally a standing figure. It was purchased from a discount store a couple years ago, in an after-Halloween sale. We got it for less than half price. But it was never steady, standing on the front lawn, so The Hubster decided to have him floating on one of our porch posts. He is hanging about eight feet up there, staring down on you as you approach the porch, his tattered gown blowing in the breeze. He's very cool. LOL

I'd be a little careful when you turn your back to ring the doorbell here. LOL Meet Beatrice, our giant spider. 36 inches of giant spider, just crawling up the spiderwebs, looking for a midnight snack.

I'll let you in on a little secret. Of all the creepy stuff we put out, the spiders bother me the most. I know darn good and well they are fake - after all, I paid for them - but the simple spider form itself gives me the heebie-jeebies. If I can, I will get anyone else in the family to spread that thing out. This year, The Hubster got stuck with the task. I got so much done, avoiding picking that up, that it was all that was left for him! ;)

This is poor old Clyde, the cemetary caretaker. I know the picture is kind of dark, but if you look closely, you will see another giant spider, although not quite as giant as Beatrice, crawling up the cocoon from the bottom. Clyde is a recent addition from last year. 

In one of our trips to those Halloween stores that seem to pop up in the strip malls every year, Mark saw a similar figure hanging in the shop for $125. We both loved it, but we weren't in love with the sticker shock that came with it. So, we bought a couple packages of spiderweb, bought a creepy head with a one blue eye, like the fellow in the Tell-Tale Heart, and grabbed some old clothes and coathangers. We made our own figure and wrapped it tightly with tons of spiderwebs and voila! A hanging dinner feast for our giant spiders for approximately $30!

Which brings us just inside the front door. This is The Scary Lady. She's like a member of the family! She was christened with her very original name by our our son when we first made her up, about seventeen years ago. He watched us put her together and it still took him two days to go into the living room. I let him take her apart and put her back together, just so he could see she wasn't anything but a mask and a dressmaker's dummy. 

We found that mask in our favorite year-round costume shop right after we moved in our house and were trying to decide what to decorate with for Halloween. It was the creepiest mask I had ever seen and I have to admit, I bought it on the spot, without any idea of what to do with it. I had an antique dressmaker's dummy and a dress from an old school play laying around and I got the idea of creating a figure. Once I added a black wig, The Scary Lady was born and she has attended the family events every Halloween ever since. I don't put her outside, except on Halloween night, when the kids are trick or treating. Otherwise, she stands inside, staring out the window at anyone who comes to the door. 

The finishing touch for our outdoor decorations is creepy music piped through speakers in our front rock bed. (I don't play the music every night, rest assured. Our neighbors would kill us. I play it on the night of our Costume Party and, of course, on Halloween Night.)

Midnight Syndicate has a ton of their CDs for sale on Amazon and I think this is one of their best! I got it for about $2 used and just set it to repeat. 

There are a few more things I would like to add to the outside, but this will do for now. Next weekend, I will be working on the inside decor, to get ready for our Halloween Party. So, look for a post about that coming soon!

So, I have to ask you - what kind of Halloween do you decorate for? Do you like the bright and cute Halloween/Fall decor or do you prefer dark and scary? Leave me a comment with your favorite style or special Halloween tradition!

(I would love for you to come back to visit, so please SUBSCRIBE using Linky Friends or one of the other buttons I have up there at the top on the right. And find me on Facebook and Twitter, as well! )

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The Lovely Mrs. P said...

Love, love, love it! I'll be putting pics up soon too~ takes forever to put it all together

House on the Way said...

Very very spooky! Love it! Found you at the blog hop. Your newest Linky follower!
House on the Way

Kristy Creighton said...

I know! It does! And no matter how careful I am putting it away at the end of the year, it tangles in the offseason. LOL Thanks for coming by!

Kristy Creighton said...

Thanks so much! I love followers and I'm on my way over to your blog to follow-back!

Emma McCartney said...

Wow, this looks amazing! Found you from the blog hop! New follower :) xx


Nebuchudnessar said...

Great decorations, here in Australia we don't have halloween, so no excuse to decorate

Teresa@oursoutherncountryhomeandfarm said...

Wow! I bet the neighborhood kids love your house. Found you at THT.

Pamela said...

Kristy how fun is that! Thanx for sharing at THT!

Margaret said...

Very cool Kristy! I love to decorate for Halloween too. Your decor looks fabulous. Thanks for coming by my blog.


Summer Perdew said...

New Follower via Happy-go-lucky's blog hop. Love the transformation of your house. Surely a place my kids would want to stop by.

Micki Sellers said...

LOVE LOVE and more LOVE! We had friends that once made their house look like the Black Pearl complete with dead pirates on zip lines and cannon fire/smoke. It was awesome. I'm hoping to spook out the house next week. It would be awesome if you shared this at Pin Inspiration http://www.addhousewife.com/2012/10/pin-inspiration-10-11.html

Artsy VaVa said...

Very cool & spooky!!! I love it.
Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. I'm glad you like my chair!

Kristy Creighton said...

Thank you! And I thought that chair was adorable! I wish I had a spot for one like it!

Kristy Creighton said...

Joined in your party and I'm your new follower, Micki! I wish I would have seen the Black Pearl house! I LOVE PofC!!

Kristy Creighton said...

Thank you and welcome, Summer!! I'm so happy to have you!

Kristy Creighton said...

I think it's our inner child, Margaret! LOL We never grow up! Thank you for coming by!

Kristy Creighton said...

Thank you, Pamela!! I really enjoy your posts!! You are on my must-read list!

Kristy Creighton said...

Most of them to, Teresa, but the little ones I go down to the curb for, if they are too scared. LOL No leaves without treats!

Kristy Creighton said...

Oh, that would make me so sad! I think I would have to start a campaign! LOL Thanks for coming by!

Kristy Creighton said...

Hi, Emma! Glad to have you as a new follower!! I subscribed to your blog via RSS! You have an ADORABLE baby!!!

likeasaturday.com said...

Super spooky! Thanks for linking up!

Kristy Creighton said...

Thank you, Rachel!! :)

Self Sagacity said...

Awesome job, but I am a scare-dy cat and would probably skip this house. lol

Jill @ Create.Craft.Love. said...

Very scary! Great job with the decorating! That guy with the teeth kinda freaks me out! LOL Thanks for sharing at the Pomp Party! Hope to see you back next week!

Tammy Partin Spangler said...


Kristy Creighton said...

It's OK! I would come down to the curb for you! LOL

Kristy Creighton said...

Yeah, she freaks everyone out! LOL Even me, if I forget she's there! LOL LOL

Kristy Creighton said...

Thanks for coming by!

Barbara Hiatt said...

Creepy!!! You did a great job!
Thanks for joining the party at Keep Calm and Link Up! See you again next week!

Barbara at Chase the Star
chasethestar dot net

Author C Michelle Ramsey said...

Your decorations are amazing! My kids would honestly love this. We were watching HGTV yesterday as they were showcasing haunted houses around the nation. You have made this all so simple. I truly love the tombstone idea (my husband's a carpenter; another honey-do project). I have traditionally decorated in the autumn cutesy colors. However, my children are older now (middle school & last year of elementary) and they are begging for the creepy. I think we'll use a couple of your ideas. ;) Thanks.

redcrowgreencrow said...

Ha! You sound like us- my partner told me this week that at some point he intends for us to be the 'crazy' house and our christmas lights will involve lasers. I would love to do a LOT more for halloween, and then leave it up year round...once I get a house, that is.

Katie @ Horrific Knits

Kristy Creighton said...

LOL Creepy is what we go for! See you next week!

Kristy Creighton said...

Awesome!! Glad you found some ideas you could use!! That makes me SO happy!

Kristy Creighton said...

OMG, I only WISH I could leave it up year round!! LOL LOL Thanks for coming by!

Karla said...

This is so awesome. One day I'm going to go all out with my Halloween decorations. Halloween sucks where I live, don't even get any trick or treaters. :/

Kristy Creighton said...

Thank you for coming by! You know, our neighborhood went through that for a few years, then all of a sudden, new families moved in and we got the kiddos back! We have Halloween parties. We just refuse to not celebrate. LOL

A Lived in Home said...

Oh wow!! So spooky and fun! I would love for you to come link up to my Get Social party and show off your amazing blog!

Stacey said...

Creepy house decorations! Thanks for sharing this week at the Creative Inspirations Party!
Stacey of Embracing Change

I am sure you will be all the rage on Halloween!

Kathy A Delightsome Life said...

Hello Kristy, wow! Quite the haunted house look - and with music! My daughter's neighbor's really get into their decorating like you! I do appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,

DIY Show Off said...

Oh my gosh, I'd be terrified to ring your door bell! haha! It's perfect! Thanks so much for sharing. I got chills just looking at The Scary Lady! lol

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