HAUNTED undead or alive
4 tips for haunting your house
Halloween trails only behind Christmas when it comes to spending on decorations. Americans spent an estimated $6.9 billion on Halloween in 2013, according to the National Retail Federation.
You can make more of your Halloween spending with a few spooky tips. Larry Kirchner, operator of the world’s number-one rated haunted house, “The Darkness” in St. Louis, Missouri and owner of Hauntworld.com -- a resource for building haunts, and a national directory of haunted houses, corn mazes, hayrides, and pumpkin patches -- offers advice from his 25 years of experience building professional Halloween attractions.
Give your home’s façade the abandoned, dusty look by spinning cobwebs and creepifying doors and windows. Hang aged and shredded curtains and add lights to each window. Change outdoor lights with flicker bulbs. Add spooky sounds for atmosphere. Lastly, you can purchase affordable computer graphic effects from HauntedHouseSupplies.com and with a TV pressed into your window, add anything from ghosts to werewolves to ghouls to your haunt.
Let the leaves collect for a few weeks in your yard. Add a gothic fence and a few zombies popping up through the ground. Add jute material or aged cheesecloth to your fence. Adding dead bodies under trees or creepy birds helps set the scene. Make gravestones by using a hot knife to carve foam into shapes, and even add an epitaph. To give the tombstone a real stone look, coat in plaster or lightweight concrete. Two simple doll rods driven into the ground can hold the tombstone in place. For a coffin, nail together 1x6 and 2x2 pine boards. For the extra effect, add mulch in front of the tombstones or use paving bricks in the shape of a grave filled with mulch.
Empty the garage and set up walls to create two to three scary scenes. If your garage isn’t big enough, start the attraction inside and have it exit into the backyard graveyard. Start by sketching a design. You can build simple walls from plywood or drywall. For the old rotting look, cut odd shapes into the walls and screw in thin slats of wood behind the cut out holes. For best results, cake on plaster between the slats, then use raised wallpaper for the rest. Paint the entire wall one color and add some watered down black paint for an aged look.
Spooky sounds, special effects and lighting make all the difference. Play a spooky soundtrack from a movie or find music online. Buy a couple of cheap skeleton speakers, available online for as low as $10. For home haunters on a budget, air cannons or any loud noise are great for scares. Create special effects with fog machines and air compressors. Finally, dress up in your spookiest costume and make your guests scream for candy!
To prepare for next year, stock up on deeply discounted props the day after Halloween. For more inspiration on Halloween or haunted houses, visit www.Hauntworld.com.
This year, go beyond the basics and give your neighborhood a real scare!
Tricks and Treats to stay on budget
Halloween comes but once a year. So make it extra spooky with ghosts, goblins and ghouls galore – and don’t forget all the great treats. While all this fall fun does come at a price, you don’t have to spend a pirate’s booty if you plan carefully.
For more treats than tricks this year, make a budget and stick to it. The shopping experts at Dollar General are sharing great ways to celebrate Halloween affordably.
Before the trick-or-treaters are at your door, spruce up your house with a few household cleaning supplies. Stock up on paper towels to use for clean-up after pumpkin carving, or pick up a new broom for all those fall leaves that are bound to make their way into your house. These fall months lead right into the holiday party season, so make sure you have all the tools you need to be party ready for your guests!
Give your home a fresh fall update. Evoke the harvest season in the entryway with an autumn wreath. Buy one or DIY the project with supplies like glue guns, ribbons, faux leaves and flowers. Use seasonal placemats, runners and pumpkin pie scented candles to accent your home with fall flair.
Stock up on spooky supplies, too. Skeletons, cobwebs, ghosts and other festive supplies will make your home a favorite in the neighborhood.
Whether you’re hosting a Halloween bash or just preparing for a crowd of trick-or-treaters, think frugally when stocking up on treats. Buy candy, chocolates and treats at a discount store such as Dollar General. If you’re ordering online, consider buying in bulk to save further, as many retailers offer free shipping on large purchases.
Make Halloween party snacks for less by buying peanuts, pumpkin seeds and candy corn, and creating your own seasonal trail mix. For dessert, bake a cake and decorate it creatively with gummy worms and colored icing to scare your guests!
For crowd-pleasing ideas and more Halloween tips, visit www.DollarGeneral.com or visit their Pinterest page.
With more holidays on the horizon, be sure to stay within your budget this Halloween season. Take steps to celebrate affordably.
Getting into the spirit
Halloween events on bases
Misawa Air Base
- The 8th annual Miasawa Club Halloween Ball – Oct. 25, 7 p.m. at Tohoku ballroom. Entrance fee for members is $10 and non-members is $15.
Yokota Air Base
- Trick-or-treating – Oct.31, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Yokota housing area, all visitors must be invited guests of SOFA-sponsored ID cardholders entered into DBIDS
- Annual Yokota Library Fictional Character Costume Party & Contest - Oct. 26, 2 p.m.-3 p.m. at Library
- Nightmare on Morgan Street – Oct. 30 & 31, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m., $3 per person, The Annual Nightmare on Morgan Street & Haunted House returns for its third year.
- Dress-Up Day – Oct. 31, all day, at School Age Program
- Halloween Bash – Oct. 31, 9 p.m. – 1 a.m. at Enlisted Club Ballroom, Free, open to all ranks
- Halloween Party – Oct. 31, 5 p.m. at Officer’s Club Samurai Lounge
Yokosuka Naval Base
- Costume Parade & Harvest Festival – Oct. 24, 2:30 p.m. at Yokosuka Main CDC
- Halloween Carnival – Oct.25, 5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at Purdy Fitness Center
- Pumpkin Run – Oct.25, 9 a.m. (Registration begins at 8 a.m.) at Purdy Fitness Center
- Yokosuka Decorating Contest: House or Tower Balcony - Impress or scare our judges and be declared the “Best Halloween Decorated Home on Yokosuka Base!” All Yokosuka family housing is eligible and there is no registration requirement. Lights must be turned on by 1730. Winners will be notified by phone. Winners receive a plaque and an MWR gift certificate. For more information, please call 241-4111.
- Costume Parade & Harvest Festival – Oct. 31, 3 p.m. – 4 p.m. at Yokosuka CDC Annex and Ikego CDC,
- Halloween Family Party – Oct. 31, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. at Club Alliance 1st Floor
- Halloween Costume Contest – Oct. 31, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. at Officer’s Club Kurofune Lounge
- Halloween Night – Oct. 31, 9 p.m. – 1 a.m. at Ikego Club Takemiya
- Adult Halloween Costume Party – Oct. 31, 9 p.m. – midnight at Negishi All Hands’ Club
- The Rocky Horror Picture Show – Hootenanny – Oct. 31, 10 p.m (Doors open 9:30 p.m.) at Club Alliance, Sharky’s Bar, Free Entry, 20 years and above
- Trick-or-treating – Oct.31, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Camp Zama and Sagamihara Family Housing Area, SOFA member can escort up to five adult guests (18 years and older) and two vehicles.
- A pre-Halloween Costume Contest & Party – Oct. 25, 7 p.m. at the Zama Bowling Center, the unlimited bowling prices include $10 for 13yrs old and above, $5 for 5 to 12 yrs old and FREE for youth under 4 yrs old.
- A Haunted House - Oct. 29 to Oct. 31, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Camp Zama Youth Center.
- The annual Camp Zama Community Club Halloween Party - Oct. 31, 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. at CZCC.
Naval Air Facility Atsugi
- Trick or Treat 5K Run and 3K walk - Oct. 25, 10 a.m. at Halsey Gym, Sign up from 9 a.m.
- Teen Center Pumpkin Decoration - Oct. 27-31, 2:45 p.m.-6 p.m. at Teen Center
- CDC Costume Parade – Oct.31, 2:45 p.m.
- Liberty Halloween Party & Costume Contest – Oct. 31, 8 p.m. – midnight
Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni
- Halloween Carnival - Oct. 25, noon - 4 p.m. at Strike Zone Bowling Center
- Super Hero Fun Run – Oct. 25, 2:30 p.m. (Registration 2 p.m.) at Seawall in front of MC Perry ES
Sasebo Naval Base
- Halloween Screen Party - Oct. 31, 8 p.m. at Galaxies Third Floor. Ages 18 and up