15 Scary Halloween Yard Decorating Ideas

Can you remember the scariest houses from back when you were trick-or-treating? The yards with amazing special effects, moving animatronics and the most disturbing decorations? Maybe you remember the thrill of going through on a dare and bravely approaching the door for candy. There's something so fun about being scared during the Halloween season! Keep reading for ideas on scary Halloween yard decorations that will give trick-or-treaters goose bumps, chills, the creeps, and the willies. 

Idea 1: Pose skeletons in yard-facing windows

Arrange a skeleton in the window peering out at approaching Halloween visitors. Place a fake cleaver or other creepy prop in one of his hands using clear fishing line to up the scare factor. 

Idea 2: Giant web and spider victim

Looks like this house guest is staying for dinner. Visitors will wonder if they're next on the menu when they see this life-size skeleton cocooned in stretch spider web. Arrange this horrific scene in the front of the house to give chills to everyone who walks by.

Idea 3: Chilling skeleton band scene

Draw a cackling crowd and rattle their bones with some terrifying tunes! To create this deathly stage presence, start by hanging skeletons off a garden hook. Position some standing and another seated at the piano. To give them instruments like an accordion or violin, use heavy weight fishing line or rope tied to the garden hook. To finish off the venue, add in some spooky decorations and effects like a fog machine or creepy music floating through the Halloween night.

Idea 4: Create a darkly magical witch scene

Welcome to the witch's den! To create this wicked haunted house look, start by placing the animatronic witch in a spot where she has plenty of room to lunge! Next, easily set up a bubbling concoction that will emit eerie smoke. Start the recipe by placing dry ice into soup cans, then filling those with almost-boiling water. Put those cans in the cauldron and garnish the brew with a mixture of your favorite foliage, bones, and critters. Next, create a spirit tree to give the witch a freaky friend. For a final touch, create a wind chime out of bones for some awful ambiance! For a detailed look at our setup, check out our Halloween Witch Scene How-To.

Idea 5: Let Slim Man scare trick-or-treaters!

Picture this Halloween animatronic, which we've dubbed "Slim Man," looming over everyone at eight feet tall, its unnaturally long arms swaying and its creepy whispering sounds in full effect. Now picture it back-lit with a strobe light in your front yard, tucked just behind some trees or bushes. First response from trick ‘r treaters? If it isn’t running in the opposite direction, it’s because they’re too freaked out to move. 

Idea 6: Wrap a skeleton decoration in webs

Wrap a skeleton in webs to signal that this spider's prey has no escape. Secure him by attaching to a metal garden hook (from home supplies store) and stretch a clear table cover out so he is comfortable for his eternal rest. Run long stretches of spider web across his lair and all over your yard to let visitors know they should be very careful. Top off the haunted house illusion by hanging a giant black spider above victim number one. Then run for your life! For more creepy crawlies, check out our Halloween Spider Decorating Guide!

Idea 7: Giant hairy spider prop

This spider and his gigantic web will add fright to your nights and haunt your dreams. You’ve entered the spider’s sanctuary, and not everyone has made it out alive. Behind you’ll find his "cocooned" victims in a dark and desolate place. Add a strobe light, spotlight, or both to use this hairy beast in a realistic haunted house illusion. Prey you aren't his next victim!

Idea 8: Make skeletons rise from the grave

Create a frightful cemetery scene with a gruesome twosome trying to rise from the grave. Even in death this pile of bones can't catch a break – his skeletal sidekick won't let him up! Scatter a bag of bones among a pile of hay and leaves with a poseable skeleton casually sitting on top. With a couple of tombstones, these bone buddies are ready to haunt the yard. 

Idea 9: Mix everyday objects with Halloween scares

Consider using what you already have in your garage, shed or backyard to create uniquely creepy Halloween yard decorations. For this jumble of joints, we filled a rusty wheelbarrow with hay and scattered props from a bag of skeleton bones. The result is a casually creepy Halloween decoration.

Idea 10: Gruesome Morgue Setup

Show off your collection of body parts! Grab the attention of incoming patients with a table of body parts fresh from the asylum morgue. Arrange lobbed-off limbs and an array of skulls on tattered bloody gauze. Chains and a leering rat perched on the table heighten the horrific effect. Just don't get too close – the skulls may get a little bitey!

Idea 11: Grave Grabber Zombie Animatronic

If you’re considering a cemetery theme for your front yard, this animatronic is a can’t-miss. This animated decoration looks like a bloody arm popping out of the ground. Trick-or-treaters will be terrified when the animated striking arm reaches for them! All you need to add are some simple tombstone props behind him to fill out your graveyard, and your scene is ready to scare.

Animate your cemetery scenes:

Idea 12: Hanging asylum patient

The doctor will cleave you now! Let a deranged doctor greet new patients to your asylum of horrors! Hang him from the roof with a cleaver in one hand and his unlucky victim in the other. It'll be hard to tell who belongs in the psycho ward more – him or his patient!

Idea 13: Hang bloody body parts

Something disturbing is afoot! Visitors will start second-guessing their decision to visit your house of horrors when they see this. Dangle bloody feet props attached to chains from the roof to up the gruesomeness of your porch scene.

Idea 14: Gory rats and skeleton scene

Tired of cheese, these rats want blood!Make onlookers squeal with fright with a horde of blood-thirsty vermin having a feast. Arrange a horde of rats to munch on the bloody bones of a skeletal corpse for a truly terrifying scene. With fingers, eyeballs and other body parts scattered around the remains, add some horrific details like mice escaping through the skeleton's mouth and ribs for even more creepiness – eww!

Idea 15: Combine props for a creative Halloween scene

Show up to a blood-bath barbecue! Create scary scenes with a story by combining Halloween props and accessories. This zombie and reaper are usually hanging Halloween props, but they love sitting around and munching on fleshy BBQ bones! Create a fire pit with a couple long branches tied together above an electric flame that looks hotter than Hades. Arrange your putrid pair with bloody-looking hand and skull kabobs, then listen for the squeals of terror and delight from passers-by!

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