As a kid growing up in small town Texas, there was a very spooky house in our neighborhood where an old woman lived alone. At least we think it was a she — no one ever saw her. But this was the best and scariest house to trick or treat, and it always had good candy.

The home was always dark on Halloween, and the front door left wide open. In the foyer, at the bottom of the staircase, was a single candle burning on the floor with the pumpkin full of candy sitting next to it.

You had to dare yourself to run inside and grab the candy, and it was the greatest rush a nine year old could ever know. So it’s in the spirit of that mysterious neighbor that I offer you five easy ways to make your house spooky for Halloween — no expensive decor included.

featured photo by andeelayne

photo by jess attie

Tune into something off beat.

The Addams Family had Lurch on the pipe organ when trick-or-treaters arrived, but you can just tune up our Stone Cold Graveyard Jam playlist for Halloween night. My newest favorite spooky song? Red Right Hand by Nick Cave. I think Lurch would approve.

photo by melanie grizzel

Break out the projector.

This is one of my favorite party tricks to pull out at Halloween. Play a creepy old black and white movie — like Bella Lugosi’s Dracula — on silent with your fun party tunes playing on top. You can totally do this with a regular tv, but projecting it onto a blank wall is major bonus points.

photo by brooklyn brownstone

Ask not what you can add, but what you can take away.

What if your living room only had one arm chair, and a tv tuned to static? Or (like my infamous neighbor) a single candle burning on the floor? Instead of buying a bunch of decor to add to your home, consider what you might be able to temporarily take away for maximum scariness. And whatever you do, never EVER underestimate the creepiness of an oddly placed doll.

photo by andeelayne

Grab a pack of faux cobwebs.

These are so cheap and fun, and really make a huge impact. Transform your front door or entryway mirror in seconds by stretching out a few faux cobwebs across the corners. And the best thing? You can wad them up and put them back in the package when you’re done to use again next year.

photo by melanie grizzel

Go crazy with the candles.

Lighting is one of the easiest ways you can transform the mood of your house from sunny to spooky. On Halloween night, turn the lights off and light tons of votives and jack-o-lanterns to give your space a haunted feel. Just be careful not to place them too close to your faux cobwebs… or things might actually get REALLY scary. Happy Halloween!

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