1. People & Relationships
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

5 Great College Haunted House Ideas

Making a Great Setup Doesn't Have to Be as Scary as You Might Think


Halloween on some campuses is one of the highlights of the year. Everyone dresses up, many folks are hosting parties, and some houses turn into creepier places than you ever thought possible. How can you make sure your haunted house is one to remember?

5 Great Haunted House Ideas

  1. Make buckets of "mystery" (and gross) things for people to stick their hands in. You've probably seen this at other parties, and it's always a hit. Arrange bowls, usually hidden in a box or beneath a cloth napkin, where people can put their hands into the mix and try to figure out what's inside. These always seem gross! Some ideas:
    • Mash bananas, leaving a few chunks. A great replica for "brains" (especially with the help of a drop or two of red food dye) that gets grosser and grosser as it browns during the night.
    • Cooked rice in a bit of liquid. Make sure it's well-cooked, too; only then will it feel -- and look -- like maggots. Vanilla pudding (with extra milk added) or another semi-thick liquid works great.
    • Spaghetti and sauce. This seems so simple, but how many people really know what it feels like to plunge your hand in a bowl full of wet, sticky, gummy noodles, covered in thin tomato sauce? Comparisons to snakes and worms are inevitable.
  2. Go for a classic: have people hiding in closets and behind doors. Even if it's only 1 or 2 people throughout the night, your guests will be on edge just knowing that someone could jump out from anywhere at anytime.

  3. Have someone sit near the front door -- dressed as a scarecrow or other scary creature, for example -- and jump at people as they approach. The stiller, the better, and not jumping at everyone who walks up will only increase the tension.

  4. Have several people in the same, creepy, full-masked costume walking around the party, not talking. Think of how you'd feel if several folks were dressed as the killer in the movie Scream were slowly gliding around the room, not talking, and generally just being creepy. Having more than one makes it even weirder.

  5. Have things suspended on strings that can move at a moment's notice. This could include something that you can make slid from a light toward a door, say, as people walk in. With a little creative planning (where's a physics major when you need 'em?!), you can create some great contraptions. This also works great if you're in a house with a staircase or balcony.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.