As September draws to a close, the pumpkins slowly appear, the cobwebs accumulate and all the houses on the block start to look festive. There’s always that one house in the neighborhood where everything comes together and gets you in the Halloween spirit when you drive by. So what is it about that one house that fills us with excitement and anticipation for the holiday? The truth is that the devil is in the details, but the magic is in the details too.


Sure, the cobwebs and the tombstones are nice, but the small touches around the house are the things that can transform a cute, little bungalow into a century-old haunted mansion. When a passerby stops to look at your Halloween presentation, where do their eyes wander? Of course, they look at the lawn first, which is usually riddled with tombstones, pumpkins and maybe a skeleton emerging from the ground. These are all great, but what will really catch an eye is something in the window or on the door.


Windows and doors are gateways and boundaries to the interior of your home, so adding the right decorations can give the illusion that something spooky is going on inside. It’s a classic effect that will leave your neighbors wondering.




  • Eyes:

    An eerie set of eyes peering from a dark window is a simple tactic that will make your neighbors do a double take. This decoration is most noticeable at night, so you’re going to want eyes that light up or glow in the dark. You shouldn’t have a problem finding lights like this at your local pop-up Halloween store or craft store. Although, if you enjoy saving money and making your own decorations, these eyes are easy to create. Simply get a pair of cheap, battery-powered closet lights (these are great because they are already in the shape of eyeballs) and draw the details of the eye on them with a permanent marker. Prop them up in your window, turn the lights on and you’re good to go!


  • Bloody Windows:

    If you’re not afraid to get your hands dirty and add a little bit of shock value to your house, “bloody” windows are great and easy. The most important thing to remember is never to paint directly on your window, or else you’ll more than likely be looking at a window replacement. All you’re going to need for this project is wax paper, red paint, a paint brush, scissors and tape. Cut a sheet of wax paper, lay it on the ground and then the fun begins. Simply splatter the paint as much or as little as you want. You can even add some “bloody” handprints to make the scene look extra grisly. Once you let your masterpiece dry, simply tape it to the window. Leave a light on in the room at night and your neighbors will have a pretty sinister sight from the street.

  • Paper Silhouettes:

    This is a really fun one. With paper silhouettes, you have all the freedom to choose whatever shadow you want, such as a mysterious black cat, a spooky tree, a ghost or even a vampire. All you have to do is cut it out of black poster paper. If you don’t feel like using all that paper, use paper grocery bags and paint them black. It might take a little bit more time, but you’ll save paper and money. Once you tape your cutout on the window you’re going to want to cut a piece of wax paper the size of the window and tape it on the background. Wax paper will capture the light and make the silhouette pop.

Front Door

  • Paper Monster Door:

    This is super cheap and fun, and you have a lot of creative freedom with this option. Simply use paper plates as eyes, and use construction paper for the other facial features. Take some toilet paper and wrap it around your door. You have yourself a mummy door! Incorporate the features and color of your door into your creation. Do you have a green door? Make a Frankenstein!

  • Porch Decor:

    Now that you have the rest of your house decorated, you should be attracting a swarm of trick-or-treaters who are ready to knock down your door and receive their goodies. You want to make sure your porch is adequately decorated so your guests feel fully immersed in your Halloween ambiance while waiting in your doorway. A porch is never complete without the most essential element for Halloween: the jack-o’-lantern. Jack-o’-lanterns always look good on Halloween night when they’re lit up, so don’t stress about making them look perfect. There are plenty of pumpkin patches around the Jacksonville area with a great variety of pumpkins, so don’t be afraid to get some crazy looking gourdes! In addition to placing a jack-o’-lantern or two on your porch, tombstones and cobwebs can add a nice touch as well. Skip the expensive stuff and go straight to the dollar store for those. If you get there a few weeks in advance, you should have a good selection to choose from. Lastly, switch out your regular porch light for a black light to add some super cool lighting. The kids will love it. You’ll get double the trick-or-treaters.


Everybody loves the most festive house on the street, and this year it can be your house! Holidays are always more fun when you partake in the festivities and invest a little bit of time and effort. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t take big bucks to do this. There are some great, elaborate decorations you can buy if you have the budget for it, but good old-fashioned hard work and creativity work just as well. You can get the whole family involved too! Have fun with it and become THE haunted mansion of your neighborhood.