With Halloween just around the corner and becoming more and more popular each year in Australia, we thought we’d start by digging a bit deeper to find out what’s behind this Halloween tradition that is celebrated on the 31st of October each year.
Halloween is actually short for “hallowed evening”. While often thought of as an all-American tradition, the origins of Halloween date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, originally celebrated on the 1st of November. This day in Ireland, the UK and even France marked the end of summer and the harvest, as people prepared to enter the dark, cold winter. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred, and the Haunted Halloween hype evolved!
So aside from the dark, spooky history, there’s so much to look forward to for children and adults alike, from coming up with scary costume ideas to eating endless amounts of sweet treats. No matter how old you are, there’s plenty of fun to be had, and lots to prepare to get your home into the Haunted Halloween spirit.
While decorating your home, you can go to the extreme of boarding up your windows and planning weeks ahead with overgrown grass, a collection of candles and pretend tombstones upon entry. There are countless ways to spook up your home inside and out. We’ve prepared some of our favourite DIY Halloween home décor tips to get you started…
What’s Halloween without pumpkins?
Best used to decorate your front porch or entrance, all you need is plenty of pumpkins and patience! If you need some tips to help carve your pumpkins, check out this how to guide. Don’t let them go to waste either, pumpkin pie and cupcakes with scary effects are great foods to go with the occasion and suitable for trick-or-treats.
Tombstones of the cardboard kind
These can simply be made out of cut out cardboard and decorated as desired. They look great set up next to your pumpkins and alongside other Halloween decorations in your front yard. All you need is some old cardboard boxes, dark paints or markers and some sturdy sticks for installation.
Casper the ghost
What’s a haunted house without a friendly neighbourhood ghost? This is easy with some creativity and simple tools like cotton balls, a white sheet, and a black marker. For full effect, you could dress up in a draped white sheet waiting to scare all those sugar-hyped trick-or-treaters.
A colony of bats
Why not add some fluttering felt bats in or outside your home? Simply cut out the shapes for the bat bodies and heads; all you will need is some black cardboard, white markers, a hole punch and some string. If you prefer to get more creative with your bat colony, a helpful link to 35 bat making ideas is here to help.
Stretchy spider web
To give your home the full Halloween effect inside and out, jump online for some stretchy spider web. Strategically draped across all entrances leading to your front door and upon entry, add plastic spiders for the creepiest effect! Just search plastic spiders on eBay, and you’ll be sorted!
Your porch will come alive with this easy-to-make decoration. Simply cut two pool noodles to leg size, use an old planter pot and grab some black shoes and some old tights. Pull tights over legs i.e. your pool noodles, position in the planter pot securely and add shoes and some special spooky effects like plastic spiders and stretchy spider’s web.
Spooky branches from your yard
Hand select branches from your garden or neighbourhood and decorate. This simply involves painting your branches black, ordering some spray paint from your local hardware store and adding some of your felt bats and plastic spiders to individual branches; adds a subtle yet scary surprise.
Of course, if you don’t wish to make all your Halloween home decor decorations yourself, there are plenty of fun decorations you can order online here and here. While you go to the effort of transforming your home into a scary, haunted house, don’t forget to get in the spirit yourself with a Halloween costume to match. If anyone dares come to your door, stock up on sweets and chocolates.
If you’re looking for some real haunted houses right here in Australia, from sightings of ghostly women in period-wear to objects moving by themselves and mysterious sounds of children laughing, there are plenty of frightening haunted houses to discover here and here.
Please check your state and territory for the latest COVID-19 health and safety guidelines on trick-or-treating in your local area. Ensure you follow all state and territory health laws and guidelines. Remember to have a COVID safe Halloween!