Have professor Snape or another witch host this room. For décor fill quart jars with liquid (different colored vinegars work great) and suspend various items in them. Spend some time deseciting dolls or unloved stuffed toys for this. Light the jars from behind with Christmas lights and set a cauldron out to foam. Have the kids explore potion ingredients and perhaps have a few samples for them to eat.
Glow in the Dark
This is a fun and simple activity. Begin with a spooky story teller. The kids just think they are in for a ghost story, but at key intervals have the lights go out to reveal the glow in the dark paint, stars or chalk that is spattered all over the room. Using a black light is also fun, because the kids themselves become part of the ghost lights. Play spooky music or have sound effects for the story to heighten the effect.
Don’t worry you won’t need your wooden stake for this one, unless you’re a slow runner. This room is also easy, but no haunted house would be complete without an appearance by the lord of bats. Set up a simple coffin constructed of cardboard, and painted black. (If you would rather dispense with the coffin have a bed will do.) Have Dracula complete with white pallor and fangs laid out in the coffin or bed. Let all the kids look, perhaps tell a story about the last time Dracula awoke. If your kids are of stout heart at some point have Dracula rise from the coffin. This is always great for a scream or two. For less of a scare Dracula can rattle the coffin lid or simply open his eyes and look at the children.
To get the most from a hallway or other narrow spaces as the kids walk from room to room, create your own nest of giant spiders. To play it up warn the kids before they enter that your house has been having problems with spiders, but that they probably won’t bother the children. To get the look you can either unravel cotton balls, or opt for the easy route of store made spider webs. A little goes a long way, and it looks best when it is pulled thin and wispy like real cobwebs. To make your giant spiders use styrofom balls and pipe cleaners suspended from fishing line. If you want a few of them to fall on the kids us a hidden helper armed with a fishing pole with a spider on the end of it. If you opt to not have the spiders chase the kids be sure you still have a few spiders hanging around just so they can be seen.
These are just a few haunted house ideas. Other ideas that can get your haunted juices flowing are: a grave yard with fresh graves, mummies, the witch’s cave, Frankenstein’s lab or a fortune teller with a crystal ball. Happy haunting!