Halloween decorations are as much a part of the celebration as the candy and the costumes. After the leaves have turned and there is a chill in the year, you’ll start to see pumpkins and cobwebs popping up all around—from Main Street to the corn mazes, haunted houses, and party venues.
Some of the Halloween decorations are cute and charming—think smiling pumpkins and cute black cats—while others have a spookier style. All Hallow’s Eve encompasses both ends of the spectrum, meaning people of all ages can enjoy the holiday as can thrill seekers and the mild at heart. The same applies to Halloween masks; some will put a smile on your face or send a chill down your spine.
It may seem like Halloween decorating ideas are hard to come by, but inspiration comes from many sources. If you’re looking to scare, you could take your cues from monster movie or haunted houses, both real and imaginary. Costumes and decorations are among the mainstays of Halloween events and parties, and there's often plenty of friendly competition to see who can come up with the best ones.
Kansas City’s famous haunted house, the Beast, has scared countless people since it opened in 1991. You don’t have to stand in line to discover the house; all you need to do is wander in around, getting scared and getting ideas for Halloween decorations. After you’ve encounter the Beast, you leave in total darkness into the Werewolf Forest.
In New York City, the Henry Street Settlement, a community foundation and landmark, hosts a steampunk haunted house—now, there’s a clever source for Halloween decorating ideas and a model for Halloween decorations to make. Rather than the same old Halloween masks, you’ll find some really clever Halloween costumes and decorating ideas at this inspired destination, all integrated old-fashioned gears, metal, and leather touches common to steampunk style.
Along with cruising for ideas at haunted houses, you also can find ideas for Halloween decorations both online and at the store. Everyone from the corner drugstore to full-fledged Halloween stores offer everything you need to need to dress your house from top to bottom. Dollar stores and thrift stores can be a great resource if you need to save money. Of course, there are plenty of Halloween decorations to make—it takes some time and creativity, but the experience can be rewarding. Kids can join in the fun, making spiderwebs, crafting ghosts, and helping to carve the Halloween pumpkins.
Pumpkins are an integral part of the holiday celebration. The tradition of Halloween pumpkins came to America with the Irish immigrants who came to America in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In the Old World, the Celts carved turnips with the hopes that it would help the souls in Purgatory. In America, pumpkins were much more plentiful and easy to carve, so the tradition of Halloween pumpkins was born.
Today, pumpkins are as common a sight on October 31 as Halloween masks. The traditional design is a smiling jack o’lantern, with two triangle eyes and a toothy grin. Creative types have turn the pumpkins into a canvas, carving holiday tableaux, pop culture icons, and beautiful works of art. Plenty of pumpkin patters are available to guide your knife, so you don’t even need to be an artist to make Halloween magic.
In New York Hudson Valley, author Washington Irving’s old stomping grounds, pumpkin carving is taken to a whole new level. For 21 nights in October, the Great Pumpkin Blaze lights up the night with more than 4,000 carved and illuminated pumpkins. The event is held at Van Cortlandt Manor, a grand historic house. Many people also visit its sister mansion, Philipsburg Manor, for a truly spooky haunted house. Both of the houses are part of the Historic Hudson Foundation, which also celebrations the legacy of the author with a fun program at the Old Dutch Church. Without Irving’s vivid imagination, and Tale of Sleepy Hallow, we wouldn’t have the Halloween traditions that are so strong in America.