I decided to start building my first themed Halloween yard haunt in 2017. Going from living in apartment-style housing in Japan to a house with a yard in California made me appreciate having a space to decorate… I figured that based on our nomadic (ahem, military) lifestyle, a theme that could be expanded on later in our life was my best bet. A basic graveyard theme emerged, that we now fondly refer to as the Devil Dog Cemetery.
A friend heard me brainstorming how cool it would be to have a cemetery sign and offered to make me one… It’s one of my favorite yard items!
The amount of websites, blogs and social media threads I devoured around Halloween yard decor in the last few years is tribute to this epic small yard haunt. Most of the items were purchased from Home Depot (I haven’t progressed toward building my props), Halloween pop up stores or Amazon.
This year I learned about using beef netting for spider webs. I noticed these types of spider webs at Knotts Berry Farm and loved the look so much that I purchased a huge roll for myself (and by huge, I mean huge) the next day. I love the look of beef netting for cobwebs versus the usual cobwebbing you find in party stores… and it can be reused!
I also moved away from the usual styrofoam headstones to more heavy duty ones. They don’t require stakes, don’t get blown over and are durable. I started off with two naked skeletons on a bench and eventually stole one of my husbands old uniforms for Gunny Skelly to wear… he ended up staying in front of our house all year in various costumes!
My favorite part of this years Halloween yard haunt? The lights! I purchased colored LED bulbs to replace our porch lights and color changing flood lights similar to these throughout the yard. The different colored lights were challenging to figure out but came together perfectly!
On Halloween night, I moved our portable speaker to the yard and played the Beetlejuice soundtrack on repeat… It was a fun time and made the evening more interactive. My in laws and a few friends joined us for the evening; it was a great end to the month!
Check out my other Halloween posts on my indoor Halloween decor and my favorite Halloween treats!