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Frightfully Fun Decorating Trends for Halloween

Image: ghosts goblins (ARA) -The official start of the holiday season isn't until Thanksgiving, but before you know it, ghosts, goblins and creepy creatures big and small will descend on a neighborhood near you; and some of the places they plan to haunt will be all decked out! According to the National Retail Federation, Halloween is the second biggest decorating holiday of the year.

Want to make this the year your Halloween display takes the prize for "Best in the Neighborhood?" If so, you'll need to go way beyond the usual cobwebs and skeletons and keep up with the latest Halloween trends.

"This Halloween, voice and motion activated props for the home and yard will take the level of decorating to a new height of fright," says Kim Boyd, vice president of marketing for Johnson Smith Company, publisher of the "Things You Never Knew Existed" catalog and, the same company that brought us the whoopie cushion, rubber chickens, x-ray spectacles and joy buzzers.

Imagine the screams of delight as the trick-or-treaters who dare to come towards your house jump out of their skins, spooked by the props you have set up. Position a pair of Lifelike Kicking Legs, upside down in a garbage can or popping out of the bushes. The realistic-looking legs flail about whenever there's a loud noise. Place a convenient-to-store Fold-Up Wooden Coffin amongst the leaves to add an eerie effect. Set the Mr. Brains Fogger on top of your front step and watch as fog comes out of his glowing brain.

Whether your theme is a haunted graveyard, monster house or something even more sinister, make your front door the focal point. Before the kids even get the chance to say, "Trick or treat," play a little trick on them. Have Dr. Shivers - a motion-activated mad scientist - greet them at the door. The six-foot-tall "man" dressed in a lab coat, white gloves and goggles, speaks and sings. "He'll have the kids doing double takes," says Boyd. "Some may even think he's real until they see his eyes and beaker light up when he slowly turns his head."

"Other popular Halloween props this year include our motion-activated Stranger at the Door Knocker with hand and forearm that starts rapping at the door when someone approaches, and everyone loves this one - the Motion-Activated Eyeball which groans horribly and wiggles back and forth with lights flashing whenever someone comes near it," says Boyd.

For those who don't plan to go all out, but still want decorations that will get people talking, put up a set of Eerie Window Covers. The posters, featuring a bright-eyed skeleton or a creepy cat will scare passersby. Interior house lights illuminate the posters for a totally haunting effect.

"If you love Halloween and want this to be the year your display really shines, don't wait until October to start planning. Order the things you need now, or like the proverbial ghost, they will disappear," says Boyd.

Log on to and click on the link that says "Scary Things & Halloween" to check out this year's offerings.

Courtesy of ARA Content

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