In most parts of the country, the temps are starting to dip, Starbucks is serving pumpkin spiced lattes and apple donuts are pretty much falling from the sky. All of which is to say: Halloween is near! And the onset of spook season would indicate that it’s time to break out the decorations and start scaring the heck out of your neighbors.
Sure, you could opt for sedate, less jarring décor, but where’s the fun in that? Save your muted mantle scapes and your glamorous porch decorations for Thanksgiving and Christmas, because Halloween is all about having fun, throwing caution to the wind and -— we hate to be a broken record here, but we’re just going to say it one more time — scaring the heck out of your neighbors. Scare your kids too, while you’re at it, along with any brave trick-or-treaters. And hey, if this life-size standing mummy happens to startle your husband on his way to get a glass of water in the middle of the night, well then your work is done.
We’ve rounded up the newest, spookiest décor pieces for indoor and outdoor use, as well as a few LOL-worthy items for good measure. Here’s to having the most haunted house on the block this All Hallows Eve!
Hand-Painted Halloween Witch’s Spell Book ($23.99, originally $29.99, pier1.com)
Like something pilfered straight from a scary movie set, we love how realistic this antique book -— which proffers up “ewwww”-inducing recipes — looks in real life. Place it alongside a few skulls and your spooky setup will be good to go.
Stacked Halloween Skulls with Snake ($11.99, originally $14.99, pier1.com)
There’s nothing like a double whammy, and that’s just what this piece is, since we’re not sure which is scarier, the skulls or the slithering snake.
Coffin Chip & Dip ($19.99, originally $24.99, pier1.com)
Can you imagine serving chips and salsa in a regular tray this fall? That would be treacherous. Instead, you’ll want to invest in this hilarious coffin-shaped platter, where the dip is housed in an apropos skull.
Gold No Evil Skull Decor Set Of 3 ($20.97, worldmarket.com)
Let us be clear: Fright-tastic décor can also be pretty, and the proof is in these antique gold finished skulls. Perfect for your mantle, the set is an ode to the three wise monkeys.
Desert Steel Orange Squatty Pumpkin Luminary ($53.98, originally $65.50, overstock.com)
If you’re on the hunt for an outdoor piece that is stately while still setting a creepy tone, consider this attractive metal pumpkin with cutouts that provide all sorts of shadowy illuminations.
Life-Size Standing Wrapped Mummy ($123.49, overstock.com)
We’re just going to say it: If you don’t have a life-size mummy, you need one! And at more than 5 feet tall, this the one to buy. Super realistic with its gauze-wrapped body, the mummy has a sturdy base if you want him to stand upright indoors or under a covered porch. (Try not to scare yourself out when you see a shadow lurking at your front door!)
Glow-in-the-Dark Poseable Skeleton ($36.98, homedepot.com)
There are skeletons and then there is this neon fella. Movable joints mean he can be situated in multiple positions, which will allow for neighbors even miles away to see him glowing in the dark. We appreciate the extra disturbing red eyes, too, which are battery operated.
Inflatable Animated Beetlejuice Sandworm ($179, homedepot.com)
Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! Conjur up nostalgia with this humongous — it’s nearly 10 feet tall and nearly 9 feet wide — inflatable of the infamous sandworm from the 1988 film. The decoration inflates in seconds, comes prelit with warm white LED lights and, wait for it … features an animated tongue!
Halloween Skeleton Hand Holding Smoky Orb ($19.98, homedepot.com)
Add mystical decor to your living spaces with this battery operated orb, which once turned on, fills with swirls of cloud-like smoke. Perfect for pretend readings at parties, or just a fun decoration on your coffee table.
Skull Pineapple Halloween Decoration ($15, target.com)
Searching for a spooky centerpiece? We got you, boo! Consider getting a few to increase your macabre aesthetic — and if you add batteries, you’ll see the skeleton’s eyes glow.
Halloween Hand Votive Candle Holder ($5, target.com)
Reminder: Halloween is less than a month away and standard votive holders simply won’t do. These creepy crawly hand votives, however, are perfection (and they’re cheap, so you can splurge on several).
Animated Opera Singer Tombstone Decorative Halloween Prop ($30, target.com)
Prefer to make your trick-or-treaters giggle instead of run away crying? OK, OK, we hear you. And this hilarious animated tombstone will get the job done. Motion activated, the gravestone’s opera singer comes alive and requests they share their candy — before bursting into song, of course.
Readaeer Life Size Replica Realistic Human Skull Head Bone Model ($19.99, amazon.com)
Halloween facts: Not all skulls are created equally. If you’re looking for one that is incredibly realistic — and that could even live on your bookshelf as a tchotchke all year long — we found it for you. You’re welcome.
Moon Boat Bloody Halloween Window Clings ($10.99, amazon.com)
Prefer more gore in your décor? Well then, these bloody handprint window clings are the item for you. Sure to terrify everyone from your mailman to your mom, the 58-piece set includes bloody handprints, bloodstains and “Happy Halloween” … written in blood, of course.
Zombie Flamingos ($31.99, wayfair.com)
Flamingos are in the midst of a major design moment (Flamingo wallpaper! Flamingo lamps!) and we love that Wayfair turned them Goth this Halloween. Perfect for placing on your lawn, this duo is more than a little scary, with their red zombie eyes and their razor sharp fangs. Done and done.
The Zombie of Montclaire Moors Statue ($81.25, originally $149.95, wayfair.com)
Feel that you haven’t quite reached your maximum outdoor fear factor goal? Enter: The Zombie of Montclaire Moors Statue. Rising from the dead — er, your front lawn — the zombie is covered in a gray resin that is eerily lifelike.
Crawling Monster Hand ($32.66, walmart.com)
This item might appear to be any ol’ humdrum decoration… until you turn it on. And the lifelike hand starts crawling down your dining room table or along your kitchen counter. That will get your kids shrieking for sure.
Haunted Mirror Halloween Decoration ($47.88, walmart.com)
Potentially the creepiest item on our list, this haunted mirror looks totally normal… until it senses motion. That’s when a sickly little girl appears in the reflection. We’re not screaming, you are!
7-Foot Winter Dragon Animated Prop Halloween Decoration ($399, amazon.com)
Go big or go home, right? If that’s a motto you abide by, then you’re going to want to invest in Walmart’s six-foot-tall animated dragon. Like something straight out of Game of Thrones, the dragon is motion activated—meaning, when a trick-or-treater runs up for some candy, this bad boy will flap its wings, turn its head side to side, roar and its eyes will glow a bone-chilling blue.
Lunging Haggard Witch ($179, homedepot.com)
What’s Halloween without a witch? This one takes the cake because at 6.5-feet tall she’ll definitely be towering over your trick or treaters, and when she sense their motion, she’ll lunges toward them, reaching out and saying things like, “Excuse me, can you help a sweet old lady find her cauldron?” With glowing eyes and a skull-topped staff, she’s sure to spook even the toughest of passerby.
Note: The prices above reflect the retailer’s listed price at the time of publication.