Wicked Witch Legs
Give a nod to Edgar Allan Poe, the master of scary stories, with a play on his poem "The Raven." Perch a raven on a branch inside an antique birdcage and stick the bleak message "Nevermore!" in its beak. Situate the birdcage in front of an old photo or a picture of Poe for extra effect.
Pirate's Loot Tabletopper
Mannequin legs dressed in striped hose and buckled shoes give the illusion that a wayward witch crash landed in a moss-filled urn. This amusing display and a black-feather wreath on the door lure guests to the enchantments waiting inside.
Putrid Potion Arrangement
Decorate a side table with a candelabra, a voodoo doll, and a pile of gold coins for a pirate's stash of valuables. Even better: Use chocolate coins so guests can snack if they have enough courage to grab one.
Creepy Cabinet Display
Add some toil and trouble to your Halloween display by grouping antique perfume bottles on a bronze serving platter to look like magic potions.
Petrifying Perched Birds
Use a cabinet or chest of drawers for a dreadful display. Pull out random drawers and let old dishes, pottery, spooky statues, and eerie picture frames peek out.
Summon images from Alfred Hitchcock's movie The Birds with this eerie wall display. This tree is painted on the wall, but you could get a similar (and nonpermanent) look by sketching a tree onto rolled paper, cutting it out, and taping it to the wall. Prop two ladders against the image and wire a swarm of artificial ravens to the rungs and some branches. Guests will be ducking for cover.
Hang a large antique mirror on a wall or set on an easel to reflect flickering light from candles placed around the room. Surround the mirror with smaller mirrors for an illuminating display.
An easy way to add Halloween spirit to your home is by tossing black-and-white pillows about. A skeleton pillow on the couch is just waiting to rise from the dead.
Drape a chandelier in shredded strips of cheesecloth to create wraithlike forms above a dining table, making sure the strips avoid contact with bulbs to prevent the risk of fire. Giant spiders on the walls will make dinner guests scared in their seats.
An antique buggy filled with mini tombstones and statues stands as a creepy exhibit. Stuffed rat figures at the wheels round out the Halloween montage. Place on a fireplace hearth or inside your front door.
Skeleton Candle Display
Halloween is the perfect time to display torn and weathered furniture. This worn chair gets a spooky makeover with an iron-on bird transfer. Make your own chair design by printing a scary image on transfer paper and ironing it to the cushion.
Witch's Hand Stand
These skeleton heads add intrigue to a mantle. Line Halloween-theme candle votives along a mirror for a haunting display.
Pirate Skeleton Mannequin
Piles of yellowed paperbacks prop a ceramic witch hand, which clutches a sepia portrait. Photocopy an old picture and draw an eye mask onto it with markers, or print a mask onto an adhesive label and adhere to the photo.
Masked Candle Sconce
Crown a pipe-smoking ceramic skull with a sailor's cap adorned with a pirate pin. Balance the skull on a scarf-swathed cloth mannequin body to create this dashingly creepy chap.
Witch Head Vase
Lend a sinister Phantom of the Opera effect to a candle wall sconce by attaching masks to the sides of the candle. The candlelight will glow through the eyes, giving a mysterious look. Use battery operated candles to avoid fire risk.
Transform a tall vase into a witch head by filling the vase with branches and feathers, tying them at the top to create the illusion of a pointy hat. Adorn the vase with a green mask for the face. Place the wicked decoration in the front hall to greet your guests with a cackle.
Ghouls pop their heads in for a visit and take a load off their feet with this chair decoration. Rest a monster mask on a flat, green pumpkin to achieve this goofy look.
Give an ironic twist to a childhood warning by printing "Don't play with matches" in a creepy looking font on white paper. Add a silhouette of a goblin, then place the image in a frame and set next to a pile of matches and a lit candle to tempt guests. Use your imagination. Sayings such as "Don't run with scissors" can evoke laughs when placed next to a related display.