19 Outdoor Skeleton Decorations for the Spookiest Halloween Display

skeletons enjoying sweets halloween decor
Photo: Steve Miller

Create a spooky Halloween skeleton decoration display to add bone-chilling excitement to your outdoor Halloween skeletons. These Halloween yard decorations will be amusing during the day but frightful at night.

01 of 19

Spooky Stories

skeletons around fire halloween decor
Steve Miller

Looks like someone got lost in the woods—but luckily these camping skeletons still know how to have fun. Mimic a campfire with red and yellow crepe-paper streamers attached to a box fan. Surround the fan with logs, rocks, and a tent for a Halloween skeleton scene inspired by the great outdoors.

Editor's Tip: How you hang or pose your figures will depend on what types of skeletons you have. Keep in mind plastic skeletons bend more easily, but anatomical model skeletons are more lifelike. Be prepared to improvise!

02 of 19

Front Entrance Focal Point

Door wreath made with picture frame and skeleton
Jason Donnelly

Your neighbors may have a 12 foot high skeleton on display, but if you're tight on space (or budget) consider going small this year. Decorate your front door with mini skeleton wreath that's easy to make. Find a small plastic skeleton and have it strike a funny or scary pose, then attach it to a black wreath and accessorize to match your other hoiday decor.

03 of 19

Skeletal Sweets

skeletons enjoying sweets halloween decor
Steve Miller

Apparently, this ice cream was to die for. Set up a dessert social for your skeleton decorations (including a dog Halloween skeleton!) with enormous ice cream cones and all the fixings. Come Halloween night, swap out the ice cream for candy.

04 of 19

Time to Climb

front porch with posed skeletons
Jason Donnelly

These gutsy guys don't need to worry about broken bones as they swing from the porch to the rooftop. Easy to pose and secure with nearly invisible fishing line, these mid-size plastic skeletons can withstand the weather and hang out the entire season.

05 of 19

Into the Web

skeletons stuck in web halloween decor
Steve Miller

Halloween decorating took a turn for the worse when one of the skeletons toppled into a giant spider web. This scene is humorous during the day, but once night falls, the combination of skeletons and spiders is enough to spook any visitor.

06 of 19

Nontraditional Twist

skulls roses wreath
Adam Albright

Typical Halloween colors include eerie greens, rich purples, and bright oranges, but pink Halloween decor is becoming more popular. Add your favorite pink hues into the mix with an orange and pink flower front door wreath. The mix of skulls and black leaves boosts the creepy sensations compared to the cheery roses.

07 of 19

Worked to Death

skeleton construction workers halloween decor
Steve Miller

These poor construction employees worked themselves to death. Create the Halloween skeleton decorations with roadblock signs made from plywood and spray paint. A pile of loose rocks and construction tools give the skeletons something to do. Chalk lines finish the cracked effect.

08 of 19

A Head's Up

front steps halloween decor with dog and child
Jay Wilde

Not into the whole skeleton? Skip it, and just use the skull in your Halloween decor. Decorate your front steps with a collection of pumpkins, mums, and skulls for a sweet yet chilling front door display.

09 of 19

Old Fashioned Greeting

adult, child and dog on porch with halloween decor
Anthony Masterson

Create a wholesome twist on a this usually spooky decor piece. Welcome guests and trick-or-treaters with a dressed up dapper skeleton. No one will be scared ringing your doorbell on October 31st when they see this friendly face at your door.

10 of 19

Punk Rock

skeletons in rock band halloween decor
Steve Miller

Rock on—even once you've passed on—with this punk band skeleton display. Position your skeletons to play instruments, and let them rock the latest fashion trends on your decorated Halloween porch. Keep an eye out for used musical equipment at thrift stores, and don't pass on a piece even if it's broken. (No one but you will know!)

11 of 19

Quoth the Raven

skeletons reading stories halloween decor
Steve Miller

Reimagine a telling of Edgar Allen Poe's famous poem "The Raven" with this spooky front door setup. Create a mock library with an armchair, plush rug, and stocked bookcase. Position your life-size Halloween skeletons so one is sitting on the chair and reading while the other listens to the story nearby.

Editor's Tip: Instead of hauling out heavy books, wrap lightweight cardboard forms with book jackets or printed book-cover images.

12 of 19

Ride or Die

skeletons canoeing down stairs halloween decor
Steve Miller

Someone's enjoying the afterlife. This daredevil skeleton couple braves whitewater without any inhibitions. Create the scene by draping a blue dropcloth over porch stairs, then applying spray-foam insulation to create waves. Make sure to anchor the boats with enough weight so they don't tip forward.

13 of 19

Squeaky Clean

skeletons taking a bubble bath halloween decor
Steve Miller

Clean down to the bone with a bathtime-inspired skeleton display. These not-so-scary Halloween decorations are perfect if you have younger kids. Giant galvanized tubs serve as bath tubs, while clear Christmas ornaments look like bubbles. When trick-or-treaters arrive, turn on a real bubble machine for a fun flourish.

Editor's Tip: Buy clear plastic ornaments instead of glass. Even if they break, the plastic won't be as much of a safety hazard.

14 of 19

Artsy Bones

skeletons painting halloween decor
Steve Miller

These artistic Halloween skeleton decorations capture every detail—right down to the bone! Scour thrift stores for a skeleton-inspired painting—or paint one yourself—for this display. Position two skeletons so one's acting as the artist and the other his muse.

15 of 19

Picnic Pose

skeletons at a picnic halloween decor
Jason Donnelly

Everybody loves a fall picnic—just ask the graveyard shift! Dolled up for their outing in hats, scarves, and ties, these perpetual picnickers are propped up with rebar stakes pushed into the ground. Spread a blanket and top it with a woven hamper, faux fruit, and a Thermos. Fill the Thermos with pebbles, and use ground stakes to hold the blanket in place.

Editor's Tip: If you want your outdoor Halloween decorations to stick around, use weather-resistant props.

16 of 19

Stood Up

skeletons in hats sitting on retaining wall
Jason Donnelly

Poor chaps. It looks like their dates never arrived! Dressed in simple finery of top hats, silky bow ties, and red carnations, the eerie ensemble of skeletal squires makes guests wonder what kept their dates. Propping up our ethereal escorts is a snap; simply push lengths of rebar through their rib cages and into the ground.

Editor's Tip: Search for inexpensive skeletons at thrift stores, or take your search online. Medical stores will often discount anatomical models that have slight imperfections.

17 of 19

Hide and Seek

skeletons playing hide and seek halloween decor
Jason Donnelly

Caught climbing trees and burrowing in a pile of fall leaves, these scampering Halloween skeleton decorations prove you're never too old to play outside. Secure these bad boys with lashings of fishing line, and they're ready to make merry mayhem.

Editor's Tip: A variety of skeleton types are available online—some pose, some stand, some bend. Choose the type that meets your decorating needs.

18 of 19

Chilling Croquet

skeletons playing croquet halloween decor
Jason Donnelly

Create the petrified poses of croquet-playing Halloween skeletons by tying them with fishing line to long stakes pushed into the ground. Secure the croquet mallets to skeletons with the fishing line. Unwinding with a cool glass of lemonade, the jointed old duffer in the lawn chair is simply propped in place.

Editor's Tip: Strike playful poses with your Halloween skeleton decorations that are easy to alter and will keep neighbors guessing: one day, your skeleton is playing a lively game of croquet; the next day he's raking leaves.

19 of 19

Halloween Hostess

skeleton serving treats halloween decor
Jason Donnelly

Some hostesses love handing out sweets to trick-or-treaters so much that they can't give it up—even after they've passed on. This sophisticated skeleton decoration on a stand makes a spirited first impression at the front door. Her posable arms provide the brace for a sweet-laden tray hot-glued to her hands.

Editor's Tip: Extend the skeleton theme in other fun ways. Dangle miniature glow-in-the-dark skeletons from tree branches, or prop fake bones in a dirt-filled wagon or wheelbarrow.

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