If there is ever a time of year when the ghosts and goblins roam the streets of the modern world, that time would be Halloween. Today's ghost and goblins are probably a little more frightening than at any other time in history but they are often tempered by a princess seeking frogs and a few witches and wizards along the way. Halloween is a great day to be a kid but can also be a great day for grown ups as well. Decorating for Halloween can be almost as fun as going out and begging for candy any day of the week.
Besides, having a well decorated home for this holiday gives you the perfect excuse to scare the evil out of some young ghoul or vampire that thinks he or she has the market cornered on frightening. The really cool thing about decorating for Halloween is that it is not one size fits all. You are perfectly free to find some very scary home decorations for this delightful holiday or take on a kinder, gentler, more kid friendly style of decorating. Either decision is yours and yours alone and should carefully monitor the scare-ability of your own children when deciding. You certainly don't want them afraid to come home.
For a more frightening Halloween scene you will probably want to use some strobe lights, frightening music and sound effects, dry ice in order to incorporate spooky fog, and plenty of spider web type netting in order to give those who dare approach your door bells a complete and thorough case of the willies. Doesn't this sound like so much fun? Coffins with headless straw men are also a great addition as well as skittering spiders and the occasional chainsaw or two. A glow in the dark hockey mask may also be a good choice. Bodiless heads suspended by fishing wire are also quite the highlight for a true and robust fright.
If your goal is to create a kid friendly Halloween atmosphere there are cheerful pumpkin decorations that can be found in many shapes and sizes as well as Casper the friendly ghost, Frankenstein piñatas, and countless other fun party favors that are designed to bring entertainment and delight rather than terror and far. String pumpkin lights around the porch for added lighting and another friendly face in addition to keeping plenty of candles and lanterns lit nearby. Not all trick or treaters are older kids who appreciate a good scare so keep this in mind as the little ghosts, goblins, princesses, and super heroes arrive.
For adult gatherings all bets are off when it comes to home decorating for Halloween. There are all kinds of themes that can be followed from the incredibly zany and outrageous to the frightening or flamboyant. The biggest suggestion in these matters is to have fun at all times and bring the be the life of the party rather than having the decorations upstage your efforts. Far too many people spend more time concerned with how they will decorate their homes rather than wondering how they will decorate themselves for the festivities. If you find the perfect costumes all eyes will be on you and not your decorations.
Favorite suggestions for adult parties would include strobe lights, much like the frightening scene described above, low additional lights, perhaps black lights near the food and drink area of the party. More dry ice (if tolerable some people have difficulties with the smell particularly those with allergies or asthma so you may want to avoid this inside your home and leave it for the exterior). Bales of hay in the corner make excellent additional seating and can contribute to the harvest/autumn/Halloween atmosphere you are attempting to create. Just remember that the underlying goal is for you and your guests to have a great time. Have good food, good music, and good friends, and the decorations really and truly should be a secondary concern.