The cheap and easy way to get into a spooky state of mind

What’s this, what’s this? Is it Halloween already? Everyone knows Halloween isn’t a day…it’s a SEASON! Pull up a creaky wooden stool and sit by the fire as it casts eerie shadows, because we’ve got 10 fantastic ideas on how to celebrate all season long. We like things laid back and easy around these parts, so our plans fall into the “cheap and lazy” camp. The easier it is to celebrate, the more likely you are to actually observe it, right?

10. Stop Cleaning

Yep! You heard us! Just stop cleaning for a genuinely authentic effect! Actually, the sooner you remember to stop cleaning, the better the results. We’re not just talking cobwebs and sepia-hued stains, we mean go full blown Miss Havisham! From our mouths to your ears, you have permission to put down the mop and bucket and put up your feet. This one’s a freebie, AND you get a total pass on housekeeping.

9. Take Stock of What You Have

Down to the basement! Up to the attic! Squeeze through the crawl space! Dive into the closet! Search all the dark and hidden nooks and crannies of your living area to find what you have already collected from seasons past! We bet you’ll rediscover artifacts you forgot you ever had! By taking stock of what you have, you can save a ton of money! Don’t forget, you can repurpose non-ghoulish objects into something quite sinister (ahem, candlesticks)! It would undoubtedly be more “trick” than “treat” to spend money on something you already have.

8. Get in the Spirit with Halloween Movies

Nothing like a good old-fashioned binge watch sesh to really get you in the right frame of mind! Not into gore or jump scares? Watching with littles? There’s always Nightmare Before Christmas, Frankenweenie, and Hocus Pocus to get you through the night without too many bumps. Adults-only watching session? Keep in mind classics like Beetlejuice and the original Halloween! Never want to sleep….or dream again? Consider a viewing party of all nine Nightmare on Elm Street movies! Or maybe you want to laugh while you scream? Well we put together a list of the best horror comedies to help you scream with fear and laughter! We’re skipping over vast swaths of Halloween and Horror genres and subgenres, but this will get you going in the right direction.

7. Scour the Internet for Ideas

These ghosts are made from trash bags!

Dive deep into the black hole that is the internet! Google till your black heart’s content, and you will find anything and everything to meet your Halloween needs. If you’re on a budget, there’s an entire community of like-minded penny pinchers to give you ideas. Love gore, dripping blood and oozing slime? Find your tribe on Instagram. Prefer a perkier All Hallows Eve celebration? There are Pinboards just calling your name with gold dipped leaves and whimsical door wreaths. We’re all for scouring the internet for ideas instead of recreating the wheel.

6. Procure Some Produce

What’s THE most iconic symbol of Halloween? A carved pumpkin of course! Don’t stop there, oh no — pumpkins are just the beginning! The original jack o’lantern was actually a carved turnip, so take your inspiration from that! Carve all types of beautiful heirloom gourds for a similarly haunting effect. If you’re not into very complicated DIY crafts, you can also throw some apples in a bowl and call it a day. It’s just as festive and much less work. Take it from us, procure some seasonal produce and strew it around. It looks like you put in the time, even though you just tossed some pumpkins on a shelf!

5. Slap Some Paint on the Barn

No, we don’t mean literally painting a barn! Slap on some festive makeup to prepare for the one night a year it’s actually okay to wander the streets looking like a zombie that’s been run over by a car and then stamped on by elephants. Fortunately, Halloween makeup can be as intricate or as straightforward as you’d like. From simple kitty whiskers to a full-blown Night of the Living Dead homage, anything goes. We really liked the above Halloween makeup tutorial because Lipstick, Blush and Sauerkraut uses simple techniques to create amazing special effects. And she did it with nothing more than Elmer’s School Glue and easy to find makeup pencils than you can get at any big box store!

4. One Investment Piece

Go big or go home! There’s honestly only so much you can do with stuff you have laying around the house. There are absolutely brilliant things you can do with thrift store finds and dollar store gems but what you really need to anchor your ensemble is just one really fantastic piece you can re-wear, Halloween after Halloween. For example, this maroon witch hat with a veil. It retails for $35, but we’ve seen it for less than $15 on sale at Amazon. Throw this baby on with any black clothes you already own and voila! Costume complete! Bonus points for witchy makeup and ghoulish trinkets.

If you really want to go all out, consider dropping $15 on a mask that will last you for many many Halloweens to come. How about this Zombie Mask? Zombies have been “in” for quite a few years now, and our Ouija board doesn’t predict them going anywhere any time soon!

3. Download a Spooky Soundtrack

The holidays can get expensive! We’re all for saving money, especially during this time of year, so we recommend going the free route whenever possible! We downloaded Spotify and use their free version to stream music, or in this case, eerie and frightening soundscapes to set the mood. If you have little ones, may we suggest the playlist entitled Disney Spooky Halloween Sounds? Expect to find classics like Elephant’s Graveyard and haunting ghost pirate murmurings from Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack. Looking for music to get the party started? Check out Halloween Monster Jams with such bangers as “Ghostbusters” and Ozzy’s “Bark at the Moon.” The scariest part might just be listening to the commercial break every 30 minutes on the free version!

2. Trick or Treat Yo’ Self

Directions: Get the biggest bowl you have. Fill it to the tippy top with delicious treats. Congratulations, you’ve just made Halloween soup! Now is NOT the season of restraint! Throw away the carrot sticks in favor of sweet and tasty goodies. Savor the moment now and make your resolutions anew in January. It wouldn’t be Autumn without at least one caramel apple, now would it?

1. Pumpkin. Spice.

There, I said it! Pumpkin spice up your life! As we’ve all been experiencing, pumpkin spice season happens earlier and earlier each year. Don’t fight it, embrace it. Heck, you don’t even have to drink a latte to enjoy it. Revel in the smells of cinnamon and clove via candles and potpourri. Thanks to the phenomenon so powerful it’s known by just the acronym PSL, the flavor combination is sneaking into cookies and other baked goods. Enjoy the flavor profile of pumpkin spice while you can, because peppermint season is coming soon!


Written by Gemr
Gemr is the leading platform for collectors to discover, display, discuss, and buy & sell collectibles. Sometimes our team gets chummy and decides to write a blog together. Or maybe someone wants to keep their identity a secret. Pick which option you like best and we'll just say that's correct.