If you want to get lit at your costume party, these indoor lighting tips should do the trick. P.S. Don’t be scared — they’re all as easy as taking Halloween candy from a baby.
Cast spooky shadows on the walls. Get a ready-made light that throws images of a witch or creepy creatures on the wall, or do it yourself: Poke plastic or rubber insects or spiders with a piece of wire, wrap the wire around a tea light holder, light the candle and then bend the wire away from the light until scary shadows appear.
Switch on the strobe. Point a strobe on animatronic figures to make them look even more realistic and freaky. Or buy a strobe that’s automatically coordinated with thunder sound effects for a sudden indoor storm. Note: Strobe lights can cause seizures in 10% of epileptics, so don’t use them if there’s someone on your guest list who could be at risk. And likewise, don’t use them outdoors.
Suspend glowing orbs from the ceiling. Put a glow stick inside a white balloon, fill it with water and seal it up. Then put it in the bottom of a stocking leg and hang it from the ceiling.
Wrap a bundle of branches in lights. Gather a handful of bare branches from your yard and wrap a string of orange fairy lights around them for a rustic look. Set them on a table or arrange them in a large vase or umbrella stand.
Food & Drinks Area
Black-light your bar. Drape the wall behind your bar area in torn white tulle or cheesecloth for a ghostly effect. Set out your liquors, then make the whole setup glow with a black light from above. Note: Beware, black lights get very hot, so make sure they are not touching anything.
Reinvent a Chinese lantern. Replace the bulb or the shade of a Chinese lantern with an orange one for a jack-o’-lantern effect.
Goth your chandelier. Drape it with black tulle, hang ripped cheesecloth from it for a ghostly look, or wrap it in medical gauze for a mummified effect. Then add fake cobwebs, swap out the bulbs for flickering ones, and dim the lights. Note: Fabric, gauze, and fake webs are all flammable, so keep them away from the bulbs.
Light a drip candle. Think ’70s-style Chianti candleholders, only creepier. Buy drip candles (yes, there are special candles made just for dripping) in black or red, then stick them in a few wine bottles and let ‘er drip — the sides of the bottles will catch the wax.
Make your candles drip blood. Drip wax from a lit red wax candle down the sides of a new white one (whether it’s wax or LED). Let it dry, then light the white one.
Halloween-ize your candlesticks. Buy cheap candelabras or candlesticks from a thrift store and spray-paint them flat black, then add orange or black (or bloody!) candles.
Put an LED tea light in a hollow plastic skull. Or use a baby doll’s head — anything translucent enough to eerily glow when you turn it on. Note: Use LED lights only.
Nestle an LED candle in a jar lined with fall leaves. If you’re after more of a warm, harvest feel rather than a chilling, spooky shudder, just put a few maple leaves (real or faux) against the inside of a glass jar, then add an LED candle. Note: Best to use leaves off the tree so they’re a little pliable; dry ones are brittle and are likely to break. And don’t try this with regular candles — remember, leaves are flammable!
For more Halloween lighting ideas, see our Halloween outdoor lighting guide.