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How to Build a Haunted Trail for Halloween


Michelle and her family are Halloween buffs who have constructed haunted mazes and trails for family parties and for-profit ventures.


Haunted Trails to Halloween Frights and Thrills

Are you ready for some Halloween fun?

If you're having a Halloween party, or if you have a lot of outside space and a group of friends who like to create cool things, to have fun and who - maybe - would like to scare a few folks - all in the name of fun and Halloween spirit - then you should all get together and create a Halloween haunted trail!

A trail can be simple or elaborate. It can have a specific theme or be an eclectic mix of experiences. It's all up to you. What's your vision? What do you think would be cool to do? What kind of trail would you like to visit? Chances are, your friends will like your idea...they are your friends for a reason, after all!

What are you waiting for? Lets get started!

Halloween Haunted Trail Suitability

Witches Moon

Witches Moon

Before you set off to have a Halloween haunted trail, it's important that you establish the age group of those who will be visiting your trail. Is it going to be adults only or will it be a mixture of adults and children? This will determine the suitability of items for the trail depending on the age group who'll be attending.

Not only do you have to think about age groups, but you also need to think about budget requirements and what you can realistically afford. Do you want a basic, fun in the moment, Halloween haunted trail or something really special that, will stand out and that people will remember long after the fright is over? It just all depends on how much you're willing to set aside for your trail.

Kids and adults alike love this time of year throughout most of the world because it's a great time to get involved in something which is both colorful and spooky. Halloween has never lost any momentum throughout the years.


Haunted Trail Ideas For Halloween

In order to maximize your haunted trail, you'll need to establish what routes you're planning to use and to determine if the path is safe for passage. If not, you can begin - early - the process of clearing it, if that's necessary. Only once you've determined that your route is free of potential tripping hazards and other dangers can you begin to place Halloween props and décor.

There are many great ways to make your Halloween haunted trail memorable. Effective decorative items can include corpse heads, zombie outfits and relevant makeup, ghostly outfits and fake tombstones which can be decorated in special luminous paint to have that special scary nighttime glow.

Your trail can have a set theme or it can be an eclectic collection of frights. For example, see the video below for an all pirate-themed haunted trail. Zombie trails are still very popular. And, of course, the ongoing craze over all things vampire and shapeshifter will have many interested in coming to your vampire-themed trail!

Using your imagination can go a long way in determining how creative you want to be and what props are suitable for your haunted trail to make your Halloween one to truly savor.

How do you like your haunting?

Sooo, we've established that you're really into Halloween and that you like things a little scary...now for the big question...


The Perfect Halloween

If you want the perfect haunted trail for your Halloween fun then, you have to form a proper plan of action that includes a suitable theme with interesting items for children and adults if you will have a mix of both visiting your attraction.

Kids Halloween Themes For Your Trail

There are quite a few suitable costumes and themes for kids including pumpkins, lanterns, spider webs, basic Dracula and Frankenstein outfits and ghost costumes. You really have to take care that costumes are not too over the top if you're going to have very young visitors or it could end up being too frightening for some children.

Adult Halloween Themes For Your Trail

You can do pretty much anything you can imagine with your trail when your group only consists of adults. You can go with stationary only displays that run the gamut from tame but interesting to full on blood and gore. You can use heavily costumed live actors that "interact" with the "victims" happening along the trail whether it's to jump out unexpectedly from a dark area (be mindful of the safety of the actors) or who interact from within a "set" that's varied or part of one overall trail theme.

Haunted Trail

To Build or Not To Build...


Please tell us about trails you've built, those you plan to build or just those you've walked that you lived to tell about...

Fright Journal

Tracy Frost on August 27, 2019:

This will be our 3rd year having a haunted trail. It is definitely eclectic, we have a creepy baby doll area, a clown area, spiders, vampires, pumpkins, and a cemetery. This year I want to add a witches caldron area with 3 or 4 witches 1 being a human to scare the other just props. I also want to add some more animatronics to the areas that aren’t quite as scary. I love doing it even though it is a lot of work. Our friends and family look forward to it as well. We always have a big pitch in and costume contest as well! I love looking at the ideas online!!

Judy on October 25, 2016:

This is year three for our trail. It was really nasty weather for year one. Last year the rain held off for about two hours and it was a huge success. Our new neighbors also got into the act and extended our trail through his part of the woods! This year, besides having a cemetery again, I am adding a haunted baby nursery and a creepy diner area. This is my first year retired and have had a great time painting dolls!

Kate on August 15, 2016:

Hi! I'm not making a haunted trail exactly, but some friends and I are planning our first amateur haunted house and I was exploring ideas as I thought it'd be cool to include a sort of crawl through dark maze, what do you think? I 'm new to this so I don't know if it'd work, but i went through something like it one time and it was amazing. Thanks for the input.

Chasta on October 16, 2015:

This year I am very determined to create my own haunted trail. I love freaky stuff!!!

And I think it would be very fun to create my own trail and invite people to it. Since I love freaky stuff more than likely its going to be a very scary trail. I want to add clowns, possessed people, dolls, ect. If you have any ideas to help please post a comment and put my name somewhere in the comment. Thank you,


Michelle (author) from Central Ohio, USA on October 18, 2014:

No, not at all. We, of course, do have things that we've bought over the years that we reuse. This year we're actually turning the lower floor of our home into a haunted house for two nights to raise money for a local cause in the small village we live in. We're using most of the stuff we have and our own ingenuity and costumes for that. We built a dark haunted maze out on our deck from skids/pallets my spouse got free as scrap at work (lots of places give these away if you'll come and take them) and industrial strength cardboard that was also free from work to line the inside. We paid about $7 each after tax and military discount for 6 sheets of plywood for the maze roof at Lowes (thanks for the discount Lowes!) and we bought a box of 100 commercial trash bags for $46 to line the inside walls and some of the outside (plus areas inside the house) to make everything dark. We hung things we already have inside that will touch peoples faces and we lined the flooring with dried fall leaves for crunchy sound effects.

An outside trail is even simpler and less expensive to do. Just think about repurposing things that you already have. The garage is a great place to start. Chainsaws, weed whackers, shovels, hoes, etc are all amazing props. Ratty clothes (from things you own or thing that you buy at a thrift store) and a little bit of make up that you can get for a couple of bucks and actor and some fake blood that you buy or make can go a long way toward a good scare. Places "scenes" along your trail or have actors jump out/follow and scare. Each year, add to what you have and do.

One funny story: The last time we did a trail, we had someone hiding in a thicket with a paintball marker/gun. Many, many of our friends are paintball players or hunters. They know what one of these things sounds like when it goes off. Our actor with the marker DID NOT shoot at those on the trail. She simply shot it the opposite direction as they were passing. As people got to her and heard that marker going off all evening they were diving for cover. It was a stroke of genius to use something we already had to provide quite a scare - all by sound.

steven on October 17, 2014:

did this cost a lot of money

anonymous on September 15, 2012:

I like your the possibiliteis are endless approach to a haunted Halloween trail and could even use the same one for different age groups with different features for a spooky experience for all to love and talk about all year long! Its something that once started goes back into planning the day after Halloween with ideas popping in for so much of the fun of it all being in the anticipation!

KimGiancaterino on September 14, 2012:

Boo-lessed! Happy Halloween 2012!

julieannbrady on September 10, 2012:

I think the ticket is to build a haunted trail to a haunted house and then have a scavenger hunt.

Michelle (author) from Central Ohio, USA on April 14, 2012:

@Lady Lorelei: My family attended a party every year where the hosts put together an amazing trail of stationary displays they had collected over many years. In 2011, for various reasons, they didn't throw their annual party. We had our own party and decided to do a trail. We paled in comparison but we had a blast. We immediately started planning for this year.

Lorelei Cohen from Canada on April 14, 2012:

My kids went through a haunted Halloween trail at our local mall when they were young and they loved it. I think that it would have scared the wits out of me.

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