Creating a Halloween graveyard is easy. There is nothing scary about a few tombstones and spider webs thrown around the yard.


Creating a scary, spooky graveyard requires  thought and planning.  If you decide to create a large graveyard, start your planning and purchasing early. You don’t want to run out of time and just throw it together at the last minute. Your goal should be a cohesive, well thought out and chilling graveyard.

When I made my first graveyard, I had a dead apricot tree to work with. It is long gone. But, it raises a few good points. A large structure, a tree, a tomb, an elaborate arch, etc… adds greatly to a grave yard effect.he graveyard.

Next, you have a choice when designing your graveyard and it is an important one. Will you allow access to it or will it be a scenario? This is important because of the placement of items. If you choose a scenario, you can pack a lot into the scene. If you allow access, you can’t have people tripping over things. There should be a defined path through the graveyard.

I prefer a scenario. I can have a cohesive theme without the problem of people tripping and falling

Spend some time doing research.

  • How much room do you have to create your graveyard?
  • Where will it be located? If you plan to invest some $$, you don’t want thieves to have access to it!
  • Will people be able to walk through it or will they only be able to walk by it?
  • How much money are you willing to achieve your dream cemetery?
  • Sketch out your design on paper and play around with it. plot out your area of the yard for your  cemetery. If you can, section it off with a few stakes of short picket fence.
  • Watch some old Black and White movies to get the feeling that the old classics were able to achieve. B&W movies are best because your graveyard will be most effective at night. The 0ld movies will show you shadows, fog, old tombstones and crypts. How will you light the graveyard?
  • Lighting is important and must be tested at night. Lighting is so important that I have a special section to cover the Do’s and Don’ts.

Items to include;

  • Tombstones – you want several. If you make your own, styrofoam will probably be a better bet. If you buy a 4′ x 6′ sheet you can get 4 to 8 tombstones out of it. Have fun writing creative, funny epitaphs. Top off your tombstones with some extra. Drape cobwebs across tombstone. Fake cobwebs are cheap to buy and work so much better than cotton balls. Add Spanish moss around the base of the tombstone. You can buy fake moss, or you can emulate it with dark green pipe cleaners or streamers (which won’t last a rainy day).
  • Brambles and leaves – complete your look of an overgrow and abandoned cemetery. Toss around leaves and branches and especially pile up some of your leaves and even some dirt around your tombstones. If you live in an area where fall equals dead leave raking, use this tou your advantage. If you live in an area where you do not have access to dead leaves, fake leaves and vines are available at the craft stores. In addition, thrift stores can be an inexpensive source of product…old wreaths can be taken apart and re-purposed.
  • Burial Mound – Add a heap or two in your Halloween graveyard. Throw sticks and maybe a few leaves around the heap for effect.
  • Fog – Place a fog machine behind one of your tombstones to throw a mist around your graveyard. Even low-end machines have timers so you can throw out just enough fog for ‘atmosphere’.
  • Lighting – You want to under light your graveyard for a enough light to be visible and spooky but not too much. Place lights at the bottom of the tombstones so they shine up on them. One or two well placed flood lights work really well, especially blue colored. Or even try a lightning machine (they play thunder too!)
  • Bones and Body Parts – A Halloween graveyard is obviously a place where bones and even whole skeletons surface. Drape a bony arm over a tombstone. Hang a skeleton off a tree. Best, find a stump of hand to stick in the ground in front of a tombstone, crawling its way out.
  • Animals – Evil animals. Maybe perch a nice raven on your Halloween tombstone. Or maybe some large, creepy snakes. Or some huge nasty spiders.
  • Pumpkin – Add a Jack-O-Lantern or 2 for a final touch.

The front of the house was a stunning visage of decay. Tattered curtains hung from the window sills, shredded from years of neglect and the often present howling wind. Yet, behind the windows an ominous glow shown through, indicating some unknown and possibly malevolent presence within. The door looked as if it had been boarded up a century ago.