How to Create Your Own Special Effects for a Halloween Party

by Alex Smith

If you are planning a Halloween party, you want to ensure the decorations make people take notice. You can use several simple special-effects tricks to create a memorable mood for your party. Use dry-ice fog to create a creepy atmosphere. Modify cheap foam skulls to glow and seem to float. A quick trip to a dollar store will provide you with what you need to make a creepy "ghost."

Items you will need

  • Black spray paint (optional)
  • Bucket
  • Hot water
  • Dry ice
  • Paintbrush
  • Glow-in-the-dark paint
  • Newspaper
  • Foam skulls
  • Two clothes hangers
  • Fishing line
  • Ceiling hooks
  • Black light
  • Foam head
  • Gauzy fabric
  • Fan
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Dry Ice Fog

Step 1

Spray-paint a bucket black, or use one that is already that color. Fill it with hot water. The hotter the water, the more fog it will create.

Step 2

Set the bucket in an out-of-the-way corner.

Step 3

Drop in a piece of dry ice. The water will cause the dry ice to sublimate, turning it directly from a solid into a cold misty gas that creeps along the floor.

Floating Spectral Skulls

Step 1

Load a paintbrush with glow-in-the-dark paint, then wipe most of it back off on a newspaper. Dry-brush what is left onto foam skulls, giving only the higher surfaces a light coat.

Step 2

Open a clothes hanger and use it to punch a hole through each skull, going from the top of the head to the area behind the jaw.

Step 3

Thread a strong piece of fishing line through each hole and hang the skulls from hooks in the ceiling.

Step 4

Turn off the surrounding lights and aim a black light at the skulls for a creepy glow.

Scary Ghost

Step 1

Open and straighten two clothes hangers.

Step 2

Stick the clothes hangers into the right and left sides of a foam head's base.

Step 3

Bend the hangers into the shape of shoulders, arms and hands.

Step 4

Tear the edges of several pieces of white gauzy fabric into tatters. The finer the fabric, the better; you want it to move very easily.

Step 5

Drape the tattered layers of fabric over the foam head and wire arms and shoulders. Adjust them as needed to create a flowing body for the "ghost."

Step 6

Hang the ghost from hooks in the ceiling with fishing line.

Step 7

Aim a fan at the ghost to cause the fabric to move and sway.

Step 8

Turn off the surrounding lights and aim a black light at the ghost to make it glow.

Tips & Warnings

  • Find foam skulls in the Halloween aisle of your local superstore.

About the Author

Alex Smith began writing in 2006 and brings a combination of education and humor to various websites. He holds a Master of Arts in theater and works as a professional makeup and special-effects artist.

Photo Credits

  • Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images