From resources shown in last Saturday’s post, you can get or make several fake skulls and bone parts which you can use as props to theme your Halloween celebration in the manner of a boneyard, a mausoleum or a crypt – traditional resting places for the remains of departed souls. As many of us hold, these places kind of represent a sacred ground between the living and the dead. Also, besides lingering spirits and haunting ghosts, witches, vampires, werewolves, monsters and other supernatural creatures are widely believed to like lurking about and around these grave sites too. Normally, especially if you’re alone late at night, these places can really be creepy, scary. So on Halloween, why not make fun of them! Turn your home and your front lawn into a yard of bones, something straight out of the pages of Tales from the Crypt.
Start by making your tombstones. You can use plywood or Styrofoam. Cut them to desired sizes, which should depend on your available space, then paint them gray. Once dried, write “RIP [name]” along with some snappy, funny epitaph. For inspiration, here are some funny epitaphs found on real tombstones:
In a cemetery in Hartscombe, England:
On the 22nd of June
– Jonathan Fiddle -Went out of tune.
Anna Hopewell’s grave in Enosburg Falls, Vermont:
Here lies the body of our Anna
Done to death by a banana
It wasn’t the fruit that laid her low
But the skin of the thing that made her go.
Beza Wood’s grave in Winslow, Maine: In Memory of Beza Wood
Departed this life Nov. 2, 1837 – Age 45 yrs.
Here lies one Wood Enclosed in wood One Wood Within another.
The outer wood Is very good:We cannot praise The other.
The grave of Ellen Shannon in Girard, Pennsylvania:
Who was fatally burned March 21, 1870 by the explosion of a lamp
filled with “R.E. Danforth’s Non-Explosive Burning Fluid”
Make the tombstones look aged by dirtying them up a bit while the paint is not yet fully dried. Stake some on the ground in your yard and tape or glue some on your walls. Place your fake skulls and bones next to and around your fake tombstones. Arrange them in various poses. Add fake fences made from plywood, Styrofoam or cardboard. Add cat and bat silhouettes, fake cobwebs and dead flowers. It doesn’t matter if your props are all in 3-D or just flat cut-outs. It’s the spirit that counts.
If you want an indoor boneyard, you can use gray sheets hung on clotheslines to form the four walls of your crypt. Paint the inside of one of the walls with glow-in-the-dark paint. On the three other sides, use the glow-in-the-dark paint to make eerie glowing hand prints. Arrange your tombstone and other props inside. Place black light lamps in the corners to illuminate your indoor boneyard.
Whether outdoor or indoor, your spooky graveyard won’t be complete unless it is enveloped by a blanket of fog. If you can, buy or rent a fog machine for the occasion. Alternatively, you can just put dry ice in buckets around and all over your place. Finally, place a fitting entrance sign to your very own portal to horror and the macabre. On a dilapidated board, in blood red paint, say something like, “Danger! Keep Out!!”