25+ Cheap Haunted House Ideas

best haunted house ideas

#1. Making Monster Mud and Creating a Talking Mummy

With the help of some monster mud and a little time one can turn a cheap talking skull into a talking mummy decoration.

“Home haunts” are fun, amateur haunted house attractions put on my home owners for community members, family and friends, and just for the fun of it.

However, new ideas can be hard to come by, and most props that actually look scary usually range in the hundreds of dollars. But with a little ingenuity and a bit of time, a cheap prop can be turned into a fun, scary way to improve a Halloween party or home haunt!

Materials Needed

Many halloween stores carry different types of talking heads. The one pictured used a skull with a small speaker in the mouth with an attached microphone. Speaking into the microphone caused the jaw on the skull to flap and the eyes to glow. This ran for about $25-$30 four years ago.

Beyond that, one needs newspaper, two long pieces of wood, an old bedsheet, some old clothes, newspaper, and some cheese cloth or gauze. If the plan is to monster-mud the mummy, making the wrappings hard and appear more aged, required materials include latex gloves, drywall compound, and black paint.

Building the Body

This is the toughest, and is relatively easy. Using the stand the skull or head comes with, use screws, duct tape, or whatever is required to transfix the stand to a piece of wood (the pictures mummy used part of an old grill). Then duct tape the two long boards at an inward angle, shaping the frame for the legs.

Once this is complete, put the clothes on the body and stuff them with newspaper. Be sure to fill out the body and round out the shoulders so they look natural. Remember, newspaper can be packed down well, so really go to town.


Tearing the bedsheet into three foot-wide lengths, wrap the body. This makes sure the mummy will appear white and hold the body in place. Then wrap with cheese cloth or gauze. Be aware that It is tricky to get the gauze to stay without monster mud. Hair spray works at first, but may not hold well. If not monster-mudding, some creativity is required here.

Monster Mud Time

Five parts drywall joint compound, one part black latex paint, and a good amount of stirring brings the world the magic that is monster mud. Sworn by many home haunters to be the greatest addition to their attraction, monster mud, when applied properly, makes any cool prop a great, scary prop.

Once the monster mud is stirred up enough (this takes a while if done by hand), dip more cheese cloth in it before wrapping it around the mummy.

Generally, only the front of the mummy needs to be decorated this way, so it’s a good idea to lay the mummy down on a piece of cardboard or newspaper so the drywall compound doesn’t mess up a table. Make sure the mummy is in the desired position, because moving it after the monster mud dries will cause parts to crack and fall off. Let it dry, and the mummy is complete.

The Last Word

Taking only a couple of hours, a talking mummy can add a lot of fun to any Halloween attraction, makes better use of a relatively cheap and campy prop, and is the first step to creating more intricate monster mud creatures.

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I am founder of FarmFoodFamily blog, where you can read about all living things. I have been a writer all my life, a collector of various interesting and old things, a traveler and an artist. Hobby and career paths have gone in many directions, from making miniature furniture to watercolor painting, fundraising for a symphony orchestra to selling antiques, from interior decorating to copyediting, from being a wife and mother to being a caregiver for family members with serious illnesses. Throughout the years I have learned and taught about all of these things and have been eager to share the information with a wider readership.


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