Essential Haunted House Props: Mummies And Coffins

When you decorate your Haunted House for Halloween be sure to include mummies and coffins. Use this guide to help you design your costumes and use them properly

Halloween can be an opportunity for children, and adults alike, to dress in costumes, give and receive candy through trick-or-treating, or bob for apples. This holiday is great time for fun activities, and the perfect opportunity to enjoy a good scare. It is, after all, the night where the spirits of the dead are recognized as being closest to the living. The living may have a fright simply hearing the slow creak a coffin opening, even before seeing a supernatural mummy. This mummy, complete with tattered bandages, rises, moans, and uncrosses its arms from its burial pose to reach out as it shuffles forward in pursuit of visitors to your haunted house. What a horrifying and thrilling scene! Because of the excellent opportunities they provide for a scare, mummies and coffins are essential haunted house props.

Mummies and coffins have inspired horror and fear so often and effectively that your haunted house is not complete without them. Mummies are classic universal characters. They are the ultimate representation of preserving the dead, and of the dead coming back to life. Because mummies have a notorious reputation as an entity not to be tampered with, they add an element of danger and mystery to your haunted house.

Coffins, with their association of making an exit from this world, provide an extremely creepy way to make an entrance. With this dramatic entrance, the mummy will steal the show in spite of the elaborately carved jack-o-lanterns glowing on your doorstep, the fog created by dry ice, the spider infested webs, the axe murderer lurking in the corner, and the spooky ghosts rattling chains in your attic.

Take stock of your Halloween decorations""do you have a mummy and coffin? It is fairly easy to achieve the dramatic effect described above. All you need is a person dressed in a mummy costume, a coffin-shaped box (create your own with cardboard decorated with hieroglyphics), and creaky hinges or a creaking sound effect.

In a dimly lit haunted house, a homemade mummy costume of wrapped toilet paper, gauze, or strips of material, easily achieves the desired terrifying results. To become a mummy, begin by creating a corpselike pallor. Simply use white makeup or powder on your face. Use black makeup to create dark circles under your eyes and a thick dark line under each cheekbone to create the appearance of sunken cheeks and emaciation. You can choose to either paint your lips white or use black lipstick. Black fingernail polish is also a great touch. Get out the gauze or toilet paper, or better yet, cut an old sheet into strips and prepare to be wrapped. Wear light colored clothing that will not show underneath your costume and pull your hair back. Have your costumer wrap the strips around you from head to toe tucking the ends in securely. Remember, your costume needs to be a little messy in order to appear as an authentic mummy that is a little worse for the wear after spending time in the grave. Use white makeup on your skin in areas not covered by the strips of material. Practice a shuffling walk and an inhuman sound, and you are sure to thrill haunted house visitors.

If you choose not to make an entrance as a mummy emerging from a coffin in your haunted house, I encourage you to include mummies and coffins in other ways. This October, make sure your haunted house is not missing any of the traditional horror elements. There are many options for incorporating both mummies and coffins into your haunted house. For example, you might use store bought window decals, display a mummy created with newspaper and masking tape, play the mummy and grave scenes from a classic horror movie, or serve mummy eyeballs (more commonly known as grapes) from candy dish in the shape of a coffin. Use your imagination, mummies, and coffins and your haunted house is sure to become legendary in your neighborhood.

© High Speed Ventures 2011