Whether you’re looking to petrify your neighbors or just add a little horror to your home, these small, simple touches will be sure to spook.

By Liz Steelman
Updated June 07, 2017
Haunted house
Credit: Ed Freeman/Getty Images

The upside to sharing your house with some ghosts is that you probably don’t need any haunted house ideas when October rolls around. But for those who (thankfully) live in spirit-free homes, Halloween means a scramble for clever and simple, but spooky haunted house ideas to upgrade a perfectly happy, ghost-free residence into something a little more possessed. For these fortunate souls, Real Simple scoured social media for easy DIY projects that will make any home haunted. Here, four of the best haunted house ideas that even the craft-cursed can pull off. We like them because they’re not too gory or horrific—just a little unsettling. Incorporate each into your home for a subtle scare or try more than one for a truly frightful experience.

Instantly Age Items With Elmer’s Glue.

Halloween is the perfect time to go shopping in your garage for old furniture and knick-knacks to transform into spooky props. One ways to do this is to add Miss Havisham vibes by instantly ageing an item with Elmer’s glue. We love the idea of placing these crackle-effect sinister skulls from Skip to My Lou among fine china in your hutch for an unexpected scare. You could also line them up on the stair treads for a demonic effect. Use the same technique to send other items like vases, chairs, or frames through the time machine, too.

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RELATED: Frightfully Easy Pumpkin Carving Ideas for Halloween

Use Cheesecloth, a Plastic Mask, and Spray Glue to Create a Paranormal Presence.

Another simple, spine-chilling idea is to swap out your family’s framed portraits, posters, and art with a creepier substitute. This simple DIY from eHow, for example, creates a nerve-racking effect that looks like a spirit is trapped in the wall. Frame one of these presences and place around other normal photos for a surprising specter, or hang many for an alarming army of ghosts.

Decorate Your Exterior Windows With Unsettling Silhouettes.

Why stop with just the interior of your house when you can scare the neighbors, too? Print out these silhouettes of various sharp objects by The Paper Mama and hang in your front windows for a gruesome effect for passersby.

RELATED: Ghost Decorations to Add Spooky Style at Home

Turn a Fan Into a Moving Ghost.

To recreate this creepy DIY from The Art of Doing Stuff, you'll need a standing fan, row covers, and a flashlight. Since many locales experience cooler weather come late October, you should have plenty of fans to turn into alarming apparitions. Extra points if the standing fan oscillates—just switch it on to create an easy animatronic ghost!

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