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The Making of a Haunted House

Go beyond the standard scarecrows and jack-o’-lanterns this Halloween. With a little creativity, your family can build the spookiest setting on the block.

“The best way to decorate your home is to create an environment that connects with all your senses,” says Jason Ohlsen, creative director for Terror Behind the Walls, the award-winning Halloween attraction at Eastern State Penitentiary, a historical site in Philadelphia.

Fog machines and low lighting can set the eerie scene for your haunted house, says Ohlsen, who recommends smaller, longer-lasting LED bulbs.

You can involve the kids in making homemade decorations, too. On Crafters 4 Kids website, Halloween projects such as a spider web wall hanging include free downloadable, printable step-by-step instructions with detailed photos and supply lists.

Consider the KIDZ BOP Halloween Party CD ($11.98) as a not-too-scary soundtrack that will have your little goblins dancing and singing along to revisited hits including Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” Rihanna’s “Disturbia” and “The Addams Family” theme song.

Complete your creepy cabin with Sinster Scents, available at www.sinisterscents.com. “For a few dollars you can purchase small pellets that are ‘flavored’ — from cotton candy to rotting flesh,” says Ohlsen, who also warns, “Some are very potent and you might not want to use them in your own home!”

Stephanie Halinski is calendar editor of MetroKids.

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