Strings of lights shaped like pumpkins, bats, or cartoon ghosts may be cute for a kids' Halloween party. But if you're looking for a more terrifying way to complete your Halloween yard decorations with spooky lighting, consider these five things:
To make shadows loom large and creepy, place low to the ground and aim them slightly upward. The angle will produce elongated, deformed shadows when anyone or anything passes in front of the light. Even the family dog will cast a frightful shadow. If you want to create more specific shadow effects, paint or partially cover lenses, or position cutouts or other figures in front of the lights.
Choose your colors wisely. are a Halloween classic, and you can have lots of fun with a black light on the front porch, but they tend to be more silly than scary. Dark blue lights are a more effective way to create a mystical scene—moviemakers often use dark blue lights for moonlit nights or dark interior scenes. Hang a dark blue bulb in your porch-light fixture to turn your front porch into a shadowy dungeon, or use dark blue floodlights to bathe your front yard in eerie moonlight, which makes the perfect lighting for a graveyard display.
Fire is a great way to create spooky ambiance. The seems to deepen nearby shadows, and it makes them move and shift (or is that just something hiding in the darkness). Use a candle inside a classic jack-o'-lantern, which can cast some truly unnerving shadows if carved and positioned properly. Pose a pumpkin or two on the porch or in strategic (and safe) places in your front yard. You could also line your walkway with tiki torches, or just station a couple on either side of your porch. Make sure your open flames are positioned safely—away from where people will walk—and will not be a hazard. If you're not sure, you can always use flickering orange lights or electronic candles.
Resist the temptation to overuse . Not only are they headache-inducing (and remember, you will be seeing them all night), they may look gimmicky if not executed just right. Instead, to create a sense of confusion or to suggest motion in a display, try flickering light, or a light that flashes at more random, slower intervals.
Achieve the best and scariest possible Halloween lighting with a . Flashing or moving lights at various levels can suggest spirits moving around, or something with glowing eyes lurking in the fog. You can also create some cool effects with track lighting on the ground, where the color will be reflected and spread in the surrounding fog. Use it to create an eerie glow arising from a decorative grave or a trail of blood running from a gory display. Red lights are a good way to hint at blood, and bright green can make your fog look radioactive or poisonous.