golf resort, family reunion

~Shared by J. Ranner

Woodloch Pines Resort offers up a professional’s perspective for spooking up your haunted house this Halloween.

Halloween is just around the corner. In addition to all the tasty treats that drive the little ghouls crazy, it’s also the perfect season to put your spooky ingenuity to the test and transform your house into the creepiest one in the neighborhood.

Joey Ranner, the Social Director at Woodloch, is also the chief scare architect for the resort’s annual haunted hayrides, where guests hop aboard a haywagon and travel through a forest of terror. He believes that many of the tactics used in the hayrides can be transitioned to work in your own home. “Although things are spooky at night, a trip through the grounds in sunlight reveals that some of the most effective scares at night are relatively simply constructed. Here are just a few steps you can take to frighten visiting goblins this Halloween:”


  • “The BOOM Effect”- String together chilling sound effects and music on a special mix CD then crank the volume up on an old boombox, or have a special “monster” clatter pots and pans together. It works especially well after a period of silence.  Aluminum pie pans clang and send off misguiding reflections.
  • “Scare from Above” – Craft a lightweight spider, bat or creepy crawler out of basic materials like foam, pipe cleaners or paper mache. Using fishing line or thin rope, suspend them from a high point, such as a chandelier. When your “victims” are in place, let go and drop from above!
  • “Under the Cover of Darkness”- The most essential element working in your favor. To extend the advantage of the night, seal off windows or doorways with black trash bags to rid your house of any unnecessary light. Add a one-two punch by using a camera flash or strobe light to further impair your guests’ sight.
  •  “Smoke and Mirrors”- literally. It is fairly easy to disorient someone who isn’t seeing things clearly. Gather up as many mirrors as possible and place them all around a room, or, acquire a fog machine and fire up some creepy clouds. Pounce on your visitors in the midst of confusion (be safe about it, of course!)
  •  “Decoys”- keep your audience guessing. Set up decorations that could, in your visitor’s minds, be scares, but in reality are nothing. Scarecrows, dummies, or just a pair of boots behind the curtain will do the trick! Then spring at them from another angle!

All of these tactics can be employed on a modest budget, but remember that the most important aspects of the rides (and now, your scare house) are execution and heart. Allow yourself to get caught up in the craziness of the season and have FUN. That makes the difference between a good haunted house and a spooktacular haunted house!

Woodloch offers haunted hayrides on select nights through November 8th. Call 800.WOODLOCH for details!