It’s the spookiest time of the year, and Torontonians are hard at work transforming their homes into ghoulish graveyards and daunting domiciles. If you’re looking to get into the spirit of the season, there are many easy ways to increase your home’s scare factor without investing a ton of time or a lot of money.

Here are some tips, curated from pros around the internet:  

Deliberately mess up your jack-o-lantern

No haunted house is complete without a jack-o-lantern, but if yours is carved too well or too perfectly, it sends more of a fun and friendly vibe. If scares are what you’re after, considering making your jack-o-lantern deliberately uneven or amateurish—like it was carved by a zombie or a ghost.

Let the grass grow

This one is as easy and labour-free as you can get! An unkempt home is a scary home, so leave your lawn mower in the shed leading up to Halloween and let the grass get long. It will add to the scary vibe and give you an excuse to spend your day doing something else.

Make your home look abandoned

Sticking with the notion that an unkempt house is a scary house, find a “faux” way of boarding up your windows. Crooked lengths of plywood work best, but make sure trick-or-treaters know you’re open for business by adding supplemental decorations and keeping an outdoor porch light on.

Choose late autumn colours

If you’re going to add themed decorations to your home, stick with hues that match the season’s foliage. By late October, leaves have usually passed their brilliantly coloured phase, and have taken on drab browns or fading orange tones. Used strategically, these tones can help you build a sense of foreboding around your home and front yard.

Filter your porch light

Pick up a porch lighting fixture attachment that will colour the light when you turn it on. Orange works well, but a deep and intense shade of red can be even more effective in the dark, since it suggests the colour of blood.

Mum’s the word

When trick-or-treaters come to your house, engage them in a different kind of way: instead of offering a warm and friendly greeting, simply offer them candy and close the door. Sneak in a knowing wink to their parents or chaperones if you can, just so the kids aren’t so scared that they discard your treats, but doing things this way will give visitors an extra chill that’s perfectly suitable for the year’s scariest evening. You can also answer the door in a mask of your own for extra scares.

Play some scary music

You can ratchet up the tension even more if you pair the silent treatment with some subtle, scary music. Theme songs from popular horror movies are excellent options, and orchestral music is another good choice. Psychologically, children tend to associate classical music and orchestral music with elderly people, and they also associate the elderly with death. Thus, you’ll create just the kind of mood you’re after!

Jethro Seymour, one of the Top Davisville Village Real Estate Brokers, is a midtown Toronto residential specialist with over 20 years of sales experience in real estate, marketing, construction and publishing. He has helped many families find homes in Toronto’s great neighbourhoods, and has extensive knowledge of local markets, new home construction, resale home sales, and the condo market. Living in midtown Toronto, Jethro previews many of the homes that come to market for his clients and inventory knowledge. Jethro specializes in Midtown, Davisville Village and Leaside neighbourhoods. For more information, call Jethro Seymour, Broker.

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