If you’re looking for a new idea for your outdoor Halloween display, try out this Halloween haunted hotel theme. With a DIY hotel sign, luggage cart and check in desk, complete with ghosts and skeletons, it’s sure to be a big hit with the neighborhood kids.
Every year I throw a big party for my favorite holiday…Halloween.
Except for this year.
With everything going on, getting a big group of people together just isn’t in the cards.
But I still wanted to put up some decorations outside.
The kids in the neighborhood would be terribly disappointed if I didn’t (they start coming around to see what I’m doing as soon as October rolls around).
So this year I decided to go with a haunted hotel theme.
Kind of like one of those old Victorian Charleston hotels, with a Halloween twist.
The Halloween Haunted Hotel Name
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The first thing I had to do was come up with a hotel name.
I like the “Dead and Breakfast Inn” name that a lot of people have used before.
But since I always like to do something a little different, I decided to go with the “Dead & Buried Hotel”.
It’s perfect for a Halloween haunted hotel that also has a cemetery.
DIY Hotel Sign
With the name decided, the first project was to create a sign.
After finding an inexpensive chalkboard at Michael’s and creating a vinyl sign to go on it with my Cricut, I needed a post to hang it from.
And used her idea to create my sign post, too.
Hanging a black light over the top of it makes the white letters glow at night.
It seems like a lot of the old hotels (like the Westin Poinsett in Greenville, SC) have fountains as the focal point in front of their hotel.
So I wanted to create something like that for my haunted hotel.
Since I don’t have a large fountain to put out there, I went with a large spooky statue that definitely commands attention.
Adding a strobe light at the bottom of the statue creates a spooky atmosphere.
Skeleton Horse & Carriage
Just when I was starting to plan my outdoor Halloween display, I saw this awesome skeleton horse and Victorian hearse prop*.
It even has a dead guy in the back.
So although it cost a little more than my usual Halloween props, I just couldn’t help myself.
And they look pretty awesome!!
The carriage comes with a red light that makes the skeleton in the back glow. As well as two lanterns at the front.
They run on batteries. Which I replaced with this plug-in version.* That way they can go on the timer with the rest of my lights and come on automatically every night.
I made the skeleton driver look a little spookier by adding a purple uplight that makes him much easier to see in the dark.
Of course, you can’t have a hearse (or a “dead and buried” hotel) without a graveyard.
So a few styrofoam tombstones are a requirement.
Blue spotlights make them seem to glow in the dark.
Spooky Spirits Bar
Since a hotel isn’t a good hotel without a bar, I set up some outdoor seating.
With a sign and skeletons as customers.
More blue spotlights make the skeletons noticeable at night.
What’s a haunted hotel without ghosts?
They stick to the windows with suction cups that make it look like they are flying out of the house.
Another spotlight makes sure everyone can see them in the dark.
No Vacancy Sign
A neon vacancy sign is another obvious hotel signal.
So I hung a spooky Halloween version from the arbor in my yard.
The “No” blinks on and off ominously.
Bell Boy & DIY Luggage Cart
A skeleton bell boy with a DIY luggage cart is a given at my Halloween haunted hotel.
His uniform is this inexpensive Halloween costume*. (It’s actually a pretty nice costume for the price).
The suitcases are made of wood and are meant for home decor (you can find them HERE*).
And of course, you can never go wrong adding a few crows here and there.
DIY Check In Desk
A hotel also needs a check-in desk.
I made mine from a pallet and a wood board plastic scene setter.
A really fast and inexpensive way to make a front desk.
Of course, a skeleton is waiting to check you in.
A fire and ice spotlight* makes him stand out in the dark.
DIY Hotel Keys
Behind the desk, room keys hang from skeleton hands screwed onto a plain wood sign.
I bought some old-style keys and attached them to key rings with tassels.
Then put room numbers on some aluminum tags.
One thing I always have in my Halloween displays is a fence.
It not only helps to mark out what the yard haunt boundaries are, it also makes sure that people aren’t tripping over the extension cords…which there are a lot of!
This year, I used this DIY Halloween fence with crows on it across the front of the yard.
And plastic chain strung between PVC pipes (painted black) around the rest of the yard (you can see if in the background of this picture).
The center circle is surrounded by a low garden fence that I’ve used for many of my Halloween yard haunts.
To add to the old-time hotel feel, I stuck solar lanterns all around the outside fence.
These are actually landscape lights, but their stems are thin enough to fit into the PVC pipes I used for my fence posts.
They definitely add some ambiance to the yard.
While lighting isn’t specific to my haunted hotel theme, I do believe it’s what makes or breaks any Halloween display.
As usual, I used a lot of these color changing LED spot lights, which add general ambiance to the yard.
But I also like to use string lights on all of the bushes, the tree and along the top of the fence.
They provide enough light that people can see where they are walking.
And make the yard look pretty awesome from the end of the straight.
This year, I bought these LED string lights* that change colors and come with a remote.
This way I can use Halloween colors now.
Then leave them up and use them again for Christmas just by changing the color.
That’s it for this year’s haunted hotel yard haunt. I hope you have a happy Halloween!