Halloween is not a proper scare-fest without a scary movie, but even better yet, make this Halloween one to remember with a haunted house party (a la April Fool's Day or House on Haunted Hill) – and make it a fundraiser!
Halloween fundraisers are quite easy to coordinate. All you need are Halloween decorations and some fun, creative games, and you'll have your guests screaming with the joy of giving to your charity organization!
Haunted houses fundraisers can bring in the funds for your school in a variety of ways. For instance, most charge visitors a small admission price.
Now this can be used either to cover the costs of decorations, snacks and etc., or it can be used to go towards the profit you're hoping to raise for your team or organization.
To make a successful Haunted house fundraiser, first you actually need a haunted house. Use the following tips to plan out your Halloween Haunt and then divide the tasks between your volunteers.
Tips to plan out your Halloween Haunt
- Set the exterior to haunted mode – If you are creating your Haunted House inside an actual house (and not a school gymnasium) start with the exterior. Wrap yellow caution tape outside the exterior walls, stairways, fences and trees to create an ominous feeling. You can also use the tape to lead guests right into your entrance by blocking off the walkway so they have no choice but to come right in – muhahahahah!
- Display a shocking entrance – Next you will want to get them shaking in their boots before they even enter the house. So set up a coffin-looking exterior on your front door. You can go even further by using a scary door knocker (think Dracula or a frightening gargoyle) for a frightening entrance to your Haunted House.
- Create an-ti-ci-pation – If your budget can allot it, use some dry ice to create billowing fog at your entrance and around your house. Also, play some horror-themed music to add to the creepy atmosphere. If your budget can't handle dry ice, simply have a volunteer in costume at the entrance, or have them hiding behind the door to pop out at people as they arrive. Just think of your guest's face when they knock, if Igor or Dracula opens the door to admit them.
- Publicize your event to passersby – Don't forget what your Haunted House is all about. Announce your event on the outside so that everyone knows where to find you by using a large banner to welcome visitors to your event. Remember, when choosing a banner, chose one of the vinyl or plastic variety. These are printed on heavy-duty, weather-resistant material, so if it rains you won't be screaming down the street after your banner.
- Make an impression inside – If you don't have access to an actual house for your event – never fear! You can still make the most of the exterior of your school gymnasium or community center to create that oh-so-scary atmosphere. Start by setting up a haunted house silhouette outside of your entrance way to let visitors and passersby know what your event is all about. Don't forget your banner to announce your charity focus, and add some hanging bats and ghosts for an eerie exterior to your indoor Haunted House. You can go even further with willing volunteers. Ask them to dress up in scary vampire, witch and mummy costumes and act as ticket takers and hide just inside the door to scare your Haunted House goers.
- Covering your walls with creepiness – Now that you have the outside fully creeped out, it's time to tackle the inside. Start by collecting decor from your volunteers. You will be surprised at what great things they have at home that you can use – such as fake tombstones, bats, witches on broomsticks, mummy statues – if you don't have many decorations, make them! Wrap a dummy with toilet paper to make a scary mummy or drape a black curtain over another to make a grim reaper. You can also make use of everyday mirrors, by hanging them around the room and on the ceiling. Drape fake spider web across them to add to the effect.
A Halloween theme is great because just about everyone has decorations at home. You will be surprised on how much money you will save on decor, if you just ask volunteers to bring theirs from home – and that means the money you make all goes towards your charity event.
Here are some additional ideas for finishing touches to your Haunted House fundraising event:
- Fake black cats will look great in corners or tie them up high and have a volunteer swing them onto guests like they are pouncing – don't forget the sound effects.
- Make a collapsible coffin out of a large crate or cardboard box and post signs to warn guests about vampires. Have a willing volunteer act as Dracula to jump out at people around corners.
- Assemble a bag-of-bones from cardboard or decorations and have guests approach it and feel the bag as a real skeleton taps them on the shoulder – scary!
- Find decorations with glow-in-the-dark accents. You can keep the lighting dim or off and have these decorations practically light the way for guests through your Haunted House. You will find bones, skeletons and bats all in nightglow.
- String cobwebs all over your house, and make sure to place them across any pathway where guests will walk into them.
- Pick up a few different horror-themed CDs to play during the event, or play scary movies in the background and treat guests to screaming victims of your favorite Halloween movies.
- Lighting is very important with Haunted Houses as it virtually sets the tone. Use a black light to give the room an eerie glow or strobe lights to create strange movements in corners. You can also add flashing elements – like skeletons or bats – to surprise your visitors.