Outdoor Halloween decor – 14 frightfully chic ideas for your front door, yard and more

From timeless classics such as pumpkins and wreaths to scary skeletons and spiders, celebrate spooky season in style with our favorite outdoor Halloween decor ideas

Outdoor Halloween decorations
(Image credit: Clark & Aldine | Shea McGee / Studio McGee | Danielle Moss)

Each year, outdoor Halloween decor becomes more and more unique and elaborate; with many of us going all out with creative decorating ideas to celebrate the spooky season, and to impress (and scare) neighbors and passersby. 

From frightfully chic schemes that coordinate with your indoor Halloween decoration ideas, to just plain frightening, our collection of outdoor Halloween decor ideas will help you decorate your home in style for everybody's favorite holiday.

14 creative decorating ideas that will transform your outside space for Halloween

When embracing Halloween decorating ideas, there are a few types of households. First, there's the all-out fright-fest. The neighbor whose yard is so terrifying, small children (and even some adults) avoid it while trick-or-treating. 

Then, there's the house that takes the sophisticated approach to spooky; the house whose Halloween decorating ideas are more in sync with outdoor fall decor, and look like they came straight from the Pinterest home page. 

And finally, there's the family-friendly Halloween approach. The house where you can tell the kids picked out most of the decorations, because they're more fun than frightening.

Whatever category your outdoor Halloween decor ideas fall under, we've got inspiration and some of the best outdoor Halloween decorations for you to be inspired by below.

1. Add a spooky touch to your fall setup

outdoor halloween decor on a porch

(Image credit: Danielle Moss)

If your fall porch decor is still in good shape, there's no need to swap out your entire display for Halloween porch decor ideas. Instead, just layer in a few spooky accents that go with what you already have.

At the Chicago home, above, stylist Danielle Moss embraces Halloween door decor with a dark bat-themed wreath; wonderfully coordinating with her black front door. 

'Decorating with pumpkins is also an easy way to uplift your outside space for both fall and Halloween,' says Homes & Gardens' digital editor, Jennifer Ebert. 'If you've styled your steps or porch like Danielle for fall, add a few new fresh pumpkin picks or elevate your display even further with some spooky pumpkin carving ideas.'

Jennifer Ebert
Jennifer Ebert

Jen is the Deputy Editor (Digital) of Homes & Gardens online. Before starting this position, she had completed various interior design courses at KLC Design School, as well as working across Ideal Home, LivingEtc, 25 Beautiful Homes and Country Homes & Interiors as an interiors writer.

2. Keep it simple with a Halloween-inspired doormat

West elm bat doormat

(Image credit: West Elm)

If you're looking for easy Halloween door decoration ideas, then you can't really go wrong with a fun new doormat.

Adding both a practical and playful touch to your outside space, there are so many designs to choose from that feature all of the classic Halloween symbols, from pumpkins to ghosts, skeletons and more. We love this Light-Up Bats Doormat design from West Elm.

3. Hang a wicked Halloween wreath

Halloween Wreath on front door

(Image credit: Alamy)

From spooky Halloween wreath ideas, to more natural, subtle designs that can be used for fall wreath ideas too, a wreath can beautifully elevate your front door for the season.

Whether you choose to buy a fun wreath, like this rather sweet Handcrafted Ghost Light Up Wreath from Pottery Barn, or make your own out of foliage and flowers from your garden for a Halloween craft project, there are wreath styles to coordinate with all types of Halloween schemes.

If you've already got a fall wreath hanging on your door, Lucy Searle, editor in chief of Homes & Gardens (and huge Halloween fan) says, 'simply add elements of black to your fall wreath, and include some scary details. Amazon sells a set of 30 hanging wooden Halloween decorations that can be quickly hooked on to it, and used elsewhere around the front yard.'

Lucy Searle
Lucy Searle

Lucy Searle has written about interiors, property and gardens for over 30 years, starting within the interiors departments of women's magazines before switching to interiors-only titles in the mid-1990s. In 2018, Lucy took on the role of Global Editor in Chief for Realhomes.com, taking the site from a small magazine add-on to a global success. She was asked to repeat that success at Homes & Gardens, where she has also taken on the editorship of the magazine, which is the UK's oldest interiors magazine at 103 years old. Lucy is a serial renovator and also owns rental properties in the UK and Europe, so brings first-hand knowledge to the subjects she oversees.

4. Coordinate your wreath with a matching garland

Halloween wreath and garland on door

(Image credit: Balsam Hill)

To take your chosen wreath design to the next level, adorn your door or your front porch with a matching garland. 

We love the beautiful Autumn Abundance Foliage wreath and Garland from Balsam Hill above, and think it's the perfect look for your outside space if you're wanting to embrace more subtle Halloween decor ideas.

Of course, you don't have to coordinate with your wreath, garlands can be used independently to drape across front porches and doors, and come in a variety of different shapes and styles – these Cascade Light Up Garlands from Terrain, are perfect for hanging from trees and bushes – and they can be used again for outdoor Christmas decoration ideas too.

5. Style your outdoor space with fun Halloween lights

Balsam Hill hanging candle lights

(Image credit: Balsam Hill)

Of course, you can't go wrong with traditional pumpkin lanterns, but for a more modern look for your outdoor Halloween decor, then why not embrace some unique light-up Halloween decorations. 

Whether you hang lights from your porch ceiling, like these surreal Floating Candle designs from Balsam Hill, or intertwine string lights in hedges and shrubs, planning an eye-catching Halloween lighting scheme will only make your home look more special and inviting throughout the spooky season – and for all the trick-or-treaters.

6. Spook the neighbors with a skeleton

skeleton sitting in a chair

(Image credit: Grandin Road)

Make the neighbors do a double take with your outdoor Halloween decor by setting a skeleton or two on your front porch furniture

Take the creativity up a notch by adding in a few props, like a coffee cup, a rake, musical instrument or a book, as shown above.

7. Decorate for a seasonal celebration

Halloween table decor

(Image credit: Tim Young)

Make an outdoor Halloween party an elegantly eerie affair with cones of candy, flickering candlelight, and an over-the-table display of vines and string lights. 

No worries if flower arranging isn't usually your thing. In this case, simple, fall flowers for pots, and rustic Halloween table decor can still look great. 

Our Halloween kitchen decor ideas can also provide you with some beautiful inspiration.

8. Put cobwebs in porch corners

halloween front porch decor

(Image credit: Shea McGee / Studio McGee)

Another simple way to spook up your fall decor ideas: copy Shea McGee of McGee Studio's example above, and add cobwebs in the corners around your entryway. For extra fright factor, drape them around your front porch lighting, too. (Just be sure they don't touch the lightbulbs.) We also love the more muted, pastel pumpkins that are scattered on the steps.

'While you don’t need to incorporate bright colors to make your space feel Halloween-ready, sticking to a palette is still helpful in creating a cohesive look,' says Shea.

'Whether you like more traditional Halloween colors of orange and black or want to go for a minimal, muted look, start with a jumping-off point like artwork or even the finishes in your home, and build your decor around it.'

To finish off the look, add a fun spider decoration, like these Halloween spiders from Walmart.

Shea McGee
Shea McGee

Interior designer, Shea McGee founded her iconic design firm, Studio McGee, with her husband Syd in 2014. They later launched their e-commerce brand, McGee & Co, and starred in their very own Netflix show, Dream Home Makeover.

9. Transform your front lawn with ghosts and ghouls

ghosts on a front lawn

(Image credit: Grandin Road)

A group of ghosts traipsing toward the street makes for a bone-chilling sight. If you're feeling crafty, make your own ghosts with white fabric (old tablecloths or sheets are an easy upcycle) wrapped around large Styrofoam balls or balled up bags of leaves. 

Short on time? These LED Lighted Ghost Pathway Markers can be purchased from Wayfair.

10. Hang witches hats

halloween porch at night

(Image credit: Southern State of Mind)

Looking for a simple way to pep up your outdoor Halloween decor?

'Flying witches hats took Instagram by storm last year. And it's not hard to see why,' says Jo Bailey, Homes & Gardens' print editor and stylist. 'The look is fun and frightful, but still understated enough for those who prefer their outdoor Halloween decor to have a touch of restraint.'

We love these Floating Witch Hat decorations from Pottery Barn.

Jo Bailey Author Profile Picture
Jo Bailey

Jo Bailey is print editor of Homes & Gardens, overseeing all features for the print edition. Before joining Future PLC, she worked as an interior stylist for over ten years, specializing in commercial photo shoots for luxury clients such as; Design Centre Chelsea Harbour, Christopher Farr Cloth and Heal's. She has worked with Homes & Gardens for over a decade, having styled and produced editorial shoots and events over the years.

11. Decorate with flying bats

halloween porch decor

(Image credit: Clark and Aldine)

Flying bats are a Halloween decorating trend that work well on their own, or as part of a larger decorative display. Here, design firm Clark & Aldine paired flying bat stickers, like these designs from Amazon, with piles of pumpkins and a scowling jack-o-lantern for a look that's wonderfully festive rather than frightening. 

12. Create a scary séance scene

ghosts holding hands on front lawn

(Image credit: Grandin Road)

Did you think, when planning your front yard landscaping ideas, that you'd have to make space to host a séance on the front lawn with a ring of ghosts around a bubbling cauldron? There's something truly unsettling about casting spells in the front yard, but isn't that the point? 

13. Light the path with lanterns

halloween path lights

(Image credit: Balsam Hill)

Boost front yard lighting ideas by lining the front yard walkway with Halloween-themed lights. These Jack-o-Lantern globes are solar-powered, so setup is as simple as staking them into the ground. 

14. Make a pumpkin planter to decorate your porch

pumpkin flower vase

(Image credit: Bloom & Wild)

Making a pumpkin planter takes minutes but it's hugely impactful and is a great way to display fall flowers and foliage.

'As long as the flowers themselves can stand the drop in temperatures, the pumpkin planter will last longer outdoors than in,' says Homes & Gardens' garden content editor, Holly Crossley. 'Or, display it in your entryway at night, putting it back outside to glamorize your outdoor Halloween decor during the day.'

headshot of Holly Crossley
Holly Crossley

Holly is a former allotment keeper and professional gardener. She now spends her time tending to her many houseplants, painting her favorite flowers, and writing about gardens and outdoor living for Homes & Gardens.


How do you make outdoor Halloween yard props?

DIY-lovers will find plenty of options for making outdoor Halloween decor. Here are a few ideas to try:

  • Make your own ghosts: To do it, pile leaves from your yard into the middle of a large piece of scrap fabric or old sheeting, then bunch up the sheet around the leaves, and tie to form a head. Create a hook at the top with a piece of floral wire, and hang.
  • Carve faux pumpkins: Real pumpkins only last a few days once carved, but faux pumpkins last indefinitely. Light them up with LED tea lights for decor that lasts all season long.
  • Cut out headstones. Re-use cardboard shipping boxes to create DIY tombstones. First, but headstone shapes from the cardboard. Then, add a few layers of papier-mâché, and finish off with a coat of outdoor-approved spray paint. Fasten a stake to the back and stick them around your yard. You can also cut tombstone shapes from pre-made cardboard yard signs. 

How do I decorate the front of my house for Halloween?

There are lots of ways to decorate the front of your house for Halloween, but a few of our favorite are:

  • Create a cemetery. Turn your front yard into a graveyard! Buy (or make) headstones to stake into the ground, then scatter the area around it with skeletons, and ghosts.
  • Add cobwebs: One of the simplest ways to decorate outdoors for Halloween to to hang stretchy cobwebs from the corners of your doorway, across fencing, or over porch lights.
  • Hang ghouls from the trees. Elevate your Halloween decor (literally) by suspending ghosts, witches, or skeletons from the trees.
  • Swap out your lighting. Another easy way to spook-ify your yard? Change out the lightbulbs in your pathway lighting or front porch lighting for orange versions. 

To really make a statement with your outdoor Halloween decor, then why not transform your yard with a truly spectacular inflatable decoration? Of course these won't be for everyone, but if you're looking for a way make your outside space stand-out from the crowd with fun decor, then a design like this 8ft inflatable ghost, will be sure to get the neighbors talking.

Kaitlin Madden
Executive Editor, Homes & Gardens

Kaitlin Madden Armon is a writer and editor covering all things home. Her work has appeared in Real Homes, Architectural Digest, Martha Stewart Living, Refinery29, Modern Luxury Interiors, Wayfair, The Design Network, and lots more. She graduated from Northeastern University with a degree in journalism and currently lives in Connecticut with her husband, three kids, and black lab.

With contributions from