How to Make Hanging Dead Bodies for Halloween

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When you've decided to take your Halloween decorations in a gruesome direction, there are few more fitting frights than hanging dead bodies. Craft a series of unfortunate souls to sway spookily from tree branches, dangle creepily from overhangs and drop scarily from the ceiling. DIY hanging bodies for Halloween need to be lightweight and realistically decrepit, which is achievable using the right types of recycled and inexpensive materials along with your own creativity.

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Clothed DIY Hanging Corpse

Create a DIY hanging body for Halloween that resembles a hanged criminal from the olden days. Find old-timey clothes such as plain blue jeans or heavy work pants, a flannel or denim button-down shirt, work gloves and old-fashioned looking work boots or shoes. Rough-up the clothing items, making them look dirty and ripped, and optionally splatter them with fake blood. You'll also need a Styrofoam head or head-sized ball and a Halloween mask that looks like a dead human face.

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Stuff all the clothes to fill them out enough to resemble a real body, using scrunched up newspaper, bubble wrap, old plastic grocery bags or similar stuffing. Add a clothes hanger inside the shirt to give shape to the shoulders. Sew or glue the shirt, pants, gloves and shoes together to resemble a real human body. Glue the mask around the Styrofoam head or ball, insert a dowel into the neck area, and insert the dowel into the shirt. Use rope and duct tape to secure the head, dowel and clothes hanger together and give some strength to the neck area.

Shrouded DIY Hanging Corpse

This DIY hanging corpse gets its old-fashioned, apparition-from-the-graveyard spookiness from a wrapping of white muslin, a thin fabric you can buy very cheaply by the yard. Old white bedsheets are a suitable alternative. The basic method is to create a rough body shape for the inside, and wrap it all up in ragged strips of muslin.

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Image Credit: Susan Vineyard/iStock/GettyImages

For the body shape, duct tape or tie a clothes hanger – the wide plastic kind, not a thin wire hanger – to the non-brush end of a broomstick. Tape a head-sized plastic or Styrofoam ball, or even better, a Styrofoam head, to the end of the pole, above the hanger. Tape or tie an old king-sized pillow around the middle of the broomstick. Wrap the whole arrangement in torn strips of muslin, wrapping fairly tightly to create the shape of a shrouded body. Finally, tie rope or string around the body, looping it around several times from head to toe.

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Black-Bagged Corpse

For a variation of the shrouded DIY hanging body for Halloween, use black trash bags to make the body appear like a murder victim in a horror movie. Create the shape of the body in the same way as the shrouded corpse, or alternatively by stuffing clothing and attaching it together in the manner of the clothed hanging corpse. Wrap the whole body shape in black plastic trash bags and use duct tape to secure the bags tightly around the body.

Spider-Web Corpse

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For another creepy variation on the shrouded corpse, use store-bought spider-web sheets in place of muslin to wrap the corpse. This version looks like a body that's been captured in the web of a giant man-eating spider, which has wrapped it up like a fly to eat later.

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