Creating your own Halloween environment is a huge part of the fun for this almost-anything-goes holiday. Instead of peppering your yard with store-bought seasonal decorations, why not make a spooky Halloween tunnel to give trick-or-treaters a frightful, delightful experience? What you put inside the tunnel is up to you, but if trick-or-treat happens at night, remember, your guests need some visibility to see where they're going, and a relatively clear path to be able to walk through with ease.
DIY Haunted Tunnel Framework
The length of your tunnel depends upon the amount of space available in your yard, but with ample space, it's easy to make a Halloween tunnel high enough for tall adults to walk through and long enough to make the experience freaky, fun and frightful. Flexible 3/4-inch diameter PVC piping in 10-foot lengths serves as the main "hoop" material to create the tunnel frame, while 1/2-inch rebar creates sturdy posts for each arch. A series of 4-way PVC connectors holds the frame itself together, with T connectors at the ends instead of the 4-way pieces. Each arch or hoop is actually two 10' lengths of PVC, connected in the center. Use 5 foot PVC pieces as the "backbone" of the arch structure, or make them a little shorter if your Halloween tunnel isn't going to be really long.
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Find the best location for your tunnel and mark the approximate starting and ending points using rocks or whatever you have on hand. Hammer one piece of rebar into the ground at the starting location of the first arch; the rebar should sink 12 inches or more and not wiggle too much.To get an idea on where to put the partnering piece of rebar, connect 2 pieces of PVC together with a 4-way connector, then slide one end of the PVC over the rebar. Bend the PVC into a hoop with the arch overhead; note where the arch ends to mark the point for the second rebar stake. Go ahead and hammer the rebar in to try it out.
Make the entire tunnel frame by creating one arch from 2 10-foot PVC lengths for every 5 feet of tunnel length, using 4-way connectors for each junction point other than the ends, which need T connectors. Once you've connected the 5-foot PVC lengths for the backbone, the structure should look a bit skeletal sprawled out on your lawn. Use short screws to secure the PVC to each connector – this way you can take the entire thing apart for storage. Hammer in the rebar posts at your chosen locations for the ends of each arch, slide the arch ends atop the PVC and flex it into its arch shape. Ask friends to help put the large structure into place; once it's finished, the "backbone" pieces should be overhead and parallel to the ground, holding the arch framework together.
Decorating the Halloween Tunnel
Decorating is the fun part, as you can make the tunnel as cute or creepy as you'd like. Start by covering the entire thing with breathable black landscape fabric using zip ties or floral wire to secure the material to each arch. Stretch faux spiderweb material over the landscape fabric, or just skip the landscape cloth and go straight for the spiderwebs. Cover the entire tunnel with plastic spiders inside and out, using floral wire to secure them. Feel free to make it more creepy, with fake eyeballs, rubber rats, or gory Halloween masks positioned to look like faces stuck in some additional webbing inside the tunnel.
Add Halloween mood lighting outside the tunnel using outdoor flood lights with black bulbs pointing towards the tunnel, which makes it look interesting while slightly illuminating the inside of the tunnel. A swirling special effects light aimed toward the tunnel gives it a vortex effect for an added touch. Make a series of creepy signs pointing guests to the tunnel, then decorate the surrounding area with skeleton arms protruding out of the ground around the tunnel. Exercise your creativity to make the scene extra special.