Bring some bone-chilling excitement to your outdoor holiday decor with a crew of cavorting skeletons.


3 Skeletons climbing to the roof of a house

If you like to display your grinning ghouls for a while, opt for poseable plastic skeletons. They can hang out in the weather for the entire season with no ill effects. After all, they’re dead!


Skeleton on roof reaching down to help his skeleton pal up

How you hang or pose your skeletons will depend on what type you have. We made use of nearly invisible monofilament and staples to secure our capering cadavers. If you have the option, purchase skeletons with screwed joints like our seated guy on the rooftop. The reaching skeleton below has joints that pop together and one windy night we had body parts flying all over the yard. Lesson learned!


Smiling Skeleton trying to climb to the roof using a shrub as support

One skeleton gets a leg up from an evergreen while his companion leans down to lend a hand. Another sits on the roof waving to passersby. It’s easier to relax on a pitched roof when you don’t have to worry about a broken neck.


Skeletons trying to aid each other climbing the roof of a house

Scampering skeletons wreak merry mayhem while capering over the rooftops. Even when reduced to bare bones, these guys are expressive enough to look like they’re having a good time.


Ghoul flying around the corner of the house

Zooming around the corner of the roof , this flying ghoul presents a menacing aspect. A good breeze or wind will blow the filmy fabrics about but enhance the illusion of motion by stapling some of his draperies upward and behind him.


Skeleton wrapped in spider webs like meal saved for later

When time takes its toll on an old skeleton, don’t toss it. Find new ways to display the broken body parts. Here, we smothered the leftovers in cheesecloth to create a wrapped captive next to a large spiderweb.


Happy skeleton on dead man's chest

Seated on a dead man’s chest, this startled skeleton strikes a petrified pose as an eerie arm reaches out under the lid.


Skeleton in pieces raising from the ground in a grave yard

“Rest in Pieces” says it all when all you have left is a torso and skull. Seemingly rising out of the ground, this skeletal spook reaches for a detached limb before returning to the netherworld.


Skeleton cross tombstone

When populating a graveyard, look for examples that feature skulls and skeletons in high relief.


Reaper looming over tombstone which reads RIP Rest in Pieces

A hooded reaper hugs this tombstone while clutching his ominous scythe.


Yorick - hand coming from the ground holding a skull head

If all you have to work with is a cranium, you can still set up a frightful display. When we found this disembodied hand, we had to add the skull to its clutches. Sort of like a zombie Hamlet contemplating Yorik’s demise.


Headless ghoul laying in the graveyard

At the edge of the graveyard, a prostrate body reaches for its detached head. Stuffed with packing material and secured to the grass with ground staples, the old witch’s gown makes a pretty convincing ghoul.


Headless ghoul in graveyard with tombstones and urns

Tucked beyond the tombstones, the headless ghoul makes a haunting figure in the graveyard.


13 foot Jack the King of the Halloween figure stepping into the graveyard

A Jack Skellington-esque figure strides into the scene on his skinny legs. Made from chicken wire, painted PVC pipe, an old pinstripe jacket, and Styrofoam head, he stands sturdily on long rebar set into the ground.

Figure designed by Ginny Randall


Jack stepping into the graveyard with a lantern in hand

At 13 feet tall, our lantern-toting Jack figure dominates the graveyard. His spidery hands are made from white-painted twigs.


Glowing red dragon skull in flower bed

Human skeletons aren’t the only desiccated denizens of our fright night display. This large and menacing dragon skull lurks amid the borders and glows a fiery red as evening draws in.


Pirate skull with black headband hanging from the house porch roof

Give a detached skull some quick roguish character with an old piece of torn and faded fabric. Wrap it around the head in a pirate bandana and secure with hot glue (or epoxy for a weatherproof attachment). Thread the fabric with hemp twine and hang the scurvy pirate skull from the yardarm.


Grim Reaper with lantern walking a skeleton dog

This grim reaper and his bad-to-the-bone hound guard the skeletal cemetery day and night.


Grim reaper at night with lantern and chains and glowing red eyes

Glowing eyes turn toward you as the Grim Reaper patrols during the graveyard shift.


Seated skeleton in a black cloak, wine glass, and a jack o'lantern in his lap

A sociable chap makes a spirited first impression by the front door. He’s enjoyed his happy hour so much he can’t give it up, even after passing on.


clost picture of the seated skeleton in a black cloak, wine glass, and a jack o'lantern in his lap

This poseable old duffer is made of rubber over a bendable wire armature. Wrapped in a heavy velvet hooded cape, he rests his weary bones on the porch and cradles a laughing jack-‘o-lantern.


Angry Ghoul with spiders and a heavy double headed axe

Add a gruesome ghoul with an axe to grind—that will up the threat level of your eerie ensemble. Want to increase the shiver factor? Paint the edge of the axe in blood red.


Two Skeletons at a funeral one dressed in a coffin the other wearing a red dress presiding

Wake the dead with a funereal atmosphere on the porch. Ready to make a new addition to the family plot, the recently deceased sits in a wood coffin (painted wood panels jointed with black duct tape and set into a routered platform) atop a catafalque fashioned from a pair of moss-draped urns.


Skeleton mourner with black veil and red and black dress

Our perpetual mourner wears a black veil and looks suitably sedate, but maybe the frilly red attire signals a less than sorry aspect?


Smartpond mini LED light set

Now, of course, these displays are all very well in the light of day, but how do you get them to spook passersby after the sun sets? We used brilliant LED lights from Smartpond to illuminate our creepy characters through the evening hours.


Smartpond mini LED light

The mini light string of 6 nestles nicely in the plant beds all along the front of the house giving each specter his (or her) due.

We’d love to know how you celebrate Halloween. Share your photos on our Facebook page or tell us all about it in the comments section below.

© Caruth Studio

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