Halloween Haunted Hotel Theme

If you’re looking for some Halloween party decor ideas, try out this Halloween haunted hotel theme. With a DIY hotel sign, luggage cart and check in desk, complete with ghosts and skeletons, it’s sure to be a big hit.

Every year I throw a big party for my favorite holiday…Halloween.

Except for this year.

With everything going on, getting a big group of people together just isn’t in the cards.

But I still wanted to put up some decorations.

So I decided to go with a haunted hotel theme. Complete with a skeleton bellboy and check-in desk.

And since I’m not having anyone over, I set it up outside for all of the trick-or-treaters to walk through before getting their candy.

(But many of the decorations would work just as well for an indoor party.)

The Halloween haunted hotel name

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The first thing I had to do was come up with a hotel name.

I like the “Dead and Breakfast Inn” name that a lot of people have used before.

But since I always like to do something a little different, I decided to go with the “Dead & Buried Hotel”.

It’s perfect for a Halloween haunted hotel that also has a cemetery.

DIY hotel sign

Dead & Buried Halloween haunted hotel sign

With the name decided, the first project was to create a sign.

After finding an inexpensive chalkboard at Michael’s and creating a vinyl sign to go on it with my Cricut, I needed a post to hang it from.

Which is when I saw this one* that Christy at Confessions Of A Serial DIYer used for her Halloween display.

And used her idea to create my sign post, too.

The haunted hotel sign lit up at night

Hanging a black light over the top of it makes the white letters glow at night.

Spooky ttatue

Large Halloween grim reaper statue in the middle of the yard

It seems like a lot of the old hotels (like the Westin Poinsett in Greenville, SC) have fountains as the focal point in front of their hotel.

So I wanted to create something like that for my haunted hotel, too.

Since I don’t have a large fountain to put out there, I went with a large spooky statue that definitely commands attention.

Large Halloween grim reaper statue lit up at night

Adding a strobe light at the bottom of the statue makes sure you can see him when it’s dark.

Skeleton horse & carriage

Skeleton horse and hearse carriage in a Halloween yard haunt

Just when I was starting to plan my outdoor Halloween display, I saw this awesome skeleton horse and Victorian hearse prop* at Home Depot.

The side view of the Halloween hearse with a skeleton in the back

It even has a dead guy in the back.

So although it cost a little more than my usual Halloween props, I just couldn’t help myself.

And they look pretty awesome!!

The Halloween skeleton horse and carriage lit up at night

The carriage comes with a red light that makes the skeleton in the back glow. As well as two lanterns at the front.

They run on batteries. Which I replaced with this plug-in version.* That way they can go on the timer with the rest of my lights and come on automatically every night.

I made the skeleton driver look a little spookier by adding a purple uplight that makes him much easier to see in the dark.


Halloween graveyard made with tombstones in the yard

Of course, you can’t have a hearse (or a “dead and buried” hotel) without a graveyard.

So a few styrofoam tombstones are a requirement.

Halloween graveyard tombstones lit up with blue spot lights

Blue spotlights make them seem to glow in the dark.

You can find all my tips on setting up a Halloween cemetery HERE.

Spooky spirits bar

Skeletons sitting at an outdoor  table

Since you can’t have a good hotel without a bar (in my opinion), I set up some outdoor seating.

With a sign and skeletons as customers.

Skeletons sitting at an outdoor table lit up at night

More blue spotlights make the skeletons noticeable at night.

Window ghosts

Ghost coming out of the window lit up at night

What’s a haunted hotel without ghosts?

These ones* stick to the windows with suction cups that make it look like they are flying out of the house.

Another spotlight makes sure everyone can see them in the dark.

No vacancy sign

No Vacancy neon sign hung on the arbor

A neon vacancy sign is another obvious hotel signal. (I found this one on eBay).

So I hung a spooky Halloween version from the arbor in my yard.

The “No” blinks on and off ominously.

Bell boy & DIY luggage cart

DIY luggage cart with suitcases and a skeleton wearing a bell boy costume

A skeleton bell boy with a DIY luggage cart is a given at my Halloween haunted hotel.

His uniform is this inexpensive Halloween costume*. (It’s actually a pretty nice costume for the price).

The suitcases are made of wood and are meant for home decor (you can find them HERE*).

And of course, you can never go wrong adding a few crows here and there.

DIY check in desk

DIY check in desk with a skeleton concierge

A hotel also needs a check-in desk.

I made mine from a pallet and a wood board plastic scene setter.

A really fast and inexpensive way to make a front desk.

Of course, a skeleton is waiting to check you in.

The haunted hotel check in desk lit up at night

A fire and ice spotlight* makes him stand out in the dark.

DIY hotel keys

Haunted hotel keys hung from skeleton hands on a board

Behind the desk, room keys hang from skeleton hands attached to a wood sign. (Get the step-by-step tutorial HERE).

I bought some old-style keys* and attached them to key rings with tassels.

Then put room numbers on some aluminum tags.

The check in sign and bell

DIY hotel check in sign and bell

I printed a check in sign and put it in a small frame with a stand*.

Then added an old-school brass bell* and a solar lantern to the top of the counter.

The cemetery fence

DIY Halloween fence around the haunted hotel sign post

One thing I always have in my Halloween displays is a fence.

It not only helps to mark out what the yard haunt boundaries are, it also makes sure that people aren’t tripping over the extension cords…which there are a lot of!

This year, I used this DIY Halloween fence with crows on it across the front of the yard.

Fence around the haunted hotel bar

And plastic chain strung between PVC pipes (painted black) around the rest of the yard (you can see if in the background of this picture).

The center circle is surrounded by a low garden fence that I’ve used for many of my Halloween yard haunts.

Solar Torches

Solar torches used to light a Halloween yard haunt

To add to the old-time hotel feel, I stuck these solar lanterns* all around the outside fence.

These are actually landscape lights, but their stems are thin enough to fit into the PVC pipes I used for my fence posts.

They definitely add some ambiance to the yard.

And I can re-use them in my garden later.


Halloween haunted hotel scene lit up at night

While lighting isn’t specific to my haunted hotel theme, I do believe it’s what makes or breaks any Halloween display.

As usual, I used a lot of these color changing LED spot lights, which add general ambiance to the yard.

Halloween yard haunt lit up at night

But I also like to use string lights on all of the bushes, the tree and along the top of the fence.

They provide enough light that people can see where they are walking.

And make the yard look pretty awesome from the end of the straight.

This year, I bought these LED string lights* that change colors and come with a remote.

This way I can use Halloween colors now.

Then leave them up and use them again for Christmas just by changing the color.

Find more outdoor Halloween lighting ideas HERE.

That’s it for this year’s haunted hotel yard haunt. I hope you have a happy Halloween!


Brizled RGB Christmas Lights, 115ft 300 LED Christmas String Lights with Remote, 29V Plugin Color Changing Christmas Tree Lights Indoor Outdoor Xmas Light for Christmas Halloween Tree Party Home Decor
Antique Bronze Vintage Skeleton Key Charm Steampunk for Crafts, Party Favors, Gifts Decoration (Set of 40)
UCSAJI 6PCS Halloween Black Realistic Crow Halloween Props Black Feathered Crow Simulation Animal Model for Party Decoration
2 ft Styrofoam Tombstone (6-Pack)
Set of 3 Large Crooked Leaning Weathered Ancient Style Tombstones Halloween Lawn Yard Decor
Seasons Life-Size Poseable 5ft Skeleton Halloween Decoration
6 ft. Wood Octagon-Top Pressure-Treated Mailbox Post
Gemmy Projection Fire & Ice Spot Light
Wooden Treasure Chest Set of 2 | Vintage Decorative Treasure Storage Thunk | Retro Travel Suitcase | Brown WPC by EstaHome
Forum Novelties Vintage Hollywood Movie Usher Costume
Upper Deck Ornate Solid Brass Hotel Counter Bell
Poster Frame,Vertical Stand Photo Frames Menu Box Double Display 2 Photos 4x6 ", Specimen Framework,Price tag , Culture Card ,Ornaments Exhibition, 4 PACK (Black)

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Halloween outdoor haunted hotel

This post was originally published on October 28, 2020 but was updated with new content on November 1, 2023.

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  1. Where did you find the solar lanterns (landscape lights) at?

    1. Wanda Simone says:

      Hi Alisa…I ordered them from Amazon. Do a search for solar torch lights or solar lanterns and you should be able to find them.


    1. Wanda Simone says:

      You’re welcome, Peggy! Glad you liked it.