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Best Halloween decorations to scare up a good time this October

Halloween decorations
Halloween decorations
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Halloween will look very different this year due to the continued precautions surrounding Covid-19. Gone are the parades and huge parties of the past (for now), but that doesn't mean you can't still celebrate October 31st in style!

Retailers have hopped on board full steam ahead with their 2020 decor, and below you'll find some of our favorite picks among the new crop of eerie delights. We also consulted with a couple of spooky experts on their favorite items to help you decorate your home this year, and their choices are equal parts adorable, scary, and just downright neat for a long-lasting addition to your collection that you'll love to pull out year after year.

The first of those experts is Chris Krovatin, a young adult novelist who specializes in hair-raising tales including his upcoming Scholastic book Red Rover (pre-order here) of which he says, "Imagine The Conjuring meets Cujo." He gave us a long list of his bookmarked must-haves, so we chose the top three scariest and included them near the end of this list.

Our second Halloween expert is popular gothic YouTuber Jade The Libra. Jade is the maven to beat when it comes to Halloween hauls, decorating, "Spooky Kitchen" and book club clips, and a variety of other entertaining videos to keep you entertained all year round. One of her favorite collectible items is the ever-popular Halloween coffee mug, so scroll down to the end of the article to see which captured her heart in this 2020 season. For even more inspiration, check out her stunning Instagram to see gorgeously edited photos that carry a sophisticated, ethereal goth vibe year round.

Whether you're browsing for decor that could become a darker touch on your walls year-round or you want something that screams "goblins live here," you're sure to find something on this list that will dress up your home with spine-tingling fun.

Related: Check out our less Halloween-specific but still creepy collection in this piece that will help you start your own Cabinet of Curiosities.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn a commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing, expert advice and our own research. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

Michael's 8.5" Wooden Mandala Wall Accent by Ashland

First up on the list is a gorgeous and versatile piece that calls up the darker side of spiritualism in the form of a planchette-shaped wooden wall hanging painted in solar themes, including mandalas. The stunning detail is just edgy enough to qualify as Halloween home decor when paired with other pieces from Michael’s running mystical line (see below for another example), but it works just as beautifully when displayed year-round as an accent piece that hangs delicately among your other art.


Michael's 7" Resin Palmistry Hand Tabletop Accent by Ashland

In keeping with the occult-lite vibes of the piece above, this Palmistry hand conveys a mood of times gone by when folks were more apt to believe in the homey folklore of self-appointed seers and magicians.

The etching is pristine, though, and will make a believer out of anyone who gazes long enough at the intricate crossing lines that weave across the fingers and palm, noting special astrological points at different intervals and other signifiers like "logic" and "will." This one also falls into the category of being permanently friendly for shelf-sitting and admiring, making it a worthwhile investment whether you're looking to add some temporary spookiness or want a fixture to liven (or is it deathen?) up the place.


Grandin Road Stone Moss Obelisk Topiary

Grandin Road is a playground for those who grew up waiting all year for trick or treat night and now want to bring that certain macabre magic to their own lawns and lairs. One perfect way to achieve that is with this obelisk for your porch or yard.

Weighing in at a hefty 25 pounds, the substantial but not immovable piece is easy to move but maintains the look and feel of a piece far more expensive. The unassuming design is perfect for year-round yard decoration, so invest now and keep it out from here to next October and beyond.

Grandin Road

Place & Time Halloween 8in Spider Decanter - Red

JoAnn Fabrics advanced the Halloween decor scene by incorporating an unbelievably chic art deco line this year, and this decanter is the perfect semi-spooky piece to accentuate the other gold-trimmed accessories and wall hangings. The difference here is this is too beautiful to put away when the candy is cleared, so you'll want to find a shelf or countertop where this beauty can reside all year long. Not safe for those with arachnophobia, but everyone else will fall in love with the vintage-looking ruby glass and uniquely interesting shape.

Place & Time

Grandin Road Undead Crawling Hand

Addams Family lovers will appreciate the creepy-crawly kitsch of this disturbingly whimsical piece.

A disembodied hand lacking the flushed color of the living springs back to life with a battery-operated motor. The realistic polyethylene/latex feels like the flesh of the dead, and a tapping noise emanates from the creature as it scurries across your floor. Grab more than one for a house full of unearthly frights–just make sure you keep them inside away from inclement weather.

Grandin Road

Creepy Co. Goosebumps Haunted Mask Plush Pillow

Millennials who grew up on R.L. Stine's incredibly popular Goosebumps book series won't be able to contain their nostalgic love for this plush pilllow, inspired directly by the series' 11th installment: The Haunted Mask.

Pulled directly from the book's classic cover image, this pillow comes in a protective case and measures 16" tall by three inches deep, making it the perfect size on which to rest your head.

Bonus: Bundle the pillow with this slick button-up Goosebumps shirt, and you'll save a little bit of dough.

Creepy Co.

Animated LED Skull Plasma Ball Halloween Decorative Prop - Hyde & EEK! Boutique at Target

Sure, the "electropathic vessel" engraved on this piece might be overstating its actual abilities, but you and your family will love touching this plasma ball and dragging the tiny lightning strikes inside the clear skull along the path of your finger. Sturdily built and meant to last, this attractive piece will be the centerpiece of parties to come for years. At just $15, grab one quickly before they sell out of Target's always wildly popular Halloween decor selection.


10" Animated Halloween Plush Spinning Ghost - Hyde & EEK! Boutique

If you like your spooky with a side of cute, look no further than this utterly precious little man just waiting to come bless your household with his dapper charm.

Standing a strong 10" in his white felt coat, this ghost holds a special banner and dances about when activated before making a quarter turn and repeating the whole process. Friends, kids, pets, and everyone else can't help but smile when he begins, and none can resist the adorable details like his teensy tophat.


OurWarm Halloween Advent Calendar 2020

Advent calendars aren't just for Christmas, so why wait until December 31st to start a fun and interactive countdown?

You'll find 31 days of fun and merriment with this ghost-covered calendar, complete with a bat who flies into each box as the days inch closer and closer to All Hallows Eve. It can also be reused year to year, so you'll create a new tradition that builds fun anticipation and counting skills with this small seasonal investment.


Bath & Body Works Haunted House Nightlight Projector

YA horror author and all-around Halloween expert/enthusiast Chris Krovatin gave us many options, but one of the most popular and hard-to-find is Bath & Body Works’ annual Haunted House wall plug that sells out quickly each year.

“Here’s a sentence you don’t hear everyday: this one’s going to change the game in the Halloween nightlight market,” he tells us of the coveted item. “Bath & Body Works have surprising style with Halloween decor, but nothing they carry beats this nightlight. It’s shaped like a haunted house and projects a witch on the wall -- I mean, does it get any cooler than that? Apparently not, because it’s already out of stock!”

While out of stock online, there are a few stores hanging on to some, so call your nearest and see if you can still manage to snag this beauty before they run out for good.

Bath & Body Works

Northlight Black and Red Dracula Vampire Decorative Wooden Halloween Nutcracker, 14"

Nutcrackers are no longer just for Christmas, as evidenced by this handsome fellow and his spooky wooden build.

This vampire is prepped and ready to participate in the year's biggest night for ghosts and ghouls while also giving out treats to well-behaved passerby. He's a towering 14" tall and well-crafted, making it a great gift for Halloween enthusiasts and nutcracker collectors alike.


Spirit Halloween 6.2 Ft Harvester of Souls Animatronic

Chris didn't forget those with yards who want to scare the whole block. He tells us of his last pick:

"If you’ve got $300 to spare and don’t mind scare the Bejezus out of the neighborhood tots, this lawn animatronic might be one of the cooler things I’ve ever seen. Using a fog machine blower and fan suction to mimic a soul being swallowed is genius, and incredibly effective. The best large, epic Halloween decorations are the ones that feel like you’ve seen them in your head before, and this thing is straight out of your nightmares."

Spirit Halloween

Johanna Parker Mr & Mrs Frank Mugs Box/2

Lastly, we talked to Jade The Libra (as mentioned above) to get the lowdown on her absolute favorite item from this year's Halloween Haul. She chose these Mr. & Mrs. Frank mugs, a clever play on the classic Frankenstein couple, telling us of the maker, "Johanna Parker’s creations are all absolutely amazing!"

She was clearly right, as the mugs are currently sold out but hopefully a few more will be released before the official kickoff of Halloween month on October 1st. Make an account on the the Christmas Traditions website to place them on your wishlist and thus encourage the site to stock more, and until then scroll down for another incredible creation from Jade's current favorite Halloween artist...

Johanna Parker

Johanna Parker Dracula Mug

If Frank and the Mrs. above caught your fancy but you can't wait for a restock, this loveable little Dracula can certainly soothe your pain. His baby face and button nose make an otherwise looming, bloodthirsty character look downright adorbs, so grab him for an under-$20 Halloween treat and enjoy a hot mug of cocoa while you sit on your porch and admire the changing leaves.

Johanna Parker

Cabilock Mini Halloween Candy Holder

These wildly cute plastic mini-pails are perfect for storing early season Halloween candy in little nooks around the house just waiting for you to grab a small treat throughout the day. They're reminiscent of the ever-popular vintage blow molds that fetch such a high price on resale sites but at under $20 for a 12-pack, you'll barely feel it in your wallet and have these kitschy decorations for years to come in your spooky decor collection.

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