5 Haunted House Decorations You Didn’t Know Were Made with Water

Haunted houses are always a fan-favorite Halloween pastime, and if you’ve ever been inside one, you know that they are full of intricate decorations and special effects.

We can’t help but appreciate all the art and craftsmanship that goes into creating these spooky attractions, especially when we know that many of the special effects that make haunted houses so terrifying are created with—you guessed it—water.

Read on to see our five favorite water-filled haunted house effects (and to learn how they work).

Fake Blood

While you may be thinking this spooky classic is nothing more than face paint or ketchup, it’s actually a water solution. One of the best ways to make fake blood is to use water, cornstarch, corn syrup, onion flakes and red food coloring.

Fog

The fog you see at haunted houses or in scary movies is actually made with dry ice. Dry ice is the solid form of carbon dioxide, so when it changes states, it actually turns directly into a gas. All that’s needed is a large bucket or cauldron about a fourth of the way filled with hot, hot water. Once dry ice is deposited into the water, voila: you’ll start to see a thick, spooky fog. (Remember: Never handle dry ice with bare hands as it can damage your skin due to its extremely low temperatures.)

Witches Brew

Witches brew is essential for any haunted house. While the solution can be made with a number of odd ingredients, water brings it all together. Getting the perfect icky green witches brew is as simple as boiling up a pot of water, adding a drop or two of dish soap and pouring in some food coloring. Of course, you can always add some candy eyeballs or gummy worms to make the bubbly brew extra spooky.

Specimen Jars

Specimen jars are among the creepiest of haunted house decorations: they combine both odd little creatures and greenish liquids you’d imagine smell awful. In reality, though, specimen jars are just filled with water, a couple of drops of food coloring and small toy animals or doll parts.

Plus, specimen jars can become even creepier by turning them into a sensory experience. Adding foods like cold spaghetti and peeled grapes to a jar and asking haunted house visitors to close their eyes and stick their hands inside is sure to produce some shrieks.

Slime

 

Slime is a perfect haunted house decoration: It’s easy to make, fun to play with and slippery as can be. Though it may feel like it comes from the bottom of a snail or a big fish, slime is actually made with a simple mixture containing water. The mixture creates a medium between solid and liquid that makes for some great ghost sludge or monster ooze. The best part is that the slime can easily be cleaned up with warm water, too.

As you’re preparing for Halloween, read up on Halloween safety to get the most out of the big night of trick-or-treating, and if you want to make some treats of your own to share with friends and family, make sure to check out our recipe for DIY salt water taffy.

Share This Post:

DIY Salt Water Taffy: The Perfect Halloween Candy

 

Halloween is right around the corner, and with all the costumes, decorations and sweet treats, it’s the perfect season for DIY projects. Instead of your usual store-bought candy, why not try making tasty Halloween treats right in your own home?

 

This easy recipe for DIY salt water taffy is a great example of one of the many ways in which water can be utilized for fun, and it’s the perfect way to kick off fall festivities.

 

What You’ll Need:

  • Medium-sized saucepan
  • Small baking dish
  • Candy thermometer
  • Kitchen scissors
  • Waxed paper

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter (and extra to butter your pan and hands)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon glycerin
  • food coloring and flavoring
  • Sprinkles (optional)




What to Do:

  1. Butter your small baking dish and set it aside for later. Then stir together sugar and cornstarch in the medium sauce pan. As you're stirring, slowly add in the corn syrup, butter, water, salt and glycerin.
  2. Place the mixture over medium-high heat and stir continuously until the mixture comes to a boil. Once the mixture boils, stop stirring, insert the candy thermometer and wait until the mixture reaches 254 degrees F.
  3. Once the temperature is 254 degrees F, you may remove the mixture from heat and stir in your food coloring and flavoring. The color you use will not alter the flavor or texture of your taffy. Note: Color will fade when the pulling process begins.                                                                
  4. Now you can grab your buttered baking dish from step one and pour the mixture right into the dish. (Make sure you applied a generous amount of butter so the taffy doesn’t stick to the pan.)
  5. Allow the taffy to cool. Once the taffy is sufficiently cooled, generously apply butter to your hands and begin to pull the taffy. Do this by pulling up the taffy into both hands, then pulling it apart and back together until the taffy is firm enough to sustain its shape. For a visual demonstration of this process, head here.                               
  6. Now butter your scissors thoroughly (be careful not to cut your hands). Stretch the taffy into a long rope-like shape and use your buttered scissors to cut the taffy at 1 inch intervals.
  7. Wrap your taffy in small wax paper squares and store in an airtight container.happy-halloween-964786_1920.jpg

Now that you’ve made your taffy, it will last you approximately two months. You can keep it around the house as a tasty treat or share with family, friends or even coworkers.

Whether you’re indoors handing out candy or going door-to-door trick-or-treating, it’s important to stay safe on Halloween. Don’t forget to check back here to see what other fun and inventive activities you and your family can enjoy this season.

Share This Post:

The Top 5 Aquatic-Themed Halloween Costumes

Image: The Thrifty Gifter 

Halloween is right around the corner. Your youngest child wants to go as Elsa from Frozenagain—and your oldest just can’t seem to decide. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. Through the years we’ve seen some amazing costumes. So, whether you’re still searching for the perfect costume for your kids or yourself, we’ve got you covered.

We may be a little biased toward the water-themed ones. But how could we not? Just look how awesome they are.

Jellyfish

This costume is extremely easy to make, but the results are electric. Find an old umbrella, cover it in colorful streamers, and voilà!

For an extra touch: Tape some glow sticks to the inside of the umbrella.

 

  

Scuba diver

You’ll be swimming in candy! All you need to do is grab some old sweats, a couple of soda bottles, flippers, and your goggles. A major bonus for this costume is that it will it keep you warm all night!

For an extra touch: Use a fishing net or large fish bowl for your candy bag.

 

 

Mermaid/Merman

You can’t go wrong with a classic. Even before Disney’s The Little Mermaid hit big screens, this costume was popular. Now’s your chance to bring your own twist to it!

Just start with any brightly colored top. To mimic a flipper, cut a large piece of fabric in the desired shape and glue it to the front of your plants. For scales, cut out little ovals and taper them all the way down your legs.
 

For an extra touch: Glue sequins and glitter to your tail for additional "wow" factor. 

 

 

A shower

Yes, you read that correctly. This clever costume is one of our favorites. All you need is a hula-hoop, shower curtain, sticks or pipe, and backpack.

For an extra touch: Add cotton balls around the base for the appearance of suds. 

 http://www.instructables.com/id/Shower-Costume/

Aquaman/Aquawoman

We’ve saved the best for last. And, no we did not pick this one because it has Aqua in the name. (Okay—maybe we did.) But that doesn’t mean this isn’t one of the coolest costumes out there.

Throw on an orange tee, green tights, and shorts and you’re good to go.

For an extra touch: Paint a cheap plastic pitchfork gold to turn it into a majestic trident!

https://rncrawforddesign.wordpress.com/2015/09/14/aquaman-costume-tutorial/

 

Bonus: Fish tank 

We couldn’t bear to leave this one out. Mix and match tchotchkes from around the house for a personalized tank. All you need is a cardboard box, tape, paint and a lot of glue.

For an extra touch: Dress the whole family as fish for a night of trick-or-treating!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/halloween-costumes-for-boys-that-go-beyond-superheroes_us_560b0a2ee4b0dd850309b6d8

 

Feeling inspired yet? Good! We can’t wait to see what you end up creating. Let us know what your favorite costumes are in the comments below.

From all of us here at Aqua, Happy Halloween!

Share This Post:

5 Water-Smart Tips for a Safe Halloween

 

As you know, we here at Aqua America make water safety a top priority. With Halloween just around the corner, we want to give you a few water-smart tips to ensure a safe, enjoyable All Hallows’ Eve.

1. Skip the Sprinklers

Whether you like it or not, trick-or-treaters will inevitably run across your yard on their way to the door this Halloween. While keeping your lawn hydrated is always important, we stress that you do not run your sprinklers or water the grass within 24 hours of Halloween festivities. Wet grass poses the threat of slips and falls for children – especially in the dark. So, skip the sprinklers this Halloween and conserve water! The trick-or-treaters (and your water bill) will thank you.

2. Halloween Hydration is Key

We cannot stress this enough: do not forget to hydrate this Halloween. Trick-or-treating typically takes hours, and while you may not realize it, you do a lot of walking in that time. To avoid or reduce the risk of dehydration, toss a water bottle in your and your little ones’ bags before leaving the house. If you choose to stay in and hand out treats instead, we highly recommend investing in some mini water bottles to offer worn down trick-or-treaters and their parents.

3. Beware: Wet Leaves 

Lawns littered with leaves are commonplace this time of year – however, so are thunderstorms and morning dew. Unfortunately, these things can create some major Halloween safety issues seeing as wet leaves are both incredibly slippery and difficult to spot at night. To prevent slipping hazards: make sure you rake, sweep and dispose of any leaves from walkways and porches before dusk on Halloween night. 

 

4. Garden Hoses are not Ghoul-Friendly

Maintaining your garden in the fall season is just as important as it is in the spring, and we get that. That being said, be sure to check your gardening hose is shut off and put away before prime trick-or-treating hours begin (usually around 5:30 p.m.). You do not want to run the risk of someone getting sprayed with water, slipping on the wet driveway or tripping over your garden hose and tumbling to the ground in the dark of night.

5. Patch Your Pipes

With the combined increase in rainfall and low temperatures this October, many of us begin to run the risk of leaky pipes and flooded basements. No one wants to fall victim to a nasty “trick” so make sure to check your pipes in the days leading up to Halloween – if you see a crack or leak, contact an expert immediately. Puddles of water or mud can quickly build up along your property as a result of damaged pipes and no one wants their holiday ruined by plumbing issues.   

From all of us at Aqua, we hope you have a safe and spooky Halloween!

 

Share This Post: