Halloween is one of the most anticipated holidays of the year, and we have the receipts to prove it. Even with the ongoing pandemic, Americans are projected to spend $8.05 billion on Halloween this year; second only to Christmas.

Halloween is a time to have fun flexing your creative muscles. Whether your household celebrates with store-bought decorations and costumes, or by setting up an elaborate, projection-mapped light show, we here at Hippo want to make sure you are ahead of the game when it comes to planning this year’s spooktacular celebration.

Check the Weather

It’s important to know what type of weather your area usually experiences throughout the month of October. Not only will that help you decide how many layers you need for your Halloween costume, but also what type of decorations you should use outside, and what type of maintenance your home will need to ensure your house is more treat than trick this spooky season.

Northwest Region

Pay close attention to what the weather fronts are doing because these months have been known to bring rain and sometimes even snow by Halloween. If the temperature dips below freezing, be wary of ice accumulating on surfaces that could become dangerous for trick-or-treaters, partygoers or other members of your household.

Southwest Region

This region stays relatively dry during the end of October, but if anyone is going to see any too-cold weather, it is likely to be Colorado and possibly northern New Mexico. So plan a warm costume and some spiced pumpkin cider to keep you cozy as you await the kiddos in their costumes.

Central United States

Through the middle of the US, including most of Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Tennessee, expect the unexpected. The last of October is known to bring severe storms, including the possibility of hail and tornadoes. Stay alert and make sure you have a PLan B if it is safest to bundle up tight and stay in for the night.

Upper Midwest

Those looking to do the Monster Mash across the Northern Plains will likely have chilly temperatures but stay dry through the Halloween holiday.

Southeast Region

Kentucky, Mississippi and Ohio will tell you that they are no stranger to rainstorms once the Halloween holiday finally arrives. So plan on wearing your raincoat if you are chaperoning your little ones while they trick-or-treat. But there is no shame in a contingency plan of staying warm and safe inside, watching your favorite scary movies, if the weather is predicted to be hazardous at all. 

Northeast Region

Vermont, New York State and Maine have seen showers pop up on occasion around the spooky season, but likely these showers won’t keep you from enjoying your Halloween festivities as long as you plan for them and not get caught in the rain if it lingers for too long. 

Yard Work and Clean Gutters

No matter if you are planning to take your Halloween extravaganza outside or not, doing your basic fall home maintenance ahead of the Halloween season will also ensure there are fewer accidents or damage to happen around your home.

If you are planning to utilize outdoor decorations, whether a collection of tombstones, an inflatable army of ghouls and ghosts, or a menacing,12-foot tall skeleton, it is best to start with a clean canvas. 

The same goes for your roof and gutters. Clear them of any fallen debris like leaves and branches. That way they are ready to have lights or neon cobwebs hung from them. Not going to take your decorations to your roof? It’s still a good idea to do the maintenance anyway and avoid any possible damage that could be done if a storm does kick up or to just ensure your home maintenance checklist is getting done for the fall season.

Decide your Theme

After you have decided where in your home you plan on decorating, now it's time to decide on a theme. Classically spooky, Scary Movie Set, Rated G for the Kids? There are tons of great ideas for a fun Halloween theme to decorate your home, so this is the perfect time to enlist your household to decide what your home will look like as a finished project, how everyone will help, and what it will take to make it happen. 

Whether you decide to have your theme match your family’s group costume or there is a friendly competition among the neighbors for the most creative ideas, take this time to let your home show your creativity and plan to have a blast.

Decorate Safely

It’s easy to get over-excited when you are finally getting to execute your fun Halloween decoration plans, especially if the kids have already broken into your Halloween candy stash, but safety first.

Delegate accordingly

When assigning decorating tasks, make sure that they are age-appropriate, and that, everyone understands how to safely use the required tools. . Small children may not be ready for hanging cobwebs from the rafters, but they can help set up the tombstones in the front yard.

Time and place

When you’re ready to start spookifying your home, take a look at your five-day weather forecast and pick the day with the most ideal weather to get started decorating outdoors. If you live in an area with traditionally wet weather in October, make sure that you are using fasteners and adhesives that are specifically designed for outdoor use.

Pro Tip: If you are only planning on decorating the inside of your home, just make sure there is proper lighting and that you do your best to keep things in an organized fashion to avoid trips and falls.

Ladder Safety

Inside or outside, if you are decorating for Halloween, you and/or a family member will likely need to be on a ladder. Here are a few do’s and don'ts from the American Ladder Institute:

  • If you feel tired or dizzy, don’t use the ladder
  • Stay off of the ladder if it is windy or wet outside
  • Wear clean slip-resistant shoes
  • Never use a broken ladder 
  • Only use a ladder that is the right size for the job
  • Place the ladder on firm level ground
  • Only one person should be on the ladder at a time
  • When placing the ladder in front of closed doors that can open toward the ladder, ensure the door is blocked open, locked, or guarded
  • Read any safety information on the ladder

Setting the Mood

Halloween only comes around once a year, so squeeze as much fun out of the holiday as possible. Whether you are carving pumpkins for the front step, putting together costumes or baking scary sweet treats for your friends and family, check out our guide to our favorite stories about haunted houses to get you in the Halloween spirit.

Kid-Friendly Movies:

  1. Monster House
  2. The House With a Clock in Its Walls
  3. Nightbooks
  4. Muppets Haunted Mansion

Teen Friendly Movies:

  1. Hocus Pocus
  2. Beetlejuice
  3. Poltergeist

TV Shows:

  1. The Haunting (of Hill House // of Bly Manor)
  2. SurrealEstate
  3. American Horror Story: Murder House

Movies:

  1. The Haunting (1963 + 1999)
  2. The House on Haunted Hill (1959 + 1999)
  3. House/Hausu
  4. The Beyond

Books:

  1. House of Leaves
  2. The Amityville Horror
  3. The Haunting of Hill House

These are also great if you plan on spending All Hallows’ Eve inside, away from the icky-weather and shambling crowds of trick-or-treaters!

Light It Up

Halloween is one of the funnest days of the year so make sure you do what you can to play it safe. Burn injuries and slip and falls are by far the most common accidents that happen in the home during this season. Do your part and make sure that if you or anyone in your family has a costume that lights up, follow all safety instructions. As far as preventing trips or slips, pay extra attention to your surrounding paths, sidewalks, hallways, driveways, etc. to make sure that they are not only slip-resistant but also extremely well lit. We know it’s Halloween and all, but do what you must to prevent any injuries from occurring on your property and ruining your favorite holiday. There are few things in this world scarier than getting an unwanted call from a personal injury lawyer.

No tricks neighbor

Halloween is a great time to be a part of your community. Across the country, Halloween is often one of the only times neighbors open doors to one another, making quick conversation as they distribute candy and wave goodbye with a smile. Here are a few Hippos Tippos for the kiddos out there this Halloween to help get them in a neighborly spirit.

  • Practice saying trick or treat
  • Say thank you...even if there is no candy
  • Be careful where you walk and stay safe
  • Look for the front door light before you knock
  • If your precious pumpkin is too small to trick or treat, give them a duty so they feel like they are part of the fun too

Celebrate responsibly

Just the mere mention of Halloween makes people think of snaggle-toothed jack-o-lanterns, mountains of candy, and a non-stop stream of their favorite scary movies. But this fun-filled season can pose quite a few safety hazards if not planned proactively., 

From costume construction, to pumpkin carving to deliberating the pros and cons of whether your family will participate in trick-or-treating--take the time to think responsibly and carefully about everyone's safety first.  

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, please follow any and all local public health orders when deciding how you and your household are going to celebrate the Halloween holiday.

No matter how you choose to celebrate your Halloween this year, your comfort and safety are paramount...just make sure to have a ghoulishly good time.

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