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I am scheming much earlier for next Halloween than I usually do (April or so). My husband and I are moving in to our first home that we OWN! Woohoo! It is on Elm Street! How cool is that! I need help choosing a theme that would fit well but I'm not a big fan of the idea of planning an entire party around the "Nightmare on Elm St." franchise but I love incorporating the title. The only theme idea I have is:

Everyone dress as your favorite villain, but I'm not sure how to incorporate that into decorations etc.

OR

Something to do with nightmares, or phobias, but again not sure how to incorporate that.

I have never been a big fan of guts and gore for my decorations and tend to lean in the Victorian, or Gothic with ghost props, eerie lighting, and a life-size cemetery out front and have always found a way to work most of that into my themes so I still need help because I don't want to purchase ALL new decor. This coming year will be year 7 of hosting.
 

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I suggest going with the phobias theme. Designing rooms around phobias like rats, insects, spiders, and clowns are pretty self-explanatory. A dimly lit room filled with "body bags" hanging from the ceiling is a great way to play off of both the fear of darkness and the fear of death. Throwing a few "Screamers" into each bag will create an additional scare when people bump into the bags. You can use a bottomless pit to capitalize on a fear of heights and building a cave filled with bats is another good idea. You can tie it all together (and save money on props) by implying the presence of Freddy Krueger throughout the haunt, like having slashes from his claws on a wall or having framed picture of him hanging up somewhere. You could even construct a silhouetted version of him by drawing his outline on some cardboard and shining a light behind it.
 
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