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Halloween Camping: 9 Eerie Ideas That Will Stop You from Sleeping

Pumpkin in the woods

If you’re lucky enough to be getting a late camping trip in this Halloween then make sure you’re ready for a fright. Halloween camping is the perfect opportunity to really get into the spirit of things by making even the smallest things spooky. Just being out at night with the idea of ghosts, ghouls, vampires and zombies in your head is enough to get the heart racing and mind wandering. So take a look at these Halloween camping ideas that will make this Halloween the spookiest yet. But beware, whilst the kids will love most of them, there are a few that might be better suited to older kids or even adults. Keep your ghost detector on at all times and get ready for the fright of your life.

Make Halloween camping spooky

The best scare pranks are always the most unexpected. And this is the same with setting the scene for Halloween camping. If you’re smart about things from the get-go, your kids or friends won’t even know they are being set up for a night of terror!

Here are a few easy ways to make your Halloween campsite feel creepy before you’ve even got the fake blood out:

  • Camp in the forest – even an innocent rabbit hopping past in the night can sound like the footsteps of a an axe murderer
  • Camp away from other people – the more isolated you are the easier it is to create a spooky atmosphere
  • Pitch your tent so that the door looks out onto the woods and nothing else – spine chilling!
  • Hang a couple of eerie sounding wind chimes up in the forest near to your campsite
  • Place a couple of LED glowing eyes in the forest for your friends to stumble upon when they go to the loo in the night
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9 spine-chilling Halloween camping ideas

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Once you’ve set the scene for the scariest Halloween camping trip you’ve ever been on, you can start putting in place the rest of your evil schemes to frighten the living daylights out of your friends and family. Try not to have too much fun!

01Blair Witch Project camp craft

Even if you’ve not seen the Blair Witch Project, these stick people ooze creepiness. They are easy to make and highly effective at causing a sinister chill when hung amongst the trees of your campsite. Plus, you can trick your kids into learning some essential camping knots at the same time!

Blair witch stick people

02Halloween decorations for your campsite

The kids will love getting involved in making and putting up the decorations around the camp:

  • Halloween shadow puppets

    Shadow puppets

    Make your own Halloween shadow puppets that will multiply in spookiness once the light of the campfire flickers onto the backdrop of an ‘empty’ forest!

  • Ghost paper chain

    Paper chain

    Create some suspense by hanging these ghoulishly easy-to-make paper chains around your campsite.

  • Hanging bats

    Hanging bats

    These paper bats will be more than happy hanging out in the entrance of your tent, up in the trees, or above the camp toilet!

And if there’s no time to make your own Halloween decorations then here are some essentials that you will need to bring with you:

  • Halloween fake cobwebs


    Stretch some fake spider webs across the entrance of your tent or hang from the ceiling. Over the top of boots and wellies always goes down well, or anywhere else that will cause unexpected entanglement.

  • Fake spiders

    Fake spiders

    Use sparingly to make these creepy crawlies will be all the more scary. Sit them inside shoes, hang in the tent, leave them lurking amongst the camp cookware, or suspended from cobwebs.

  • Pumpkin fairy lights

    Pumpkin fairy lights

    Red or orange fairy lights create a sinister feel about the place and eliminate the need for brighter and less spooky lighting.

  • Halloween lantern bag

    Paper lanterns

    Light a pathway of lanterns to your tent, or place some just away from your camp on the edge of the forest to create an eerie atmosphere of flickering shadows.

03Pumpkin carving

Bust out your pocket knife and show off your finest whittling skills with an afternoon of pumpkin carving – the scarier the design the better. Light them up after dark to add to the shadowy camp light.

04Zombie games in the woods

Twilight and its elongated shadows make slinking around the forest a creepy place to suddenly find yourself alone, especially when there are zombies hiding out and ready to pounce.

A zombie apocalypse themed game is ideal for the forest once everyone is in costume, and there are loads of woodland wide games that are great for groups of kids and adults alike. Adapt them to your surroundings, set the scene appropriately with a spine chilling zombie story and then run for your life.

Woman spooky forest

05A festering feast

Once the sun goes down, the ghouls come out to play. So put on your witches hat and practice your dirtiest cackle to stir up some potions in your Dutch oven cauldron. Baked eyeball casserole is guaranteed to go down well with your little monsters. Serve with spaghetti ‘worms’ coloured with green food colouring and wash it all down with some bats blood green slime soda. Devilishly delicious!

Halloween camping eyeball casserole

06Scary campfire stories

Whilst those eyeballs are still slipping down, it’s time to get really dark with some super scary campfire stories. Make sure all the lanterns and candles are lit, the shadow puppets are well placed, and put on a quiet audio of some eerie noises.  Some willing bodies hiding behind the trees ready to jump out at the critical moment will also cause some shake-in-your-boots moments. A good way to get everyone involved is to make up a story as you go. Each person makes up a line or two before passing the story over, at the height of suspense, to the next person.

Spooky man in the woods at night

But to really up the scare factor, adapt an already petrifying campfire story to the local area or setting that you are camping in. To top it off, the spine chilling shrieks of your audience will do a brilliant job of scaring the wits out of those trying to sleep in neighbouring tents. No-one’s out to make friends on Halloween right?!

07Plan a spooky night hike

Once everyone is sufficiently spooked senseless from the chilling tales of forest murders, paranormal activity and horrible happenings, take the quivering wrecks for an after dinner stroll into woods. Make it all the more terrifying by planning the route during the daytime and sneakily hanging up a coat or blanket in the trees away from the path. A quick flash or your torch on the sinister figure swinging in the breeze will be enough to cause hysteria amongst your group. There will be zero chance of a good night’s sleep after that!

Spooky night hike

08Trick or treat

After all that trickery, it would be one cruel act too many not to put on a spread of campfire treats to calm the nerves before bed. Stuff mini marshmallow teeth into hungry apple jaws, turn campfire orange cupcakes into mini pumpkins and top mugs of thick hot chocolate with marshmallow eyeballs.

Halloween apple jaws

09Sleep soundly!

No matter how cool you and your halloween campers managed to keep it amidst the height of Halloween hysteria, the mind will be sure to start wandering once lights are out. The forest floor is incredibly noisy without the screams of scared campers drowning it out. Every crack and rustle will have you clinging evermore tightly to your sleeping bag. After all, there’s only a thin layer of nylon between you and whatever lurks outside of your tent. So try soothing yourself to sleep with a podcast to take your mind off it all. These Tales of Terror from the Dirtbag Diaries ought to do it!

Woman scared in bed at night

Sleep well happy campers!

Joey Holmes

Joey Holmes
Joey is based in Cornwall, UK, and runs Cool of the Wild. She can’t get enough of being outdoors – whether that’s lounging around the campfire cooking up a feast, hitting the trail in her running shoes, or attempting to conquer the waves on her surfboard – she lives for it. Camping is what she loves to do the most, but has also spent many hours clinging to the side of a rock face, cycling about the place, cruising the ski-slopes on her snowboard, and hiking small mountains and big hills.

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