Scarecrows are an iconic Halloween decoration. Though they can appear benign or even funny (think Ray Bolger in "The Wizard of Oz"), you can scare up a spooky scarecrow by connecting it to images you recall from scary movies or by adding dangerous-looking props or evil-looking make-up effects. Whether it's a stuffed version or a costume idea, a scary scarecrow adds a festive touch to Halloween decorations and parties.
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The most classic location for a scary scarecrow is outside. You can create a scarecrow by stuffing an old pair of jeans and a flannel shirt with straw and adding a straw hat. Spook-i-fy your scarecrow by giving him an evil face or mask. How about adding fake blood or murderous weapons like hatchets or butcher knives? You can add frightening touches to even the most benign scarecrow for scary effects. Consider creating a tableaux in your yard that casts your scarecrow as the victim (or perpetrator) of a grisly event. Use scary movie scenes as inspiration for creating a blood-chilling scarecrow sculpture.
When you dress yourself as a scarecrow, add shock value with make-up that suggests a zombie-like character or one oozing fake blood. Carry a large fake knife or a sack that you claim is full of chopped limbs or some other mysterious, grisly contents. How about dressing as a family of scary scarecrows? Or, if you're a country music fan, make a gruesome play on the "country" aspect of scarecrows by adding a rhinestone studded jacket for a "Porter Wagoner" scarecrow or a huge blond wig for a "Dolly Parton" scarecrow. Add zombie make-up and/or fake blood for the appropriate grisly effect.
By arranging small ceramic or cloth scarecrows with other more traditionally spooky items, you can create an indoor Halloween arrangement that is both scary and festive. Re-creating a scary scene from a movie as an indoor tableau can bring tension to even the most benign of scarecrows. Set up a diorama in a window or on a table complete with lighting and music to really amp up the scare factor. You can bring a great spooky atmosphere to a party by creating scary scarecrows who "serve" your guests. They can hold plates of hors d'ouevres or bowls full of beverages.
Traditionally, scarecrows were meant to stand watch over crops, keeping seed-eating birds away. For this practical purpose, a scarecrow needs only resemble the outline of a person standing in the field. Two sticks or poles, connected in a cross shape, dressed simply with an old overcoat and hat blowing in the breeze could be the most understated, yet spookiest scarecrow possibility of all. Consider draping this simple "cross" form with other garments -- an old, ripped wedding dress, a pair of toddler's overalls, or a tiny girl's party dress. An empty piece of clothing, blowing in the wind, can conjure up scary images of loss and ghostly hauntings.
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