How to Create a Tombstone Headstone Graveyard in
Your Front Yard
By Barbara Petersen
It can be fun to create a Tombstone Headstone graveyard in your
own yard; you can scare Trick of Treaters or just thrill
passing motorists. It's completely up to you how scary
you want to make it. You might choose to keep it fun and
light if your neighborhood has lots of little children,
or you might want to go all out and terrorize the entire
First, you'll want to pick out the area of your yard
that will house your graveyard. This area should be
easily visible. You'll want to neglect it for a while
before and after setting up your graveyard so it will
look as unkempt as possible. Let the grass wither, die
and grow wild to really amp up the creepy factor.
Next, prepare your headstones. There are several ways
you can do this. You can purchase pre-made gravestones
at a Tombstone Headstone shop or discount store. Simply place them
in a mound of newly dug up dirt from the ground or buy
potting soil and spread it near the headstone so it
appears to have just been placed on a new grave.
If you choose to make your own headstones, you can do so
out of Styrofoam, wood, or cardboard. A fun way to make
them look authentic is to go to a real graveyard with
some paper and charcoal and make rubbings of existing
stones - the older the better! Then, transfer the
rubbing to your own gravestones or just place them on
top and then paint the whole thing a grayish stone
color. You can also find tombstone sayings online that
you can paint on. Use different colors and hues of paint
and sponge them on for a stone-like effect.
Anchor your gravestones deeply enough in the ground so
they don't fall over on a windy day. After your
gravestones are in place, you'll want to add some kind
of enclosure. Add a creepy fence made of rotting wood.
You can distress some existing fence posts from a home
store with dark paint. Place a cat prop with an arched
back on the fence. What about a skull or a full
Next, add your embellishments to the graveyard. Skeleton
pieces sticking out of the ground or a witch sitting by
a grave work well. You can also place lanterns,
flameless candles, or other lighting to give the yard a
ghastly glow. Ravens, rats, and bats will all add to the
fright factor. Throw some pumpkins on the ground along
with some dried, dead leaves.
On Tombstone Headstone night, you can have eerie music playing and
pipe in fog or smoke from a machine. You might also want
to have a strobe light hidden somewhere near to
replicate lightening. What you add from this point is up
to you. Do you want to host a party in your graveyard?
You could set up chairs and a table dressed in dark
fabric and offer ghoulish snacks and red wine or grape
juice in goblets. Have only a candelabra to light your
Do you want to lead Trick or Treaters to it to get their
Tombstone Headstone candy if they dare? Set down some rope
lighting that shows them where the path is.
Whatever you do, have fun with it! Tombstone Headstone comes just
once a year, so you'll want to do it up big for a
graveyard everyone will be talking about.
Barbara Peterson is a holiday enthusiast, with a passion
for celebrating fun events with family and friends.