It’s that time of year again, when families around the country put down their pumpkin spice lattes to deck their halls in Halloween decor that terrifies all who dare visit.
For some, Halloween decorations are a serious undertaking that requires months, even an entire year, of shopping and planning, resulting in displays that leave their neighbors unnerved yet duly impressed.
Yet beware: On the other end of the spooktrum are many, many less tasteful decorators whose displays are a different kind of scary. You know these houses—the ones with lawns filled with ridiculous inflatables alongside blood-flecked zombie babies. We’re talking about Halloween decor that makes viewers shudder from their sheer over-the-top tackiness.
Don’t be one of those houses! To help clue you in on what might cross the line into tawdry territory, we sifted through all the frightening options out there for your house, inside and out. Behold this year’s gaudiest Halloween decorations—think twice before trying these at home!
1. Trunk or treat
The tricky trunks Halloween car kit ($30.99, Overstock.com) turns the trunk of any car into a creepy creature with gaping mouth, giant teeth, and large tongue hanging out. Oh, and you’re supposed to put candy inside for “daring” trick-or-treaters.
However creative, this decor made our must-avoid list because, let’s face it, luring kids toward the trunk of your car just isn’t a good look. Especiallyon Halloween.
2. Witch half?
What’s up with this witch window crasher ($31.49, Overstock.com)? Apparently this near-sighted broom rider was doing air doughnuts and careened through a window, leaving only her bottom half sticking out. The clincher? Due to some fancy animatronics, she cackles and screams because she evidently survived the impact of the crash. Still, in spite of this cheery outcome, we think it’s déclassé to poke fun at anyone’s butt, even a witch’s butt.
3. Nobody likes a rat
Literally, no one—not even other rats, we bet. That’s all the more reason, then, to steer clear of anything that could be easily mistaken for the real thing, like this rat with sound ($4.96, Walmart.com), which is described as a “realistic looking rat” that squeals with eery accuracy. OK, we’ve heard enough.
4. Baby get back
Zombies are gross enough, but a zombie baby? That crosses a line, which is why we wag a finger at this wall crawler zombie baby ($39.99, Spirithalloween.com).
While we advise against blood-flecked babies as decor, they do make a great “bug off” sign on the back of your car.
According to a reviewer named Roy, he attached this baby “to the hitch of my truck because it’s the best thing to keep the tailgaters off your bumper.”
5. Bathroom humor gone bad
Unless you live in a frat house, we couldn’t come up with any other reason someone would use this skeleton restroom door cover ($5.50, Walmart.com). The product description touts its supposed success for parties when you want to “show your sense of humor.” Oh, if that newspaper seems too old school, there’s also a Zombie on the can with an iPad ($7.50).
6. Let it go
Inflatables are the epitome of tackiness, but every year, new inflatables push the envelope of how bad they can be. For instance, this Frozen Elsa airblown inflatable ($64.25, Walmart.com) just seems all wrong for Halloween. Even if your little one’s dressed up as Anna and wants to hug her big sis every time she comes home from school, in general, we’d say an enormous blow-up Disney princess does not belong in a Halloween lineup.
7. Carriage carnage
Speaking of tacky inflatables, which just seem to get bigger and louder each year, take a look at this projection inflatable kaleidoscope haunted carriage ($430.82, Walmart.com). A full 12 feet long, it will need some serious acreage. Plus it has swirling lights that turn your yard into your own mini Las Vegas strip. Seriously, for the price of this eyesore, you can go to a true nightclub and treat your friends to bottle service all night. Why not do that instead and leave your poor neighbors out of it?
8. Hang it up
This Halloween wreath ($8.41, Walmart.com) made our tacky list due to its holiday-related identity crisis. Wreaths, after all, are more of a Christmas thing, not Halloween. And if you must have a wreath, shouldn’t you go for something a tad less spindly and sad?