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Spooky Scary Skeletons for Your Halloween Display (And Beyond!)

It’s time to take your skeletons out of the closet! With Halloween fast approaching, ’tis the season to display your best high-quality, spooky decorations to entertain and frighten guests and potential trick-or-treaters. Whether it’s for a Halloween party or a year-round addition to your home, you can find quality skeleton, skull, and bone-themed decor that fits your home and lets your darker side come out to play for the holiday.

Why Do We Find Skeletons Scary?

While this skeleton doesn’t look very scary resting on its fall-color porch furniture, it reminds you subconsciously that death is always around the corner (by My Beautiful Home Staging)

Why do we decorate with bones this time every year? While the abundance of skeletons around this time of year may desensitize you to their creepiness, they contain the fundamentals of the uncanny valley. They look human-shaped (as these structures are our basis), but are clearly not. Unlike their undead counterparts, skeletons have nothing left that makes them human aside from their rough shape. No identifying features, a faceless mass that could be someone you know or a total stranger.

Gothic Tombstone Wall Plaque, CL6536 by Toscano

The fear is embedded in this idea. It’s all about the concept of death itself and the idea that your identity is lost to time than the actual plastic skeleton. Think about this when adding complimentary decor like gore, gravestones, and ghosts to increase the unease about the end of life. The more morbid the better for this year’s Halloween decorations if you’re trying to scare guests.

What You’ll Need

Light up the room (but not too well) with terrifying lamps, sconces, and other light sources to provide the appropriate mood for your home (by Cbiddesign)

To create a home full of dread and scares, you’ll need plenty of mood lighting. Consider replacing your regular bulbs with dimmer ones or exclusively using lamps and candles to provide light. Skulls are an excellent candle base for your skeletal-inspired decor and provide more atmosphere than traditional table lamps.

Medium Knock-Jaw Skull Door Knocker, SP2860 by Toscano

You don’t need a full skeleton to get the job done when decorating. You can get creative by putting a hand in the punch bowl, using a series of arm and leg pieces to make a garland, or use a jawbone as your door knocker. Surprise and delight your guests by placing skeletons and bones in places they just don’t belong like the entryway and garden, and it will be a party hit.

Keep It Spooky For More Than Just Halloween Night

Black Skull Chair Frt-Nr, NE17020562 by Toscano

If you can think of a piece of furniture or decor, chances are there’s a skeleton version of it you can have. Far beyond your typical Halloween decorations found at any big-box store, well-made and classy skeleton accessories exist in the multitudes for you to enjoy. You’ll get use out of them for many more years than other Halloween decor.

A tasteful throw pillow can carry the skeleton aesthetic without feeling too “spooky” (by Beth Dotolo)

For those who want a bit of darkness year-round, there are less over-the-top, Halloween-centric ways to incorporate skeletons into your home. Plastic skeletons might be the most common form of decoration, but the concept of memento mori and use of death imagery like skeletons and skulls has been part of the design world for centuries.

So, if you wish you could have the spirit of Halloween in your home year-round, you’re in luck. It might take a little selective shopping, but you can find cool, spooky decor that’s worthy of a permanent place in your home as well as temporary decorations.