Where did I get this photo? I curse myself for not tagging the source for some of the Photos I use. My deepest apology to the original poster. I hope he'll identify himself so I can make the proper attribution. Anyway that's Milt Gross showing off a theatrical curtain design he made for Spike Jones. How does that relate to Halloween?
Well. lots of people have front doors that are recessed into an alcove that forms a small front porch. Imagine two curtains like this covering the alcove, so a trick-or-treater has to go through the parted curtains to get to the front door. Imagine the frightened kid having to trek through a dark (or bottom lit) alcove, through a gauntlet of recorded hideous laughter, to the front door. Aaaaaaah! That's a thought to savor!
Yikes! I can hardly make out anything in this frame blow-up (above), but you get the idea. Of course you can simplify things by using a black marker on a white sheet, though sheets are pretty absorbent, and the black may turn out to be gray when it dries. If a color sheet is used I think you'd have to paint an undercoat of white where the characters are going to be.
Aaaaargh! I don't know why I'm posting about porch curtains now, on the morning before Halloween night. There's no time to make that sort of thing now. Well, there's always next year. Wait a minute...I have an idea that might take only a couple of hours to execute...a porch dog!
Yeah, a big, dumb dog dummy that looks like the Clampett dog above! The body could be a stuffed laundry bag with a beach ball on the bottom. You give it shape with bulldog clips that are out of site on the side where nobody can see them. The arms and legs could be rolled-up newspaper. The head? Hmmmm...that's a tough one. You might have to paint it onto flat cardboard and cut it out.
How about a cardboard dog (above) going down the front steps?
"Porky in Wackyland" has a bunch of characters that would work as cardboard sculptures.
How about large framed pictures of cartoon characters to hang outside near the door? Here's a caricature of Veronica Lake. Boy, Clampett delivers!
I stole this picture (above) from John K's blog:
How about a large, framed picture of Marie Dressler? That's pretty scary.
I suggest a nearby portrait of her husband, Mr. Meek.
You've gotta have Peter Lorre!
And Marlena Dietrich...what about her?
Maybe a lawn sculpture made of a card table with ragged tablecloth and dummies sitting all around. Their heads would be distorted print-outs like the ones above.