Halloween Do-It-Yourself Projects

How to bring Howl-O-Scream® home

One of our favorite things about Halloween is that it’s a time when we can let the wildest parts of our imagination come to life—whether that’s in a pumpkin design, a handmade costume, or in our case…a spooky, elaborately themed park. We want to share some of our ideas with you, to help you create the spirit of Howl-O-Scream ® at home.

Makeup Tutorials

Take a look at how to apply your makeup to transform into a Viking from Axe Alley™, a demon from Demon Street or the doll from Sideshow Square.

Makeup Tutorial: Viking in Axe Alley
Makeup Tutorial: Demon in Demon Street
Makeup Tutorial: Doll in Sideshow Square

Pumpkin Carving

Fall is such a festive time of year in Williamsburg, as residents pull out their cozy blankets, classic Virginia stew recipes and everyone’s favorite fall staple--pumpkins. We have created carving templates inspired by this year’s Howl-O-Scream to decorate your pumpkins in preparation for October 31. Let these fun designs shine on your front porch. Select images below to download each stencil.

Circo Sinistro pumpkin stencil preview

Circo Sinistro

Inspired by our all-new haunted house,
Circo Sinistro.

Things are not always how they appear under the faded big top.


Cornered pumpkin stencil preview


Inspired by our popular maze, Cornered.

The scarecrow and corn stalks offer a classic fall look; but beware, this maze is anything but traditional.


Georgie pumpkin stencil preview


Features the face of “Georgie,” one of Mr. Karver’s doll creations.


Howl-O-Scream Marquee pumpkin stencil preview


Create your own design in the center of this marquee sign.

Tip: Use a drill* to cut the small holes for the light box.


Carving Instructions

Circo Sinistro pumpkin example

Step 1: Cut a hole in the top of the pumpkin.

Step 2: Scoop out the inside to hollow out your pumpkin.

Step 3: Print your selected carving template and tape it to the pumpkin.

Step 4: Trace the black design by poking holes with a thin, sharp tool*.

Step 5: Remove the template and carve along the pattern with a carving tool*.

If desired, place a candle or battery-operated light inside your pumpkin to illuminate the design at night.

* Exercise caution when using sharp objects.


All this talk about pumpkins has us hungry…

Try our recipe for Busch Gardens ®’ Pumpkin Dip. This easy dip pairs perfectly with crackers, pretzels or apples. Bring it to your next tailgate or treat the family to a sweet appetizer or dessert.

Pumpkin Dip Recipe



The fashion behind Howl-O-Scream is very unique, as many of the costumes are created here at the park. While we do not allow guests to visit wearing costumes, we do hope that you find inspiration from our cast of creepy characters when deciding on style for this year’s Halloween. We reached out to our Entertainment team for guidance on how to look the part without buying an expensive, store-bought costume. Their advice will literally make you stand out in the crowd—as they suggested painting your costume with UV or glow in the dark paint to give it a little added appeal. But they also shared that by combining homemade elements with store-bought pieces, you can create the one-of-a-kind authentic look, without breaking the bank. We decided to try it out ourselves…



One of our favorite costumes in the park is in the popular maze, Unearthed™: Scarlett’s Revenge. Wanting to recreate the style of the necromancer herself, Scarlett, we decided to buy most of the costume from the store, and then design the headpiece ourselves for a custom look.

Scarlett DIY costume

What to buy from a store

  Black corset & black sheer sleeves OR
mesh long-sleeve bodysuit

  Black lace skirt

  Black pants or fishnet stockings

  Black boots or shoes

  Forehead tattoo

Materials for the DIY headpiece

  Aluminum foil

  Strips of newspaper

  Black spray paint

  Silver paint & paintbrush

  Black sheer fabric

  Thick black headband

  Modge podge

  Hot glue


How to Create Your Headpiece

Scarlett DIY headpiece instructions

Step 1: Roll layers of aluminum foil and mold to create the desired shape of your horns. Continue to add layers to reach proper dimensions.

Step 2: Secure horns to the headband by wrapping aluminum foil around both until firmly attached.

Step 3: Paint one side of the strips of newspaper with modge podge and wrap them around the foil horns to create texture. The newspaper is meant to give the horns a scaly look.

Step 4: Spray paint the horns black, let dry, then lightly paint over them with silver paint for a weathered look. Allow to dry.

Step 5: Attach the black sheer fabric to the headband using hot glue to create a veil. Allow glue to dry completely.


Jack the Ripper

Transform yourself into an iconic Howl-O-Scream character, Jack the Ripper, this Halloween. For this look, we chose a no-sew do-it-yourself cape to create our custom look.

Jack the Ripper DIY costume

What to buy from a store

  Black leather pants

  Black top hat


  Black boots

  Fake knives

  Purple silk scarf

Materials for the DIY No-Sew Cape

  Black fabric of choice
(Adult size: 5ft x 10ft or Child Size: 3.5ft x 7ft)

  Black ribbon of choice (4ft)

  Fabric scissors

  Tape measure and/or ruler


How to Create Your No-Sew Cape

Jack the Ripper DIY no-sew cape instructions

Step 1: Cut the material to desired length, allowing an additional 4-6 inches for the collar.

Step 2: Lay the cut material on a flat surface, measure and fold over 4-6 inches (depending on the preferred thickness of your collar) on the length of the material.

Step 3: Make ½ inch cuts on the folded material, leaving 5 inches in between each cut. Unfold the material and there should be 1 inch cuts down the full length of the cape.

Step 4: Starting at one end of the length, weave your ribbon through the cuts in the material.

Step 5: Once the ribbon has been woven through completely, hold the two sides of the ribbon up, gathering the material in the center.

Your cape is now complete. Tie around your neck and fluff the collar so that the material is evenly dispersed. Add to the design by adding a textured material to the inside of the cape or add embellishments along the edges of the material.