One of the simplest (and least expensive) homemade haunt props is the spooky bottle or jar. A little glue, a label and something to put inside are all you need to turn an ordinary jar or bottle into a creepy prop. Spooky labels let you add a creepy feel to your Halloween party’s selection of drinks in addition to creating Halloween prop standards like poison, potions, body parts and lab specimens in jars. A shelf filled with such props can create a very impressive display indeed. One can easily make labels using a word processing program, but those tend to look simplistic. That’s why I’ve gathered up a bunch of cool-looking free labels one can simply print out:
Halloween Clip Art – Martha Stewart
Herman Secret’s Album: Potion Labels
Vintage Poison Labels – Spookshows.com
Morties Mortuary Halloween Bottle Label Prop
Wine Label Replacements for Halloween Parties
Other Apothecary Jar Labels – Halloween Forum
Printable Props & Decorations | My Ghoul Friday
Halloween Labels for Bottles (and more) – Instructables
I Make Projects – Making Canned Halloween Monstrosities
Propnomicon: Arkham Sanitarium Pharmacy Labels (and Lovecraftian Pharmacy Labels)
I should note that the My Ghoul Friday and Martha Stewart links also offer other types of printable Halloween decor. Well, that, and how you can find more free labels on Google Books. Google Books also reveals that there was a massive debate about poison label laws back in the day, along with noting how vintage poison labels were often printed in red ink and the origin of the “skull and crossbones” symbol for poison.
As what to put in your bottles and jars, the only limit is your imagination. Coloring water with food coloring often works well. For glowing chemicals, use flat tonic water, water mixed with a highlighter fluid or milk with a blacklight. If you use milk, be sure to pour it on the night you’ll be displaying your containers, as you don’t want to leave it out a long time and spoil. The Halloween Propmaker’s Handbook by Ken Pitek shows how to make a potion that does neat things when the container holding it is shaken. Using creepy-looking growing toys can also work with a variety of themes. You can even sculpt your own creepy items for the jars! Just keep in mind that certain dyes and chemicals might stain the container (or anything placed in them), so plan accordingly. You can even skip water altogether and fill them with various kinds of fake animals, dirt, etc.
Gravedigger’s Local 16 is not to be held responsible for the content on or anything that may occur (be it good or bad) as a result of visiting or downloading from any links on those sites (or constructing a project that’s detailed on them). Attempt at your own risk.