The Eye

An Artist Turned Her Parents’ Home Into a Surrealist Haunted House

Los Angeles–based artist Christine McConnell turned her parents’ home into a creepy homage to the 2006 movie Monster House.

Courtesy of Christine McConnell

Cheesy store-bought Halloween decorations are usually so predictable that they are anything but spooky, and DIY Halloween prank decorations (like this Detroit woman’s supposedly hilarious annual stunt of posing a dead-looking human dummy on her front lawn) are often tacky and in poor taste.

But this intriguing, beautifully executed DIY Halloween house from Los Angeles–based artist and photographer Christine McConnell has a hauntingly surreal, creepily head-turning quality. By day, it looks like something that René Magritte or Salvador Dalí might have dreamed up. Add some green lights and a fog machine, and by night it looks like a movie set.

Courtesy of Christine McConnell

McConnell told me in an email that she was inspired by a recent viewing of the 2006 computer-animated children’s horror movie Monster House, about three young friends who discover that their neighbor’s house is actually a living, breathing, scary monster.

“I’m such a huge fan of Halloween and binge-watch every creepy movie imaginable during this time of year,” McConnell said.

Christine McConnell at work transforming the house with foam core insulation boards and latex paint.

Courtesy of Christine McConnell

She made the eyeball and teeth decorations using inexpensive foam core insulation boards and latex paint from Lowe’s. “I always just buy a handful of primary colors and just mix it in a bunch of containers to get the shades I ultimately use,” she said. “I think more people should figure out things they can do on their own. That’s how you find out what you’re really good at.”

See more of McConnell’s work on Instagram.