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Haunted Flowers: Botanical Beauties Take on a Spooky Spirit for Halloween

It often seems that today's consumers want a bit more of the macabre in their Halloween festivities. When that's the case, floral decor can play an important role in setting the mood for a haunted celebration, or they can help supplement the "eerie aura" of an already decked-out home or office space.

To elevate the spook factor of your Halloween party decorations, look out for items such as these, but with a ghoulish flair:

• Moody flowers or wispy grasses in dark burgundy, deep purple or berry red shades. Think roses, calla lilies, fall pompons and disbuds, Dahlias, Amaranthus and setaria (millet)—among others.

• Dried fillers with uniquely bizarre textures, including scabiosa pods, lotus pods or sorghum grain heads.

• Twisted branches and vines loaded with (fake) cobwebs; these can also be foraged from the backyard or garden.

• Don't reach for a typical vase—opt for creepy containers, such as skeleton skulls, glass "potion" bottles or test tubes, hollowed-out pumpkins and more.

• Pumpkins, gourds and other seasonal produce to honor traditional emblems of the Halloween season.

• Snakes, bats, birds, spiders and other intimidating varmints to jazz up a centerpiece or tablescape display.

• Skulls, bones, eyeballs and other CSI props to scare up some frightful fun and add to the atmosphere.

You may be able to find some of these fresh and permanent elements that easily assemble into grisly decor, but if you can't, try an ominous coat of black spray paint. It can transform most materials, such as diminutive pumpkins and gourds, into suitably spine-chilling additions for Halloween design.

Of course, if the macabre isn't your bag, you should have no trouble finding an array of whimsically-cute Halloween options, such as friendly ghosts, dancing skeletons, googly-eyed spiders and happy jack-o'-lanterns.

A special thanks to John Regan of Twisted Stem Floral Design in Crystal Lake, Illinois for sharing his stylish images of Halloween-ready flower arrangements that accompany this article.