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Tombstone Ideas for Your Halloween Graveyard

FlourishAnyway loves Halloween and enjoys being "that neighbor" with the spooky yard displays.

Transform your yard into a creepy Halloween graveyard with fake tombstones and clever epitaphs. Here are ideas for funny R.I.P. names and spooky tombstone sayings, plus easy instructions for making your own headstones.

Transform your yard into a creepy Halloween graveyard with fake tombstones and clever epitaphs. Here are ideas for funny R.I.P. names and spooky tombstone sayings, plus easy instructions for making your own headstones.

Become the Creepy House in the Neighborhood This Halloween

Every year, with a little Halloween magic, I transform a patch of my front yard into a ghostly cemetery, complete with fake tombstones and clever epitaphs. Skeletons erupt out of the soil like they are struggling to break free from their tombs. Body parts of zombies warn neighbors that in shallow graves below, the undead have been recently buried. Ba-ha-ha-ha-ha!

Yep, we're that house. Neighbors stop to gawk at our yard decorations. They chuckle and take photos, call friends over for a look.

While others eek by with a few strings of lights and inflatable yard ornaments, I prefer to go all "Martha Stewart" for Halloween. Some years, I really go full tilt.

Below I offer some imaginative help with your Halloween cemetery. Start by making your own Halloween gravestones, then add your choice of accent decorations. With a little creativity, you, too, can become the creepy house in the neighborhood!

How to Make Halloween Tombstones for Your Halloween Cemetery

Your Halloween tombstones can be made out of foam core, cardboard, styrofoam, or wood. Because I decorate every year, I want my Halloween decorations to be sturdy enough to reuse. Thus, I make them out of wood using the simple process below.

Materials needed:

  • thin sheets of plywood
  • Black sharpie
  • power saw (or have someone else cut the wood for you)
  • gray or aluminum-colored, untextured, weatherproof spray paint
  • yard stakes or tomato stakes
  • Black Sharpie Wide Tip Paint Marker
  • waterproof Gorilla glue
  • clear weatherproof spray paint (polyurethane)
  • newspaper for protecting work surface

Instructions:

1) With a regular black Sharpie, use a free-hand method to draw simple headstone shapes thin sheets of plywood. Really, how hard is it to draw rounded corners or a rounded top? You can do this! Alternatively, templates are available on the internet for more complex designs if you want to get fancy. Don't worry about stray marks; they will be painted over.

2) Cut the plywood tombstones shapes using an electric saw (or have someone else help you).

3) Using untextured weatherproof spray paint, paint the entire tombstone gray front and back, letting it dry thoroughly between coats. Make sure to use it outside or in a well-ventilated area, and protect your surfaces with newspaper. (Although I like the ease of spray paint, you can instead use exterior house paint and a brush, if desired.)

4) For each headstone, paint several wooden stakes using the same weatherproof gray spray paint. I used two to three wooden stakes per headstone, depending on the size of the headstone.

5) Using waterproof Gorilla glue for wood, attach the dry, painted wooden stakes to the back of the headstone. This will allow the headstone to stand up by itself in the soil. Always let the project dry completely before proceeding to the next step.

6) Using a Black Sharpie Wide Tip Paint Marker, write the deceased's name and his or her epitaph. (Lots of ideas are provided in the tables below.) Remember that this is a spooky, broken-down old graveyard, so your work should not be perfect! Paint "cracks" in the gravestones, too, if you'd like. I strongly prefer the Black Sharpie Paint Marker to black paint and a paintbrush because it's oil-based paint that offers the superior control of a magic marker.

7) Apply a clear coat of weatherproof spray paint to further protect the gravestone from the elements. Paint both front and back of the headstone.

Selecting R.I.P. Names and Epitaphs for Your Halloween Headstones

The most enjoyable part of making a Halloween graveyard is selecting the right R.I.P. names and epitaphs for the "deceased." That's what people stop and read! Instead of relying on tired combinations you've seen before, dare to be different by using your own pairings of names and tombstone inscriptions.

Below I've gathered a huge assortment of the best R.I.P. names from across the internet and also invented some of my own. Additionally, I've created a large batch of new epitaph sayings—a few of them based on existing epitaphs but most are original. Select the spookiest or most humorous combinations or use them as inspiration to write your own!

Select your choice of R.I.P. names and funny epitaphs from the tables below.

Select your choice of R.I.P. names and funny epitaphs from the tables below.

66 R.I.P. Names for Your Halloween Gravestones

Woody Dooit

M.T. Tomb

Barry M. Deep

Al B. Bach

Pastor Prime

Eileen Dover

Dee Compose

Stella Live

Dewey Burnum

Hugh B Next

Pete Moss

Ima K. Daver

Dustin Ash

Dr. Izzy Gone

Ida Nyit

Barry D. Hatchet

Lee Mealone

Anita Newhart

Dwayne DeTubb

Manny Bones

Anita Shovel

Claire Voyance

Diana Rottin

Hugo First

Rusty Gates

Willy Rott

Doug M. Deep

Y.B. Normal

Chris B. Bacon

Dawn Under

Ima Rottin

Phil Dirt

Perry Noid

Anita Nubody

Gladys Notmee

Cy Yonara

Yule B. Sorree

Ben Aiken

Barry Alive

Ben Dover

Cia N. Hell

Ben Better

Daisy Pusher

Dusty Brains

Cary M. Off

Sue D'Bum

Frank N. Stein

Upton O'Good

Ben M. Balmed

Otto B. Alive

Imus B. Gowen

Seymore Bodeez

Justin Pieces

C.N. Worms

Emma Ghost

Rick Amortis

Will B. Back

C.U. Lader

Ima D. Cayin

Rusty Chainz

Dewey Cheatum

Elektra Fried

Myra Mains

Jess Confess

Saul Overnow

I.B. Goode-Now

32 New Tombstone Sayings for Halloween

“Watch this, ya’ll!” / Was his last quote / Bubba did a backflip / And that’s all he wrote

Beneath this stone / Lies Sailor Jim / Discovered too late / That he couldn’t swim

Here rest the bones / Of Old Man Green / He thought he could skip / That flu vaccine

Tho' I rest below, all stale and stiff / I think it's actually YOU I sniff

Here’s all that’s left / Of poor, careless Midge / While texting she drove / Right off of a bridge

In the pine box below / Lies Cousin Pruitt / He swore ‘til the end / That he didn’t do it

I told you I was sick / I told you I was hurt / And now I’m six feet under / Napping in this dirt

This cold grave marks / An adulterous man / Plucked from the tires / Of his wife’s minivan

Made one little blunder / And it put him down under

I’m watching you / As you pass by / Where once you stood so, too, did I

He started the fight / And took a lickin’ / This bully’s gone / And no longer kickin’

He donned a cape / We wondered why / Then jumped from a building / Thinkin' he could fly

Here rots the flesh / Of a greedy gold digger / She swindled him good / So he pulled the trigger

She heeded no warnings and had no fear / Didn’t wear a seatbelt and wound up here

Room for rent / Terrible view / But I’m saving a space just for YOU

She paid her debts and all that was due / Still ended up here, and so shall you

The surgeon slipped, holding his knife / That's the moment when I lost my life

She made but one tiny mistake / Stepped on the gas instead of the brake

He shot for sport / He shot for fun / But met his Maker / While cleaning his gun

My body below / Rests cold and still / And some day, too, yours surely will

He slipped on the floor / Never again stood / Now lies toes-up / In this box made of wood

In the coffin below rests sweet little Mandy / Her blood turned to sugar / From eating so much candy

I caught a cough that I didn’t treat / Now here I rest, obsolete.

He didn’t believe the ice was thin / Ignored all warnings and fell right in

He lied and cheated, but we forgave / Now he rots beneath / In this cold, dark grave

Her corpse lies buried / Six feet down below / All dressed up / But no place to go

Here lies a jaywalker who pushed his luck / Got mowed down by an oncoming truck

She drank, she fought, she cussed / The woman had no shame! / Here lies our dear mama / Remember the old gal's name

In this cold tomb, little Johnny lies / Ran with scissors and lost both eyes

A shot to the heart and he wouldn't stop bleeding / We buried him here while he was still breathing

In the coffin below, I rest my weary head / I talk to ghosts and keep the worms fed

She lost her head, her self-control / Was buried here, an empty soul

CAUTION:  TURN BACK NOW!!!  I recycled a corrugated plastic yard sign with inexpensive metal stakes by painting it.

CAUTION: TURN BACK NOW!!! I recycled a corrugated plastic yard sign with inexpensive metal stakes by painting it.

Assembling Your Halloween Graveyard

After your Halloween tombstones have completely dried, insert them in a grouping along with your choice of seasonal accents. This year, I hadn't even gotten all my headstones in the ground yet before I had passersby stop in their cars to hang their heads out of their windows.

After planting my headstones, I added:

  • colorful mums
  • pumpkins
  • a poseable skeleton and additional bones
  • a blood-splattered "turn back now" sign
  • a lantern with spooky noise effects and
  • solar-powered spotlights

Each year, I try to make my display a little different. Other ideas can be found in the table below.

Use your creativity in setting up graveyard scene.  Mine varies from year to year.

Use your creativity in setting up graveyard scene. Mine varies from year to year.

Complete the Look by Adding Some of These Accents to Your Halloween Graveyard

spider webs

weathered-looking "Keep Out," "Warning: Do Not Enter" or "No Trespassing" sign

pumpkins or jack-o-lanterns

plastic skeletons / zombie or skeleton lawn stakes

broken Barbies or other dolls, suspended by fishing line from tree branches

dried cornstalks

light projector

broken fencing

bale of hay

caution tape

Spanish moss

scary music

fog machine

planted Fall mums and ornamental cabbage

black plastic flowers or cheap plastic daisies (as in "pushing up daisies")

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2018 FlourishAnyway

Comments

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on April 01, 2020:

Peggy - That was written in honor on my ex-brother-in-law and what I'm sure my sister would love to do to him. You cannot really blame that Houston lady, depending on what the guy did.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on April 01, 2020:

I got a kick out of reading your Ben Dover epitaph. We had an actual case here in Houston where a wife did just that. It made the news. Some of our neighbors decorate as you do for Halloween. Good job!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 23, 2018:

Patricia - Thanks for your kind comment. I hope you are doing well.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on October 23, 2018:

What fun Halloween is. The headstonrs no doubt will be a magnet to passers by. Angels are on the way this mirning.ps

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 05, 2018:

Yves - It does my heart good to know you enjoy this so much. It took some effort, but it was so much FUN (especially with my cats helping me and getting the reactions afterwards) that it was really worth it. Thank you for your kind encouragement! Have a wonderful weekend!

Yves on October 05, 2018:

What a fun article! Flourish, I love that you and so many others embrace the holidays with so much ZEST!! Honestly, it warms my heart in more ways than you might know. It takes a lot of effort to decorate one's yard just for the mere pleasure of giving joy to others. I adore your efforts. BTW, your graveyard epithets are awesome!!! Thank you for this article....I love it.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 01, 2018:

Shauna - As soon as September rolls around I start getting excited, looking forward to Halloween. Thanks for reading. I hope you are doing well.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on October 01, 2018:

Flourish, you certainly have a sense of humor! You seem to be one who looks forward to Halloween each year. I've been seeing decorations in my neighborhood for a couple of weeks now. Real diehard tricksters!

You had me chuckling as I read the epitaphs and the deceased's names. Quite clever!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 30, 2018:

Mary - That's very kind of you! I'm glad you enjoyed them.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on September 30, 2018:

These are great ideas. I enjoyed reading the tombstones and the tombstone sayings you have included.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 30, 2018:

Linda - I appreciate your kind compliment. I enjoy Halloween about as much as Christmas.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 30, 2018:

Heidi - Your dogs have a special sense. I'd listen to the dogs! Thanks for reading! Happy Halloween to you too!

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on September 30, 2018:

This is a great article, Flourish. I love your creativity! No wonder people stop to look at your Halloween decorations. You've shared some great ideas.

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on September 30, 2018:

We have some creative souls in our neighborhood that make their yards into mini graveyards. Always makes me chuckle (as some of your suggestions did). Weirdly, our dogs get freaked out by some of these displays, and then will quietly walk by others. Guess they know something we don't? :) Happy Halloween season!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 29, 2018:

Shannon - Thank you! I love Halloween! Can you tell?

Shannon Henry from Texas on September 29, 2018:

These are hilarious! Makes me wish that I didn't live in an apartment so that I could create a graveyard.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 29, 2018:

Frances - Thanks for taking a look. No shame in a single jack o'lantern. You're celebrating!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 29, 2018:

Tim, Thanks for taking a look and sharing even though you don't celebrate it yourself. It definitely brings people together with the way they flock to look at them, take photos in front of them, and wave and comment to us on them. Have a wonderful weekend.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 29, 2018:

Claudia - If you do this, I'm sure it'll be a big hit! Have a Happy Halloween!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 29, 2018:

Bill - That's in honor of my sister's ex-husband. His last name's not Dover and no minivan was involved -- just wishful thinking. Whatever comes of him ain't enough but we'll let Karma take care of it. Thanks for stopping by this weekend!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 29, 2018:

Devika - That's too bad that it has faded in your country, as you seem to have enjoyed it very much. It's a big celebration over here in the US, with many adults getting into the act in some way besides just handing out candy. Have a wonderful weekend, and thanks for commenting.

Frances Metcalfe from The Limousin, France on September 29, 2018:

Hi Flourish. This all makes my lone Hallowe'en pumpkin with a candle inside seem pathetic! What an inventive article.

Tim Truzy from U.S.A. on September 29, 2018:

superb, Flourish,

You always put a smile on my face or provide something deep to think about. I love your work. This is great.\

Although I don't celebrate Halloween, I have friends who do, and often they make these funny tombstones. (

this I will be sharing.)

I love the funny names, but more importantly, decorating for holidays can be a fun thing a family can do together. Your ideas can help with this.

You always do a great job, my friend and writing colleague, ,

Much respect and admiration,

Sincerely,

Tim

Claudia Mitchell on September 29, 2018:

Love these ideas! My daughter is having a Halloween party in a couple of weeks and we may have to do this!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 29, 2018:

The first one, about Dover, had me laughing out loud. I guess he won't be cheating anytime soon. :)

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on September 29, 2018:

I would love to participate for HALLOWEEN to make it as you have and somewhat different but in Croatia Halloween is not celebrated. In February Croatians celebrate their Halloween. I participated in the event wearing different masks and going door to door like you would do but this has now faded.Not many people do this anymore. Seems like the cultural even is slowly disappearing in most villages.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 29, 2018:

Clive - Oh, no! That sounds like an article.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 29, 2018:

Deeda - Thank you for the help with sawing them! Flourish

Clive Williams from Jamaica on September 28, 2018:

I have real graves. One day I may be found.

Deeda on September 28, 2018:

Good Stuff Flourish, funny, instructive and very creative!

Deeda

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 28, 2018:

Linda - Aww, that sure is too bad. It’s tied with Christmastime for me. Such a very enjoyable holiday and so filled with creative opportunities. Thanks for your kind comment. Have a wonderful weekend!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 28, 2018:

Pamela, Thank you for your kind comment. I have a whole lot of fun! Have a great weekend!

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on September 28, 2018:

Flourish, these are cute and funny but I'm sorry to say that we don't participate in the Halloween "thing". We are Lutherans, and so what you call Halloween, we call Reformation Day. (We still enjoy the Halloween candy though).

I'm not going to rain on anyone else's parade. You've provided some fun, easy-to-do ideas for those who want to venture onto the dark side.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on September 28, 2018:

Flourish, I love what you have done to your yard for Halloween. That looks like you will have so much fun tof that night. We are not really able to do something like that, but I would have loved to do that when I was a little younger. I think your directions were great.

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