Before you know it, Halloween will have come and gone, and being named creepiest house on the block will no longer be a compliment. While vacation rentals offer privacy, more space, superior amenities, and better value than most hotels, there are some unique home features that can be off-putting to an unsuspecting guest.
Spider ridden cobwebs, mounted animal heads, and unfamiliar sounds are some of the house features that are likely to scare off visitors, especially once Halloween has passed. Don’t let one small thing spoil an otherwise great property review! Use these tips and tricks to de-spook your home this holiday season:
“Deer head above fireplace, creepy. I think it stared at me the whole time!...[but] Overall we had a great, relaxing vacation.” –Anonymous vacation rental review
Hanging an occasional hunting trophy on the wall is alright but covering your walls from floor to ceiling with everything from dead rodents to bears could potentially be overkill. When decorating, try to find a balance between giving your property character and creating an environment that might make some of your guests, especially animal lovers, uncomfortable. If your taste does gravitate towards taxidermy inspired décor, post as many pictures of your property and its furnishings as possible to give prospective renters a better idea of what to expect.
“First night was a little “scary” as you hear every noise echoing about - it's all wood floors - no carpet - and you hear every pop & creak…[despite the noises] I would stay again & I would recommend this cabin!” –Anonymous vacation rental review
Many older houses will undoubtedly have some creaks and squeaks. Drippy faucets and squeaky door hinges on the other hand are a quick fix with a little help from the plumber and a can of grease. Remember, unfamiliar noises can seem a lot scarier in the middle of the night than they do in the daylight so try to identify and address any strange sounds that could be unsettlingly to a new house guest.
“We checked in late at night, so I think the most difficult part of that was finding which unit was ours, in the dark, without assistance… [However, based on the rest of our stay] We would definitely consider going back!” –Anonymous vacation rental review
While you may not be able to personally welcome your guests upon their arrival, there are still ways for you to make sure that they feel safe and secure while staying in your home. Keep in mind that many guests may be visiting your property for the first time. Prior to their departure, provide directions that are as detailed as possible to avoid any confusion. For houses in more secluded or wooded locations, install motion sensor lights to help guide those arriving late into the night. Don’t forget to check that the locks on all windows and doors are working properly. Finally, if your house has a home security system, make sure to leave clear instructions on how to operate the alarm.
While the creepy, spooky, and scary mentioned above can make some travelers uncomfortable, the good news is that many renters are forgiving as long as they enjoy the rest of their stay. So, in the spirit of Halloween, make your guests feel extra special by leaving them a treat—a candy bowl on the coffee table or a goodie bag filled with local specialty items is always a nice surprise!