Menu
Updated November 2022
Header Image
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
HOW WE TESTED

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

30
Models
Considered
161
Consumers
Consulted
20
Hours
Researched
Category cover

Buying guide for best 12-foot skeletons

Arguably the most sought-after Halloween decorations in recent years are the 12-foot skeletons originated by The Home Depot. (Yes, they are actually 12 feet tall.) When these giant free-standing skeletons debuted just before Halloween in 2020, they sold out quickly. This drove demand even higher and created a social media frenzy that continues today.

On TikTok, #12ftskeleton had almost 70 million views at the start of the 2022 Halloween season. TikTok users are showing off how they position their free-standing skeletons to keep them from falling over, how they are adding extra decorations to them, and how they are celebrating finding one of the giant skeletons in stock.

The original Home Depot 12-foot skeletons are extremely popular, and they sell out almost as soon as the retailer restocks them. In 2022, Home Depot announced a restocking in mid-July, and they sold out almost immediately online. (If you can’t find the skeleton online, try checking with your local store.)

If you are looking to purchase an authentic giant skeleton, we will share some tips with you. If you simply can’t find one, similar options are available that you can use as Halloween decorations.

a skeleton with white hair and white dress
The original design was for a 10-foot decoration, but Home Depot’s team decided on 12 feet to make it even more impressive.

How to find the best 12-foot skeletons

Original skeleton

The original Home Depot skeleton, named “Skelly,” measures 12 feet tall. It’s a collection of faux bones that you must assemble at home. The end result is a decoration that looks like a giant human skeleton.

The bones of the skeleton consist of high-density polyethylene, which makes it possible to display the decoration both indoors and out.

The only aspect of the 12-foot skeleton that doesn’t involve artificial bones is the light-up eyes, which Home Depot calls LifeEyes. They’re powered by four C-size alkaline batteries – or you can plug them into an outlet.

Skeleton with a pumpkin head

After the success of the release of the original giant skeleton for Halloween 2020, Home Depot released a second skeleton for Halloween 2021. This 12-foot skeleton has a pumpkin head. Its bone structure is not quite as realistic as the original skeleton, as its bones look more like vines.

The pumpkin head skeleton also has light-up eyes, and it typically ships with a metal base for stability. It runs from either a plug-in adapter or alkaline batteries.

The skeleton with a pumpkin head further separates itself from the design of the original 12-foot skeleton with its light-up chest, which resembles flames.

The 12-foot skeletons group on Facebook has more than 40,000 members, most of whom spend time sharing tips on finding the decoration.

STAFF
BestReviews

Cool 12-foot skeleton features

LifeEyes

In addition to the sheer size of these 12-foot skeletons, the unique LifeEyes set them apart from other Halloween decorations.

The eyes contain mini-LCD screens that give them a realistic look and feel. The eyes appear to move and blink, and they can take on a variety of looks to enhance the creepiness factor.

You can set up a timer built into the 12-foot skeletons that will keep the LifeEyes operating for six hours and shut down for 18 hours.

Base

The 12-foot upright skeletons typically ship with a flat base that measures about 6 feet wide and helps with stability. The base consists of coated metal that resists rust. Included stakes allow you to secure the base to the ground. However, if you live in an area with strong winds, you may want to consider buying larger stakes to hold the skeleton upright.

Best accessories for 12-foot skeletons

Because of the size of these skeletons, some people prefer to leave the decoration up year-round, repurposing it to match the season. TikTok has hundreds of videos showing off the creativity of owners. For example, they may give it a Santa Claus hat in December and an American flag or an Uncle Sam top hat in June and July.

Here are some fun ways to accessorize 12-foot skeletons.

Buy clothes

Home Depot suggests that 6XL-size clothing should fit the giant skeleton properly – if you can find it. You can use the clothing to create a new look for the skeleton any time of the year.

Make clothes

If you cannot purchase large enough clothing for your 12-foot skeleton, consider making your own clothing. The measurements for the original Home Depot skeleton are as follows:

  • 35 inches: width from shoulder to shoulder
  • 24 inches: width of the pelvis
  • 31 inches: length of upper arm segment
  • 19 inches: length of lower arm segment to the wrist
  • 34 inches: length of lower arm segment to fingertips
  • 76 inches: length of the upper thigh to ankle

Sun hats

In the summertime, give your giant Halloween skeleton a floppy sun hat to transform it. Just make sure the creepy eyes are still visible under the brim. You might decide to pair the hat with a huge Hawaiian shirt or flip-flops to finish the look.

Costume wigs

If you are looking to create a particular character out of the skeleton, a costume wig can be the perfect finishing touch.

Ugly Christmas sweaters

If you’re a big fan of ugly Christmas sweater contests and parties, you can give your 12-foot skeletons a look that’s perfect for the holiday season. Admittedly, finding a 6XL ugly Christmas sweater may be a challenge. Instead, you may be able to sew multiple sweaters together to create the ugliest Christmas sweater mishmash in history.

a green skeleton in front of a house
DID YOU KNOW?
Kourtney Kardashian placed one of the giant skeletons in her backyard for Halloween 2020 and posted about it on social media, helping spur further excitement over the decoration.
STAFF
BestReviews

How much do 12-foot skeletons cost?

Official Home Depot 12-foot skeletons cost $299 for the original model and $379 for the newer model with the pumpkin head. However, because these decorations routinely are out of stock, we’ll discuss some other options you can try to approximate the results you’d get with an authentic Home Depot giant skeleton.

Inexpensive

Small skeletons of 3 to 6 feet in height may cost $25 to $100. These rarely have animatronics or LEDs. Rather than LEDs, some of these skeletons may use glow-in-the-dark coatings.

Some of them are hanging models, while others may be free-standing decorations, similar to the giant Home Depot skeletons.

Mid-range

Expect to pay $100 to $250 for an average skeleton. These skeletons can range from 5 to 10 feet tall.

Many of these giant skeletons include animatronics and lights. They may have other decorations, such as cloaks or scythes. Most are free-standing decorations, although they may need stakes to keep them steady in the wind or on uneven ground.

Expensive

The original 12-foot skeletons from Home Depot are more expensive than the majority of Halloween decorations. And if you attempt to buy one of these authentic skeletons on the secondary market, you could pay anywhere from two to five times the original price.

Very few Halloween decorations can match the 12-foot height of the original Home Depot skeletons, which helps to make them so desirable.

If you want to go with another skeleton, some 8-foot skeletons may cost $250 or more, especially those with animatronics or light-up eyes. (With the popularity of the Home Depot large skeletons, not surprisingly, other companies have created similar decorations in the past couple of years.)

Home Depot’s decorative holiday merchant, Lance Allen, headed the team that created the original skeleton and the pumpkin-head skeleton for the retailer’s Halloween collection.

STAFF
BestReviews

Tips for storing a 12-foot skeleton

Storing your 12-foot skeletons during the non-holiday season can be a challenge. Here are some tips to make it easier.

  • Disassemble only parts of it. Rather than disassembling all the pieces, try taking the skeleton apart in three or four large segments. This will make it easier to reassemble the segments next Halloween.
  • Use a Christmas tree storage bag. Some artificial Christmas tree storage bags are made for 12- to 14-foot trees. This bag should be large enough to protect the skeleton if you want to store it fully assembled.
  • Keep the original box. If you enjoyed assembling the skeleton, you might want to take the entire thing apart and place it back in its box. Then, you can reassemble it again next October.
  • Use multiple totes. If you don’t have the original box, several high-quality plastic totes may work better for storing the pieces. Make sure to purchase extremely large totes so you can store larger chunks.
a skeleton sitting on top of a giant pumpkin
If you purchase a 12-foot skeleton or the pumpkin-head skeleton, expect to spend 60 to 90 minutes assembling it.

FAQ

Q. How do I know if Home Depot has 12-foot skeletons in stock?

A. Try following Home Depot on Twitter and another social media platform. You also may want to join social media groups devoted to this giant skeleton, as group members may post notices when they see the decorations on sale locally.

Q. How can I make my 12-foot skeleton theft-proof and wind-proof?

A. With the reseller market receiving a huge markup for these 12-foot Halloween decorations, worrying about potential theft from your yard is natural. Some people report connecting GPS tags to their skeleton. Others suggest driving t-posts into the ground and securing the decoration to the posts with thick zip ties or chains. This would also help keep the skeleton upright during strong winds.

Q. How much does the giant Home Depot lighted-eyes skeleton weigh?

A. Home Depot lists the skeleton at 60 pounds. You must assemble the decoration after purchasing it. The box that contains the pieces is approximately 40 x 44 x 28 inches.

Q. Is it safe to display 12-foot skeletons in poor weather?

A. Home Depot says this particular decoration is weather-resistant, which allows people to display it indoors or outdoors. To lengthen the lifespan of the decoration, consider limiting the amount of time it is exposed to rough weather.

 

Our Top Picks