Every self-respecting haunted house has its share of potions, specimen jars and body parts. For my party, I placed them all safe and sound in a laboratory cage. No touching allowed.
I started with a brass decorative birdcage from Goodwill for $6.99 and lightly spraypainted it with black paint to take the shine off. (I made sure the inside bottom was completely black.) Then I stretched a fake spider web around it to make it look menacing.
For the specimen jars, look for clear bottles that look like they actually came from a laboratory. One even had a cork lid.
I filled the bigger one with water and a plastic skeleton.
The skinnier jar was perfect for a severed finger. First I filled it with water and then poured it out. Be sure little drops of water stick to the inside. Then I poured in coarse salt and added several drops of red food coloring. I wanted the droplets of water on the sides to look like blood drops. The chunky salt serves as filler in the bottom. A used coffee filter (rinsed out, but stained) is a good replacement for the missing lid.
Set the jars in the cage. Since they are the same height, I used a little can to raise one up. You can add battery tea lights or candles in votive cups to illuminate your display. A glittery skull invites you into the lab. But beware; you never know what lurks beyond!