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  1. #1

    Default Yard Haunt challenge? Help me with some ideas?

    I'm starting to plan for next year. I was hoping to get some group help on coming up with some ideas on things to do with my house. I thought I would have a contest of sorts where we compare ideas and then I try to implement what I can and share the results in pictures after next Halloween.

    I have a pretty large front yard, including the driveway and narrow side, it is probably 1/4 to 1/3 of an acre. I can give a site plan with measurements if that helps, but I'll start with photos. I can also provide some pictures of what I've done the past 2 Halloween's I had the house.

    I don't need to have the perfect "theme". I want to be able to mix the things I have that some might think clash, such as TOT friendly stuff with the macabre. I want to expand my graveyard and perhaps add a Mausoleum with a Pepper's CFG in it. I want a Monster in a Box, a bottomless pit, to haunt my mailbox and more. I obviously can't do it all in one year, but I can get a good start.

    I like to light the house like Christmas also and cover it with lime, orange and purple lights. My front porch becomes a mad laboratory with several black lights that could use improvement, and I have some decorations in the windows.

    Right now, we set up a few inflatables, including a vampire Mickey Mouse along the front of the house set back from a culvert. The trees have purple lights in them. I have tiki torches at the front of the drive, I use chemicals to make them green. The graveyard is close to the porch and is mostly small commercial animatronic tombstones. I may move most of that inside and replace it with a more life-size graveyard.

    Currently, I don't use the driveway or the narrow space to the left of the driveway.

    Here are some ideas I had in no particular order.

    a.Expand and enhance the graveyard and improve the lighting
    b.Add the flying Axworthy ghosts between all the trees.
    c.Do something with the driveway to turn it into part of the haunt. Put my MIB d.there near the left garage door.
    e.Make a projection effect on the left garage door like the talking skull and blinking eye effects, or put that in my porch center window with a pepper's effect.
    f.Open the right garage door and create a torture dungeon scene with a g.Jacob's ladder, chains hanging from the ceiling, maybe an electric chair or frankenstein table, etc
    h.Make fake wood slat covers for boarded up looking windows
    i. use the Disney projection bust effect for singing pumpkins up front near the mailbox
    j. Build something to make the mailbox open and close and talk.
    k. Make fencing from palletes or from pvc and wood for effect and to direct people where I want them.

    Basically, I would love input about layout and lighting. Where should I put things? How large an area should things like the graveyard cover? Where should lights go? If it were your haunt what would you create given a large but not insane budget. So lots of things you could buy or build for under $300. None of the $3000 pneumatic commercial stuff.

    I am decent with woodworking, and excellent with electronics. I know that things like the singing pumpkins, MIB, and Bottomless pit will require a controller for what I want to do. I use the Arduino open standard controllers, but could look at a Prop-1 if I need to.

    Anybody want to help me with my challenge?

    Fred
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    1,114

    Default

    Wow you have such a nice big yard to set up a good haunt; ours is very tiny so the cemetery is quite small. I am no expert either, we have only been putting up yard haunt for 3 years, in my experience lighting, and sound really add to the atmosphere. We had 13-15 tomb stones in our cemetery, some we have made, some purchased, I "rough" up all of them with spray paint, moss, webs to make them seem old. You can put in quite a lot since you have the room, try to them so it appears as though a real corpse could lie there. Maybe incorporate a cauldron and witch(es) scene in the cemetery as well? As far as lighting, stick to a colour theme, our graveyard is in blue, I don't mix other colours in that area it washes them out, back lighting also helps to deepen and lengthen tombstone shadows. Add a fog machine if you don't already have one; it helps create spooky atmosphere and isn't that expensive. I boarded up our windows this year, the boards turned our great, if you want pics or tips just let me know. Make use of your garage we actually use our garage for our dungeon, we open the door to expose the dungeon, close it at night to keep the props safe. No tear down, just close the door. Ghosts between the trees would look great. Also, maybe add something to the 2nd story of your house, like FCG's or video images in the windows, I found our upper level looked bare this year. It is on our things to add list for next Halloween.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    282

    Default

    You have a large house/land so you have a lot of options of what you can do...

    How about a ghost in the window under black light? That is pretty easy to make and implement, if you wanted to make it go further than you could do an FCG.

    Toe pincher coffin or a coffin in general out of pallet wood you could probably get for free off of craigslist if you wanted to go the cheap route.

    scarecrow, maybe different ways to make one so you could be creative.

    A fence for your graveyard, you have a big yard but again, you could do it in 6 foot intervals which come apart for easier storage and you could make it out of pallet wood and spray paint it in places.

    Tombstones

    Those are just some basic, everyone should have, props which are pretty simple, inexpensive and effective ways to add onto your house for a cool Halloween effect. That and get a few fog machines and place around your yard, cause its big.

  4. #4

    Default layout

    Thanks for the ideas! I hope it keeps going. Maybe a designer can help add to my drawing. I want to put a MIB on the driveway and make a scene with it. Maybe a stack of cardboard boxes around it with cool stamps from different exotic countries, cargo netting, etc? I think layers is what adds effect and realism, there is a concept, not just a prop sitting in the middle of space.

    I thought of making plexiglass painted transparent blue in the culvert and a moving alligator prop like a moat. It's fun to dream and think what I could do with unlimited time and money and then back down to what I *can* do. I think I should work on making the graveyard much larger, maybe half the yard.

    I wonder if I could use fence to create a walk through where people can actually go in the yard and even to the side of the house.

    Using the space beteen the trees is a good idea. I think I will do the Axworthy ghost there. In between the 2 birch trees near the side of the house I have one of those ghosts that goes back and forth on a string and moans. But it is small and too far from people for the noise sensor to make it go off reliably.

    I think a true artist would know what should face the street and what needs a walk through, etc. I'm trying to find the most bank for the buck visually and maybe there are some simple rules.

    Well, here is my lawn diagram as a starting point! Thanks again.
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