Donation Box. Tacky or Not?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Gulf Breeze, FL

    Default Donation Box. Tacky or Not?

    I have always had the "Halloween House" on the block. Kids tell me that they save my house for last. Very flattering, indeed. I have parents coming by, even without their kids to see what I've done. Last year, I had a few parents tell me I should charge admission. Even more flattering.

    However, I am never going to charge admission because someone once wisely said "If you charge admission, it becomes a job." So very true.

    I thought about making a donation box to put at the end of my haunt , but a couple of people said that may be tacky or presumptuous.

    The problem is this: If people are willing to give money to see my haunt, why would it be a bad thing to put out a "DONATIONS" box?

    I try to add new things to my haunt every year, especially since I seem to be the "destination" of so many TOT's (and their parents). Obviously, adding new stuff means spending more money every year. It would be nice to recoup the expenses, but where do you draw the line?

    Any thoughts?
    "Is that gasoline I smell?"
    Eric Draven

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  3. #2


    Coming from someone whe has already spent over 1K this year...I see nothing wrong w/ the box. I would put some sort of sign though that stresses how they are not expected.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005


    YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS !!!!!!!!!!!!! Go ahead and do one....even something simple to set out. You are not saying they have to its just there if they would like. I did one years back and the first time i did mine i made all of about 18 or 19 bucks but it was my first time and alot of folks here not many carrying wallets or purses LOL. But hey 18 bucks is 18 more than I had. So yes I say do it. I just had mine sitting out by my sign in guest book. The yerars after that i collected can goods and such for the community but this year Im gonna try my donation box again. Had one man already try to give me 20 bucks the other night at my work so i told him to bring it to halloween night so folks would see him drop it in LOL. I put a glow stick down inside the box and chain it shut. This year a friend gave me the jabber jaw skelly so he will be sitting up there now lol. But heres the simple one i had done back in 2002..

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  6. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Central NJ


    Nothing wrong with it. The opportunity to assist someone in their labor of love is an honor, IMHO. I'm doin' it.

    Wormyt, the guest book came to me last night during my midnight panic... doin' that, too.
    Mundus Vult Decipi Decipiatur... The world wants to be deceived, let it be deceived.

  7. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2004


    I think its not a good idea. Like many others here we spend $500-1000 or more each year on new props. I think that the idea is a little presumptuous and isn't really in the spirit. I think if you want to put a donation box up you should make it a true donation box and give the proceeds to your favorite charity. Perhaps a sign saying that would be nicer.

    In the end do what you feel is right.

    that said.. I am rippin off wormyt's idea of a guest book

  8. #6


    I'm having a donation box, this is the 2nd one I had. The first time 3 years ago I put one up for Special Olympics collected $1,700 dollars over 2 nights.

    This year the donation box will be for a bigger better haunt, next year, if someone donates that's great, if they dont that's ok also. The reason for the donation embrass's me when people try's to make me take money.

    Every year, people walks up and tries to give, 5s, 10s and even 20s...they say take it, because it would have costed 4x that much to go through a pay haunted house with their family of 2..3 or 4 kids.

    So, my box will be sitting there...I wont push it, Like I did for Special'll just be sitting there with a sign saying. This Haunt is FREE but all donations are welcome and will be applied to making next years Haunt bigger and better.

  9. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Riverside, CA


    I like Madmax's wording for the donation sign. I always feel uncomfortable when I go to something that is supposedly free but they are pushy about getting donations. I think the idea of a donation box is fine for something like a walk-thru haunt, but not really for yard haunts. Since I will never have anything but a yard haunt, I'll never ask for donations.

  10. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2004

    Default It's your call

    It's neither tacky or not tacky. It's whatever you feel comfortable with, and also your financial situation.

    People have websites and beg people for money to keep it running. Is that tacky?
    I think that happens on this site, to keep it running!

    I personally would not do it because I really don't want our guests to think they are supporting our hobby. But, that's just me and we primarily decorate for our party, not TOTers.

  11. #9


    I look at it this way, for me it's not a "hobby" it's a show I put on once a year for two or three days. My show takes just as much time to put together, probably a lot more, than the plays the local theater puts on. To put on these plays they need donations and charge to get in, they also get city funding.

    You can see a play anytime of the year but a haunted house is special because it's, once a year. So if your, neighbors, friends or anyone who goes through it...enjoiys the show plus the time it took you to put it together...then actually a donation should be offered... Offereing a donation is just common sense and good manners.

    When you go out to eat you leave a tip for the service you recieved, you really don't have to (but I wouldn't eat there again, if I didn't) but we all do it. Why show a show, that people put their blood, sweat, tears, love and tons of money any different.

    But it still embarrasses me to have people walk up and offer money...for doing something I love doing. I guess it all depends on your set-up.

  12. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Blog Entries


    I'm going to be attending a Halloween event again this year that I visited last year that does this.

    Basically it's called "Scary Perry" (taking place on Perry Street in Kensington, MD... they also do a christmas thing and call it Merry Perry). The entire street does yard haunts and house decorations, and they shut the road down to traffic for the evening. Thousands of TOTs come through over the course of the evening. I really wish I lived in a neighborhood like that. And it all started with two of the houses getting into a decorating war.

    Anyway, they run a single donation-kiosk, complete with flyers and brochures for theirs and other local events.

    This is why my props must spend the evening unattended this year. It makes me nervous. But considering I get maybe 2 TOTs every year at my own house... well...


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