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Discussion Starter #1
So, the 2014 season is over, but I wanted to share some pictures/experiences about this year. I received a lot of inspiration for my Halloween from these forums and wanted to share some back.

This year's theme was "Carnival of Shadows" (CarnEVIl, Creepy Carnival, etc)

The main props built for this year were:
1) Carousel
2) Ticket Booth
3) Knife Thrower Wheel
4) Freak Show Posters

For the Halloween Party, I served up food that tasted different than it looked as well as twists on traditional carnival/circus food.

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Carousel of Fear
Construction: I used plywood sheets in either .25 or .5 thickness for the carousel. I made it 6-foot diameter and it had 3 horses. The horses were purchased on eBay and made of a light plastic. They are hollow and have holes for a post cut in them. I painted them as a Nightmare (Flaming Hellhorse), a Skeletal Horse, and a Ghost Horse (Though upon reflection a zombie horse may have looked better). There's a base platform that rested on the ground, the bottom platform of the carousel and the top 'roof' of the carousel. I built a square column in the middle and used a 7' patio umbrella as the canopy. Originally I wanted this to rotate with a motor but that wasn't going to be possible. The patio umbrella base is resting on the 'base platform' with a circular hole through the "carousel bottom platform".

Knife Thrower Wheel
Construction: I used playwood again for this and made a 6-foot diameter circle. I drilled a hole in the center and used a 1 1/4" dowel rod that fit into a base with 2x4's mounted together. I put on some brackets and mounted a skeleton on it and then inserted some plastic knives in the wheel. It was painted to match the one from Devil's Carnival.

Here are some pictures of the finished products:
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Ticket Booth
Construction: This was a pretty easy/standard ticket booth. I used plywood again and some 2x2's for the corner's. I painted it red and white striped and painted Tickets on it. I have an animated creepy guy that I put behind the booth as well.

Freakshow Posters
Construction: I designed these in Photoshop and had them printed at 3' x 4' at FedEx/Kinkos on the outdoor Vinyl. The frames are just PVC pipe glued together. I also created a "Carnival of Shadows" banner out of a plastic tarp and mounted it on PVC.

Midway Games
I created 3 games for kids to play (and adults at the party): Dead Ringer Toss (using hands as the posts), Skull Chucker (Milk bottle game) and Brain in a Basket. During Trick-or-Treat, the kids actually loved playing these games to win a hug from our Bear Prize (A friend who wore the costume)

I also re-used a cannon I had from a pirate theme a few years ago and put a head on it so it looked like it was firing.

Finally, I had an airblown Circus Wagon for effect.

On Trick-or-Treat night I had about 6 friends come by dressed as Carnival Folk and we entertained the kids. I had Godunov and his Dancing Bear Feodora, The Top-Shelf Bear Prize, Olsa the Bearded Lady, Jagger Sundae the Near-Sighted Knife Thrower, and Lynna the Magnificent Magician. Overall it was great fun having multiple people involved and I may have to do this going forward.

Here are some additional pictures of props and people:
 

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These are pictures of the folks who helped me on Trick-or-Treat Night and some pictures of the whole yard!

Mr. Sinister Dark (Me), Godunov the Mediocre and his dancing bear, Feodora, Top-Shelf Prize Bear, Olsa the Bearded Lady, Jagger Sundae the Near-Sighted Knife Thrower, and Lynne the Magnificent!
 

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For the Halloween Party, I had various food items and decorations...

Deceptive Food
Carousel Cakes: Some of the cupcakes were actually cupcakes with frosting, some were cornbread muffins with a pimento spread
Balloons:Some of the deviled eggs were Deviled Eggs and some were white chocolate eggs with frosting
Midway Dogs: These were little hot dogs made of cookie dough
Throwing Knifes: These were chicken stripes on skewers and broiled
Snake Charmer Rolls: Crescent rolls dough rolled and stuffed with lunchmeat/cheese or a cheese mixture
Spiderella Dip: A 7-layer dip with a spiderweb motif on it
Dirty Apples: Apples dipped in caramel, white chocolate and sprinkled with cinnamon/sugar

I also had popcorn boxes with various flavors of popcorn around for snacking
 

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Wow!!!! Your haunt is amazing!! I especially like your knife throwing wheel. Man you really did a great job with your theme and I bet the kids in your neighborhood LOVE your efforts. How many T or T's did you have? Inquiring ghouls would love to know! :D

GiggleingGhost
 

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Thanks for the kind words! We had around 230 kids. I ran our of full size bats at 180 kids only an hour in. We had double what I did last year. Hopefully this was the peak :)

I'll likely post pics of the last two years also as they were Egyptian and Pirate themed.

John
 

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Great work Harliquinn, I think it looks amazing:) I especially love the carousel! I am doing Creepy Carnival this year after been hounded by teenage Daughter for this theme, so I hope mine looks as good as yours!:)
 

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Somehow I missed this thread last year. Wow is all I can say. Your carosel turned out fantastic. I love how you mounted the sideshow banners and may steal your method for my carnival when it comes time. Food looked yummy and nicely presented. More than anything I'd love to have all of your carnie guys show up at my haunt! What great costumes and makeup.
 

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Hope you don't mind if I "borrow" a few of these ideas in the upcoming years. Great job!!
 

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hi do you remember where you got the horses on ebay? and a bout how much were they? I cant seem to find any that aren't super expensive.

THanks!
Nikki
 
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