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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone, I'm just starting to prepare my Halloween theme for this year. Normally I don't start until August but this year my theme will be a little bit more complicated.

Last year I had strip blacklights up and some spider decorations with cobwebs. Unfortunately, as I went outside to give some trick or treaters some sweets, I noticed one of the kids yanking down the lights and pulling some of the other stuff down.

He was really told off by his mother, so I didn't push it any further but I did find it annoying.

Obviously, I don't want it to happen again this year, and not doing any haunt or decorations would be no fun :( (also the kids in my area love the decorations I do for them each year) so what's your advice?

Have you had a situation happen like this before? I want to put a sign up asking trick or treaters not to touch the decorations or lights, but I'm worried about coming off passive agressive. I'd really appreciate your thoughts on this and advice.
 

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I have had this issue too. On one hand you don't want to be a killjoy, but you don't want your stuff wrecked. The only bit of success I had was to put up a fence. I guess you could use caution tape as well. But that did not fit the theme in my case.

Here is a pic of my fence. It is made from 3/4" pvc and scrap wood.



Most kids understand the concept of a fence, and for the ones that don't, Well, I guess no treats for them. This pic does not show all of my fencing, and I was not using it for this purpose during this Photo, but you get the idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That's actually a really good idea, I hadn't thought of that. I'm actually doing a pirate ship/mermaids cove theme so do you think some rope around the areas I don't want them going in will work?
 

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Personally I wouldn't put up a sign. If the kid's mother was there chances are he was pretty young and wouldn't read the sign anyway, so there really isn't a point.

But in any case I wouldn't do it, personally. I've had probably close to a thousand trick or treaters (total) over the last 6-7 years as I've ramped things up, and I've never had anything get damaged on Halloween night. Things break all the time due to age, weather, my kids or myself tripping on a cord, but trick or treaters have never harmed anything. We're inviting (little) people onto our property. Other than the scare factor I'd want it to be as welcoming as possible.

That being said I live in a decent neighborhood in a nice part of the country. I probably put out $7-8,000 (retail) worth of props out in my yard and my only damage fear is weather. Maybe in a different neighborhood I'd have a different answer to your question.

Of course, when I first started putting out Halloween props, I chained a $60 ground-breaker (Larry the Zombie, that you can now get at Target for $25, awesome cheap prop b/t/w, aside form the PITA factor of battery powered props) to my front porch.
 

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I do quite a bit of walk-through-the-yard, guided by tons of fence. Then I put string lights all along the fence, so it's visible and also to act as a further guide and barrier. Plus I'm constantly walking through (while someone else minds the candy bowl).

Fence doesn't have to be fancy. Stanchion types made from pvc work fine. I've used the plastic stuff from the Halloween stores for years, with some additional stakes and zip ties to keep it standing. Piles of sticks will do (esp if covered in spiderweb - it hides electrical boxes and stuff like that really well). Whatever you choose, just make sure it's well secured.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I understand everyone has different experiences, but for me, it's not really possible to stand outside all night making sure the trick or treaters don't pull anything down, etc. For one, October where I live can be quite cold and I don't really want to stand in the cold all night. I like the idea of using rope as a barrier best, I think, and I'll see if I can tie some fairly lights to it to make it more visible. Also the kid wasn't that young but it's the first time it's ever happened to me so I won't put a sign up.
 

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We have a big piece of property and we decorate the whole thing with inflatables, Halloween trees and line the whole front with orange C-9 lights. we also have a Facebook page for our house and once everything is up and running I make a status and pin it to the top asking everyone to be careful and watch out for the strings holding down the inflatables and the lights outlining the front. last year someone tripped over the lights and another just flat out stepped on them and broke a few. other than that everyone is usually careful before and on Halloween. plus we're outside on Halloween handing out candy. its pretty funny cause we also started to map out Halloween :D
 

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it's not really possible to stand outside all night making sure the trick or treaters don't pull anything down, etc. For one, October where I live can be quite cold and I don't really want to stand in the cold all night.
We build a fire in the driveway and have a gathering there....It's cozy and it's just plain fun sitting around a fire telling stories, roasting marshmellows, etc.....You can buy one of those fancy patio fire pits or just do like I did and cut a 55 gallon metal drum in half....ZR
 

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That's actually a really good idea, I hadn't thought of that. I'm actually doing a pirate ship/mermaids cove theme so do you think some rope around the areas I don't want them going in will work?
I think it would work well. Depending on your budget, you could get some cardboard tubes they use to pour concrete (Home depot or Lowes), paint them to look like wood and tie your rope around them or just drill though it. Good luck!

Remember you are just keeping out the good kids. If someone wants to pull something down they will.


PS
I did not realize it was cold were you are. If that's the case, get your best super soaker, fill it with ice water and have at it. ;)
 

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Alternatively, you could do a prison theme and use barbed or concertina wire. Or electrified fencing like they use to keep foxes out of the henhouse.

But seriously, on further thought, my yard is just naturally laid for Halloween; my yard has front retaining walls 2-3 feet high, there is a defined, stepped/bricked walkway up to my front stairs, porch. Just kind of naturally routes people where you want them to go and prevents them from going up into the yard.
 

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I have a yard haunt so everybody goes through the yard. Most of my decorations are under cover and the ToT are kept out with a chain in front of each display. We also have people wandering the yard so that helps. So far no issues with damage. I have found that the more you decorate the more people show up and tends to keep vandalism down with a constant flow of people. When we started several years ago we had 400 or so and last year over 3500. So you could tie everything down, secure lights with zip ties and hide cords. Not much you can do with webs. Fences are awesome deterrents, even the Halloween ones. Keeps everybody out of the graveyard.
 

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Around my pirates/mermaid display, I use rope. It works just fine to keep the TOTs out of the props...I did take some concrete tubes and paint them to look like wood pillars/pilons as mentioned above. I just gorilla glued terra-cotta plant plates to the bottom, filled with sand for weight/stability and glued a brown plastic plant plate to the top...I then wrapped with rope and glued in place and made a loop on either side, so that way i just string the long rope through the loops and can move the pillars as needed depending on my display needs for the year...looks authentic and very easy to set up! Plus, great visual barrier that works well for keeping people out....otherwise kids can go crazy lol, one year I had a kid excitedly jump off my porch after getting his candy-right through a lighted 5 ft spiderweb decoration-eek!!!
 

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I have a graveyard that I cordon off with landscaping fencing (white, blackwashed and aged) that I also string with lights to keep everyone out. One year people started walking around and standing in it as a photo op.I noticed when a friend sneaked by and tagged me in the photo later! One kid knocked over a tombstone and another poked himself in the face with a dead branch touring around (and got read the riot act by his mom), so I had to do something.

That led me to my current setup, where I have a big photo op up front, and a small path to and from it. Huge rocking chair covered in skulls and bones, blacklight happy halloween signs (y dia de los muertos), pumpkins and hay bales, etc. People queue up to get in the rocking chair (the Throne of Bones) and forget all about walking through the rest of the haunt.
 
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