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Discussion Starter #1
I have seen several posts here where members mention they don't set their yard haunt up until Halloween and take it all down the same night.
My question is logistics. How do you accomplish this? Do you have a lot of people at the ready? Do you have everything pre-setup and staged in your garage?
We need all of October to set ours up. All 4 weekends prior to Halloween. I enjoy seeing it up through the month and our neighbors tell us they look forward to Mondays to see what we've done. I have had others tell me they take a different route to work all month to be surprised on Halloween..LOL. I do worry about props being taken to vandals but we have been lucky so far with only one theft in 8 years here. I just don't see how we could rapidly set it up.
Obviously it depends on the size but just curious as to how people do this.
Thanks for your feedback.
Dan:confused:
 

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I do mine the day of and it's back breaking and hurrying all day long. I take off work the week before Halloween, clean out and bring everything from the basement up into the garage. It's hard to work in there though because it's packed wall to wall. I spend that week getting everything setup in there and the stuff for outside is setup ready for installation by the door. I get up early on Halloween morning, open the door and bust it as fast as I can to get the outside setup before the kids start coming around - usually around 5:00. The garage setup is ready, it's just the outside I have to worry about the day of. I'm seriously considering setting up part of the outside prior to Halloween this year because I never get it done how I would like in time - I'm just scared of things walking away (theft). It would crush me to have something taken.
 

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I have a small front yard, and lighting is already done. But the cemetary, props, additional lighting, spot lights and pumpkins and ghosts go out Halloween morning. I take several days off Halloween week and get the stuff from the storage locker. Then on Halloween I get up around 7am, eat and start decorating like crazy. Takes me all day and I always wind up running to cvs for something.

By 2pm I am usually done and finish making the snacks for my party.

After that the tots start and it's game on!

I get it done. It's just very hectic. I would not be able too if I wasn't off.

To be honest the tree and my fog machine take the longest time to set up, everything else is easy.

At night, it takes me about 30 mins to get everything in. I just put it in the entryway and close the door. Watch Halloween movies and worry about cleaning up on the weekend.
 

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Spider Maven
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While nothing is really setup outside prior to Halloween, I do prepare by getting the rebar in place, a few tombstones and do a few little things to the yard starting 1-2 weeks prior to Halloween. The cars are backed out of the garage and I can and do set that up the week prior. Just need to open the garage doors on Halloween and do a few minor tweaks and that's done.

All of my props come out of the attic 2 weekends prior (that's this weekend, pray for me) and they are put together, checked, tweaked and stored ready to walk out the door in every available crevice of the house.

We start at 6am Halloween morning--a 'team' of about 7 will start carrying out props, working the extension cords and lighting and placing the items on the rebar that's been prepared. Everyone has a sketch/map of where props are to go and the route that the extension cords and pvc for the fog machines will go.

Around 3 it's makeup /costume time--but that's done one or two people at at time so that others are still working while they'r e getting ready.

It's crazy....it's insane. But with the uncertain weather and the fact that I live on a corner right by a park I'd just be asking for things to walk if I left them out. Not to mention that I'm sure a number of my props just won't hold up to any bad weather.

Halloween night, everything comes back inside with the exception of the extension cords, lights, tombstones and the pvc for the fog machines. What can go back directly to the attic will go up that night, the rest will wait to be taken apart and boxed in the morning. Leaving a bunch of very tired people laying around my house excited about the fun they had and moaning about how sore they are from the setup and tear down..haha

By Nov 2 everything is tucked back in the attic like it never happened.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for this, Perhaps a pattern is emerging - time off leading up to the big day. Sookie, Yes, the damn fog machines take more time than expected.
I have to say I have several items and characters that stay in my garage until Halloween morning, I do take Halloween off to enjoy the last setting up.
I also have the family/friends area setup to do with firepit to keep warm as we are in CT and usually cold. We do then take just the props most worried about in the garage later and close the door.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
While nothing is really setup outside prior to Halloween, I do prepare by getting the rebar in place, a few tombstones and do a few little things to the yard starting 1-2 weeks prior to Halloween. The cars are backed out of the garage and I can and do set that up the week prior. Just need to open the garage doors on Halloween and do a few minor tweaks and that's done.

All of my props come out of the attic 2 weekends prior (that's this weekend, pray for me) and they are put together, checked, tweaked and stored ready to walk out the door in every available crevice of the house.

We start at 6am Halloween morning--a 'team' of about 7 will start carrying out props, working the extension cords and lighting and placing the items on the rebar that's been prepared. Everyone has a sketch/map of where props are to go and the route that the extension cords and pvc for the fog machines will go.

Around 3 it's makeup /costume time--but that's done one or two people at at time so that others are still working while they'r e getting ready.

It's crazy....it's insane. But with the uncertain weather and the fact that I live on a corner right by a park I'd just be asking for things to walk if I left them out. Not to mention that I'm sure a number of my props just won't hold up to any bad weather.

Halloween night, everything comes back inside with the exception of the extension cords, lights, tombstones and the pvc for the fog machines. What can go back directly to the attic will go up that night, the rest will wait to be taken apart and boxed in the morning. Leaving a bunch of very tired people laying around my house excited about the fun they had and moaning about how sore they are from the setup and tear down..haha

By Nov 2 everything is tucked back in the attic like it never happened.
Wow, impressive. Very organized. (Will pray for you this weekend) Me too this is the whole family comes up Sunday to build the tent aka the mad doctors lab and all the creatures that are in there. Either way it is a lot of fun having the whole family there. I do also have motion sensor lights in there as security until Halloween when they double as prop triggers and we have installed cameras as well as deterrent.
 

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Yeah...I hear I'm not 'much fun' on Halloween. I tend to yell a lot. I've been called a slave driver (among other things) haha But really, most of the people helping just kinda know now how things will go as they've done this a few years. Even when I shake it up a bit.

Daughter's boyfriend is an electrician--he's a HUGE help with the fog machines and power supplies.

This year should be interesting. We weren't able to set up the past two years. Will be fun to see what everyone remembers. Including me.

Wow, impressive. Very organized. (Will pray for you this weekend) Me too this is the whole family comes up Sunday to build the tent aka the mad doctors lab and all the creatures that are in there. Either way it is a lot of fun having the whole family there. I do also have motion sensor lights in there as security until Halloween when they double as prop triggers and we have installed cameras as well as deterrent.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
We weren't able to set up the past two years. Will be fun to see what everyone remembers. Including me.
I understand this, Between the blizzard and then the hurricane it has been a rough couple years. Really hoping to not have to take stuff down and try to re-set it up again
 

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Ahh yes..you're in CT...I'm in Northern NJ. I don't know if my Halloween countdown has been for Halloween or the next major weather event. Crazy!
 

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I take Halloween off from work and start setting up around 8:00 am, after the last school bus goes by. Trick or treating starts around 6:00 and usually tapers off around 9:30. Then I take it all down, including lights, cemetery, fog system, sound system, skeletons, props and lifesized characters. The next morning the neighborhood kids walk by and it is like nothing ever happened. Their families have expressed amazement at the transition.

This serves the purposes of protecting my work from vandalism on mischief night and preventing damage from weather. It is also a tradition that our neighbors and regulars enjoy. Now you see it, now you don't.

Eric
 

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I take Halloween off from work and start setting up around 8:00 am, after the last school bus goes by. Trick or treating starts around 6:00 and usually tapers off around 9:30. Then I take it all down, including lights, cemetery, fog system, sound system, skeletons, props and lifesized characters. The next morning the neighborhood kids walk by and it is like nothing ever happened. Their families have expressed amazement at the transition.

This serves the purposes of protecting my work from vandalism on mischief night and preventing damage from weather. It is also a tradition that our neighbors and regulars enjoy. Now you see it, now you don't.

Eric
We also do the same taking down and enjoy it for the same reason :) but hats off you to for doing both in the same day!!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I take Halloween off from work and start setting up around 8:00 am, after the last school bus goes by. Trick or treating starts around 6:00 and usually tapers off around 9:30. Then I take it all down, including lights, cemetery, fog system, sound system, skeletons, props and lifesized characters. The next morning the neighborhood kids walk by and it is like nothing ever happened. Their families have expressed amazement at the transition.

This serves the purposes of protecting my work from vandalism on mischief night and preventing damage from weather. It is also a tradition that our neighbors and regulars enjoy. Now you see it, now you don't.

Eric
Have to say I am impressed, Sadly I will not be able to see your display but great job. We do often get everything down the 1st or second depending on weather and always have someone drive up to show somebody and can't understand where it all goes. It comes down so much faster than it goes up.
 

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Although I set up my yard haunt in one day, I should add though that I spend 6 weeks of nights and weekends setting up the local Lions Club Haunted Hayride and Haunted Barn, which run the two weekends before Halloween and do a lot of decorating for our Annual Boo Bash for our friends and neighbors. That usually only leaves enough time to decorate my yard on Halloween day. I just started the Boo Bash decorations for our Nov. 2nd party this past Sunday. These stay up until after the party, so the outside is not decorated, but the inside is fully decked out for a couple of weeks.

These are the start of the interior decorations. This is year 16 without repeating a theme. We are doing "Scary Tales" and "Mother Noose" rhymes as a theme this year.

These photos are in progress shots and are not finished. I still have a ton of other scenes to create.

The first shot is what guests will see when they enter our foyer.
This is a daylight photo of R.I.Punzel. The poor knight fell and got tangled, so neither was able to break free...



The next is from a scene: "When Worlds Collide: The Little Mermaid Meets The Deadliest Catch"
I still need to do work on the tail and create a scene around her. This is mostly a quick proof of concept setup.



Eric
 

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This is a daylight photo of R.I.Punzel. The poor knight fell and got tangled, so neither was able to break free...



The next is from a scene: "When Worlds Collide: The Little Mermaid Meets The Deadliest Catch"
I still need to do work on the tail and create a scene around her. This is mostly a quick proof of concept setup.



Eric
Little mermaid one is awesome...LOL
 

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I pretty much set up our yard Halloween day, I'm home that day, and we take down that night usually around 8:30, sometimes 9 if there are ToTers still walking around. Everything of value gets pulled that night though and put in the garage for later clean up and storage. And then we go out for a late dinner and recap what worked and didn't work and discuss the reactions of kids and their costumes and parents then.

I will pre-set the yard with larger items to get positioning ahead of time and take a photo of it so I know where to put things back. The big stuff--props, arches, gargoyles, etc--sit in our garage waiting to come back out on the day of. We usually have nice, warm weather earlier in October, so figuring it out then is preferable to the one year where It was freezing cold and windy and I was trying to place stuff and move pieces around and ended up sick with a fever the next day.

I don't mind setting up cobwebs and such on the house and yard or in our tree before halloween and leaving that up ahead of time. Even that can take a bit of time....as well as lighting placement. So better to get that out of the way earlier when the weather is nicer. I have set up skeletons too ahead of time that were perched on the flower pot ledge located above our garage door and high enough not to be reached by the casual passerby kid. Decorating the inside windows or setting up the screen for a projection can be done ahead of time too and I keep them covered for the Big Night reveal. The exception to that was one year when we ran a different Hallowindows projection scenario leading up to the big night.

While I love driving around the neighborhoods in early evening to see what others have out early, I love to keep my display special for the Big Night. Plus having something stolen or vandalized would just kill me. I love the items I have picked out and don't want to chance losing those, so this is how I approach it to keep it a fun and creative time for me. Bit of a hassel putting some things out and pulling them back in only to reset up later but gives me peace of mind and makes for a more enjoyable Halloween for me.
 

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I set some stuff up, mostly cheap stuff about 2 weeks before. I pound all ground stakes in the ground a few days before for tombstones. Then the day of Halloween I get up at 4 am and start unloading the garage and shed and go to town. Usually, I get done by 4:30-5:00 pm with a few 15 minute breaks during the day. By 5:30pm TOTs are rolling around and by 10pm TOTs are done rolling around. At 10pm I start taking everything down and finish by 1:30 am. I usually just toss it all in storage bins all unorganized and displaced. Then the next morning (November 1st) I go to Spirit Halloween and other sales then come home and re organize everything correctly. I take those two days off work of course to handle the chaos. Afterward, I am as tired as a hooker after a political convention has came to town.
 

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I always take off Halloween and set up. It takes me about 2-3 hrs start to finish. It all depends on what I put out. And that depends on what the weather is going to be like. If it is raining I just put out a few things on my porch. If it is nice I'll go the extra mile and set some more stuff out on the lawn.
To get ready I usually stack my props up by the back door the night before.
 

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I slowly put things out and save the grand finale for Halloween night... After all of the TOT are done around midnight I take everything down like nothing ever happened. I put it all in my garage to dry then, box everything up a few weeks later. But I have it organized.
 

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I setup a few items earlier in the month but the major stuff doesn't go in until the night before or day of. After the ToTs have come and gone, I like to go out and take pictures of the display while the fog machines are burning off the last bit of juice. Then I take all the electronic/lighting stuff down and following day the rest of it.
 
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