My house really is tame by Halloween Forum standards. I want to create a spooky atmosphere that kids will remember fondly when they get older, and they may just want to create some memories for other kids too. I have this huge Costco Skull that many of us bought several years ago, and is is motion activated. When the sensor is triggered, it has a sinister laugh, and says, I see you. I place it in the flower bed right by the walkway leading up to the door. Then we do spider webs that cross from the tree over the walkway to the lamp post. I place a big spider somewhere in the area where the kids are bound to see it. We have the cemetery, the motorized coffin, skeletons, and other stuff too, but no gore.
So, a couple of years ago I had one little girl come up, and when I opened the door she just kept saying you scared me, you scared me in the most adorable 3 yr old voice. Then a few minutes later, another 3 year old came up and said to her mom, Mom, can we have a skull like that too? She loved it. Now she's going to be a haunter when she grows up, I can feel it. Finally, we had the jack a$$ dad who brought his daughter to the door screaming and crying her eyes out. He totally ruined it for her, and caused her so much terror by forcing her to the door. I felt so sorry for her. It's suppose to be fun people.
Last year, we were still setting up at about 5 in the daylight, when three siblings were out making the rounds early. They looked like they were all in Elementary School, but the oldest was wearing a Middle School t shirt. I had the motorized coffin outside, and even though it was light, she stopped on the far side of my neighbor's driveway. She was pretty sure she didn't want anything to do with my yard. Her brothers were trying to get her to come over, and I wanted to reassure her there was nothing to be afraid of, so I opened the lid to the coffin and showed them the wiper motor making the lid go up and down, and the skeleton arm screwed into the lid. The told her what it was, and she still refused to come any closer. I gave the huge hand fulls of candy and an extra treat for her. They left happy.