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Discussion Starter #1
Every year the entire neighborhood bugs me to see whether or not I will be setting up for Halloween. The neighborhood kids start lurking in my garage about a week before to see what I have bought or made. On Halloween night I have a couple of kids who get done ToTing early and end up lurking in my yard for the rest of the night trying to scare my ToTers. It is getting to the point where I really think they are ruining it for the other kids. I feel like I have to babysit my frontyard the entire night because of this. I don't want to be mean but this year it really pissed me off and I am wondering the most diplomatic way of telling them that they need to just ToT and stay out of my yard afterwords. Any suggestions?
 

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And the really bad thing about this, in my opinion, is how with time people doing the scaring will up the game becoming more and more aggressive and simply obnoxious.
Maybe a few signs saying "No Scare Zone" plus your presence, of course could help? Other than that make your set up so there are no places left from which someone could scare anyone. Bright lighting, no small dark empty places.
Maybe giving those scary older kids some really good scares might re-educated them as to how unpleasant it can sometimes be to be on the receiving end?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
You are right about it becoming more aggressive as well because they scared kids that dropped their candy and then I heard one of the kids saying he took it. I was like seriously? There is one particular kid I think he seriously has some sort of mental issue and is hyper active, he is a pain in the *** every year I cannot stand him. I feel like telling his parents they should pay me every Halloween since I babysit.
 

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Monster Collector
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I had this problem for about 3 years. 2 years ago I finally had to be the aggressor and very sternly tell them to leave the property. Last year they never showed up. This year I recognized the group, but they got their treats and promptly left. Sometimes you just can't be nice. Ultimately it is your property and you need to take charge of the situation.
 

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I don't have that problem with kids YET. But we have a group in the neighborhood that travel around on a decorated trailer every year. Apparently grandpa or something lives at the front of the neighborhood and they have been doing this forever. Lots of parents and kids roughly 10 and under. I don't have a problem with the trailer or the kids. What they do is park and let the kids TOT at the closest houses before they move on. While they do this there are 4-5 adults who chase nearby TOTers with chainsaws!!!!!! I've never said anything to them but this year they stopped in front of my house, chased one kid THROUGH MY YARD and almost through my spiderwebs trampling my decorations. And then they were chasing my own kids in my own driveway. I went to the end of my driveway and told them it was time to move on. I didn't move until they left. What I really wanted to do is slug one of them. I was so mad! :mad:
They chase kids down the street and this year our neighborhood wasn't closed off to outside traffic so their were cars EVERYWHERE. I have never been so close to physical violence as I was right then. Was I wrong?
 

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Everything you said, but with Racoons and skunks (L)

Every year the entire neighborhood ANIMALS bugs me to see whether or not I will be setting up for FOOD FOR Halloween. The neighborhood RACOONS start lurking in my garage about a week before to see what I have bought or made. On Halloween night I have a couple of RACOONS who get done EATING GARBAGE early and end up lurking in my yard for the rest of the night trying to scare my ToTers. It is getting to the point where I really think they are ruining it for the other ANIMALS. I feel like I have to babysit my frontyard the entire night because of this. I don't want to be mean but this year it really pissed me off and I am wondering the most diplomatic way of telling them that they need to just ToT and stay out of my yard afterwords. Any suggestions?

Actually, we love the animals, but every morning, I kept fixing up my plastic Pumpkins and decor (L).
 

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Human Candy Shovel
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The trick to controlling these kids is to tell them if they want to scare someone, they have to do it by managing a prop. This year, I let a little girl control the RC spider. I had other things ready, like a manual drop spider and some animated store props on trigger buttons. This way you get them to focus on timing and technique, rather than the aggressive oneupmanship that occurs when they do in-costume actor type scaring.

As for zombieprincess' problem, that needs to stop. I would have called the cops and complained about people going around the neighborhood, scaring kids and chasing them out into the streets in traffic,do something about it before you're stuck investigating a hit and run.
 

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I'm glad I am not the only one with this problem. Every year I have to tell kids they can't scare people in my haunt (besides its really not that frightening to have a Captain America or bright colored ninja yelling boo!) I feel like a real jerk when I ruin their fun however it is no fun for my own kids when the neighbors are tripping over power cords, "accidentally" pulling out spider webs, breaking light bulbs and we spend a good portion of the night fixing stuff. Some of the kids are really young too...where are the parents?
 

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The Big Kahuna of Fright
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A bunch of teenagers roaming at night can quickly turn rowdie. The anonymity that a group provides plus the disguises can really make thing go sideways. We've used "Security" at our Haunt in past years, when it was huge to the point of being unmanageable. A contingent from a local High School Football team dressed as Zombies does a very good job of keeping kids civil.
 

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We've had this problem twice, both times older kids, scaring younger kids. My Dh is a very large, imposing looking guy ..kids are normally wary of him until they get to know him, then they love him. All it takes is for him to step in and sternly tell them to knock it off and they leave.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I am also glad I am not the only one with this problem. Thanks everyone, I am just going to tell them to stay off my lawn next year and be done with it.
 

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Legally, if you put themed "Private Property", or "Keep Out" signs around your cemetery, I believe you can enforce that by having a police presence.
Once, several years ago, ours was the only Yard Haunt in the area. We'd requested that a patrol car be sent to our address, with an officer to instruct the kiddos about save Trick or Treat practices. (that's the key) Although we had basically clogged the street with people, we had no trouble.
 

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Blaberus craniifer
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Never considered it as a problem. My neighbor's kid hung out in front of my yard the last couple weeks scaring people off.
 

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Seer of All
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I've never had a situation like you describe but if I did, I'd have no problem saying, "Hey Kid - you don't live here! Go home!". It sounds like they feel a little too welcome in your yard. I'd fix that.
 

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It kills me to hear about your problems and I understand just how infuriating this kind of stuff is! Sadly you're so not alone! I used to do a Haunted Carnival in our front yard for years! Then our neighborhood changed and we had to stop doing it because groups of teenagers and get this . . . college students came and wouldn't leave, butted in line, got into fights, scared the little ones the carnival was for and began stealing the prizes and game pieces. The last year we did the carnival three girls got into a fight and came close to harming me and a toddler over who'd really won a race game!!! We were done . . . there is no point taking the chance of getting a chance on getting a child harmed or us get hurt or worse because of a few thugs.

My suggestion is this . . . take it for what it's worth. I'd walk around the neighborhood and talk to your neighbors and see if they also are having problems with the same kids and adults. Tell them your intentions for your display and ask if they'd like to join you on keeping it a scare free zone. Tell them about the kids getting chased into on coming traffic and get them to understand how dangerous it is to scare kids like this! Do you know any police offers in your area? If you do ask them to come by about the time the adult morons usually come around because I don't know any officer that would like to hear about little kids being chased into on coming traffic. I'm sure they'd like to put a stop to that BEFORE a child get's hurt or killed!!! ANY kid that would step in or around my garage would become a prop around here . . . that's wayyyyyyy over the top!!! I would make it seriously clear that they were not to get into your yard and if they did . . . go to their parents and then the police. If only I lived close to you . . . I'd be happy to be your enforcer!!! Lol. Keep us posted . . . we're here for you!!!!!

GiggleGhost
 
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