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Compared to most of you, I have a very small setup. I have a strobe, fog machine, and a monster in a box. The monster in a box plays a noise of an actual bear that is growling. The clip is about 5 minutes and loops. Almost nobody in our neighborhood decorates past spider webs.

We didn't have many trick or treaters last night. I wasn't sure what was going on so I stood across the street at my neighbors and looked at our house for a bit. I figured out the problem. Kids would get to the house next to ours and then sprint past our house to the next house on the street. Some one stand on the sidewalk, consider going up to the house, and then walk past.

We also had a lot of kids who rang the door bell and then got about 6 feet away from the door. I guess they didn't know what was coming next. I can hear the kids on our walkway before they ring the bell. There was a lot of "come with me" pleas to the parents. This is more ideal because it was a good mix some fear, but having the guts to get the candy you came for.

I can't remember ever skipping a house when I was a kid. Some of the houses were scary. I remember being afraid to eat the candy from one house (thought they poisoned it...I still ate it), but not going to a house seems odd.

What are your experiences? Anyone else seeing the same? I'm thinking about making the house initially look more innocent next year and going more of the motion activated route once they are within a couple feet of the doorbell and no sound that can be heard unless you are at the door.
 

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Hungry For Death
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yup, seems as if they are getting wimpier. I had a small mini maze in the garage, and half of the would go through. Most of that half were only parents. Same thing happened to me aswell, where the kids would completely skip my street and go to the next.... I just don't understand where all the spirit went. ITS THE WHOLE POINT OF HALLOWEEN... To be scared.... I feel Trunk-or-Treats ruined it for us. There were 5 in the past 3 days.....
 

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Seriously? Kids are skipping houses cause they're "too scary"? Man, those were the houses we RAN to when I TOTed......& that we still talk about to this day!

I just don't get it, man....:(
 

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I had a couple kids who went to my mom's house next door (she has all fall leaves, pumpkins, orange lights and a ghost) then walk to mine and go nope.

LOL

Their parents would make them come close. :D

And laugh their butts off. I got a few of them pretty good, even a dad or two..

Had one teenage girl as a monster high doll come up and get the candy behind her were 4 little toddlers would not come near me. I was in costume as a vampiress. I think I scared them more than house. I had more than one kid jump back when I opened the door even some people took pics of me.

But they all eventually worked up the courage. If they were little I got down to their level and talked to them and that did the trick. One sister brought her little sister up close and the girl just stared at me while the parents laughed and laughed! Her big sister was trying not to laugh and said take some candy.

Once they left the ninja who has been circling got up the courage to come up and my ghost popped out LOL
 

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We had just under 100 come to our house last night. Don't know how many passed it up on the street, we have a camera set up so may check. When we were running projections in our window in past years we did have some kids not approach (Hallowindows and Dminor's Rona the Ghost Maid). Because of the rain this year I was limited in what I put out. Nothing gory but I do like a little scare. Here was our set up. Because our entry courtyard and front door are off to the side from street view, I put up some giant glowing cat's eyes in an upstairs bedroom visible from the street to say "we have halloween here". With the rain I didn't get anything else set up that was visible from the street despite wanting to add more. This year we used our GR Werewolf Son to give a little chill and humor to the scene. Hubby and I sat out on the porch, we had a sign that said "Beware of Dog" on the front door. There was a skeleton climbing a porch roof post and a skeleton bull dog nipping at him from below. The "Bad Dog" was really the werewolf who apart from the howling, titlting head back and glowing eyes was stationary in one place. No jumping out at you. If the weather would have been dry my jumping spider would have been set up.

Anyway there were a few sheepish kids who hung with their friends but still came up. We did have one little girl who saw and heard our GR werewolf and hung back at the courtyard entrance. She was with her parents who kind of laughed and said well maybe next year. Everyone tried talking to her but she wouldn't go beyond a certain point. We asked if she'd still like some candy so her mom took it to her and we said we hoped she'd come back next year.

Now contrast that to a group of young kids with parents in tow who came to the door. Our lights in the entry were out so you could barely makeout what was there. We opened the door and the werewolf would trigger. Most kids laughed and one little boy who might have been in a rabbit costume, just stood there. He was the youngest of the group. We joked about how the dog to beware of was really our werewolf who had a nasty bite. The kid was glued to the spot. Everyone got candy and started to leave and he stayed where he was. The werewolf was still triggering and he continued to stay where he was and watch. The parents were finally saying, come on let's go, and he said to us, "he's really scary your werewolf. Yeah he's scary". We all laughed and with more encouragement from his parents he turned and left. We thanked him for being brave and thanked him for coming to our house. I think he will be a future haunter. He made my night.

A bunch of kids told us when getting their candy that they liked the werewolf, a few of the older kids said yeah he was cool, and some parents told us they liked him too. One dad looked a little amazed by him...guess he doesn't frequent halloween stores. And you know probably the vast majority of parents don't. Overall the Werewolf was a hit and was liked as a prop.
 

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Kids aren't getting wimpier all by themselves. Their over-protective helicopter parents make them that way.
I've noticed that the kids are pretty much gone by 8:00, and the last straggler by 8:30. I figure it is because the parents got tired. ;)

I must say, though, that although most of last night's children were preschoolers and toddlers, everyone made it up the Sidewalk of Skulls.



Mind you, some had to have a little encouragement from Daddy or Mommy right behind them, but they made it. Two little ones did get scared on their way out when this guy suddenly came on, but no crying at least.



Did he come on for the two teenagers? Nooooo, but big, bad Jack can scare little kids. Talk about wimps.
 

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Monster Collector
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We always have a few that skip our house. I feel kind of bad because I do want them to get their treat along with the trick! Muhahahahaha
 

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Compared to most of you, I have a very small setup. I have a strobe, fog machine, and a monster in a box. The monster in a box plays a noise of an actual bear that is growling. The clip is about 5 minutes and loops. Almost nobody in our neighborhood decorates past spider webs.

We didn't have many trick or treaters last night. I wasn't sure what was going on so I stood across the street at my neighbors and looked at our house for a bit. I figured out the problem. Kids would get to the house next to ours and then sprint past our house to the next house on the street. Some one stand on the sidewalk, consider going up to the house, and then walk past.

We also had a lot of kids who rang the door bell and then got about 6 feet away from the door. I guess they didn't know what was coming next. I can hear the kids on our walkway before they ring the bell. There was a lot of "come with me" pleas to the parents. This is more ideal because it was a good mix some fear, but having the guts to get the candy you came for.

I can't remember ever skipping a house when I was a kid. Some of the houses were scary. I remember being afraid to eat the candy from one house (thought they poisoned it...I still ate it), but not going to a house seems odd.

What are your experiences? Anyone else seeing the same? I'm thinking about making the house initially look more innocent next year and going more of the motion activated route once they are within a couple feet of the doorbell and no sound that can be heard unless you are at the door.
Strobe and growls? Yeah, I would have skipped it as a kid.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'm partially happy that I achieved "success" with the scare, but still wanted kids to have the full experience and get some candy.
 

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Human Candy Shovel
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threader,the only reason I don't have the same problem as you is because my driveway is the path to the candy. I keep the props off to the sides, so the kids have a nice,15 foot wide paved walkway through the middle of the scares. So even if they are scared, the parents usually are successful in goading the kids into running the gauntlet.

But still, for those too scared, this year I kept a basket of candy handy for the kids too scared to pluck candy from a skeleton's belly (plain ol' non-corpsed p'n's skelly at that!) or afraid to chance stealing from the jumping spider. A few kids were even too afraid to come that far,so I'd walk the basket down to the sidewalk. Haha! Joke's on you kids! I hurt myself in a fall thursday, so I gotta walk this thing to the sidewalk lumbering and hunched like a crippled old man! :D
 

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I don't think anybody skipper past my house. I was in a phantom type costume sitting on the porch. Most TOTers were scared to come up to me but eventually did and got their candy. These 2 kids, a ninja and a boy in a suit with a colored on beard (wasn't sure who he was) kep t coming back to my house to with me. I tried to recruit them to scare the other TOTers but they didn't want to and left.
 

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About 15 years ago, I decided my target audience was going to be the 3-10 year old range.

It's been a learning curve. What is scary to kids is something you don't even blink twice at. Sometimes I nail that level, sometimes I stray just a tad on the too scary side. I specifically sculpt my monsters to stare into the eyes or glower down at a 5 year old height. We employ no automated startle scares. This way little kids don't get that startle, rather we have actors do the startles, and specifically NOT target any kids that carry a glow stick.

Speaking of that glow stick, I tell them out front that if they hold it up REALLY HIGH, nothing will get them. There is NOTHING more hilarious than watching a toddler go down the path with a quivering glow stick held all the way over their head, and come back out front to tell me how well it worked. Never underestimate the power of a magic item...
 

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I think so. Last year I was dressed as a witch. Nothing super scary, no exaggerated make up or anything but kids were afraid to come near me! Please.
 

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I sit at the end of our driveway to offer encouragement to kids... and a lot of parents, to go up to the house. I saw maybe 10 kids who would not brave our house, but the majority of them got up the courage to go up. What I really liked was I saw several groups of kids come back two or three times to get run through the mill because they had such a good time the first time. They would hook up with other kids who hadn't come down our street and they would guide them over.
 

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In defense of today's kids-- I don't know that the world is actually more dangerous now than it was when I was a kid, but the media certainly gives that impression. When I was a kid, there was always some bit of rational thinking in tv "bad guys'" motivation. There was always some personal gain at stake. Now there are a lot more shows featuring violent sociopaths. As I kid, I felt fairly safe from the villains of the world, because I didn't have any bags of money or drugs, and I hadn't witnessed crime or blackmailed anyone. The idea of someone appearing more or less normal, but actually being an insane sadistic murderer wasn't in the forefront of my mind. I think it occurs to a lot of today's kids (the over 5 yr old set, anyway.) Even if they don't watch intense crime dramas, kids see ads for them during the family hour.
Helicopter parents neglect to teach their kids decision-making skills. It's easier just to tell them to trust no one...
To me as a kid, Halloween stuff was scary, but in a way that down deep I felt was safe, like watching a creepy movie. We knew our neighborhood, and felt secure overall. I think maybe fewer of today's kids have that deep-down-safe feeling. So maybe they are kind of wimpy, but maybe it's understandable.
 

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The only scary part of our decor is 2 costumes hung in the yard and eerily lit, and scary sounds playing out the window. I heard what sounded like a young adult/teen girl say "Oh hell no!" and someone said "maybe later!"
I think they had a couple little ones with, they didn't come up to the door.
Ours is pretty tame, cool old style spooky but not startling or anything. I would have LOVED it when I was a kid.

Also, there are always alot less kids out (in our neighborhood at least) when Halloween is on a weekend so I am looking forward to the next time it's on a week night.
 

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Also, there are always alot less kids out (in our neighborhood at least) when Halloween is on a weekend so I am looking forward to the next time it's on a week night.
Yeah, a lot more kids have parties when it's on the weekend. I know that was the case for the few ToT-aged kids in our area.
 
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