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Discussion Starter #1
I've been so inspired by all the CarnEvil and other dark carnival themes on the board. I lean toward spooky/creepy decorations rather than gore, though, so I decided to go with a haunted carnival theme, and call it Circus of Spook.

It's going to be a mostly outdoor party. I've been stocking up on streamers, fabric, tablecloths, and other basics from garage sales and dollar stores. I plan on having a few old fashioned games, like a balloon/dart game, a ball or ring toss, etc. I'll have a photo op area, and a concessions and seating area. I plan on making some of my first big props this year, like a tall man/clown greeter. We actually have a mummified rat displayed (in a plexiglass shadow box in the wall) in our downstairs laundry room, so I'm going to turn that room into the oddities room. The rat's name is Dougie, and the owner found him in the walls of the main house when renovating.

Best of all, I'm part of a local flow arts group (juggling, hula hooping, poi, leviwand, etc.) and I'm inviting all of my "crazy circus" friends to bring their flow toys and dress in costume.

I've started a photo album to keep track of my projects: http://www.halloweenforum.com/members/loveandeyeballs-albums-circus-of-spook-theme-2014-a.html

I'd love to hear any comments or ideas you have for games, props, displays, or anything else!
 

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The Ghost Host
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Yay! I'm so excited that all of this dark carnival energy is flowing between a lot of us. 2014 is going to be the BEST! ^_^
 

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Haven't been to a circus or carnival in years, but this past week I've been looking up the "laughing clown" game, hoping to find a DIY (no luck). It might be too childish for you, unless you turn it into a drinking or fortune game, but basically you have a rotating clown head with a large, open mouth. The throat is a simple chute. You drop a ball into the clown head and it comes out the bottom, sliding into one of several numbered slots. If you have three balls, you do it three times and add up the numbers. The size of the prize depends on the sum of the numbers. But I imagine it (at a home venue) with each slot containing a small prize, a drink, a fortune, or a task.
I think it could be made with a simple rotating motor, papier-mache head and shoulders, and a piece of PVC pipe. Now, if it only had an articulated jaw with teeth ...
 

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Dawn of the Dead
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Discussion Starter #7
No worries about the double post, dawnski - it's happened to me before, too. :) Thanks for the tip! I'm going for a more vintage-inspired vibe this year, so no neons or black lights, but I'll keep that tape in mind for future displays.

I've been working each night (except tonight - I'm going to bed as soon as I finish this comment, haha!) and have gotten a little done here and there.

I was inspired by Hilda's runes, and made my own version, painting Viking runes on Dollar Tree rocks:
001.jpg

I also began re-painting this little cabinet I found at a garage sale over the weekend:
002.jpg
I also found the little jars at a different sale (2 of each in the pic,) and they fit perfectly!

I've been searching for images for the fortune teller display, and I especially love this phrenology chart:
phrenology04.jpg

Last night, I collected DIY carnival game ideas on Pinterest.



906e7a8b9b5658685487eccb9f3ae0ab.jpg

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You can view my inspiration board with more DIY games here: http://www.pinterest.com/likeengland/circus-of-spook-halloween-2014/
 

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Love the games! How did I miss Hilda's Runes? Going to look for them. Now, to show my ignorance, aren't they used for fortune telling? If so, I am so borrowing this idea. Where did you find the symbols. these look simple enough for even me to duplicate. LOL


Diajoh, that games also sounds cool.

You could use colored cones for witches hats for a ring toss.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Diajoh, I accidentally missed your comment! That sounds like an awesome game, and one that could be made to look really cool.

PD, here are Hilda's runes.

I used real examples of runes (as did Hilda,) but mine are Anglo-Saxon futhorc, commonly called Viking runes. You can google futhorc alphabet and get lots of good illustrations of the runes. If you just search for runes, you'll find all kinds to mix and match if you like!
 

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The Ghost Host
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I LOVE the rune idea. I actually might do this for my fortune teller space. I was thinking about getting some spirit dice and having them spell out a message on my fortune teller table.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm trying to figure out the layout for the yard. This is what it looks like.

The view entering the yard.
042.jpg

The west side of the yard.
041.jpg

I think I'll put my pop-up tent in the center of the yard, where there's no tree cover, and create a grave yard in the garden area. That' all I have planned for sure so far. I'm not sure how to set up the games and concessions.

I'll have the fortune teller's "booth" on our front porch, and the inside of our apartment will be her gypsy caravan. The right door on the first floor is to our laundry room, where I'll have the oddities and freaks.

002.jpg
 

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Dawn of the Dead
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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks, hallorenescene! I'm going to try to get as many friends and neighbors involved as possible. Last year, we only had a handful of trick or treaters, and we were the only house/apartment decorated on the block, which made us and our neighbors in the main house a little sad.
 

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The Ghost Host
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I saw this image on my Facebook and it made me think these would be really cool for an outside event. They could definitely be circused up.
 

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For some really nifty artwork, google Harry Clarke. He was an illustrator who did great stuff for Poe, fairy tales, and my favorite translation of Goethe's Faust. His stuff was early 20th century. I prefer his black-and-white to color, but it's all marvelous.
 
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