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One puts all their time and money into their haunt( party or display)...the time is getting closer you get excited, your pumped, you loved how it turned out but then no one comes or not many see it. Does that effect you? How long does one take to realize it comes with the job?

Every year we thow a party and sometimes we even do a display for halloween. I love coming up with the ideas and seeing how I can work them into my home. But then when the time comes either 5 people show up to the party or not many TOT come through.

(we have tried everything, having parties early, inviting way more people than we know, etc)

With our party a few days away and Halloween a couple of weeks after that I am trying to not let it spoil my love for my favorite holiday. How can I turn this frown upside down?
 

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Not sure how to help. My neighborhood does not have a huge amount of trick or treaters but they come back to the house when they canvas the whole neighborhood because they love my set up. I have had some cars etc pull up and let kids out, which tells me they drove from somewhere via word of mouth just to hit my place and it feels good. Just think, you create a uniquely different experience for those who do come to your haunt. Yes, it's draining and might feel underappreciated. I guarantee that at least one kid, maybe all of them will grow up and fondly remember what you did, maybe even inspire them to be creative on Halloween as well.
As a young TOT I always loved it when someone took an extra step to hang cobwebs, a scary picture, anything. It made it more fun than approaching a plain house. I especially remember when people did more elaborate things, like the guy that made a bottomless pit in his garage. I told myself if I got the chance I would make Halloween night special for anyone that comes to the house,. I started small, some bones, a tombstone, some rats, spiders and cob webs. It's more now and kids and parents alike smile ear to ear when they come down the street.
Hang in there, move ins, word of mouth etc. Your audience will come. If not, it will still mean a lot to the ones who are fortunate enough to enjoy your creativity.
 

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I think it's best not to bank too much on any single event. Halloween really encompasses more than just any one item. It's the changing of the season, the harvest, hayrides, decorations, trick-or-treating, haunted attractions, parties, October movie marathons, and all the tastes and smells that define it as a whole. Focus on spreading out your interests into these or other areas, and you might have a different outlook. We go to Oktoberfest this time of year, a Halloween banquet, and other things. Read a good spooky book, watch some Halloween specials, go out for a hike or a hayride, and take it all in.
 

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Mummy Dearest
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Have a halloween forum party? :) On a side note, we used to get over 200 tot at our old house, but since we bought a new house it's dead. Slowly it builds up. Every year we have people calling from our house, telling their friends to come out. Slowly, but surely it's getting bigger, but it sucks. Honestly, I really just want to scare the crap out of some kids, but I tend to get the parents more these days. Not as many kids.

If you build it, they will come.... keep your head up.
 

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Try not to take it personally. It really depends where the people you know are at in their life. Do they have small kids? Is it a really busy time of year for them? So on and so forth. If most of my friends were farmers nobody would come, crops are their priority.

We were lucky, word spread and one of our last parties were close to 80 people. Be careful what you wish for someone once told me...and they were right. lol THAT was WAY to much work and clean up. :) We kept our parties elaborate in decoration but didn't organize games which people felt they needed to participate. Take cues from the people you know and try to cater to them to a certain extent you will find the enthusiasm will grow.

Hang in there, and stay positive. Enjoy the process and try not to focus on the numbers, but they people that were there!
 

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I've tried to have a small party every year, but it usually doens't happen as no one can come.
I just try to enjoy it all anyway, the decorations, food, everything that I'm willing to share but people are missing out on!
I do see an increase in TOT's on our street the last couple years, and I believe the credit goes to me continuing to do it all up even though I don't expect many to come.
Good luck to you!
 

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His name is Roger Clyne
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I like to complain about my 30-40 ToTers a year then I hear about some that get 500+ & I realize I'm OK w/30-40 & too old, employed & understaffed at home for hundreds!!:D

I do what I can & want to do, build & add something (even if it's little) every year & work with what I've got. Even when we were in a basement apt. & had ZERO ToTers I'd still decorate inside for me.

It CAN get disappointing sometimes which is why I've always loved Jack Skellington. I could feel his pain. It got old, stale, ho-hum, same old same old, so I ended up taking a forced break (see the basement apt. comment above) & it was just what I needed. I also realized, like Jack, you need to do what you do best & for some that's Christmas but for us here it's Halloween. For some it's JOLs, some do paper mache, some do witches, whatever your "thing" is just do it all the way, even if it's just for you & one other person.

As of this Halloween we'll have been in our house exactly 8 years. We signed on the dotted line ON Halloween & that was the last Halloween I didn't do anything.

Yes, I admit that there are times I wish I had a GIANT haunt with enough money& help to do it for a week or so. Then some years when 9PM Halloween nite rolls around & it's time to bring the good stuff in, I'm glad I go smaller scale.
 

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Our town started a "Trick or Trunk" event at a local park, from 6:00 to 8:00. It has cut down on the number of TOT's we get, because parents can now let their kids run loose and get candy from a line of cars with a pumpkin or skeleton in their trunk. I still do the yard haunt and we still get 200 TOT's, but the numbers are down from the 350+ we used to get.

My theory is: "Haunt it and they will come..."

Eric
 

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It has been three years since I have been able to haunt my yard. We have moved a couple of times, and now in our new location our neighbors told us to expect four (4) ToT'ers max.

Even knowing this I was not dismayed and set up my graveyard and FCG last weekend. It looks great and I am happy. I haunt because I love it. And if I only get one ToT'er and he or she loves it, then it is all worth it. And if I don't get one, then i am going to send my son and wife out there to ring our doorbell. And if they cannot go, then I will go myself.

Haunt because you love it. When the spirit seems thin, lean on the forum. I found it helped the past couple of years to see that so many people were haunting away.
 

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I only get about 100 TOTs that stop by if that, and my haunt is massive. I guess that brings me to the realization that the decorating is more for me then for anything else, but I do enjoy when others enjoy it.
 

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We don't have a party - party hosting isn't my thing. Used to be we wouldn't get more than 5 or 6 TOTs. Three years ago, I did my first real outdoor haunt. I think we got 10-15. Last year, we took it up a notch and started putting a display out sooner - we got about 50. This year, I won't be surprised if we get 70-80+. I've seen people stop to take pics and surely some of those have been posted to social media. For us, it's definitely been a case of "if you build it, they will come". I know that some TOTs were texting friends during Halloween night, last year too. Some friends have suggested promoting my haunt more, but I don't want too much attention. I don't think we can handle 200+ TOTs.

Not sure how to improve the party turnout, but try not to just decorate for the one day or even the week. Put stuff out early, trickle it out a little at a time. Change things up, take some props in put out others, or just move them around. Change up your lighting. Depending on your location, know that people pass by and enjoy it even if they don't TOT. Tonight I heard a child's voice outside as a projection was running in the front window. I stepped outside to see and say hi. It was a neighbor from up the street with their little girl who is just old enough to appreciate Halloween. He said they had been coming down every evening to see the new projection (I change it every evening) and see if anything new was out. That made it all worth it - at least for tonight.
 

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Insert Witty Comment Here
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Like Dexter, party hosting is not my thing..nor is cleaning the house so that I can have a bunch of folks come snooping through it.

I guess the first question to ask is....are there kids around. No kids, no ToTs...simple math. Location is important. If you have a neighborhood with kids, then as mentioned above, get your stuff out early so people can see it. Word of mouth will build it up over time.

But to the original question...how do you avoid the disappointment? You build for yourself, you challenge yourself. I have a hoodie I wear from a race that says: "Conquer Thyself" In other words, don't worry about other people. While it's nice to get compliments, none of them match up to the self satisfaction of building a kick-*** prop, especially if you are trying something new like animatronics or pneumatics.
 

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I live out in the country so I dont get that many tots maybe 20 to 40 but it seams that I get a few more every year. I have a face book page just for the Haunt so I can post photos and talk about the props. That way you can get a following .
 

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We enjoyed a great turn out at our old place, and always had people driving from other areas, taking pictures, and getting lots of screams. We've been on a dead end, dirt road for three years now and have a much lower turn out than before, but now other houses on the street have started decorating too. Even if we pass on spooky memories to only a few ToTs it's still worth it!
 

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We used to do a home haunt,but we live in a small town and most of the kids have grown up. We still put up a few things at home but we started doing campground haunts at different state parks in the area. It really helped get us back into it. Some have competitions and some don't. The one we are at right now we won second place. Which is great out of 100+ displays. My point is if doing the yard haunt is starting to get to you look around and see what other kind of "halloween" activities you can get involved in. It can help reignite the halloween fire!
 

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This will be our third halloween in this house. The first year was a huge disappointment. We only got 10 ToTs. What was really annoying is I could see them a block up turning off of our street. We live on a spur that goes to the main road and none of the houses were giving out any candy. Last year i moved the vehicles to give a better view of the house and put out the decorations and lighting earlier. We got a lot more down the street. Bumped it up to 60 or 70. This year I am going with a more cohesive theme and I think it is generating more interest. Cars are certainly slowing down when they pass by and I hope that translates to more ToTs.
 
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