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The Haunting Girl
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Sometimes I worry that I'm overselling my haunt. I'm always talking about things I'm working on and stuff I want to do. Everyone knows that I'm the Halloween Specialist at work (complete with a button that I get to wear). Everyone asks where I live so they can drive by and check it out. I tell them, but I worry that it won't be as good as what they have imagined in their heads.
I know I'm doing way more than most people and so after driving by house after house of either no decorations or 'normal' decorations, mine looks amazing. But I don't think it's enough, I'm worried they expect something more spectacular. I think they will drive by and go "well that's really cool, but I thought there would be more."
I keep thinking about how bad last year was because of Sandy, but I remember taking things down for the night and someone driving by yelling how awesome my yard looked. Looking at pictures and comparing them to past years, you can see I've gotten a lot better even though I had to deal with a hurricane and no power for a few days.
Barring any hurricanes, snow storms, etc, this is supposed to be my big year (again). And once again I'm worried that it just won't be as great as I hope it will be. I haven't even established myself in the neighborhood (due to Sandy) and I don't have to "top" last years display, but I'm still worried. I'm working overtime to complete things and praying for good weather and a good TOT turn out.
I know I need to stop worrying, because no matter what, it will be amazing. But I'm a perfectionist and I won't be happy until I have little kids and adults oohing and ahhing and screaming on my doorstep. Yes I do it for myself, but I do it for the kids too because I want them to have good Halloween memories like I had. I want Halloween to keep going and going and I want to inspire the next generation of haunters.
 

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I am finally learning to break the cycle of worry, after 40 years of home haunting and charity haunt work. We are holding our 16th annual BOO BASH for our friends and neighbors this year as well. I have agonized over trying to top myself from the prior year, and worry about disappointing guests, but each year people still have fun and seem to appreciate my efforts. I never get as much done as I plan for, yet I am the only one that knows what I did not accomplish.

I am often planning three different themes for each year. One for the Lion's Club Haunted Hayride, one for our home BOO BASH, and then our Halloween yard haunt each year. It has been frustrating and nerve wracking, especially with the storms we had the last two years, trying to do a yard haunt without power and after hurricanes and a blizzard. People still showed up and I was thanked by some strangers that have been visiting my current yard haunt each year for more than a decade and a half.

Making lemonade out of lemons...
snow witch.jpg

I have finally stopped worrying about what does not get done and now focus on enjoying the reactions to what I did accomplish. It was a very freeing realization and it only took close to 40 years for it to happen...;)

Eric
 

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I do the exact same thing here. I talk about it and I worry that they picture some hollywood prop set, that what I have is not good enough. Hubby tells me that I need to stop..no one does 1/2 of what we do. I should really listen to him =)
 

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We are always our own worse critics. I see every flaw and every imperfection but everyone loves my display. I remember my first time I decorated I had 2 ghost from Spirit and a couple of tombstones and people were saying it looked cool. Then I started adding more and people were taking pictures with my display.

This year should be my biggest yet but it still looks smaller and less well done than what I want in my head but I know people will love it. As long as you enjoy it that is what matters and hopefully everyone else will as well. I am lucky since there is no competition in my neighborhood so there is nothing to compare to. :D
 

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I completely understand that feeling. I worry all the way til guest leave if it was enough. Everyone knows that I LOVE halloween but are WE ever satisfied with our haunts. Probably not but we are doing something while others just are sticks in the mud and don't even put out a pumpkin. It is up to us to keep the Halloween tradition going for the next generation of haunters. Keep haunting my fellow halloween peeps, keep haunting.
 

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Foolish Mortal
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kuroneko, I feel the same way. Trying to out-do yourself every year is not always easy. Some years you have more time, energy, and inspiration than others. But I pray that soon I will adopt Wolfbeard's philosophy and stop worrying so much. I would say it's extremely common otherwise "the dream" wouldn't be so common.
 

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I have no ideal what makes us different from other people.
But I do know that without Halloween, a part of me would be missing.
And I'm pretty sure that would go for a lot of people here.

It's something inside of us : we can't not do this.

And that's why the people make it a point to drive by your display, or
pay to be scared in out haunts.

Because we shine. And for that one brief moment, the people get caught
up in our glow.

That same shine is what makes us want that next great prop. We're never
going to have enough. Not me, not you...not any of us. We want to be better.
Every year we push the envelope.

That's who we are.

And to do this in a hurricane, or without power...it would be so easy to fold.
But you still propped up.

Because this is who you are.

This is who we are.
 

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Do I ever worry that I won't meet expectations?
Absolutely....I'm worried now and I'll worry in 1/2 hour. It's a home haunt but I change themes ever year and try to make it beat the year before. Folks brag on it so I feel that pressure to deliver. Always running out of time.
I always look forward to starting a new idea the next year and thinking up creative ways to recycle the theme before stuff into something different. I dread the writer's (Haunter's) block however as the clock ticks.
 

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Seer of All
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Honestly? No, I don't worry one bit about the expectations of those who visit my yard. I do what I do because its a hobby I enjoy. Worrying would suck the fun right out of it. When the fun is gone I will move on to something else. No worries, no regrets.
 

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Wisp in the Mist
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Only with the Secret Reaper gift that's going out today! I think I have a couple dozen new grey hairs now, worrying that it's not interesting enough.

My scene stays pretty much the same, so I don't worry about it--except getting it put up. (I had the dream last night, where I ran out of time and didn't get anything up!)

I'm the only one who decorates in our area, unless you count Jack o' lanterns or cutesy fall stuff. So, whatever I do makes the ToT'ers happy. That's all that I really care about, making their holiday more fun for them.
 

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Nobody ever solved anything by worrying. The yard haunt -- which we called Rose's Haunted Graveyard -- we put up last year was by no means the most elaborate display ever created. But when people saw it and realized there were scarers to go with it (I've played monster roles at Queen Mary's Shipwreck and Mario's Haunted Graveyard on the west coast and I played a zombie at Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights AND a butler at Disney World's Haunted Mansion) people came back and brought their friends. When we spent nearly $50 on candy we thought we'd be nomming on little Snickers bars until Christmas. But we totally ran out and had to go trick or treating door to door OURSELVES just to get enough candy to keep things going. Actually, when we showed up at the neighbor's doors, they treated us like guest stars. So I don't think its so much a matter of outdoing yourself by displaying the newest expensive props. I think its more about providing the best time for people than they imagined. Cause let's face it, if you're burning with that kind of enthusiasm, it will be infectious. 2012 Rose's Haunted Graveyard.jpg This is the crew of Rose's Haunted Graveyard.
 

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The Great Crazy
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Honestly? No, I don't worry one bit about the expectations of those who visit my yard. I do what I do because its a hobby I enjoy. Worrying would suck the fun right out of it. When the fun is gone I will move on to something else. No worries, no regrets.
I feel the same its a hobby for me done it long enough I may get burned out may not if I others think I could have done more thats fine I know I gave it my all and I do it for me.
 

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Any effort at all is appreciated by most kids, even if it is a few inflatables. Do what you are comfortable with & try not to stress.

.
 

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Every year I always try to outdo myself, but not to the point where I take the fun out of it. I love trying to think of ways of how I can improve on things from the previous year and what else I can add to the haunted walk :)
 

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Every year I go thru the same feeling but as was already stated we are our own worst critic. I just want to have fun and make all the kids enjoy their night and if someone thinks I should have done more......? Well I guess I'd ask whats in your yard if your here lookin at mine!!!!:D
 

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Me too. Just add this to the worrying:26 years ago as I had nothing, yet was working to become a haunted attraction , all I did have was a lot of physical ambition and a few measley broken-down hand tools and debt and I worked night and day to get something going here in the middle of nowhere AND all of this had to be my total income to live on, pay my debts!
I built displays from garbage, thrown away crap and they were odd, scary to many.
I had to buck the haunted public because I wanted to do it my way, which was not the common method at all. I have spent years telling potential patrons of Ravens Grin what I will Not be doing to them inside this house.
Going against the common expectations opened me up for some nasty critiques, of course, but then the only real monster here was a live one who did and said strange and often scary things to people in dark rooms, often elliciting laughter from them too! (How odd!?)
I began bragging a few years ago during tours because I am proud of the extreme work I have accomplished here over 26 years,most of it very physical and long-term. Maybe these facts of the creation of the place could be a reason enough for some people to travel to see what I have done?
I realized many years ago that nobody will ever please everybody with what they do. I rest my mind from worry by simply overloading their experience that they find here and let it go at that.
I have often entertained a group in my house for as many as three hours, me non-stop talking, storytelling, scaring them as they travel through this property.
With the local and national economy so down (except for the 3% of the richest) the challenge has been rekindled to make a living doing this or completely fail. This has spurred new thinking, new creatures and inspired me to longer working hours as a new October approaches. Last Fall a local newspaper said my house was closed down. It was not, but we saw about a 30% decrease in our October business.
It's always a challenge, isn't it?
Who listens to a local newspaper?
We discovered a woman in Japan called her Mother in Peoria to ask if it was true or not!
 

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I don't worry. If I did the same exact thing I did last year, everyone would be happy!

If I get nothing accomplished this year, It will be different anyway since it won't be in the same place.
 

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Do I ever worry that I won't meet expectations?
Absolutely....I'm worried now and I'll worry in 1/2 hour. It's a home haunt but I change themes ever year and try to make it beat the year before. Folks brag on it so I feel that pressure to deliver. Always running out of time.
I always look forward to starting a new idea the next year and thinking up creative ways to recycle the theme before stuff into something different. I dread the writer's (Haunter's) block however as the clock ticks.
OMG my words exactly!
But even though I worry it doesn't mean that it'll ever stop me. I am unfortunately a natural worrier. I got kids, live in an OK neighborhood and nobody here knows how to drive! So I worry about everything, not just my haunts :p
But the dreams ... oh crud. Last night I dreamed that I was actually going to set up a gorey haunt ( I don't do gorey haunts) in my parents garage and I started setting up the pros and everything and then ...... I woke up! Dammit my setup was so cool! But I don't have gorey stuff and my parents garage is filled to the brim with their crap! I just HATE fake Haunt setup dreams!
 
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