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Q. Where do you store all this stuff?
A. I use one of those vacuum bags, that you use for sweaters.
Q. No, really Where do you store it?
A. Its a real big bag
Q. How long does it take to put away?
A. about 15-20 minutes
Q. It must take a month
A. okay 30 minutes

Q. Do you decorate for Xmas
A. When is Christmas?

Q. You must like Halloween
A. When is Halloween? or OHH its Halloween?

Q. How much have you spend
A. About $100

I find those answers, stop any more questions, normally
On Halloween my goal is to open the door, give out candy and shut the door.
Create a creepy feel and make get a scream, with a scare
During setup, I'll often go back into the house as someone is approaching, so they can take it all in.

Jerseyscare
 

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Prop Building
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You must transcend Halloween Decor and just keep it up all year!

I find most people when they ask silly things are just trying to start a conversation, I have invited many of them to swing by after the evening and I'll teach them some tricks. I have created more than a few new haunters by extending a helping hand. It can be intimidating to jump head long into building something, some people thrive on it, others worry about doing it wrong so they never begin.

I'm equally as stupid at Christmas when it comes to decor, but Christmas due to the snow I rarely do much outside, I do a TON of stuff inside. I just enjoy transforming spaces, it's my happy place.

Though I am really starting to run into storage issues, My full sized canon and massive pirate chest take up a HUGE footprint and I currently stash them in my project room (The canon come apart to be stored vertically) So maybe next year with wood coming back down again, I'll build a witch's hut in my backyard to be my storage area!

Plant Wood Window Tree Automotive tire
 

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@Edmund K, this is exactly why I started making my own stuff. We have a lot of the same ToTs every year. I want people to come to our house and see the same things, but notice the new stuff too.

There is a house in Atlanta (in a very wealthy neighborhood) that covers every square inch of their yard in inflatable decorations. We love going every year with our kids. We pick out the oldies, but goodies and try to spot the new stuff.
 

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These are funny and YES I hear most of them every year. Last night some people saw my display for the first time and asked,
Where did you get this, this is the good stuff I never seen in a store? I made it.
How long does it take you to set this up? At least two days.
Then there is where do you keep all of it? Shed, House all over the place.
My neighbors would joke that I push a button beginning of October and it would all pop out the ground and Nov. 1 I push the button and it goes back in the ground. Wish it was that easy sometimes.
Hey, actually, that's not a bad idea! Gonna have to start digging very soon! :)
 

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We have a primarily young age range of kids in our neighborhood (4-10), and they are the group that ask me if certain items will "be back" each year. They look forward to coming to our haunted pirate revels, and that is such an honor to know that our efforts matter to them!
So with that in mind, I've tried to recreate a "similar" display each year, adding a few new things along the way to keep it fresh and interesting.
I'm hoping that the nostalgia and tradition of visiting our "haunted pirate house" each Halloween will override any complaining about the displays being the same as the kids grow up.
We also do a Pirate theme and a walk through in our garage. Every year the same things return but we just re-arrange it all and add or swap out sections of the display setup so it always looks like most of the stuff is "new" that year even though it normally isn't. The few things we do every year like put the dragon on our roof and build the giant pirate ship in the driveway with a 16 foot mast is something the neighborhood kids look forward to seeing every year. We rarely get asked or hear comments about how something was the same as a previous year. Mostly we get asked those "how many hours have you put into setting this up" or the "I hope you do this again next year" sort of comments. A lot of commenters comment about how amazing it is to get that Disneyland feeling when they visit our display.

-K
 

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My daughter is in first grade and beginning on October 1, she wears Halloween shirts and/or pants, skirts, socks to school every day. Just about every day one of the teachers comments about her outfit and usually follows with I can't wait to see how she dresses for Christmas. Uhm... she has a Christmas shirt or two but sorry to disappoint you as Halloween is our holiday.

Then there's the relative who complains that we spend a fortune on Halloween clothes for her. Uhm... I picked up several few a years ago after Halloween for $1 each and thought ahead enough to buy a few sizes ahead, I'm a thrifter and many of her shirts were bought from .25 to $1 and honestly is it your money we're spending?

Then I get the question of why I'd spend a week or two making a paper mache pumpkin when I could just go out and buy something. Uhm... my pumpkins cost $2 or less to make when you factor in paint. If I were to buy something close to what I make it would cost significantly more as I value the time involved in making something unique.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
The first question they ask is how long did this take to build? 3 years, and we did a little bit all the time-it was great fun. Not to mention a personal challenge. So instead of TV we'd paint or sculpt or build...
Omg!!! You are brilliant!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
This.

So many people don鈥檛 realize how much time they waste staring at the idiot box. I see people who can rattle off all the stats for every collage foosball game each fall, but doesn鈥檛 understand how someone can spend the hours to build a Halloween prop.

Heck, you could say that about any hobby to be honest. I know people who think nothing of spending 8-10 hours on a Saturday watching other people play games, yet balk at 6 hours of corpsing..


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I know exactly how you feel. I plan my garden around autumn & Halloween. I have perfected my orange & red dahlias to peak bloom. I grow fairytale pumpkins along the wall so they are basking in the Fall Sunlight. My pomegranates are crimson red & hang like ornaments. But... what do people ask?
Are they Fake?
I reply: No
Do you hire someone?
I reply: No
It's to much work, do you have a job?
I reply: No, I just eat grass & live under the bushes w/the foxes
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
I carve between 70 - 80 pumpkins every year. Every year I鈥檒l hear:

鈥漈hey carved this one before.鈥

Of course I did. There are some patterns I love and will carve every year.
Not gonna lie, I'm the worst at carving pumpkin & gave up. I only grow Fairytales now & lots & lots of gourds. I'd love to see photos of you pumpkin carving.
 

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"That's the same stuff you had last year"
We work on it all year long-little tweaks here and there. You are correct about most of it. However there was no last year. We opted to have a boring driveway 2020 Halloween because of Covid. So what was new in the Alley last year is still new for this year. (If there was a "this year".) But what "would have" been new to this years viewer is the computer screen Sirius black poster and the moving Dumbledore newspaper front page. And once again, where I live, Covid is still a problem. It's an enclosed basement that you walk through a car garage to get to-not really a safe space with a pandemic. So I'll have a few things out in my "open" driveway and I'm over-killing my goodie bags-toys and candy...
(I have small friend groups of 3-4-who don't mind wearing a mask, come see it during the day once in a while-it takes about 15-20 minutes. I air the whole thing out before and after with garage doors wide open and the slider to the alley open. I also keep it really clean. I can't do that Halloween night. I am use to getting 125 people down a dead end. With this pandemic I get about 50. I can't enforce the mask thing and I don't want anyone to get offended or uptight about wearing a mask in my home...so there's hopefully next year.
 

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You must transcend Halloween Decor and just keep it up all year!

I find most people when they ask silly things are just trying to start a conversation, I have invited many of them to swing by after the evening and I'll teach them some tricks. I have created more than a few new haunters by extending a helping hand. It can be intimidating to jump head long into building something, some people thrive on it, others worry about doing it wrong so they never begin.

I'm equally as stupid at Christmas when it comes to decor, but Christmas due to the snow I rarely do much outside, I do a TON of stuff inside. I just enjoy transforming spaces, it's my happy place.

Though I am really starting to run into storage issues, My full sized canon and massive pirate chest take up a HUGE footprint and I currently stash them in my project room (The canon come apart to be stored vertically) So maybe next year with wood coming back down again, I'll build a witch's hut in my backyard to be my storage area!

View attachment 754305
Excellent props-kudos to you!
 

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I do agree that some people may be interested in doing something similar but seem intimidated by what many of us do. So that is often why they ask questions.

While we joke about snarky responses, think of a positive/encouraging response perhaps?

Someone asks how long does it take to build something, you can say 鈥淲ell that took me two weeks and maybe upwards of 30-40 hours鈥, but then maybe follow it up with pointing out something that didn鈥檛 take as long that they could attempt. 鈥淏ut this groundbreaker I corpsed in about an hour or two using some plastic wrap, a heat gun and some wood stain.鈥 If they follow that up with a 鈥渞eally?鈥 or maybe even 鈥渙h wow, how did you do that?鈥 You know you鈥檝e got them hooked and maybe just created another haunter..


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We work on it all year long-little tweaks here and there. You are correct about most of it. However there was no last year. We opted to have a boring driveway 2020 Halloween because of Covid. So what was new in the Alley last year is still new for this year. (If there was a "this year".) But what "would have" been new to this years viewer is the computer screen Sirius black poster and the moving Dumbledore newspaper front page. And once again, where I live, Covid is still a problem. It's an enclosed basement that you walk through a car garage to get to-not really a safe space with a pandemic. So I'll have a few things out in my "open" driveway and I'm over-killing my goodie bags-toys and candy...
(I have small friend groups of 3-4-who don't mind wearing a mask, come see it during the day once in a while-it takes about 15-20 minutes. I air the whole thing out before and after with garage doors wide open and the slider to the alley open. I also keep it really clean. I can't do that Halloween night. I am use to getting 125 people down a dead end. With this pandemic I get about 50. I can't enforce the mask thing and I don't want anyone to get offended or uptight about wearing a mask in my home...so there's hopefully next year.
We were able to manage 2500 people last year. We enforced masks, handed them out to anyone who didn't have one, and had several sanitizer stations. Last year was no mask no entry to our walk through. "Can't wear a mask for whatever reason? Sorry we just can't expose others to the potential risk" We couldn't really manage the line itself but we only allowed a group at a time through the display and forced distancing on our property. It was not easy but we did it and it was an added expense to ensure we have the masks and sanitizer for people and a lot of effort to incorporate the delays into the event and try to make it feel seamless, that said it is totally doable and a few hundred should be relatively manageable, we did it with just a couple people.

-K
 

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I do agree that some people may be interested in doing something similar but seem intimidated by what many of us do. So that is often why they ask questions.

While we joke about snarky responses, think of a positive/encouraging response perhaps?
Knowing how enthusiastic and helpful this group is, I can't imagine anyone here being ungracious towards people that take the time to ask questions or comment on the displays. I think we are all just venting a little about the questions which are phrased in a way that comes across as judgemental or disbelieving.

There is a fine line between, "You really made that?!" And "You did not make that!" If it is coming from a near stranger on a day you are tired, sore, and have made 1200 trips to the basement, attic, shed for stuff ... being able to joke about it after the fact is a healthy response. At least it is better than wondering why they would say that (did they mean it? do I look too weak or clumsy to do that? is it because men can't be artistic and women can't build things? or because I need to repaint the porch?).
 

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I get many of the same questions too. It鈥檚 funny to see so many people get told the EXACT same things!

This must have cost a lot of money?!?!?
I didn鈥檛 ask you to pay for it so please just enjoy it.

Where do you store it all?
Attic. It all breaks down.

This must take a lot of time?
Yes it does. But we love it!

I would have done BLANK
Cool, can I come to your house and see your display?

This wasn鈥檛 here last year was it?
Nope.

You must go all out for Christmas!
Nope.

I drove by this morning and this wasn鈥檛 here was it?
Nope.

In the end, you just gotta roll with no matter how passive aggressively insulting it might be!
 
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