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I was so excitted to buy our new house and started to plan how and what I was going to do for this coming Halloween. Then the neighbor came over and told me that we don`t get any kids around here . It is mostly old folks and the quiet part of the area.I felt as though I just got kicked in the N%&s! Man this really stinks. I`m going to have to start a haunted yard walk thru. And bring the tots here. I own a whole lot on the side of my house and the yard behind my house and then the driveway back out to the street.So a big U. I can do so much with this. And the shed in the yard will make a nice butcher shop or gardeners shed with man eating plants or a witches hut. Muhahahahaha I`m really gonna try to get something going this year. Any ideas please post here .
 

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Congrats on the new house!! With the enthusasum that it sounds like you have I am sure the TOT's will be lined up at your place!!
If ya do it right and dont scare em away..... the "old folks" will be just as excited as the TOT's.......
 

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Here to burgle your turts
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We bought our house 12 years ago, and were in the same position - the area was almost all retirees. It was kinda nice, actually. Everyone's yard was perfect. ;) BUT as folks get older, they generally downsize or move into retirement villages, etc. Our our area is almost ALL young families now, and the older families we have left are pretty awesome, and send kids our way. Think of this as your warmup year. :)
 

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I moved to my place two years ago. I found out the same thing, no TOTs. I was freaking out. I decided to do something about it. I printed up hundreds of postcards and sent them with my children to their schools. I was able to bring in a hundred kids when there were zero the year before. I think this is something you can fix.
 

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Reaper Queen
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wow,, the potential for your yard is amazing! I am sure you will draw kids sooner or later, the first year might be a bit slow but word of mouth will bring them in,,, the advertizing thing is a good idea too,,,,,
 

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jester girl
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sounds like an amazing yard. maybe you can get some of the neighbors to pitch in and help build stuff. when they see what you got, they are a good start for word of mouth. put up flyers. a light, a bright light. when we moved here, we kept seeing this bright light flashing. we decided to follow it. turned out it led right to a haunt. good luck
 

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The Duke of Spook
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I'm a younger guy (36) that moved into an established area where the general populous consists of retirees. I love them all, and I hope they never move away. I love it so much the way it is right now. 2010 we had 7 ToT's. I live on a non-ToT friendly road, it's fairly busy with no sidewalks and that is most of the problem (though the extra traffic does help to advertise the build up to Halloween). After really juicing up my layout, changing up my my lighting scheme, being the third year of giving out full sized candy bards, and setting up early we had 79 last Halloween. We're hoping to break 120 next year. That is a lot for a house on a county road outside the city limits.

Every new person we've met in the area since has brought up the Halloween decor.

You just have to get started. You'll find a way to bring them in.
 

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Funeral Crasher
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Maybe the neighborhood doesn't get any TOTs because there's no reason for them to come there.
Hopefully you can change all that. Good luck!
 

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we were in the same boat when bought the house year and half ago. looked at the front lawn potential for displays when purchasing but didnt even think to ask the neighbours on ToT traffic. First year's halloween was only a month or so after moving in and the display was very very minimal. a dozen or so kids came by.
this year we did a full display, had lights and sounds and a sign at the top of the street pointing to the "zombie picnic". We had lots of kids this year, compaired to last years and from what neighbours said, the past 5 years. Many of the neighbours (5 of them) came and thanked me.....sarcasticaly because they all ran out of candy within first hour and had to run to store to get more. But they also thanked me for bringing the holiday back to life on the street and cant wait for next years display.
So now I got pressure to increase the display and the ToT traffic too!!
A walkthru with lots of displays would be "worth the walk to the house" in kids' eyes ... and a few signs directing off the main street doesnt hurt..especialy if the signs are light up with battery operated lights!
 

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Another suggestion to get the word out. Get some cards made up. Lil Ghouliette order some cards with a skull and crossbones on one side and our yard haunt info on the other. We pass them out when we find people interested in what we are building or buying. We also made up a facebook page that got advertised at Spirit Halloween. Often the store managers get asked about good local haunts and will pass the word along. Since we started our cemetery we went from about 20 kids to last year's 209. Build it and they will come.:D
 

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If you build it, they will come. :cool:
This was what I was going to say as well!
Our first year was 14 TOT's. Last year we hit 70. 6 years time.
Best of luck with the new house
 

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I cried the first year I decorated for Halloween at my new house. NO TOT's. This past year we had 30 most of them were the grandchildren of the retired neighbors. So please build it they will come. Can't wait to see how many I get this year.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
thank you all for your input. I am starting to run ideas by the wife and see what things we both like and try to map them out in our yard. You all are so kind and helpful , thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I`ve been thinking, do you think it would be best to stick with one theme thru out the whole yard haunt ? If not what would be a good way to separate the different themed areas?
 

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First, I have to say I agree with previous posters. Build it, and they will come. I also agree with the advertising, but I add this. Please do tell your neighbors what you are doing. Warn them you're going to, most likely, increase TOTs in the neighborhood by leaps and bounds. Even if you only get 30 TOTs, that's 30 times what they usually get. Those who want to be prepared with plenty of candy will be pre-warned, those who want to avoid the deluge (and we must accept they do exist) can make plans to be elsewhere or keep the lights off that night. Either way, they'll appreciate a heads-up. Heck, they may even decorate themselves a bit now that there's a reason.

That said, I address the questions of single theme vs. multiple theme. There are ways to bind many themes into one, and I, personally, think that a cohesive story makes for a better haunt if you're doing a walk-through. Even if the binding is as simple as the following (a very short version of one theme we have done in the past.)

Two doctors built a rehabilitation facility for the criminally insane. Nobody knew how they turned violent,
bestial serial killers into placid, obedient automatons. One night, the FBI raided the facility and discovered the
horrible secret. The doctors had invented a machine that could pull out one's worst fears and turn them upon
the victim, tormenting them until they were trapped in their own minds forever. Rather than be taken to prison,
the doctors hit the self-destruct button, intending to blow up the facility, and themselves. Unfortunately, it
didn't go according to plan. The nightmares were set loose, driven into the land on which this haunt is built,
and now, they've begun to seep out again.

The rooms of the haunt were 'the nurse's office' the starting room where the tale was told, 'the nightmare machine room' where the ghosts of the doctors tortured their victims and attempted to get more, and then each room was based on a different fear. Snakes, spiders, burial alive, clowns, dolls/creepy kids, the dark, etc.. The rooms had nothing but that common thread to bind them.

That's my two cents.
 

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First off, congrats on the new house. Hope you will be happy there and get lots of ToTers over the years.

We moved to a neighborhood about 6 years ago and only 20-30 ToTers the first year despite it actually having a number of young families. From what we could tell people if they decorated at all put out minimal decorations and minimal lighting at best. Ours that first year was a little better with props in the windows, a graveyard outside and colored lighting to help attract attention. Second year we bought Hallowindows, which just came out that year, for our upstairs front bedroom window that faced the street and man did it get us to be the talk of the neighborhood and pull in 120 kids. We had to go out two times to buy extra candy. Found out about Hallowindows from here BTW. Highly recommend it or something like it if you can add it effectively to your place. If you go this route and only run your yard yaunt one night like we do, start the Hallowindows a few school nights a head of time (maybe switching scenes for each night) and turn it into an advertising billboard as such for your haunt.

We are landscaping now and making a U of our side/backyard and hope to do a walkthru also. I've thought about how to incorporate several themes into the yard. I love themes BTW but found over the past few years that I like too many of them so wanted to incorporate a few into a larger cohesive theme like Eviliz discussed. Here's a few ideas I've had. They've been a work in progress over a few years now as I find props I like and want to include.

A pirate's ship crashed on the rocks that leads thru a jungle of headhunters, witch doctors, animals (gorillas, snakes, etc). Passage over a wooden and jungle rope bridge (hopefully over a endless tunnel looking downward) to the island of skulls. They pass thru a wind cave full of bats and hanging moss. At one bend they must pass thru spider webs and get attacked by a jumping spider protecting her newly hatched babies. The wayward shipwrecked pirates were in search of jewels and gold but heard that there was a giant talking skull and a cursed but most prized crystal skull somewhere on the island they wanted for their own and would die trying to get it. Or did they find it and were cursed forever.

A news reporter stands outside the eerily deserted/abandoned military base and tells the ToTers that something horrible has been rumored to have gone on there. Word has leaked out that an alien space ship was recovered and the military doctors had a alien in their possesion but some contagion had befallen the research team. Nothing has been heard from the base since one shortwave radio transmission about dead partially eaten bodies and terror among the staff. The ToT pass thru the empty command station, pass the security cameras, pass the lab where thru the lab door an alien body is seen along with a researcher in none too good condition. They pass thru a flickering light utility tunnel lined with pipes spewing stream (fog) while emergency beacons flash thru the dark indicating someone or something has fled the base thru the tunnel to the outside world. Bloody hand prints are seen on the tunnel walls near the exit. An occasional body part can be seen along the path outside. At this point I have been thinking about creating a town possessed by zombies that the ToTers need to pass thru to safety.
 
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