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lies dead but dreaming
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Discussion Starter #1
I have to scale back my yard haunt this year due to the surgery I am about to have (blew out the ligaments in the Lisfranc process of my left foot) I traditionally do a large haunted cemetery any suggestions on scaling back?
 

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Somewhat Eccentric
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Can't really offer any suggestions other than to ask if you have someone who could help you set up and tear down. :)

Wishing you the best and hope surgery goes well. I'm sure you'll be back with a bang next year. :D
 

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Lighthearted Halloween
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I am so sorry to hear about your surgery! I always enjoy seeing your photos each year.
I had to skip a year or so, and you know in a few years, it all blends together and the sting does not stay with you. So whatever you manage to do, I guess what I am trying to say is just to relax and try to enjoy it the best you can. In time... the outstanding years you have had will even out the year that wasn't.
Stay spooky.
 

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I think you should put out the things you love the most, or the things that you'd miss the most if you can't do them. Or, if that's too much, put out something you love that also makes a big impact. Another option is to see if any of the neighborhood kids want to help you - either by carrying stuff or even setting it up. You never know - you might create even more Halloween fiends by asking them to help you set up! Hope you heal quickly!
 

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I guess it depends on how the surgery will limit you....will you still be healing all the way to Halloween and can't do as much as you would normally be able to? Or will you just lose part of the time you would normally use for the elaborate setup but will be back to 100% by the time Halloween rolls around? If that is the case getting someone or some people to help you with the initial haul out and setup. You could then spend the time you are back to health to make it right. However if you are still going to be healing the whole time I do think it is a good idea to make a plan for a scaled back version as much as that will be hard to do. I think if you try to go full scale with others helping you then you will end up doing more than you are supposed to (or at least I would...) or at least be badly tempted to and won't heal properly! In that case I agree...go with just a few of your favorites...or even take the year off to make some key improvements or props for a triumphant return next year. I am sure it is something people in your neighborhood know you for and look forward to....possibly put up one of your favorites with a spooky sign saying the Cryptkeeper is away this year but will return next year with a vengeance so nobody is disappointed on Halloween and you still get a good turn out the following year?
 

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I too made the decision to scale back a few years ago.My display was everywhere.Front lawn....driveway....entire 3 car garage...and a couple times even the back yard.What did it for me is,first off..."I ain't no Spring chicken"...lol.But way more than that...it was the frustration with Western NY weather.It became very stressful and depressing to watch my stuff get ruined.But even more than that...to have this great game plan in place for the outside only to not be able to do it because of the weather.As most of you,my haunt is on my mind pretty much year round...so to come up with something months before...to make things for that idea...to be able to visualize how neat it'll look....all for nothing in the end stopped making it fun.I might add that as far as the outside went....I always held up on setting up until about 3 days before.Way tooooooooo much stress.One funny thing that seemed to occur a few times is that we'd have really crappy weather the three or so days before Halloween...with Halloween night being gorgeous.At least once,someone would walk up to me noticing it wasn't as big as it used to be and say..."geez...what's the problem???It was gorgeous today!!!!"....Those comments took a lot of restraint on my part!!LOL!Anyway....back to your dilemma.Once I accepted the fact that I wasn't going to be doing much outside anymore....I decided to give them the best haunted garage that I could.I change the themeing almost every year....and I pay a ton of attention to detail,which I love the most anyway.Someone else suggested just using your favorite things,another good idea.Sometimes less is more,you know.I've got great memories of some of the neat things we did outside over the years...and sometimes I feel a bit of an "OUCH" that it's not as big as it once was.But it's fun again....in a way just as challenging....and to not have that constant headache worrying about the weather is a beautiful thing.It seems in your case this is a temporary situation anyway.So give it all you got this year...enjoy the smaller display knowing you did so......and see what next year brings.Good luck on the surgery!!! :>
 

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"Mariab" your post made me laugh (a little!) it is the part about "It was a nice day, you couldn't get it all set up?"

I have been working on my Haunted House for long hours for 28 years now. I have done probably 95% of ALL the work here rebuilding a house,making it a "Haunted House" which is impressive to most people,but not to everyone.
I have gotten:"What? is this all there is?"--after I personally have guided them through this whole place for the last two hours!
I look them in the eye and confess:"Yes! this is all I could get done in all these years working on it everyday and opening it up for house tours every night."
("Sorry?" )
I know for a fact that most people never work like I have doing anything,let alone work like this and not knowing if there would be enough return on the money and the time spent doing all of everything here.
So I just smuggly laugh (inside myself,making no sounds)
There were some teenage boys who made such a remark, but then went home, thought about what I showed them here, and then returned to look at it all in a new "light",the second time ,with appreciation.
Just hang in there ,do what you do best,and love it!
 

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Wow, sorry to hear about your upcoming surgery. I have had to scale back and even skip Halloween a few of the past several years. I know that pain and anguish. But, you have to take care our yourself!

I agree with the others---decide on a small amount of your wonderful props and do a small section up if possible. Concentrate on doing something for YOU this year and then you can come back full force next year.

Good luck with the surgery!
 

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🎃 | )ark ( )verlord 🎃
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Sorry to hear about your condition! Get well soon.

Like others here, I don;t like the idea of scaling down too. Could you recruit some Santa's little helpers? Perhaps do a little at a time during the month of October?

Maybe the neighborhood kids could help. They would get good exposure to the enjoyment of haunting and you can show them the ropes to haunting!
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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I had a very bad run of about 3 years (finally doing okay this year and got my Halloween mojo back) where I did almost no decorating. I am getting back in the game with elaborate decorations and a party this year, so I know where you're coming from on needing to scale back but feeling a bit down about it.

My suggestion? One, if you will be in active recovery during the week of Halloween, give yourself permission to take this year completely off. As in - no decorating, and leave the light off if you don't have anyone that will be cool with taking over door/candy distribution for you. The less stress and strain on your during the recovery time, the faster and better you'll feel, so don't get too bummed out about not decorating for one year.

If you do have someone that is willing to help out for some minimal decorating and answering the door for the TOTs, then I'd suggest a VERY scaled back display - carve a few pumpkins, drag out a lawn chair or two and plop a few skeletons in them, one with a big cast on it's foot. And a sign that says something along the lines of "Taking it easy this year due to skeleton crew accident" or something else slightly funny. :D

And good luck with your surgery and recovery!!
 

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lies dead but dreaming
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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the kind words and thoughts every one has given. The drop of surgery dates has been very disheartening but You all are getting me beck ina Halloween mood. I am now thinking about wrecking my cemetery. it has always been nice and neat,

I have all the stones and monuments i can do a wrecked cemetery (with a bit of helps from kids and in laws) Since I won't be able to do all of the careful placement of this here and that there, perhaps it is a good year for a bit of chaos in the Manor.
 

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Do you have any kids or grandkids close to your area that could help you set up? Any responsible neighborhood kids or neighbors that would give you a hand?
 

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Wishing you the best with the surgery and a speedy recovery.

A few years ago, I had double hip replacements and couldn't set up for Halloween. "Luckily" it poured rain that year and I would have had to scale back anyway. I ended up just setting up a table at my front door and handing out treats with minimal decorating and few lighted jack-o-lanterns on the front porch.

Surprisingly, what the TOTs missed the most- was my costume! Who'da thunk?! It was the first year I had not bothered dressing up.
Lesson learned. From now on- even if I am bed-ridden - I'll have a great costume!

< makes plans for comfy coffin >
 

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Thanks for the kind words and thoughts every one has given. The drop of surgery dates has been very disheartening but You all are getting me beck ina Halloween mood. I am now thinking about wrecking my cemetery. it has always been nice and neat,

I have all the stones and monuments i can do a wrecked cemetery (with a bit of helps from kids and in laws) Since I won't be able to do all of the careful placement of this here and that there, perhaps it is a good year for a bit of chaos in the Manor.
Sometime it could be good to scale back one year because the next year you go all out and blows minds.

I like your idea of a little chaos in the Manor and letting others be involved and I’ll tell you why;

Chaos: By breaking from your normal layout you may find a new layout even if its small things. I personally have tried to change things every year, even if it’s rearranging tombstones or putting props in different places and even lighting. I even will change props year to year, use one last year and may not use it this year basically try to mix it up year to year. Then one year break it all out. A lot of this came about due to my time restraints, the weather or finances.

Help: By letting others help, you may be given some new ideas. Or the people that help you may have new appreciation for what you do every year. But most importantly you might be able to share fun in the process and the results. To be honest I’m a hypocrite about letting others help because usually I set up when the spirit hits me. So I can’t say when I’ll start and I’ll spend hours looking at the yard and coming up if a plan only to change it when I start. One year I had my yard set up by the first of October then the one year I set up two days before Halloween. Then of course there was the time had everything set up a week before Halloween only take everything down 2 days before Halloween because of a major storm then run around after work the night before Halloween setting everything up.

So as for you asking for suggestions on scaling back. Well do what you can and if you can’t set anything up then just hand out candy and if ask why no haunt be honest about having surgery but planning for next year.

So good luck with surgery and wish you a full and speedy recovery.
 

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Scaling back has advantages besides allowing yourself to heal; more time to sit back and enjoy scary movies, eating pumping goodies and sipping hot beverages.
 

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do a gimmack instead...before i got into huge/too much...we did a "trick"...........you could do that and its minimal compared to a whole yard haunt and totally fun, really fun and will throw off the kids for this year..........i did something different every year to trick them. example, i made a 6 x 6 x 4 foot shipping box like off a container boat with silver foam board, painted it up, grunge, address. my husband was dressed in it, kids had to put hteir hands in one of the tww holes for candy...we set up decor around it, fogger and strobes, hed fog them and come aroound oout of the fog with the lights hitting them in the face to scare them while i was distacting them.... it went over great... i also made a "walking coffin...think willie coyote in the catus plant pvc and black fabric hot glued on it ....as thy walk through you follow them then come out............gosh just a coffin and a yard blower can scare the bejebbers out of a group..........or strawman by the door trick...........lots you can do small.........good luck with your foot
 

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The problem with the scaling back, it takes great self control, especially if you do ANYTHING prior to the 31st.

So you buy a pumpkin and set it out side, then you decide that you NEED to carve it, then you NEED to light it.
Well what is a pumpkin without corn stalks, if you have a lighted pumpkin and corn stalks, you NEED light on the cornstalks.
A pumpkin and cornstalks NEED a scarecrow!. Well if your going to have a scarecrow, you need some crows!
And what's Halloween without a ghost and if you have a ghost, you need some tombstones and then of course a fence.....
Now you are back to more cleanup, take down time.

So my advise is do nothing until the 31st (unless you have take down help) and only put out what you can manage to take down.
A lot of the detail work we do, only WE know is there.
 

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lies dead but dreaming
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Discussion Starter #20
well a new update and turn of events.

I have been summarily informed there will be no "scaling back"

My Wife, in-laws, and adult kids have decided that there is no way we are not doing our haunt. I have been the primary designer and prop maker for the past 7 years. It will be different to be sure as My wife has taken charge and will be doing the layout and set up of the cemetery. I am a little worried It will be a very different cemetery haunt and to be honest I am actually looking forward to seeing what they come up with.
 
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