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BEWARE: LONG POST!!

So I am planning out my set up this year and deciding on placement. We have more of a shotgun house with a small path to our front door. It gets pretty crowded up there (esp. with all the TOT costumes flopping in the way), so the past few years we had a table set up either in our driveway, or front yard.

Last year, we set up just inside our graveyard, just past our columns. We had our grass cut into a path and the whole area was roped off so they couldn't go any further in and we had a sign pretty much saying, hey! watch your step. We have a few neighbors who do haunted houses in their garages and have a similar sign/method. We never had any problems with kids falling or what not. But it wasn't even the kids who I was worried about touching everything, it was the parents (GREAT example for your children!)

I am planning on doing a peppers ghost in my bay window, but it is SO far away that I am thinking that nobody is even going to really notice her with everything else going on. So I was thinking of setting up more into our front yard. BUT, I want to do a garage crypt to fill in the blank void, so I kinda want to set up in the driveway again. Plus its more room.

(I wish I could just draw something for you all so you can see my predicament - but hey! check out my albums and you can see my canvas)


My main concern is making sure everyone sees all the props and gets the full effect, but also have a flow of traffic. It's never a steady flow but rather BOOM 20 TOT at once. Yet, protect my props. Do you ever have this problem?

My dad was even thinking of having a path where they enter in the graveyard (the front) and follow a lighted path to exit near the side of my driveway. But I am not sure that it is a great idea.
 

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To make sure when I get hit with a large crowd that I can handle them, and still monitor my stuff, where I stand is as far back in the area as possible. I use the 2 side of my driveway for prop placement, small scene in garage (not a walk through, just a scene) and projection mapping on my house. By standing at the garage scene, I can monitor everything from that one location. Double wide driveway helps with crowd control. I have the props far enough back from the roped area that you can't just reach out and touch them, but still get enough of a look at them. This also makes it so if I do have someone getting to close, I can jump the rope and address the issue, without having to snake my way through a crowd (losing sight of other areas), or dodge my own props. It give me a clear path to quickly reach any area in my yard.

For signage, I don't have any issues where hazards are present, and do not bother with "keep out" signs and the like. As you pointed out, the example set by parents is a concern. After many trips to Disney, I see it constantly. Signs saying "no climbing" yet parents not only telling children to "climb on mater for a picture", but even helping them up.
 

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black light queen
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i found out that many/most tots are just interested in getting their candy/loot and what not ... most don't really slow down to enjoy the props ... so yes, a lot of my stuff likely doesn't get a 2nd glance, which is disappointing, but such is life

yes, some really do slow down and take a good look, but they're in the minority ... so put up what you want where you want, but don't expect most to slow down to "smell the roses" they'll see the "big picture" but not the details

sorry, this doesn't really help you with your crowd control ...

amk
 

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Hi! I took a look at your pictures and I see what you mean about your area being a tight turn-around spot, depending on where you set up.
Here's my opinion on what I'd probably do if I had your layout -

Set up your bay window display and move all your tombstones/graveyard backwards, more in front of the bay window area. I'd space the tombstones a little closer together so you can gain some room and I'd keep the shorter tombstones in the line of sight in front of the window so nothing blocks viewing that from the street. Use your fencing to frame out your graveyard along the front, left & right sides to create a full barrier to the graveyard.

When you move your tombstones farther back, it will also help illuminate the darker area on the ground in front of your bay window, and even though the tombstones will be farther back from your front curb/front sidewalk, the lighting will clearly make it visible from the street. Since moving the graveyard backwards would create an area of lawn in front of the graveyard (and alongside the driveway), you could create a path (stepping stones, rope lighting laid along the ground, mowed grass, etc) that people could walk along, or you could just leave it open and likely people will walk on it anyway. So that would mean that you've got your driveway available to set up your table in and if a larger group came up, they could be standing in your driveway OR they could walk/turn-around in the pathway in your front lawn that's now in front of the graveyard. Or people could just walk right up to the front of your graveyard from the street to look more closely, but with it fully fenced off you won't have to worry about (most) people stepping over it.

I would move your columns to frame the opening of your driveway (not at where it meets the street, but along the same line as the fencing in your graveyard) instead of opening right into your graveyard so that you have a clear 'entrance' of where you want the TOT's to go. Just have the fencing run all along the front of your graveyard. This would also ensure that your columns don't block the view to your bay window, and it would keep people out of your cemetery. And if you eventually do a garage crypt, the columns in your driveway will mean that they'll clearly see the crypt too.

Hope my suggestion was clear! You have some great props & I hope you come up with a solution that works for you!
 
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