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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All!

I know I meant to put this up sooner but there was just much going on after Halloween. In fact this week I was STILL putting stuff away. But it is all away and sadly, it is a long wait until next year.

Alright. Much has gone on this past year and after last years, "The Creep Machine" show, I decided that was my final display at the location of my parent's house. Well, I had a change of heart late on this year and decided to put up a small display anyway. The display was based primarily on scares, so I simply called it, "The Scare Zone". My family was dressed up in costumes as well. My wife was Storm from the X-men (see pictures in my gallery to the left of my main page). One of my sons was Spiderman and the other was The Dragon Slayer Ninja. My wife handed out candy at the front door of the house while I played 'scare master' and watched over the scares that I had set up on the side of the house where I normally put up my displays.

I had three scares in all.

1) Spydro the Giant Jumping Spider: He made a return this year for the first scare. He is simply an interactive scare prop which I bought from Spirit Halloween. I put him in the same location he was in my 2013 display, right next too the back yard entrance.
2) The Boo Box. This is a startle scare in which a Trick Or Treater (TOT) would place his/her hand in a central opening and this would trigger a VERY loud sound. It was a very effective interactive scare and by far the most popular of the night. I was going to debut the Boo Box in 2012, but that was the year we got hit with Hurricane Sandy and lost power. For two years the Boo Box remained unfinished in the basement. This year I finished it and put it in the scare line up for this years display. I put it in the Vestibule on top of the table that normally I use for the Magic Mirror.
3) The Scare Chair: This was something I whipped up in a couple of days as I wanted a third scare for my display. I recalled back to last year's Creep Machine and found the best scare I had in that show were the electric firecrackers. I decided to hook them up under a long bench. It was the same bench I set up last year with the intention of my wife sitting there and handing out candy and also it was to be a photo op as well. But last year was too cold out. So, getting back to this year, I put the e-crackers under the bench and I had it set on a delay circuit so when people sat down on the bench, I would sneak my hand into the vestibule and push a small button. This would activate a time delay so I could walk away. No one knew I activated it myself. It too proved to be a good startle scare. Because I chose a large bench rather than a chair, four people could sit down on it at once.

In addition to handing out tricks and treats I also set up a large speaker closer to the front yard and played Halloween music.

Here are the videos from Halloween. The first video is live footage from Halloween night:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xP-gLWAn0OQ

This is the narrative where I explain everything:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qcGP35kisw

All in all it was a very nice evening with no wind and no rain. We had good weather for once! Turnout seemed to be a bit low this year, and Trick Or Treaters didn't start to come out until after 2:00pm, where as 2009, also a Saturday Halloween, TOTs came out at Noon. At first it was mostly younger kids and I mostly had fun scaring the parents. But later on the older kids came out. Those that showed up appeared to have fun with the scares and I sure had fun scaring them! You can hear in the video that I am laughing constantly. I had small and large groups of people come. The largest group was the last one on the video and they actually stayed awhile. Between the candy, scares and music, it was really more of a small party rather than my normal displays. People loved the added touch of the music I was playing up in the front yard.

Everything went smoothly, but towards the end of the night my jumping spider was acting up. It would jump up, but wouldn't reset. So I have to look into that issue and see if I can get it fixed before next Halloween.

The Boo Box was a bigger hit than I thought and I certainly want to use that again. As I figured it was scary enough the idea of putting your hand in an unknown place. Many people were screaming even before they triggered the box! One boy I got so bad it looked like he was ready to cry (towards the end of the video).

I initially wanted to stop at about 7:00pm, but because it was such a nice night out and no threat of rain (for once), I ran to almost 8:00pm. After that, everything dropped off.

Still though...out of it all I had at least 6 people ask about the Magic Mirror so next year for Halloween 2016, Vlen the Magic Mirror WILL return!

Despite the small size of the display for this year, it was still very fun. I hope you enjoy the video. I have attached some pictures below of my wife in costume and of the display. I took more video than pictures this year so I do not have as many pictures this year. The last picture is of the neighbor's house across the street taken from our side yard. They had a pretty elaborate display.

Enjoy!
 

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Caretaker of Eerie Manor
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Everything looked great! Glad you had a good time. I take it your municipality doesn't sent TOT hours. We go from 6-8 p.m. Couldn't imagine having kids showing up at 2 pm!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Everything looked great! Glad you had a good time. I take it your municipality doesn't sent TOT hours. We go from 6-8 p.m. Couldn't imagine having kids showing up at 2 pm!
Yes, despite the small set up, I don't think I laughed more for any other Halloween. While I am not going to make a habit of it, I am DEFINITELY going to revist the 'Scare Zone' in the future. It was very easy to set up and take down so that was a plus. My goal for next year is to make my magic mirror also very easy to set up and take down.

No, we do not have set hours. I guess you do? While you can't imagine TOT's showing up at 2:00pm. I can't imaging Trick Or Treating being confined to two measly hours of the day. Usually I run four or 5 hours. This Halloween, I was ready to go at noon, but TOTs didn't start to show up until about 2:00pm. Even then, it didn't really pick up until 4:00pm. From 4 to 7 was our peak. Then it slowed down the last hour. I will say that in recent years, there really isn't much going on after 8:00pm.

BTW, do you have pictures / video of your setup?

Diaval.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hello All,

Well, it was a very fun Halloween despite having a small display this year. Everyone enjoy the video and pictures. I am now going to sign off for the year but I certainly will be back next year late summer when planning for Halloween 2016

As for now, I would like to wish everyone a Happy Holidays and all the best in the coming new year.
 

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I like the idea behind the boo box. I would be tempted to put a bowl of spaghetti on the inside. I cannot believe you have kids come around as early as noon. I cannot stand kids to come by before dark- mostly because I am generally setting things up till the last minute. I am even thinking about putting up a sign next year stating that Fryght Manor does not start until 7:30 pm or 6:30 if the time change has kicked in.

 

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I like the idea behind the boo box. I would be tempted to put a bowl of spaghetti on the inside. I cannot believe you have kids come around as early as noon. I cannot stand kids to come by before dark- mostly because I am generally setting things up till the last minute. I am even thinking about putting up a sign next year stating that Fryght Manor does not start until 7:30 pm or 6:30 if the time change has kicked in.

Thank you, I am glad you like the idea. That is also a cool idea about the spaghetti, although having it several hours out and many people touching it...I don't know, the thought of that even gives me the creeps.

As for TOT's coming around at noon, that was last time Halloween was on a Saturday, which was 2009. This year they did come later at around 2:00 ish. Our neighborhood is an 'early' neighborhood that has quite a few kids. Of course parents go out with their kids and in many cases that is a good thing, but more often then not the same parents want to get home earlier to make dinner (I guess). Usually things drop off dramatically after 8:00pm. Sometimes I do hear screams from a house about a block over behind me. They put on a walkthrough each year and they mostly get teens which come out later. Teens pretty much make a beeline for the place and are not interested in going door to door Trick Or Treating.

It sounds like to me you have a full haunt so yeah, I can see wanting to wait until it gets dark. I tried to do that in 2009 as my Magic Mirror prop works better at night. Kids came at noon, but I couldn't really start using the Magic Mirror until 4:00pm. By then I missed out on quite a few TOTs. I did tell them to come back later...some did, but a good portion didn't. This is why I usually prefer it when Halloween is on a day when kids have school. Most kids are in school up until 2 or 3 and generally don't go out Trick Or Treating until 4:00pm. So that works out well for me and the props I have that work at night.

This Halloween I knew it was going to be a daytime Halloween and thus I chose scares that would work fine both in the day and at night. But next year, we have a leap year and Halloween will be on a Monday night, so I will be returning to my Magic Mirror.

Anyway, keep making them jump with fear and have a Happy Holidays!
 
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