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Discussion Starter #1
I get no ToTs to my house. My house is the last house on the left on an unpaved dead end road with no streetlights, and NO ONE decorates on that street. It's as black as a cave.

For this reason, I have focused mostly on my Halloween party. Setting up a whole haunt for no one to see is disappointing.

For 2016, however, I am going to try something new. I am going to plant my entire front yard with corn. The $%^&*! wild rabbits ate all my grass a couple of years ago, and it's been just dirt since then, so I have the opportunity to do this unusual thing. Also no HOA, of course.

So my plan is to grow corn in the front yard and put in a small "Haunted Corn Maze" for my party guests. It'll take some work to cut and light, but much less than putting up a haunt with the various scenes and the walls, etc.

I think it will be fun, and give me the opportunity to take "inspiration" from Master Pumpkinrot for some scarecrows. I might even incorporate one or two places for someone to hide and scare people. Maybe a stalk monster.

Any thoughts?
Has anyone here ever done something like this?
 

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Gotcha. We don't get ToTs either, so we've been doing a haunt for family & friends, one night only 10 yrs now.

I love the idea of a corn maze..and what better inspiration than from Pumpkinrot!!! You might even have access
to cornstalks for sale...somebody posted on here their Walmart was selling them, or maybe if there's a farm nearby..might
be cheaper than trying to grow it yourself, with water prices escalating. We tried this year, we live in the high desert,
with pitiful results. A few rot-like scarecrows, creepy pumpkins, some well placed actors~check out
Terrormasters 2014 haunt....http://www.halloweenforum.com/general-halloween/140049-faegoria-2014-requiem.html
minimalistic, but extremely creepy. You could
even do a themed costume party...like Children of the Corn or something along those lines...Mayhem at the Farm?

Good luck, can't wait to see what you do!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
This is the outline I have right now. each square = 1 square foot. I know it seems bigger in the picture than it will in life, but I have limited space.

maize maza.jpg

Areas outlined in deep orange are potential scare spots for my family to hide in. Entrance is on the far left. Exit is by the gray rectangle on the right.

I plan to light the "dead end" part better to encourage people to go that way first. Parts of the correct path will also be only 2 feet wide, so it will be more claustrophobic than the dead end part too. I don't have to concern myself with ADA rules.

I may use plastic or cloth between rows to make it harder to see the path on the other side, but that's "Plan A" - which I get to only if I get though Plans C and B.

I'm thinking sentinels at the opening and witch's jars throughout, with spotlights either illuminating some places or, when appropriate, "blinding" the participants to the scares ahead.

More thoughts as time permits. Open to ideas.
 

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If you're not planning to eat the corn, I strongly recommend Goliath Silo Corn for stalks.

http://www.rhshumway.com/dp.asp?pID=09909&c=234

pics:

https://www.google.com/search?q=goliath+silo+corn&biw=1472&bih=836&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0CDoQsARqFQoTCNnmtZXQ-cgCFcbzPgodV9MM6w

If you DO want to eat some corn, consider "Conquerer" or "Ruby Queen" varieties. Both are tall sweet corn varieties. Ruby Queen can also double as some décor since it's nice and red.

If you're set up to water a lawn, adjusting to water CORN can be troublesome, so that will need some thinking as well.

Another consideration is if you don't have a tractor, cutting the corn can be problematic. Not just for the cutting, but for any stumps left in the ground becoming a tripping hazard. There are riding mower attachments that would let you disc in the stumps, though.

A happy accident I haven't explored further yet, consider BACKLIGHTING the corn:



(what I had set up that created the above)

 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the variety tips. I will certainly look into those corn varieties. 12 foot stalks? Wow.
I think I will mix in some sunflowers as well.

I was planning of doing some backlighting of the corn. Your picture only helps solidify that idea.

My Plan C involves planting the corn and leaving the paths unplanted, building sentinels and some other scarecrows, witch jar lights, and a few spots. Plus at least a couple people in masks for scares.

Plan B would add a stilt based monster and a marionette type monster, and additional lighting such as the back lighting. Some kind of bare bones barriers to keep people on the path (pallet slats?) Plus more scarecrows. Up to 10, not counting the sentinels.

Plan A would include fog, blackout material for the thin areas, sound effects and prop triggers. Possibly scents too.

The plans may get a mix and match treatment - EG, I may do Plan C plus fog and sounds.
 

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I'd shy away from scents in this particular instance, as the corn gives off it's own scent. If you dare, some real candle jack o lanterns would add that wonderful smell of burning jacks to the whole thing.

I personally would shy away from fog as well: Fog enhances lighting, when the effect you want going corn is DARKNESS, in my opinion. So, a light with fog will glow further and more pronounced. Even a calm ground fog in a corn row can ruin the effect of plunging into darkness.

My corn tunnel in 2013:


By putting bright lights that focus your attention at both ends, it creates an illusion of utter darkness in the middle.



Once inside, though it's actually better lit than you thought.



I think plan C would actually work well, leaving the paths unplanted, to aid in how to water/care for the corn during the year. I'd mix B and C and maybe add some sound effects if they work with what you've done.
 

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That sounds like an awesome idea, Jim! If you only plant where you want the walls to be, you could probably lay out soaker hoses along each line, which would simplify watering. Only problem I can see is, what's to keep those rascally wild rabbits from eating your corn stalks as they grow?
 

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That sounds like an awesome idea, Jim! If you only plant where you want the walls to be, you could probably lay out soaker hoses along each line, which would simplify watering. Only problem I can see is, what's to keep those rascally wild rabbits from eating your corn stalks as they grow?
I'm going to try some of that pest repellent I see in stores to keep the rabbits at bay. I have some faint hope that they have moved on to greener pastures as well, as there is a scruffy patch of grass they seem to have left alone lately. I really don't want to shell out for chicken wire, but I will if I have to, then I can recycle that for props later.
 

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I tried a few kinds of those when I was trying to keep stray cats from using my front yard as a litter box, and the biggest problem I ran into was that some, especially the most effective ones, smelled absolutely foul. And not in a creepy, musty smell of death way, but in a rancid-garlic raised middle finger to your nasal passages kind of way. I recommend taking a sniff of whatever you want to buy to make sure it's something you can live with. The black pepper based one seemed to strike the best balance of tolerable and effective, but I don't know if they have anything specifically targeting rabbits that might make more sense.
 

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I did a partial of jdubbbya's corn maze this year and really liked the effect....it wasn't so much a maze as a way to mark the path. I haven't grown anything in my garden for a few years, but next year I will give corn a try. I'll have to find some pics
 

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OOOOOWWWWWW!! I can't wait to see how this turns out!

Thank You for some ideas on what kind of corns to try. Two years out of the 7 in which we have had gardens, we had that tall way over your head kind of corn. The last few years corn crop has not been too good. A few years back I found some on craigs list and we went and cut it. Some years I bought it at the produce store. This year I went door to door looking for stalks we could cut. We are gonna be extra serious this next round in our garden. My haunt really suffers when we don't have corn stalks. Somehow the cornstalks just bring it to life!!
 

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Can you recycle your shower/bath water to put on the corn - pumping it into barrels/butts and then using seeper hoses from the butts along each row? I know it is possible to buy those simple hand activated pumps to get it moving.
 

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Can you recycle your shower/bath water to put on the corn - pumping it into barrels/butts and then using seeper hoses from the butts along each row? I know it is possible to buy those simple hand activated pumps to get it moving.
This is actually governed by local law, ask about grey water at your city offices.

edit: at least here in the colonies, I see you are from the UK
 

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I'd also suggest looking into drip irrigation. We had some pretty strict watering goals this year in Calif where I live and we had installed drip irrigation for our plants and bubblers for our palm trees the prior year when we relandscaped, and we used way less water and everything looks great on less. Also suggest compost and mulch of some sort (if recommended for corn crops) as a way to hold in the moisture. Might also want to think about insect/vermin control if placing so close to your house.

I love your idea. Corn maze would be such a fun unique party idea.
 
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