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First year with a semi-serious yard display...what worked?

- Atmosfearfx window projections
- Kiddie window - singing pumpkins, witching hour, Numskulls
- Scary window - phantasms, ghostly apparitions, sinister spinster, etc.[/INDENT]

- Tiki torch skulls

- Lightning box w/ 500w light mounted in tree by street, PoinsonProps thunder/lightning sound effects

- Jackolantern scarecrow

What didn't work?

- Fog - Chauvet 700w fogger let me down. The volume wasn't even close to what I needed or expected. I think it is too under powered for the size chiller I built or something. Even my wife agreed we have to upgrade (?!). Thanks for any fogger recommendations.

You guys have any lessons learned this year?
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What worked:

* Decentralized Audio - Even with these ball shaped speakers I got at Dollar Tree, it was audible across the yard.
* Pumpkin Sentinel is much creepier with arms
* Packing Tape ghosts
* Fog. What I've learned over the years is that fog is VERY dependent on both temperature and wind being ideal.

For basically the first time, my fog machine (just a 400 W "The Fog Machine") actually worked quite well. While it doesn't have tons of volume, we had lots of moments where it got a chance to spread across the ground through a cycle or two before a brief gust of wind would pull it up and fog up half the yard and the street (and occasionally the porch). I'm currently using Froggy's Bog Fog and a bin-style chiller with frozen water bottles sitting on a mesh at the top.

Weather permitting, next year I'm going to be going for multiple strategically situated fog machines and an enhanced chiller design. Hopefully built into the decor.


I can't really say any one thing stood out as not working; fog is the usual the culprit. Maybe if you count my Monster Mud Reaper, as he's too damaged and I didn't put him out. Or insufficient candy, requiring a hasty trip to the store (with my car getting egged on the way).
 

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Zaltana was a huge hit! Reanimated Corpse from Home Depot was as well. Almost every family took pics of themselves with these guys.

It was a little too warm and windy for our fog to do what we wanted.

Overall I am very happy with how our party night and Halloween night went.

Sent from my VS985 4G using Tapatalk
 

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In years past we had most of our props up on the balcony / front porch. This year my wife grabbed an extra bag of that webbing stuff and did the flower bet and apple tree in the front yard. In terms on number of cars slowing way down in front of our house it was like night and day. We're trying to figure out what we can do with the narrow strip on the west side of the house to maximize visibility.

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I was really excited to debut a Grim Grinning Ghost decoration as well as a window/hologram projection this year! I've been working hard on it for the last month.

What worked:
- Phantasms set from AtmosFX projected on to Casa Chiffon in Gray Lilac
- Some videos of Madame Leota, the ghost bride and ballroom dancers from The Haunted Mansion found on YouTube. I mixed these in with the Phantasms scenes, to make a 20 minute "show" that had the Grim Grinning Ghosts doing their song to the side during "quieter" moments in the window display. Then when there was a startle scare or a speaking part on the window, I had the Grim Grinning Ghosts projecting a still face.
- Grim Grinning Ghosts heads -- For the most part this worked great. We got lots of compliments on it!
- I used a 14" Funkin to hide my projector. I carved a big opening in the back to set the projector up in, and then decorated the front of the pumpkin and set it with the rest of our pumpkins. My projector was a teensy big, and I angled it so the fan was sticking out of the pumpkin, but it could have fit fully inside if I wanted it to. I had no trouble with either the projector overheating or the foam inside the pumpkin being damaged. I paid only a few dollars on clearance at Joann's for the pumpkin! I put a witches hat on top of the pumpkin to further hide and sheild the projector (from a tiny bit of rain we got).

What didn't work:
- Grim Grinning Ghosts heads - I need to build better stands for them this year. One of my stands broke when I was setting it up, and my fix failed several times throughout the night and I'd have to reset the head. I also need to learn how to do masking so I can remove the extra white bits of the projected heads from the wall behind the heads. The green floodlight helped, but didn't completely eliminate it. I'd also like to set this up in a spot that's more visible from the street -- but rain forced me under the porch this year. And I hope to get a pico projector for this display for next year.
- Window projections - Need a louder speaker (or have it better positioned)
- Crime scene - next year I'll add a floodlight to the crime scene so it's more visible
- Forgot to set up our last floodlight to light up the doorway/middle of the house

Here's a link to a sample of our projections and other decorations. There were several other things we wanted to do, but ran out of time, plus the rain. But we got lots of compliments and people coming up saying "someone told me I had to come see your place!"

https://youtu.be/bBMzMqSuQho
 

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What worked:

- Atmosfear projections on my storm door with a shower curtain liner screen and a super cheap mini projector
- "Swinging Sally" (as we call her), our zombie swing girl animatronic from Spirit, hanging off of our roof near the door
- Simple animated ghost hanging at an angle off of a garden shepherd's crook - couldn't see the hook at all at night
- Jumping spider near our curb, the kids love him every year
- Haunted bride with a lighted heart. Used an Oriental Trading Standing Ghost Girl with a "truck nutz" bike light upside down for the heart, and then my old bridal veil and a black bouquet. Wanted to do more, but people still loved her.

What Didn't Work:

- Grim Graven Angel didn't light up or speak much (sound activated but it just didn't do much), and his big plastic Flinstone feet were a nightmare to try to stake in the yard.
- Fogger made an ear splitting noise; the "low juice" alarm went off every time I ran it, even though it was full. Anyone have an idea of how I could disarm that alarm?
- Talking skeleton pirate from Home Depot - couldn't use it because it didn't come with a base! (Lesson learned: open even sealed packages)

Overall it was a fun night and I can't wait for next year.
 

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Everything worked minus...... the 400 watt foggers which were new last year. So I will be buying a real good one now.
My main audio track froze twice which was running on an ipod, I switched to cd and no issues. I was also running a secondary
sound track of the other side of the yard that ran perfect on CD for 2 hours straight.
 

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This was easily the BEST Halloween we've had since we started our Roosevelt Cemetery. Four new detailed tombstones, two lightbox tombstones, those crystal prism lights from Home Depot in green to add motion and eerie grossness, a new pedestal to put our Grimm up nice and tall, three fog machines, new chains for our cemetery gates that WON'T break apart now, FIVE yes FIVE of the poseable skeletons from Michael's (and found another one from Walgreen's) and aaaaaaalmost enough new metal garden fencing from Lowe's to completely replace our chinsy and clumsy and heavy wooden fencing.

This year was GOOOOOOOD to us!

And the best part.... truly terrified toddlers refusing to walk past our house! WINNING!

The only losing, was that danged WOODPECKER! He bore FIVE holes into our foam archway! And tried to start holes in our obelisk! What a little bastage!
 

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my cauldron creeper had issues this year. The piece I had attached to the motor in the Cauldron kept coming off from the weight of the stick.
Wasnt able to remedy it in time for Halloween night, had to basically turn that motor off, but the motor on the head was still working.
Also had some fog machine issues (posted in another thread)

I have the 700W Lite F/X Fog Machine, purchased from a Spirit store in Littleton, CO in Oct 2000. It has lasted all this time.
Ive only had to do 2 minor repairs in the past: 1. adding a new tube inside 2. the casing started cracking a cpl years ago, so added some new screws.
I still have the original receipt showing it was originally 99.99 and I got it for 50% off a week before Halloween that year!
Not bad for a Spirit store purchase. 16 years later
However this year the front plastic tip melted off so it may have reached its end
 

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my cauldron creeper had issues this year. The piece I had attached to the motor in the Cauldron kept coming off from the weight of the stick.
Wasnt able to remedy it in time for Halloween night, had to basically turn that motor off, but the motor on the head was still working.
Also had some fog machine issues (posted in another thread)

I have the 700W Lite F/X Fog Machine, purchased from a Spirit store in Littleton, CO in Oct 2000. It has lasted all this time.
Ive only had to do 2 minor repairs in the past: 1. adding a new tube inside 2. the casing started cracking a cpl years ago, so added some new screws.
I still have the original receipt showing it was originally 99.99 and I got it for 50% off a week before Halloween that year!
Not bad for a Spirit store purchase. 16 years later
However this year the front plastic tip melted off so it may have reached its end
I too have a 700 watt Lite F/X that is well over 10 years old. It came from Kmart. It's a shame they ever stopped producing those ones. I think they are one of the best foggers ever made. :( mine has always been a dependable workhorse.
 

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What worked:
-Sound activated props with driveway alert conversion from ScaryPapa
-Cheap PVC rusted chains
-Newly made Vortex style chiller (ran without a test run since had to buy new fog machine ON HALLOWEEN)
-Ezapor LED projector projecting onto chiffon screen outdoors
-$3 high wattage strobe from Goodwill
-Pallet walls made from torn down pallets
-All audio tracks and sources

What didn't:
-Camera when trying to capture effect of purple and red led strobe shining onto my wife (it looked FANTASTIC too). Most likely user error :mad:
 

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The newly made vortex fog chiller (cat litter bucket version) worked well
Easy to build manually activated air horn was real effective getting the trail walkers to jump out of their skins
The two wireless speakers spread apart in the woods added some real creepy atmosphere - looped about 50 scary sounds i downloaded

Had a mechanical failure with the sound on the jumping zombie baby prop so it jumped without growling this year
 
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