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How much foot traffic did you get in Halloween 2014?

  • 0-100

    Votes: 31 50.8%
  • 100-500

    Votes: 21 34.4%
  • 500-1000

    Votes: 7 11.5%
  • 1000-2000

    Votes: 1 1.6%
  • 2000-5000

    Votes: 1 1.6%

  • Total voters
    61
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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings everyone! :D My question to all you ghouls and witches out there is how do you deal with a large amount of foot traffic during Halloween?

History:

We live in a suburban area near Silicon Valley that gets thousands of trick or treaters. We've experienced our first Halloween in 2014. The Halloween spirit here has been alive and well for over 25 years and now is spreading throughout the neighborhood. They close down the street at 3pm and open back up at 9pm. Some of my neighbors that started the Halloween tradition on my street are older now and don't have the time energy. They have passed on their Halloween wisdom down to my GF and I. When we moved down here from San Francisco, the first thing the neighbors warned us was about Halloween. Fair is fair, I made a flying crank ghost, monster in a box, and blew up a couple of inflatables. Last year I made the rookie mistake of passing out candy by myself, wrong move! The foot traffic was SO bad that I literally did not get a chance to sit down! If it wasn't for my kind neighbor to cover for me, my bladder would have taken sweet revenge! So why make a big deal about the foot traffic for my first post, I can give you 3000-5000 reasons why!

Anywho, this year I have some help from family and friends. These are some suggestions that were made by some of my fellow haunters on my street. I will update this post accordingly. Thanks for your help!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qsO-x42Mt9w

1.) Put tape putting tape arrows on the sidewalk indicating the flow of traffic.

2.) Rope off a portion of the sidewalk so as not to have people come from all directions.

3.) Have multiple people pass out candy?

4.) Have someone direct foot traffic with a flashlight?

5.) Cancel Halloween and don't pass out candy? Yeah right!
 

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Caretaker of Eerie Manor
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We normally get between 500 and 650. They start lining up around 5:30-5:45 and by the time 6:00 pm (official TOT starting time in our town) there are close to 50 people ready to go through the haunt. The line often stretches four houses down from us. We use the sidewalk as the que line. One of our helpers breaks them into groups of 4-7 people to go through, and holds the rest back. As soon as one group is out, the next one is ready to go. Candy is handed out at this point so that anyone not wanting to go through the haunt gets a treat regardless. We have clearly defined entrance and exits to the area. Traffic is an issue and there are lots of cars either dropping off or picking up kids or just rubber necking to see what we have going on but never had a mishap yet. We have no fewer than 5 adults working the entrance and que line so that helps too.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Great idea on breaking them down on groups of 4-7! Last year I passed out approximately 3200 pieces of candy by myself. That's one piece per child. I figure I might have to ask for more help this year. I do admit, it was total chaos on my part for not planning it right. I should have heeded all the warnings beforehand. I anticipate the numbers being higher this year due to Halloween being on a Saturday. Thanks!

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We normally get between 500 and 650. They start lining up around 5:30-5:45 and by the time 6:00 pm (official TOT starting time in our town) there are close to 50 people ready to go through the haunt. The line often stretches four houses down from us. We use the sidewalk as the que line. One of our helpers breaks them into groups of 4-7 people to go through, and holds the rest back. As soon as one group is out, the next one is ready to go. Candy is handed out at this point so that anyone not wanting to go through the haunt gets a treat regardless. We have clearly defined entrance and exits to the area. Traffic is an issue and there are lots of cars either dropping off or picking up kids or just rubber necking to see what we have going on but never had a mishap yet. We have no fewer than 5 adults working the entrance and que line so that helps too.
 

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Caretaker of Eerie Manor
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3200?!! I can't imagine those numbers!! Definitely helps to have extra hands and eyes to work crowd control. We normally have 4-5 adults out front to help keep things moving along; One hands out candy, one, glow bracelets to the little ones, one tells the back story and one breaks them into groupsThe other thing I forgot to mention is that we usually have a police presence on the corner near our house. Not that there is trouble but over the years we've become fairly notorious as the house that gets 600 TOT's so each year a police cruiser with two officers magically appears and stations itself not far off. This tends to ward off trouble before it can happen, but by in large the crowds we draw are well behaved and appreciative of our efforts.
 

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Just note that it is technically illegal to obstruct the sidewalk without a permit. The house near us that had your kind of numbers was asked to shut down after some kids got hit by a car (not the haunts fault, mind you, just with traffic a dangerous situation. If you don't already, I'd engage the city about shutting down your street or making it one way for the night, etc.

We've been consistently 500-600 trick or treaters and counting adults probably close to 1000 for years.

Arrows indicating a flow did nothing.
I now have a VERY clear walkway/boardwalk.
More hands are always helful.
Breaking groups down to manageable size as already stated is key...that means a body working the queue line.
 

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Cali,
You have me chuckling. I had about 350 kids (last year) coming to the door,starting from about zero, but that has taken 10+ years to build to.
BUT, if I moved into a NEW neighborhood and the neighbors warned me about 3000+ kids, I would NOT have believed them, I might have planned for 600-700 max. So I too would have been hoping from one leg to another (waiting for a bathroom break) and I would have been running out of candy.
If you read the 10/31 posts of number of TOTers, you will see the wide range the forum covers, but your in the top 1-5%
Jerseyscare
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Good to know Unorthodox about the arrows. I may have forgot to mention but they do close the street traffic and there is police and EMS present throughout the neighborhood. Our sidewalks are decent, but for the flow of foot traffic always spills on the street. I am going to post a video of the type of traffic we are experiencing. The youtube video doesn't do that much justice. It was taken with Google glasses and just covers a short section of the street and not other parts of the neighborhood. The video was taken around 5pm when most people start passing out candy. The brunt of traffic starts at 6pm all the way to 9pm. Last year I ran out of candy just a little after 7pm. It appears that the key is getting more people to help out and splitting the group to a manageable size. Thanks!

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Just note that it is technically illegal to obstruct the sidewalk without a permit. The house near us that had your kind of numbers was asked to shut down after some kids got hit by a car (not the haunts fault, mind you, just with traffic a dangerous situation. If you don't already, I'd engage the city about shutting down your street or making it one way for the night, etc.

We've been consistently 500-600 trick or treaters and counting adults probably close to 1000 for years.

Arrows indicating a flow did nothing.
I now have a VERY clear walkway/boardwalk.
More hands are always helful.
Breaking groups down to manageable size as already stated is key...that means a body working the queue line.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hi Jersey,

Glad it made you chuckle! No joke, it is that busy on our street! I do admit, I was skeptical on the amount of Halloween foot traffic. When I experienced it, it was a whole new story! There are a lot of families that count their candy before passing them out. The unofficial tally was approximately 3200 pieces passed out. That's one piece of candy per TOTer. I spent almost $400 on candy. My neighbor asked me how many bags of candy did I buy from Costco and I told him 7 bags. He laughed at me and said "your going to need more than that! It got to a point where I was thinking about passing out pumpkin seeds if I ran out of candy! Then I thought about allergies.....ugh....

Check out the video!

Cali


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Cali,
You have me chuckling. I had about 350 kids (last year) coming to the door,starting from about zero, but that has taken 10+ years to build to.
BUT, if I moved into a NEW neighborhood and the neighbors warned me about 3000+ kids, I would NOT have believed them, I might have planned for 600-700 max. So I too would have been hoping from one leg to another (waiting for a bathroom break) and I would have been running out of candy.
If you read the 10/31 posts of number of TOTers, you will see the wide range the forum covers, but your in the top 1-5%
Jerseyscare
 

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Wow! These are some large TOT crowds! We've never had more than about 120, so I can't quite imagine these levels of people.
When we first set up our yard display, we had a semi-circle path with the goal of people entering on one side & exiting on the other. We tried it for 3 years & it never worked! Regardless of signage, lighting or other attempts, people just entered at the first space they came to.

Even now, with only ONE entrance/exit, people still try to go under or over blocked areas. It's frustrating. I'm not sure if we'll do it this year, but I do like the idea of using rope lights to lay down a "path" that we want the TOTers to stay on.

You could also make wood signs with light-up arrows showing the way - that could be helpful. Lots of luck to you! I hope you get a good number of helpers this year!
 

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3200 pieces of candy?! Holy Moly! This looks like so much fun!!

Our church near us has a Harvest Festival on Oct. 31 and it is somewhat similar an gets about 5000+. We get some "spill off" ToTers up our way. Our church also block off the street and has "trunk-or-treat" as well as several games set up. For the trunk-or-treat, it works differently as they line up the cars right next to each other in one area and the owners sit and pass out candy. There is no line control and kids come from all directions. They usually have two-three people at a car handing out candy.

I agree that arrows will be ignored. My only thought is using ropes (shouldn't be a problem as you already have the permit to block off the street) and extra people to hand out candy which makes the line go faster. A major attraction here in our city has an annual "Trick or Treat". They use ropes at each station. The lines do move fast and they are also two-three people handing out candy. That seems to work out well.

I'm jealous! I'd love to live in a neighborhood that goes all out like this!!

Are you have a haunt that people go through or just decorating the yard and passing out candy?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
It's really fun! The younger families really get into it out here. A lot of my neighbors are Silicon Valley techies and executives, so having the coin really helps! I am slowly building my props and picking up decorations here and there. We generally just pass out candy and adult beverages. I haven't thought about a haunt that people pass through. I'm in the middle of doing a lot of house repairs as well as landscaping. A walk through haunt would definitely be in our future!

When the sun goes down it get's really fun! A couple of houses have a DJ playing in the driveway, another family puts up a stage and do a thriller dance, there's a really cool pirate theme decorations up the street. There's also a couple of house that have live cover bands playing music. What I look forward to is a neighbor who lives by and drives around in an electric golf cart with a disco ball, speakers, LED lights and plays 70's and 80's music! It's cute, all the little ones stop TOTing and start dancing! I'm going to upload a couple more videos to give everyone an idea on what Halloween is like over here.


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3200 pieces of candy?! Holy Moly! This looks like so much fun!!

Our church near us has a Harvest Festival on Oct. 31 and it is somewhat an gets about 5000+. We get some "spill off" ToTers up our way. Our church also block off the street and has "trunk-or-treat" as well as several games set up. For the trunk-or-treat, it works differently as they line up the cars right next to each other in one area and the owners sit and pass out candy. There is no line control and kids come from all directions. They usually have two-three people at a car handing out candy.

I agree that arrows will be ignored. My only thought is using ropes (shouldn't be a problem as you already have the permit to block off the street) and extra people to hand out candy which makes the line go faster. A major attraction here in our city has an annual "Trick or Treat". They use ropes at each station. The lines do move fast and they are also two-three people handing out candy. That seems to work out well.

I'm jealous! I'd love to live in a neighborhood that goes all out like this!!

Are you have a haunt that people go through or just decorating the yard and passing out candy?
 

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Wow, this is awesome! It's great that you have a bunch of neighbors that really get into the spirit! I spot that Bone Chillers Atmosfearfx DVD! :) What is also nice is that your neighborhood can decorate way ahead of time, and I'm sure that you all are looking our for each other so there is no theft.

We have a neighborhood a few blocks away that decorates up for Christmas. Some neighbors go all out with carolers and treats/beverages, etc. They cannot block off the street due to logistics, so they are limited to what can be done in their yard and driveway. Traffic is a nightmare!

Are those neighborhood kids that do the Thriller dance? Maybe we'll see a video of you out there dancing this year? :D

Great videos.... thanks for sharing! Lots of ideas there!
 
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I'm green with envy... to date we've never had a single Halloween TOT in all the 30 years we've lived in our house. Use to have a Trick or Treat party when the kids were in grade school, a complicated thing where every kid got to ring the door bell at least once and every kid got to hand out candy at least once and all kids got one of everything. But those parties were the only work out my doorbell got, despite my decorating the top of our property line with a spooky cemetery scene. Yes I live at the bottom of a fair length driveway with the house barely visible. The top of the drive has a large flat area left from when the county made the road that ends at my drive where I do all my holiday decorating now.

We live about 5 miles out of town only a handful of house within a 1/2 mile radius. When the kids were TOT age they'd climb into cars with other out in the boonies friends and hit up a few houses of people expecting them and then into town where the real action was. Kids are all gone from the neighborhood grown and moved on, I still do the cemetery but take the hearse and casket into town, find a slightly quiet corner, pull the casket and Earl out and wait for the kids to pass by... I'll hand out treats during the town wide treating hours... my version of Trunk or Treating I guess. Last year we were lucky enough to find a Halloween.com friend in a neighboring town who invited us to come on by to see their yard haunt. We parked the hearse and let Earl out in front of their cemetery / crypt haunt. It was great to see so many enjoying the decorations and the kids reactions to a hearse, casket and Earl.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
A hearse, casket, and Earl? Sounds like three things that would be a hit on our street!

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I'm green with envy... to date we've never had a single Halloween TOT in all the 30 years we've lived in our house. Use to have a Trick or Treat party when the kids were in grade school, a complicated thing where every kid got to ring the door bell at least once and every kid got to hand out candy at least once and all kids got one of everything. But those parties were the only work out my doorbell got, despite my decorating the top of our property line with a spooky cemetery scene. Yes I live at the bottom of a fair length driveway with the house barely visible. The top of the drive has a large flat area left from when the county made the road that ends at my drive where I do all my holiday decorating now.

We live about 5 miles out of town only a handful of house within a 1/2 mile radius. When the kids were TOT age they'd climb into cars with other out in the boonies friends and hit up a few houses of people expecting them and then into town where the real action was. Kids are all gone from the neighborhood grown and moved on, I still do the cemetery but take the hearse and casket into town, find a slightly quiet corner, pull the casket and Earl out and wait for the kids to pass by... I'll hand out treats during the town wide treating hours... my version of Trunk or Treating I guess. Last year we were lucky enough to find a Halloween.com friend in a neighboring town who invited us to come on by to see their yard haunt. We parked the hearse and let Earl out in front of their cemetery / crypt haunt. It was great to see so many enjoying the decorations and the kids reactions to a hearse, casket and Earl.
 

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I get about 550 kids and with adults probably close to 800 people coming through. I have my treat table set up right at my garage and have the kids walk up to me. I have 2 props holding "enter here" signs and I built 3 stanchions out of PVC pipe and plastic chain to funnel them up to the table. It's wide at the bottom of the driveway and narrows the closer it gets to the table. If they follow the "enter here" signs it flows pretty smooth and I don't get a mass of people around the table.
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I wish I lived in a town that had the Halloween spirit!

I grew up in a town that made Halloween a huge deal. The schools would have a giant costume party, on Halloween itself the town would close off main street and how a town wide costume parade. Then just about every store and home was decorated with jack o lanterns, ghosts, witches, and layers of orange and black. It was weird to see a house not decorated.. and the streets were filled with children as nighttime came. Many of the parents would have wine and treats for fellow parents walking their kids around too, it was a small town to you know most of the people in your neightbourhood.


Now I live in the complete opposite scenario. Only one in every 15 homes has any decorations. Our town does nothing special for Halloween and we had maybe 50 trick or treaters tops. My house isn't visible from the main road and the homes in front of me are not decorated at all so people walking by don't see all our decorations and lights.

Now I'm out of town every halloween working at a haunted house but I'm hoping when I have kids I can find a place as wonderful as mine growing up.
 

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🎃 | )ark ( )verlord 🎃
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First of all welcome to the forum! I cannot phatom that many ToTs. I would like to get more this year but don't know if I'd like that many...
 
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