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Discussion Starter #1
  • Was lucky if we got 50 kids. We wked so hard, it was def my biggest structural outdoor haunt, with lots of DIY props and the settings in our maze were pretty cool. Graveyard cld of been better but our haunted maze with actors, fog, music was awesome. Just didn't get many kids. The Tx rain and winds wrecked havoc on our maze more times than I know, prior. I sold my collection, I have 5 props, and 3 ceramic tombstones left, for me. I'm done. Too much money, unpredictable turnout, less n less every yr. Kids encouraged to go to trunk or treats or church festivals instead. Oh well. I still own Spirits best prop, for a porch, JACK STRAW! Love him. Wayyy better than any other aha jump at you, moment prop. Mellissa
 

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black light queen
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it's been my experience that if you build then they will come ... word spreads

we've been doing halloween since 2007 or 2009 ... couldn't do a couple of years ... started small ... i don't recall how many tots we had in the beginning ... we're in a city of less than 20,000 & it took a long time for word to spread, but, i think that it was 3-4 years ago that we finally broke the 300 tot barrier and got over 500 ... couldn't believe it ... last year we had 250-300 .... the weather was terrible with torrential rains with lightning and we were extremely surprised that this many showed up... this year about 350 and we still get new people that haven't heard of our haunt ... we do have regulars that definitely drop by every year :)

it would be safe to say that i get as much enjoyment looking at the final "product" as the tots ... maybe more so, lol ... yes its a ton of work and sometimes i feel like throwing in the towel, but that evaporates when "the show" with the black lights, lasers, fog machines, & videos start :)

my expectations for the turnout are always low because you never know when they'll stop coming, but i'm stubborn and will probably keep at it for the foreseeable future because the final product is pretty kewl ... and i think of it as a piece of art ... my day job is all about science & engineering and halloween is my artistic side

obviously, you should make your own decisions & if you feel that it isn't worth your time, effort & money, then put your resources into something else as life is too short to do something that "doesn't turn your crank", lol ... don't go half way, do the best that you can, with the caveat that we're our won worst critic, and the tots don't know what you wanted to do but weren't able to do ... there's always the future to incorporate any new ideas

ok, i thing i'll stop rambling now, lol

amk
 

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I think we had as many as we've had the last two years combined. I think it's the adults that get the biggest kick out of Halloween displays. For years I've done "Happy Acres Cemetery". i was surprised at how many wanted their pictures taken under my sign LOL This year I changed gears completely & wanted to do a Pirates themed frony yard. I worked over 3 months on it & ran out of time getting everything done in time. Some I didn't get done & other things I had done but ran out of daylight getting them up. We have what is called Satana winds (most pronounce it "Santa Anna"). But it has nothing to do with Saint Anne or the Santa Anna Mountains. The Spanish named it way back in the early 1700s. It the "Satan" or "Devil" winds. Because of the havoc they can wreak. Back then they'd blow huts over & roofs off up-root trees (which it certainly still does). Anyway we had a couple of days of them before Halloween & since I have a lot of sheet foam stuff. I didn't want to put them up. Only to have to go looking for what was left in the next town over LOL. So now I'm finishing up stuff that I didn't get finished before Halloween this year. I'll be ready next (I hope LOL) Yes the doing of this isn't cheap in either time invested or money. Of course I think those of us that have gotten a good set up. Have started small & just built on to it over the years. But even though I didn't get as much as "I" wanted to. I got lots & lots of compliments & lots & lots of people through "Dead Man's Cove". It's "what am I going to do with this stuff for the next 11 months?"
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That often gets in my way LOL
 

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Jumpin' Jack Flash
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this is a feeling i can identify with. for several years we've hosted a party on a weekend close to halloween, and each year i get closer to a "this is the last year" mindset. it just never seems to meet expectations, and maybe less and less so each year.

i'd suggest evaluating your options--even if you decide to give up on what you've been doing, don't give up on halloween entirely. with our party, for example, we've decided to make some big changes next year, both in terms of activities and guest list. maybe the way we've been doing it won't ever measure up, but maybe we can do something different that's even better.

with your situation, let's say you don't do a big haunt at your house next year, and instead get involved in a local pro or charity haunt, etc. the good thing about halloween is that there are so many ways to engage with it, and the season itself can last a month or more, even for the general public. don't write the whole thing off just yet. :)
 

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I never get ToTs except maybe one or two. I do it for myself and for my Halloween party. I have the party every year lots of friends and they seen to love it so it's been worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
This was our 13th yr. haunt, moved from Alaska, always had good turnouts there...and 2 years ago I had 400 kids in Texas... ea yr after got less...this yr we advertised like crazy and turnout was not worth it. I initially had a 8k prop collection..Ive just about sold everything...which was cool to see especially my DIY projects go to good homes. ...after 13 yrs of haunts, I'd say I have PERSONALLY had my fill and am ready to move on, and find a new hobby. I have always loved the build, I'm inspired by my creativity, my DIY projects. ...but I'm no longer going to continue to throw money into haunts, if parents dont bring kids out to enjoy it, is what I was saying. It's been a challenge the last few yrs, because my neighbors in my immediate area, hated my haunts and were sometimes referred to with not so nice words, in regards to my Passion for Halloween. That was hard. Did their influence affect my decision???... maybe slightly to none...definitely more about kids just not coming out and going elsewhere...and the weather in Oct really causing havoc... and my spouse hating Halloween. I had a good run... 13 yrs, ...and although this last yr wasn't the best, I have had some incredible videos and memories. I'm thinking now of starting a Nightmare Before Christmas Haunted Village display,

For me and my Chrstmas party guests to enjoy. So basically everything you see in a xmas village display with a Halloween touch to it. My mom already gave me her massive collection so id just need to start wking on the transformation.

I think that wld be fun...and interesting and keep me connected to my love of Halloween...even if I do it at another time. We'll see....
 

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Yes & Christmas offers so many possibilities. I do Christmas as well as Halloween. But often not the same year. I kind of burn myself out for Halloween. Putting up, taking down & putting away in storage. That I don't go all out for Christmas those years. Maybe just a few strings of lights. Another contributing factor (at least around here) is how many of your neighbors, "get in the spirit". If you're the only one within blocks doing a haunt. Then no you probably won't get many. There have been some turn overs in property owners in my neighborhood over the last few years. Some of them have gotten in the spirit & decorated their yards & houses more than the previous owners. So there is more of a draw in our block now. I think that has a lot to do with the increase in people coming. I enjoy the adult's reactions as much if not more. Than the Trick-or-treaters. They at least talk to you about the haunt, the kids don't. Give Christmas a shot. It can be just as much fun. Particularly if you have a front porch. You can sit out there & drink your favorite beverage & watch the cars slow down to take a look. Or stop get out & take pictures LOL It's not as immediately gratifying as the trick or treaters. But fun none the less & probably more universally accepted. Good luck & bottom line is. You have to enjoy what you're doing or else. Why do it? If you're "into" making things move like me. The possibilities are endless. I built an 8 foot tall operating Ferris wheel several years ago. With Bugs Bunny riding a bike driving the Ferris Wheel (not really it has it's own motor LOL)
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Then made other pieces. Like the "light crew" who's ladder sways over to one side. As if it was going to fall over. Or the raggedy Anne & Andy teeter totter that moves.
 
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