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Discussion Starter #1
Long time lurker....
I have a problem I would like some other opinions on....

I have been in this house for 30 years come Jan1. And our kids are in their late 30's. No grand kids but thats another problem.
I have done Halloween the best I could for a long time.
I mastered Axworthy ghosts a long ago... The past 6 or 8 years I only do one line any more. Heck I should do a how too for the offset wheel I use to give the ghosts more movement...
My trash cans have caused 100's wet pants these past 20 or more years.
I did a vortex tunnel 2009, 2010 and sold it to a commercial haunt in 2011. It was just too much for a single person to put up and monitor.
We have had an Imagineerieing magic mirror since 2003.

Over the years we had lots of kids visit. In the beginning there were lots of kids living near. I built a scare crow with a spinning head and it jumped more than 10 feet just to scare one young lady.

In 2010 there were 1500 plus kids came to the house. After I sold the vortex tunnel the number has been dropping every year. Last year it was around 450.

So here it the problem I would like opinions on.
As I look around the neighborhood I see houses where friends used to live. I can no longer name a single kid that lives near here. For that matter I dont know of any kids that live within 10 houses in any direction. There is the yearly notice about the 2 sex offenders renting a house 3 doors away.
In the past there was a young group of teens that would help me with the mirror. They all grew up and moved away. In 2014 I had to beg and borrow help to run the mirror for 4 hours Halloween. Last year I learned I could no longer hear well enough to operate the mirror.
So I placed a sign in the yard asking for help with the mirror. The sign has been there for 2 weeks as of this morning. Zero results. If no one offers to help I plan on not doing the mirror.

Did I out live Halloween for this north Phoenix Az hood. Last year when I stood in the street there was no decorations I could see from the corner. And only 1 house I could see passed out candy.

Im gonna be 60 on my next birthday. Is this an enormous hint I should take seriously?
Has anyone else noticed this problem. Is it time for me to stop doing Halloween here?
 

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I do not think you should necessarily stop, if you still enjoy it - but change may not be a bad thing. Refresh and focus on what you can do excellently and put out decor and display with thought and care put into it, even if 'lose' some effects, and you are still ahead of the curve - or find new ways to stage and frame the ones you have, for maximum impact. Just my thoughts and best of luck to you either way for the season!
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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Neighborhoods are cyclilcal; kids grow up, empty nesters stick around for decades until they move away/pass away, and then younger families move in. Sounds like you might be in the latter half of waiting for some kids to move back into the area, I wouldn't give up, but maybe give yourself permission to scale back a year or two and judge the TOT levels you get and how much work you want to put into it. As long as you still enjoy it, I'd say keep going, since the few kids that come will appreciate it that much more! :)
 

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His name is Roger Clyne
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Neighborhoods are cyclilcal; kids grow up, empty nesters stick around for decades until they move away/pass away, and then younger families move in. Sounds like you might be in the latter half of waiting for some kids to move back into the area, I wouldn't give up, but maybe give yourself permission to scale back a year or two and judge the TOT levels you get and how much work you want to put into it. As long as you still enjoy it, I'd say keep going, since the few kids that come will appreciate it that much more! :)
What she said.

I've been in the same place for Halloween for my entire 48 years & the kids & Halloween definitely goes in cycles. You'll have a bunch of toddlers one year, then they grow up over the next 5 years & move on, then there's a lull, fewer kids, people move, new folks have more kids, the cycle begins again.

Scaling back is not a bad thing. Pick your favourites that don't require extra help to run, pick static props, do nothing but the vampires, etc. etc. Since you're the only house on the block that does it even a smaller display will be appreciated.

Sometimes we get lost in the details & don't realize that in an area where you're the only game in town on the street, ANYTHING is appreciated.

Maybe as you're handing out the treats let people know "well I'm not getting any younger **winkwink** I could use some young folks to help scare everyone."
 

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Seer of All
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I think the only reason for you to stop doing Halloween is if it has ceased to be enjoyable for you. Don't expect anyone to offer to assist; do only what you can manage on your own and still have fun with. Don't do any of it out of tradition or a sense of obligation. Just because you've done something for x number of years doesn't mean it must always be that way. Maybe it is time for some changes but that doesn't mean you have to stop altogether.
And, for the record, 60 is NOT old! No where near! Don't use age as an excuse to quit.
 

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Dawn of the Dead
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We get up to 20 TOTs each year so we host Halloween parties instead of decorating outside. Keep it up if you enjoy it. If it's more of a chore, you might consider selling off your excess to some grateful haunters to keep the Halloween tradition going. And then keep enough for a modest display that makes you happy.
 

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The Big Kahuna of Fright
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I'm 63, and cut back the past two years. But this year, we got a SATURDAY NIGHT! Full on, signs at nearby intersections, the whole 9 yards. Follow your instincts...
 

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No . In fact I just moved to TX last year. It was the first year setting up the front yard hardcore again . Could not do anything in the Town House in FL. for 4 years.
Needless to say it was a great response and this year should double in viewing. Some people just don't care anymore however I do it for the ones who do and they are plenty. It is what the night is all about. Wolfman hit the nail----- A Child's mind is a terrible thing not to mess with. If it's in your blood you will keep it going no matter what the circumstances.
 

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I would scale down to what's comfortable to put up and take down in a short time frame. Maybe do something different then you usually do. Go check out haunted houses or even better, see about doing a little volunteering at a local haunt with a good cause. Maybe take a Halloween vacation and go somewhere like Salem or some other well known historic Halloween town. A small break can be good to reevaluate how much time and energy you want to spend on the holidays.
 

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Reading this I see You are a performance artist. You should do what makes you happy . Heck, you may not know it, but I bet there are a few families out there that are scheduling their ToT'ing in a way that guarantees that they get to see "the Halloween House"!

Best of luck..You will make the right decision, because it is the one for you.
 

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lazz, I live in Mesa, AZ and have had a cemetery up for the lasr 6 years. The children in my neighborhood love it and it is not as scary as your's sounds. I have never mastered any motion props so anything I have that moves is store bought. (Jumping spider) I would see if the local high school will print a notice in their newletter asking for help running your haunt. That might work better than a sign in the yard.

Also, if you want to get to know your neighbors why not have a driveway party the night before Halloween. That is what I have done for the last 6 years and now all the kids know who I am as well as their parents.

https://www.facebook.com/resurrectionvale?ref=bookmarks
 

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I also agree with other posters, the neighborhood does have cycles when the number of younger children ebb, and flow.
 

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Lazz,

What I hear is, the "Go Big or Go Home" approach to Yard Haunting, which I totally understand, suffer with it myself.
The question to ask is, what is it you enjoy about your Haunt. Identify that area and focus on it!
The Build, the Planning, the Setup, the interaction with TOTers. I assume its NOT the take down, cleanup and storage!!
With 450 TOTers and no other houses on the block decorated, THEY are coming to see your house!
If its the number of TOTers, there are ways to increase with promotion, but personally I stay away from that approach.

As one approaching the 60 marker, I've started to consider the take down and cleanup, as part of my plan, giving up on some of the details.
Example, this year went to fake straw bales instead of real (less messing and less to cleanup), I wrapped 4 totes with the fake straw, no twine and if you look you can see the bottom plastic edge. I was going to build, following a members tutorial, but storage was a concern, the wrapping works fine and all is water proof.

For me the pain full part is the repack and store, so I'm now focused on everything not being used (this season) , gets packed away now!
There are also items that go out early and then get put away before Halloween.
Eventual, it will come time to hang up the old pumpkin, but at 60 there are lots feature of years of Haunting, but focus on the part you enjoy. The TOTers will enjoy what ever you decide to setup.

Just my thoughts
Jerseyscare
 

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First - a hug! I think it's awesome that you've been running such a fantastic haunt, and truly understandable that you're ready to pass the torch, at least in some ways.

I think you should have a chat with your adult children about what their expectations are. I didn't have a child until I was 36, and my Mom was DESPERATE for grandkids for the longest time, so I can understand your lack of patience! Your kids might not be focused on kids right now, but if they choose to have their own kids, they may feel really nostalgic for your display and want to be more involved. Perhaps you tell your kids that they can choose some of the items now, or run the risk that you sell them or give them away so that you can have less work. Or, if they choose, tell them that you'll continue to store the stuff but that they must come and provide a decent amount of help setting up & taking down. Whatever works for YOU is the key here, just give them advance notice and somewhat of a choice in whether they want to let it all go too, before you do it.

In my opinion, there's got to be a teen or family around who would love to have some of your items, perhaps in exchange for some help. In a safe way, maybe you could advertise on Craigslist or on a Halloween site like this for locals who would be willing to exchange some labor for designated props?

If you can, maybe you set up what you like most this year, and put out a sign saying this is your last year of display. That way, it's sort of a kindness to your neighborhood to let them know you are retiring from Halloween, since you've been such a big part of it for so long.

Lots of luck to you!
 

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If you still enjoy doing it then it makes sense to determine your target audience and design your haunt accordingly. If it's kids, maybe arrange with the local schools to visit your haunt on their halloween dress-up day.

I find that Halloween is really my thing - my husband and adult children are not really interested in it. They'll help minimally but I kinda like that it's all in my control. I put a lot of thought into my scenes and props because I enjoy the process. My haunt is not real scary but even teens seem to like it and honestly, sometimes people just don't care either - they're just there for the free candy! I'm a few years from 60 too but don't see myself slowing down - my brain still has too many ideas floating around inside it for the next decade of haunts!
 

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The neighborhood we moved into in February is definitely on the cusp of a Halloween re-birth. The hood is about 21 years old, and there are empty nesters that are selling and moving on. That's who we replaced in this house. And our young neighbors did the same. Two houses across the street are on the market for the same reason. Currently, though, I don't expect any trick or treaters here. We have decorated for ourselves!

I used to go all out bat-shiat-crazy decorating like a lot of you LOL. Attic, garage, closets, storage, full of props. Now, I pretty much just decorate with a rubbermaid bin of lights and use my projector.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Tthanks to everyone for their kind support. And this has in fact helped me decide what to do.
I will do what I want.
If Im in the mood.
Since I retired you might think I would have free time.. I just dont.... weird... no job... not too many responsibilities and zip for free time.

So thanks folks... and best wishes to all of you....
 
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