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Hi all, I am new to the forum! My family and I have hosted a haunted woods for some years now. My oldest son and his friends wanted to do one in 2007 and 2008, when they were in high school, they graduated, my son went into the Marines and his friends went to college or other branches of the military. My other children were to young to staff the woods with scary things so we let it go until 2011 when my second son and his friends wanted to start it up again. However our purpose changed from high school students performing for fun to a fund raiser in 2013. My second son was killed in a vehicle accident in March of 2013, and we set up a memorial fund in his name to fund high school students tuition to our local career center in the emergency services class. His fund is operated by our county's community foundation and is named The Jacob Vogel Memorial Fund, so our woods is now called The Jacob Vogel Scare.

We need help keeping it new and scary! We know this is necessary in order to keep customers coming! We need help with lighting ideas... we use solar pathway lights which work great but we have to pull them up every night because our woods are to thick for them to charge during the day, so we must move them outta of the woods and into the yard... so any ideas would be great!

Also any scary ideas! We need to keep improving!
 

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We use pink or orange tape held down by stakes, with black lights to illuminate them without making the haunt too light. I'm not sure how you would manage black lights in the woods, though.

I would love to see pics and/or videos of your haunt. I have woods in my backyard that I would like to use for my haunt, and I am always looking for ideas.


dawnski- I follow you on Pinterest and your boards are awesome!
 

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Maybe a few battery operated lights? It may be prohibitive with battery death but a a few LED lights and those faux flame lights may work. I've got a few 8 inch black light tube lights (with flashlight spot) that I've used for many years on those spaces I just can't run electricity. Safety reasons may prevent but I've seen some good effects with real fires in metal 55-gallon drums during hayrides that really made some great shadows and spots. Our eyes would focus on the fire and we'd always get jumped by something from the side or behind us while looking at them.
 
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What a good reason to do a haunt.

Can't help with the lighting much I've seen a haunt get away with using some of the Dollar Tree mini tiki torches. Not sure how you feel about open flames or if you can even get away with using open flames. I believe they sunk T-posts into the ground and then zip tied the torches to the post to keep them from being knocked down, but you do still have the open flame to worry about. If there is a way to incorporate the noise of a generator into the haunt that might be a way to add power. There are some very quiet ones out there but they are pretty pricey. If you plan on staying in the same location for a number of years maybe consider running an electric line out to the woods. For years I ran an extension cords all the way up to the top of the driveway for the holiday lights. Because of the distance it had to be at least 3 connected together to reach that far and of course the one line was never enough for everything we wanted to do. When hubby choose to put in the hot tub, we needed to run a new line for it so he just bit the bullet and had a line run up the driveway too. Now I can easily do our small LoR without blowing a circuit. Seeing as you are a charity you might be able to get someone to do it cheap or even free as a tax write off. Never know unless you ask mom always says.

As for something new and different ideas, an outdoor haunt here does a headless horseman scene with a real horse and rider. I've seen the usual witches coven, zombie, hillbilly both with a trashy old motorhome and one with a nasty old tar paper cabin but can't recall seeing an old trappers/ miners cabin/camp done before. Scraps of fake fur "stretched" on branch loops and various old rusty traps hung in the trees, couple of old canvas pup tents, a small camp fire.... you get the idea.
 

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Voodoo in the bayou would be good on a haunted walk. Witches covens are always a hit and what is Halloween without witches?

Lighting is my downfall. I am hoping to do better this year, but I just have to go from front yard, down the side of the house and backyard. We will utilize our screened in porch which has electricity. A house not far from me had a haunted woods trail last year, but I didn't get to go through. I do have some friends who do a big haunted trail out at the lake. I will see what they use. I haven't been there either. I wish I had time to go to all these and also the Haunts of some of my fellow haunters, but there is no time to visit.
 
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Again it's dealing with an open flame but have you thought about luminaries? At Christmas they do this walk around the lake with brown lunch sacks with a little sand at the bottom and a votive candle. To make them more fire proof instead of a bag use tin cans with designs punched in the sides. Use to do this project with my Campfire groups... fill the can with water, freeze it and then let the kids punch their designs in the can with a large nail and a hammer. Let the ice melt and add a candle and you're done. Not sure the cost of the candles would make this cheap enough to do long term but I know you can get the sacks of tea candles fairly cheap and they last several hours.
 

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Like someone else mentioned battery operated lites can be expensive replacing batteries, but I use them so not to overload the electrical system in my old house.
You could continue to use your solar lights but spread them further and use battery in between. Might be a little less work moving the solars each night. I use LED lights from Menards, they have various kinds. I even use a small motion sensor one in the bathroom so actors don't turn the light on and shine nice bright light into my cemetery. :)
It may not be feasible but a generator tucked away might be of great value. You could possibly use the noise from it as ambient noise, maybe it's near the 'serial killer mechanical shed'??
You may find someone who might let you borrow one if you don't want to purchase.
 

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You could use a paint like Clear Neon that only shows up under black light to paint markers for the trail and have guides with black light flashlights. You probably would still need some of the solar lights for safety.
 

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if its in the budget, get a honda generator to power some bigger brighter lights, not on the path though, deeper in the woods aimed at the pathways, gives an eerie feeling especially if the light source really cant be seen. not sure if that makes any sense or not, but it does work well,lol
 

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To mark the trail one year I used two long lengths of rope and sprayed it with glow in the dark paint and every ten ft or so had mason jars with tea lights and sand in them..just enough light to see but not enough to drown out things
 

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Do you need the lights to actually light the path, or simply mark the path? How long does your haunt run? If the latter, perhaps you could make up a bunch of witch jars (or something similar) and use small battery powered tea lights in them. Once you turn on the tea lights, they'll last days without turning them on and off.


Or, if you have the time and inclination, you could solder together your own. I did this for my own haunt. Each one is just a battery holder, an LED (I like green) and a CR2032 battery. All of which are available for short money in bulk on eBay. My blue and green ones last *weeks*, however red seems to dim within a day. Or if you want to go super quick, just stick the batteries between the prongs of the LEDs and drop them into whatever container you see fit.

They won't illuminate the path for the sake of visibility, but they do provide visual markers to follow.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for the ideas! We have quiet run generators that we use for some lights... the trick is not getting so light that the scary things cant hide. We also have a headless horseman, we have horses, so my husband dresses up and rides around!
 
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