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Like one of your animated props jumps out at them and they react by kicking the crap out of it. I'm always worried this day might come lol :eek:
 

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Solve the problem before it happens. build props bullet-proof,use fairly thick steel,concrete with rebar,barn hinges,lexonon breakable plexiglass, I do.
 
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I made some kicking legs with a wiper motor and wood for the legs. A little pirate sit on them and rode them up before the wood snapped. I rebuilt the following year using metal legs and they are still going strong after at least fifteen years.
 

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I have always worried about the same thing, my mom has had outdoor decorations stolen. So far I only have a couple decorations that I really worry about but last year I added a graveyard and I was worried that kids would mess with it. I checked it every day, only left it up for a week (although might put it up earlier this year) and sat on the front porch trick or treat night to keep an eye on kids. The last 2 years we have had mostly really young kids with their parents but it only takes one and we live on a street that has been changing from mostly elderly people to a bunch of young families so there's more kids of all ages. Yes I worry about my outdoor decorations. Thank goodness my spooky town is indoor!!! I would be super nervous with as much as I have spent on those lol.
 

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For the last number of years my biggest complain comes from when people are playing Hyde & Shriek here. I have numerous hidden doors and secret passages,so people begin grabbing and yanking on everything,anything they see that could possibly be a secret door.
You would think they would learn not to do this after just the first couple of scary surprises that activate for themselves! But they don't.
 
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Some kids broke through a short section of fence to get away from the laser vortex...so that was good/bad. But most of my props are behind a fence (strung with lights) for a reason, and only put out day-of since this is a walk-through yard haunt.


At the paid haunt last year, people definitely DID break stuff. That was very frustrating, and I was just a volunteer. (So, combo humor and guilt when people jumped the chairs to get away from me...)
 

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The thing I worry about the most is someone bringing a dog along and it getting scared and attacks a prop (or other kid/person) or thinks its time to mark its territory and pee on something mid stride along the walk through.

There was only one time I ever had to chastise some kid punching my prop, and that was when I first did the big setup and it was only the one kid. I place things with easily breakable faces further back and the more sturdy props closer to curious fingers.
 

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Lighthearted Halloween
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Yes. Unfortunately, it happens. I try very hard to not snap at some kids. But some are so apparently out of line, as if they are TRYING to break something, that I do have to give a quick request to not touch things. I am surprised at how many parents, not only don't tell their children to not touch the decorations, but actually climb over fencing or put their children up on top of things for photos and such. Yipes. Now each year, we've been adding fences around each scene. It kind of ruins the look of some of the scenes, but it seems necessary. Not only for my props, but for safety of the ToTs. I am constantly surprised that people lift their kids up and put them OVER the fence. (shaking my head) Stay on the path people!! LOL

I guess, we just have to accept it is going to happen, but the joy of the well-behaved ToTs and how much fun this is... is worth it.
 

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The thing I worry about the most is someone bringing a dog along and it getting scared and attacks a prop (or other kid/person) or thinks its time to mark its territory and pee on something mid stride along the walk through.
I can relate, I have had people bring their dogs and let them run through. I get agita. LOL

However... this is our friend with her therapy dogs. She has brought them to help with their training. LOL
It is pretty funny... the biggest guy, Magnus was barking at some of the decorations. Imagine if he went on a rampage. haha

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The thing I worry about the most is someone bringing a dog along and it getting scared and attacks a prop (or other kid/person) or thinks its time to mark its territory and pee on something mid stride along the walk through.
Yep, I've instituted a no dogs policy after one kid threw the leash and ran. Fortunately that (VERY BIG) dog just looked at the kid like she was an idiot. While I have a reasonable frame or reference how a person is going to react at our place, I couldn't blame a dog for flipping on it's 'protect my person' switch. This has pissed off some folks, but I'm sticking to it.


My biggest problem with PEOPLE is at our pumkin carving party the night before. What I have come to realize is that a lot of kids, AND PARENTS think of Halloween props as TOYS. Spirit is like a toy store to them or something. So, they come to my place, where I've hand made a bunch of stuff, and they figure it's all oh let's pick this up and see how it works and such. Yeah, that's a real, relatively sharp scythe, not a plastic toy. Yeah, that's made of plaster, not plastic, it breaks. Yeah, that's foam, even if it looks like rock and jumping on it, you just went right through, yep.

Generally, it's been accidental stuff from smaller kids. It's the whole 'oh well, it's just a halloween decoration' attitude of parents that tends to irk me more.
 

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When somebody stole the upper-half of the Martian guy I had made,my Ex actually grieved over it. They didn't steal the bottom half because it is concrete and re-bar whereas the top was chicken wire and some epoxy? He looked like an insect,but was "cute".
I feel the majority of props becoming broken or taken or messed with at all is because people react with fear and they are striking out against the "Terrible Creature" that scares them.
A true story I loved re-telling to some of the people who have visited my house involves a young man who stole a small figurine from here,showed it to his friend, who told him to take it back. The thief refused to part with it.
On their mere 25 mile drive back home, one of My Highly Trained Suicidal Deer ran out in front of them and the thief's brand new Chevy S-10 was totaled!
Another person kept a video tape of mine. The tape was programmed to explode in a ball of fire,his house didn't survive it.
Or maybe the Deer wasn't "Trained" and the tape couldn't have exploded,maybe it was just Karma? Or Karmex?
Sometimes I would wonder if some fan of the house out there, somewhere, made a "Shrine" in their home full of little trinkets stolen from me?
If they all "Explode" at once.. WOW!? (Doe snot apply to Tee-shirts purchased or bumper stickers.)
 
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I tend to put props out of harms way. Last year a coworker showed up a couple nights before Halloween to show them my haunt and his friends just went right past the fence into the front yard...I had to "kindly" ask them to get out of the yard because of all the things that could hurt them, not just them hurting my props. That's pretty much been the only time I had an issue....other then folks trying to put there toddler on my horse to take a pic. They don't seem to comprehend that if their kid falls backward off the horse that it's a five foot drop to the street. Idgits!!

I use orange rope light to mark the path and it's very successful
 

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A few yrs. ago there was a story going round about a Fly-In where right after a man landed his small air plane a family of cretins arrived and the kids began walking on the wings of his airplane!
The plane owner promptly began walking on the hood of their car, which surprisingly got the "ATTENTION" of the Doofus Father who had to have the dynamics of this re-action explained to him!
Two "Wrongs" never make a "Right".. but it sure could feel so good!
 
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Discussion Starter #16
We only had a minor problem with the neighbor kids a few years ago. When they were really young, like 3, for some reason they felt the need to kick our stuff. They broke one of the stakes on our light up lawn skulls. Right in front of us, too lol
 

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We have over 500 kids, they honestly bring them in on buses here (we live in a nice little neighborhood that is surrounded by some rougher areas). We also don't have sidewalks so that means that the kids walk within a few feet of the decorations. I constructed a little $30 fence with some painted pvc and plastic black chain to set a barrier for the kids passing by on the way home from school (I set up 2-3wks before Halloween). I can honestly say the only thing ever stolen was a wine bottle that my drunk skeleton was holding. Terrifying because I had broken a glow stick in it and I was sure one of the monsters would drink it. Last year I took the extra precaution of putting up a "SMILE YOU ARE ON CAMERA" sign. It worked for the kids walking home, on Halloween I did run into an issue with kids running into the fence because the had a hard time seeing it in the dark. This year I am putting lights up around the fence at night. We also post a couple of adults around to scare/guide the kids away from the decorations. I take the more expensive stuff and put it close to the adults and the kids get close but I have yet to have one break anything other thank knocking over a fence post.
 

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I get about 1,000 toters, and I can't figure out why people would bring dogs into crowds like that. You never know how a dog will act, and you never ever know how a child will act. Not a good combination. To say nothing of the sanitary conditions.

But my worst problem was years ago, when we were first starting out and didn't have as many kids or props. I had some cloth ghosts hanging in the trees, along with a few other props. Three little **** heads around 12 came to the door and got their candy. Then they walked down the sidewalk, pulled out a lighter, and set one of the ghost on fire. It only took a few seconds to burn, and they were gone before I made it to the end of the sidewalk. The worst part was my 7 year old daughter was at the door with me. She was so scared the rest of the night that the bad boys would come back and burn the house down. We couldn't get her to go to bed that night until we promised her Dad or I would take turns staying up watching for the boys. If I could have caught those little [email protected]$!^%*.
 
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