I have so many props I’ve lost count!
Like Meadows above the whole yard is talking!
I have so many props I’ve lost count!
Like Meadows above the whole yard is talking!
We are thinking of canceling our camping trip this year that was the weekend before Halloween. So, if we do that we will probably do the Halloween party we hadn't planned on doing. So, I'll be decorating more than I planned. Which, I am kind of excited about because the last few years we haven't done a lot here at home because we have done the campground thing, and not had a party. We also have zero TOTs. I don't know. I need to decide.
I only have about 4000 people in my small bedroom community. I cannot even imagine 2000 people coming to my house. Kudos to those of you who spend the money to hand out that many pieces of candy.
I know last year we made about 200 goodie bags. Cause if you’re going to be the house that “goes all out” for Halloween you cannot be lame with your candy. I have two larger bags of candy from Sam’s we used as back up. When we were done, I know I only had half a bowl left and we tore into both bags. I’m assuming I got somewhere around 200-300 based on goodie bags and we don’t advertise our haunt.
So let me ask this, does anyone actually use like a clicker to count ToTs? I don’t want to buy candy too early because if it rains that would be bad but I also know I gotta pick a number for goodie bags.
You know crowd control is something else. I’m probably going to let my age hang out when I say this, but selfies and social media just don’t factor into my life. So the first year with just two props we had NO idea how many people would be taking selfies. And because it was on our front sidewalk we had foot traffic issues. We tried to be mindful on year two and created areas for people to take pictures but again it’s one more thing to consider in addition to lighting, extension cords, sensors, yard stakes, tent stakes, rebar and whatever else madness goes out there.We learned real quick that it can get expensive and exhausting. My rookie year I made the mistake of buying the “better” candy at the local grocery store in addition to working Halloween all by myself. I ran out of candy in a little over an hour and I was exhausted. I didn’t get much sleep the night before and spent the Halloween day working setting out the props. The ToT lines were constantly flowing on our sidewalk. Talk about going to the school of the hard knocks! Interestingly, I actually asked the same question to the neighbors regarding the clicker to take count. Almost all of them stated that they count each piece of candy and place them in gallon size zipper bags (200 peices per bag). At the end of the night they count how many zipper bags they used. The day after Halloween we usually run into the neighbors cleaning up. Everyone asks how many pieces of candy were passed out. Given the information, we’re able to guesstimate an average amount during Halloween night. Nothing scientific but it is sure interesting to know the count over the years. Cheers!
I'm trying "bigger" this year ... I love Halloween but have never lived anywhere where there were a lot of kids, and in most cases, living in apartments or high-rises, kids shouldn't be coming up to doors they don't know the people behind anyway ... but 5 years ago I moved to a cute neighborhood with a little yard and lots of kids. The neighbors told me there were A LOT of kids, but I really missed the hint - the first year I bought a pile of candy, but still had to sneak out twice to buy more. It was exhausting. Barely had time for bathroom breaks! The next year I left at 4 pm for happy hour & didn't come back until after 11 pm. The 3rd year, I hid. Last year at the beginning of October, I found some cool ideas for "faceless ghouls" on Pinterest and ended up building 3 of them, along w/ some additional basic props I picked up at Walmart during Halloween sales in previous years.
Here's a video of last year and illustrates some of the things I learned:
I work from home so I started putting things out over lunch, but I was still tweaking things as the kids started coming. Before I knew it, it got dark, and you can see how completely insufficient my lighting was. There's a street light that blares into my guest room at night, and when there's a moon out, the whole yard is lit up. However, there was no moon, and it got pitch black. On the bright side, I got a lot of great feedback on my ghouls and lots of people were taking selfies with them all night.
So this year, especially after I discovered the treasure troves of ideas & how-tos all over the interwebs, I came up with the idea to do a pirate scene across my front yard & carport with much better lighting and lots of "scenes" for selfies. I started thinking about this in July. The challenges include: 1) building all the stuff, 2) storing it all afterwards (no garage, small house). 3) Being able to build all the stuff while dealing w/ desert heat - I'm building what I can in my house, but the spray painting, any large scale construction, etc. all needs to be done outside and we're still hovering around 100F during the day. And then assuming I get all of this up ahead of Halloween, I'm hoping I can get a friend or two to help w/ the candy ... I'm gonna need some bathroom breaks!
My plan is:
1) create a pirate ship out of my carport, including a ship's help and captain skeleton driving, along w/ a projector showing a looping storm scene on the back wall
2) a skeleton pirate hanging on to the side of the ship fighting an attacking octopus (so gotta build the octopus tentacles on the scale of 6-8 ft tall)
3) 2 drunk skeletons in my front porch area - using the half barrel planter w/ a skeleton holding a bottle w/ a water pump for continuous flow "rum" and another static guy - the continuous flow will be my first venture into "automation".
4) creating an "island" around the big tree in my front yard (anticipating a paint tarp sprayed w/ ceiling popcorn & whatever color to look like sand, laid on top of a bunch of patio cushions to give the whole thing little elevation), with an open treasure chest loaded w/ gold & jewels, with 3 skeletons - in some combination of shoveling out the treasure chest and in a sword fight over the treasure
5) around the "island" I've got a "blue water" projection flood light to create the "ocean" and there will be at least one shark (fin & jaws) swimming around with a skeleton in his mouth
I'm really, really excited to do all this stuff, but also somewhat overwhelmed by trying to do all of it myself and in time, and getting it all set up with all of the various lighting solutions I have (most of it battery powered because I have exactly 1 electrical outlet in the whole of the front of my house.
... so yea.... ~ 52 days and counting ....
I have gone big at Halloween for years and I am going to try to again this year. I am six dozen years old now and have started having mobility issues. If I can round up enough help I will put out what I did last year . There won't be anything new because I just physically couldn't build more. I will be disappointed if I can't pull of a fun Halloween, and so will a lot of other people.Greetings fellow haunters! Been really busy the past two years, a job change in the corporate sector (tech), a move to a different state then back to Cali, got married, and now expecting a little one mid October! Yay! My street in the Bay Area gets tons of ToT's every year, more so on the weekends. Last year when I moved back, I added another prop (grave digger) to my graveyard haunt. In total, I had four props, Dave the grave digger, Frank the flying crank, Sparky the rabid dog, Axle the Axworthy ghost. Now that the wife and I have a baby on the way, I'm thinking about dialing it down this year. It gets pretty busy maintaining the props, refilling the fog machine, and passing out candy. I might just put up Frank and Axle this year and maybe throw in a projection due to the fact that Halloween is on a weekday, I'm not going to have the help that I usually have from the previous years. With the large amount of foot traffic we get, my wife (Mrs. Cali Specter) will be with the baby the whole time so I'll by flying solo. My neighbors have already invited us to come over if we don't put up anything this year. I just might take them up on the offer just to keep my sanity. Anywho, how big are you going this year? Cheers!👻
A Halloween notebook is an absolute killer idea!!! Omg I feel so dumb right now because all I can think is “WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT?!” lol!! I am definitely going to get myself a notebook for Halloween 2019!!!! Thanks for the idea!!!That’s awesome that you have a game plan! The past couple of years we would wing it and try and remember what we could improve on for the next year. When the time came we would forget about some of the little things that made a pretty big impact on our display and props. One such thing was using spider wire (Kevlar fishing string) instead of nylon fishing string for the Axworthy ghost. Anyone who has made this knows the problems that accompany this prop. Another is preparing for bad weather. We invested in large sockit boxes to shield extension cords and expensive prop controllers. As for the prop placement and the next years build, we now have a dedicated Halloween notebook that we keep notes on. So far it’s working out great! Love the cats!
Always have a Halloween notebook! I bought a large sketch pad from Dollar Tree and I have used it so much to map out prop placement, cords and lights. I was actually looking at it last night and all the “scenes” and how they have evolved. In fact, it was the notebook that changed everything this year cause as I was drawing I realized I had created a theme without even trying! Spend the $1. Totally worth it!A Halloween notebook is an absolute killer idea!!! Omg I feel so dumb right now because all I can think is “WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT?!” lol!! I am definitely going to get myself a notebook for Halloween 2019!!!! Thanks for the idea!!!
Last year I had a garage haunt made out of black plastic and a wooden electric chair I build. We had a really awesome turn out and we had several people ask if we were doing a haunted house this year and if we were if we was going to go bigger, well we are and we are going much bigger this year I am building my walls out of wooden crates and pallets. The theme is Death Sweet Death. It will have a house, a haunted field/garden and a murder shed, all in my garage. The crazy part is that I am the only one building all of this. I also have to make 2 scarecrow masks. Wish me luck. lol