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Last year on Halloween night we had maybe 30 TOTs and when the TOTs Died off, we took a break and watched TV. Then we heard a loud cracking noise hit the window, so we went outside and i hear kids sprinting and laughing, I see alot of my props destroyed and then I look at my window, I GOT EGGED! And the same thing happened a few days before Christmas. Sadly we couldn't catch the little buggers.

And this year im making a haunted house in the backyard, and im scared that i will get vandalized again!

P.S this year im decorating the front and doing the haunted house in the back!

So I need to know, how do you prevent vandalism?
 

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Sorry to hear that this happened. I wish I had suggestions but I've never run into anything more than the occasional smashed pumpkin. (Which I think seems to just be a part of Halloween hooligan tradition so I don't worry too much) maybe make your house look "awake" (if you aren't home turn on some extra lights etc). Ask neighbors to keep an extra eye out, sighting the past vandalism. Also...never turn down a TOT, no matter the age or lack of costume! That would be rule number one in my mind as to prevent myself from getting vandalized. Unfortunately though, aside from surveillance systems, it is probably something that COULD happen no matter what we do. Some people just want to watch the world burn ;)
 

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What Hump?
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Prominent, visible video cameras.
You can also post signs stating that the area is under video surveillance.
I've see people include that fact in their "Haunt Rules" signs.
Something like "You are being videotaped while in the area, and you may end up on YouTube".

Some NRA stickers around the property couldn't hurt either.
 

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Befriend the locals has been my philosophy.

We have the entire neighborhood over every year to help carve pumpkins.



They are much less anxious to destroy something they help build.

Several years ago, one of the neighbor kids had recently gotten his license. I was just starting my setup, and was out working when he pulled up, friend in the car. I was around back and overheard this conversation:

Friend: "Oh, look at all that STUFF! We should come back and trash this place tonight"
Neighbor: "No WAY! That's guy's way too cool. He GETS it."

Can't top that kind of protection.


That said, I have had ONE pumpkin smashed ish before. Really confused. We have (literally) a hundred to choose from and they took one from the back yard and smashed it on the road in front of our house. Not the random kind of destruction one would expect from teens, just really confused. (I have a theory it was a special needs kid in the neighborhood trying to take HIS home and dropped it, but can't be sure)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Wow! Thanks a bunch! I will keep this in mind! :) I hope this will solve the problem! :)
 

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1002638_10202102215024589_1354415330_n.jpg We made a pvc cemetery fence.....worked out very well for keeping everyone out of the yard.....I also installed a few landscape "dusk till dawn" lights...mounted them to 10' poles secured with rebar.........that just about stopped any kids.....good luck!!
 

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We have a full security camera set up year round. We also use the drive way security system, oh and I have 2 150lb dogs that bark at anything that moves. I live in a not so great part of my city and have never had a problem, except for one time during Xmas. I knew the kid as soon as I saw the video, I took the tape to his parents and they made him repair everything, now this teenage boy decorates his house for all the holidays.
 

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Creepy Homeschool Mom
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That sucks that you were hit. That's been one of my biggest worries, especially since we move frequently. The first year, you have no idea what to expect from the neighborhood, and the neighborhood doesn't know what to expect from you. The next year, the neighborhood knows, and that adds the concern of becoming a target. By the third year, you hopefully have a grasp on things. We've been transferred between 2-3 years since I've started "really" decorating, so the cycle begins anew, and we have yet to feel fully comfortable.

If your display will allow it, the same day set-up and tear down is an option. Or, have a minimal display, and save your more valued decor and props for the day of. Some people prefer it, as it can certainly add a sense of magic.

A fence is simple, but very effective.

Dropping the mood lighting after ToT is done makes your property less desirable. As will cameras and signs. And cameras may help with identifying the vandal, if it does happen.

Honestly, I think that if someone is truly intent on vandalizing your property, there isn't much you can do to prevent it. For the chance vandal, fencing, lighting, and cameras will work, and will definitely save you time, money and stress.
 

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Sorry to hear about your vandalism.
About 4 years ago, I had some props stolen. Since then I went to the same day setup, but this is hard work and only gives everyone 1 day to see everything.
Last year I went with the surveillance cameras and alarms on all my props. I have signs posted stating that I have cameras and alarms. I did have an alarm go off last year, but after viewing the camera, found it was just a raccoon.
The cameras are relatively cheap. You can shop around and find a 4 camera system with 1TB hard drive for around $150. With the appropriate apps. I can view my entire setup from my cell phone, laptop or tablet and everything is being recorded. The prop alarms are from the Dollar store. These are the alarms they sell that come in two pieces. I secure one side to the prop and the other to the ground, fence, stone. When turned on and the sides are separated, the alarm gives off a loud pitch sound. Hopefully sending the thief running.
 

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We hold a party in our driveway the night before Halloween but we still end up with smashed pumpkins and someone even store a fake pumpkin off the porch last year. So far though, no major damage and I am grateful for that. I do not think it is our neighborhood kids just teens driving around playing what they consider pranks.
 

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I go the route my parents took. Backyard/garage prep, same day set-up. I do a bunch of indoor decorating to get in the mood and feel the Halloween Magic.

That said, there are just some people...
 

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Good ideas. My suggestion is electrified fencing with barbed wire atop it, a very powerful taser in case that does not deter them enough, and a cigar cutter to drive home the point if they somehow survive the two prior methods:p Joking, but sorry to hear about the vandalism. Humanity is a freaking scourge:rolleyes:
 

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We did same day set up and take down for a few years which was so much work for little time so last year we began setting out a few props each night for the week before Halloween. Most of my props have PVC armatures so we just slide them over rebar in the ground. It worked out nicely and didn't take to long to bring everything back into the garage. We do set out plywood tombstones and our big plywood spiral hill (we have a Nightmare before Christmas theme) in the beginning of October but they've always been fine. The tombstones aren't fancy just plywood and paint and the spiral hill os so heavy it would probably squish someone who tried to knock it over.
We do leave our front door open when we have stuff out just to be cautious and last year we left everything up the night before Halloween to get the lighting all set up and we were too tired to take everything down so we set up a tent in the front yard and slept there! It was funny and of course tons of people saw the tent and thought we were pretty funny for doing that too!
 

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Same day set up for me for the same reason. I switched to the fake carvable pumpkins last year so I could leave them out and some prankster broke one of them. Found it in bits on the driveway the next morning and he/she had to really work on that thing to bust it too. I can't leave anything out that's valuable or it will walk, and I become so sentimentally attached to all my Halloween gear, that even the cheaper items would still sting to lose. So I take the day of Halloween off from work, and it's pretty much an all day thing from that first cup of coffee to literally minutes before the first TOTers arrive. But as others have mentioned, it's also a bit magical to have that sudden transformation from "normal" to all-out haunted in a day. The neighbors love it too and it doesn't cause any bad blood because it's not out long. It all goes back in after TOTing is over, except for the carved pumpkins, which I leave on the porch to guard the house during All Hallow's Eve, as tradition says they should. :D And the strange part is, that after TOT they never get bothered. Go figure! Good luck to you, though. You can't change people, you can only adapt to a solution that makes you happy and protects your gear and your fun.
 

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I forgot to add I also give out candy to the older TOTs who show up later without costumes!! I hope that helps give me some protection!!
 

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Same day set up for me for the same reason. I switched to the fake carvable pumpkins last year so I could leave them out and some prankster broke one of them. Found it in bits on the driveway the next morning and he/she had to really work on that thing to bust it too. I can't leave anything out that's valuable or it will walk, and I become so sentimentally attached to all my Halloween gear, that even the cheaper items would still sting to lose. So I take the day of Halloween off from work, and it's pretty much an all day thing from that first cup of coffee to literally minutes before the first TOTers arrive. But as others have mentioned, it's also a bit magical to have that sudden transformation from "normal" to all-out haunted in a day. The neighbors love it too and it doesn't cause any bad blood because it's not out long. It all goes back in after TOTing is over, except for the carved pumpkins, which I leave on the porch to guard the house during All Hallow's Eve, as tradition says they should. :D And the strange part is, that after TOT they never get bothered. Go figure! Good luck to you, though. You can't change people, you can only adapt to a solution that makes you happy and protects your gear and your fun.
I too become attached to each and every decoration. I think that's a hallmark of a true collector everywhere. They are all our prized possessions aren't they? Somehow the items that are the deals are even more precious because they are more rare. Of course, the more costly items are precious are too...aaargh they're all the same!
 
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