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Discussion Starter #1
I was curious what the consensus is for outside decorations.* Since Halloween items begin to go on sale as soon as Memorial Day is over, when do you like to start letting everyone know you are "open for business" in October? We've been doing about three weeks out from October 31st. Does anyone think that is too early? Too late?







*I'm new and looked through the back-pages for a similar thread, but didn't see one. I apologize if this topic has been broached before.
 

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I used to start around the first week of Octobre, but now that I have stepped up my game significantly I find I need to start around the last week of Septembre.

My wife thinks it's crazy
 

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We don't get TOT's out by us (Rural Area) but we put on a pretty big Halloween party. I decorate the back yard (we have an acre, I usually decorate about 1/4 of it) and were doing a walk thru in our detached garage this year. Normally I start at the end of august but may move that up a week or two due to what I'm planning this year. So middle of August, wife thinks I'm crazy but the kids love it.
 

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Great question,
Well......it sure seems as if ...."Everything"...starts Earlier and Earlier each and every year.
We used to think that the stores were totally insane, by having their Holiday / Festive stuff out....Months and Months in advance of the event.
But now......we can see why they do it, and it sure works.
Ya....it works for everyone, except for those of us, that always THINK......that we have tons of time, to buy those lights or to buy those decorations or to buy that Special gift, that we had on our List of things to get.....and we just figured that buying these things two weeks prior to the event, would be OK to do.
WRONG!
Now a days, as soon as the stuff goes out in the Stores....you need to "Buy it Then"....as opposed to waiting to buy the stuff, when the event is just two or three weeks away.
This same approach has to be used, when it comes to setting up for Halloween, or for Christmas.
I think that at one time.....we all used to set up.....a Few Days before or may be even a Week before Halloween, and we made it work, and we felt absolutely No Rush and No Stress, to do it any sooner than that.
Now a days, just like the Stores.......we need to get our Haunts set up......No later than 3 weeks before Halloween, just in order to get it done, and in order to get Set Up......while you are still able to buy the things that you need for your Haunt.
Every year, we start earlier and earlier and earlier......and for numerous reasons, but mostly because...as our Haunt gets larger and larger with each passing year, we need those extra weeks, to get it all Set Up......so that "WE" and everyone else can enjoy it, that much longer.
Halloween unlike the Christmas season.......is just "ONE NIGHT"......Yes.....Christmas is also just "ONE DAY" as well....but....Christmas, is celebrated for the entire month or more, for the most part.
Now......slowly but surely...Halloween is also turning into a Month long celebration or event, and the reason for that is.......that it now takes soooooo much time and effort and energy , to get everything Set Up and in place........and the sooner that it goes up......the more Time......that the Haunter has, to enjoy all of their hard work and effort.
At one time....as Kids.....Just having Mom and Dad put "One" craved pumpkin outside at the front door, was what Halloween was all about.
Well......as time went on, that "ONE" carved pumpkin has now turned into doing an entire Haunt.....which might include.......20 or more carved pumpkins etc.
Christmas as kids, was the same.
Having Dad put up a string of lights around the house, was as Magical as it got.
Now a days........the Stores, have made these events a lot more FUN for us all.....that is.....for those of us that are wanting to "Buy" into the Fun.
When it comes to Christmas decorations, they go up the day after Thanksgiving.....they are all done, for the most part..with little additions happening through out the season.
When it comes to Halloween......the Haunt has to be up and done.....No later than October 1st.
Which means, that come the second week of September.....we start bringing stuff out, to Set Up and Organize, and things slowly start to get Set Up.
We have learned.....that the sooner that your Halloween Haunt is Set Up.......the more Fun that you will have doing it and the more TIME that you will have enjoying it.
The days of putting it up, a week in advance..........is nothing more than a distant memory now.
WHY?........get all Stressed Out and feel as if.....you need to Rush to get it Done!
Start as Early as you can, and as Early as you want.....so that "YOU" can just sit back.....and Enjoy all of your hard work!
Halloween is now.....a Month long event.
Everything needs to be Set Up and ready to go, by October 1st......the latest.
 

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I set up my front porch Sept 1st. Then I start the yard haunt Oct 1st. All my final display props go out the morning and
all day I set up on Halloween
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I set up my front porch Sept 1st. Then I start the yard haunt Oct 1st. All my final display props go out the morning and
all day I set up on Halloween
See, I've been doing that in reverse. I live on a corner lot and have a huge front yard. So I've been concentrating on putting up big stuff within view of the streets to let anyone driving by that Halloween is on at this house. I think I will try it your way and concentrate on the porch/front of the house FIRST this year, and then work out from that towards the street.
 

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Hey Tasty Brains.......I tend to agree with you, in the order that you have done it in the past.
Don't go changing now.
Who cares about the smaller porch area, when the BIG SHOW is all that really matters.
I would be doing the exact same thing as you have been doing, and for the exact same reasons.
Put up the Big stuff First, on your Front lawn area.
Let the entire community know ....way in advance, that your House.....Goes all out for Halloween.
We also live on a corner lot, and we not only get a steady stream of Car Traffic driving past, but we also get Non Stop foot traffic walking by, due to the fact that there is a Park, right across the street from us.
We also have a Public Transit stop....on the far side of the street.
This public exposure to our place and to our Haunt, is what makes doing our Haunt, soooooo much FUN to do.
We can hardly wait, to have our latest Halloween purchase ( Our 1977 Cadillac Hearse ) parked directly in Front of our Grave Yard this year.
For us, our Porch is the Last Thing to ever be done.
But......when you come to think of it, does it really matter, as to what order we do our stuff in? LOL
The only important thing is, that we all do.... what ever works for each and everyone of us.
Doing our own thing, is what makes it sooooo much Fun to do.
 

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The wife has a countdown on her computer so she knows exactly when we are going to set it up. At times it gets annoying because she tells me everyday starting in april. The countdown is set for Labor Day weekend and we spend the entire weekend setting up. Our fence goes up the week before because it is time consuming and the large props are usually put together and ready to go out to their spots the week before as well. Characters are mostly dressed and ready to go that week as well. So at dusk Labor Day the lights come on. We will have people driving by and looking the entire Labor Day weekend. Once it is going we get people walking by and driving by for nearly two months and the wife and I go out if we see them and invite them to come up the drive and see it all and answer questions.
 

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Mapleton Manor.......I LOVE what you guys do!
Seriously, it all sure comes together soooooo well....when the Lights go out on the day.
We Love it!
Not sure about you guys or anyone else out there, BUT....our biggest concern about setting up Earlier each and every year, is that the chances of it being Vandalized, increases Significantly.
Is Security ever an issue or a concern for Mapleton Manor or for anyone else out there?
Kids will always be Kids, and you just know.......that one of them or some of them....will either want to "Borrow" a Skeleton of Two......or.....they might want to hop on up on the Hearse for a Photo Op in the Dark of the Night.....or.....they just might want to grab a Mannequin or two in order to decorate their own Car, or their own room at home.
Vandals, whether they are just having some Teenage Fun, or whether they are Vandals that like to Break things and Destroy things and Steal things.....Those Kids.....are always our Biggest Fears and our Biggest Concerns, when ever we set up our Displays earlier than most.
I'd Love to know......how everyone Protects their Haunts and their Props, when you Set Up.....a Month or more in advance?
Mapleton Manor....Your Haunt looks Great!!!
Love it!
 

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This year hoping to start earlier (mid september) placing things out. I live on a high traffic street, but no sidewalk, so hoping to let people know I celebrate halloween!!!

I also have a few projects I am hoping to do this year, halloween yard perimeter fence and a giant troll, so planing to start making those once I can get the cars out of the garage (early spring).
 

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The wife has a countdown on her computer so she knows exactly when we are going to set it up. At times it gets annoying because she tells me everyday starting in april. The countdown is set for Labor Day weekend and we spend the entire weekend setting up. Our fence goes up the week before because it is time consuming and the large props are usually put together and ready to go out to their spots the week before as well. Characters are mostly dressed and ready to go that week as well. So at dusk Labor Day the lights come on. We will have people driving by and looking the entire Labor Day weekend. Once it is going we get people walking by and driving by for nearly two months and the wife and I go out if we see them and invite them to come up the drive and see it all and answer questions.
Just watched your youtube video of your haunt last year.....loved it! Well done!
 

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The more that I get notified that there is another response to this Post, the more that I go back and read it....Which results in me, getting all Fired Up to start putting up our display...."TODAY"! LOL
I think that we can all feel that Stress, that Nowhining talks about.
That FEELING of Panic......of being Late or Way Behind, in getting our Haunts up and ready to go.
I am loving what Maple Manor does.....by setting the "Count Down Clock" for their "D Day" or their own "Go Day" to Start their Set Up.
What a Great Idea MM, and just so that you know.......I'm Stealing your Idea, and calling it mine! LOL
Being able to actually enjoy Halloween or even Christmas, is in the secret of getting all set up.....at least one whole month ( or sooner) ahead of the Date.
My question to everyone out there is....by having your Haunt set up soooooo early, how do you guard against Teenagers / Kids......helping themselves to a few of your Props?
We were ALL kids at one point in our lives ( and according to my friends and family, I am still a Kid ), and as Kids....we "ALL" do some pretty stupid things.
I am not proud at all, of some of my own pranks that I did, while growing up.....but....on the other hand, I am somewhat glad that I did do them.
Its all a big part of being a kid and its a big part of the growing up phase, for some.
Some would call it vandalism, some would call it theft, and some would call it ......just having a little Fun.
That is my biggest Fear of setting up, earlier and earlier each and every year.
It just makes your Haunt, that much more likely to get "Wacked" over that Month long or longer Exposure, to the public and to the kids.
My Grave Yard is all Fenced Off, but.....anyone Teenager can hop over a wobbly Grave Yard fence.
I fear having them Wreck it and do damage to it, more than I do with them Stealing Tombstones or other props that might be out there.
By setting up really Early?.....do any of you, have any of my Fears, about Kids.......putting a Contract out on your Haunt, on each and every weekend that we have, leading up to Halloween night?
Kids will be Kids, and I accept that and totally get it.
Its not any Fun, to come out in the morning, to see that your Haunt ( or Christmas Display ) has been Vandalized.
We had a HIT performed on a Christmas Display a few years back, and it just makes one shake their head, and ask WHY?
For me, I just assume, that it is Karma coming back to get me.......for all of my Pranks. lol
I don't mind them, Stealing a Tombstone or Two or a prop of some kind (can always make a New one or Replace it) .....BUT.....to Destroy something.....makes no sense, and that Hurts.
Soooooo......by setting up Early, don't you Fear.....Teenagers and Kids......( Young Adults ) stopping by one night Late, to Vandalize your Haunts?
That is our only concern....How about you guys and gals?
 

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As a rule, we also start around the last week of September for two reasons: #1 Our friends and neighbors and family truly get the biggest kick out of it. Sometimes, they actually come outside to watch. #2 It irritates the crap out of the property management company that handles all the CC&R compliance for our HOA, (which also makes our neighbors happy because we all HATE having an HOA but unfortunately, it’s a state law here in Washington state.)
Besides that, it takes us that long to get everything up and because it’s turned into kinda of a neighborhood tradition, no one complains.
We also have a friendly competition with a family up the hill to see who can outdo the other and attract the most trick or treaters.
So my humble opinion is go for it! Halloween is an awesome American tradition. Who doesn’t love to be scared out of their wits? What could be more innocent fun for kids to have at least ONE NIGHT when they are able to run through their neighborhoods with their family, scream their heads off because something creepy grabbed their shoulder as they walked onto a porch, collect as much candy as possible, and eat it until they pass out without lectures on safety and the evils of refined sugar.
 

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I usually start two to three weeks before Halloween. I have a middle school on my street so I'm a little bit concerned about vandalism. Mind you I have not had the past decorations from Halloween or Christmas vandalized, but it still has me a bit concerned since money and hard work went into the props. We get over 500 people visit on Halloween and like some of you I like try and set it out early to draw attention. My biggest issue is the lack of help setting things up. The wife thinks all this work and spent money for one night is fullish. Some you should really appreciate the support from your spouses. While my spouse was supportive a few years back, she seems to be growing weary of the decorations and Halloween night as each year progresses. However like many of you, the feeling of joy and fun on the kids and parents faces each year make it worthwhile. My kids would rather stay home and hand out candy than go trick or treating. But like a lot of you mentioned, the setup is getting more complicated and involved each year. One of the neighbors next to us seems to be growing tired of the crowds. But to be honest, the kids are almost always extremely well behaved and the family participation in trick or treating in our area seems to be high, which is a good thing. I try to ease the neighbors issues by buying candy to supplement their supply's before Halloween night to ease the financial burden as well. I really enjoy planning and decorating unfortunately I'm not sure how long this will continue despite being one of my one and only hobbies. While I look forward to this years Halloween plans and decorations it may end up coming to an end with the wife becoming more irritated.
 
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