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so about 7 or 8 years ago my house would get load of ToTs the past few years the numbers began to drop. we are in a city that is know to have a bit of a crime problem, but our neighbor hood is pretty decent. I always try to set up my haunt early so that people who just pass by might think about my place on halloween. but our street is not a main route but very much more of a side street, has any one tried ways of bringing in more ToTs?? ive often thought about putting some sorta sign on the corner with an arrow but not sure if it would work as well as i want it too.

what have you tried to bring in more kids?
 

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I have the same problem, I too have thought about a sign on the corner. My street is very dark and I think that is part of the problem. Can't wait to hear ideas on this one.
 

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The years that we had the big crowds of 600 or more (2012 we had over 1000) it all came about from word of mouth, ( my 1st season here we had 147) then one year the newspaper gave us a full page write up and more came. I have always been afraid to advertise the haunt because we barely can handle all the people that do come. The last 3 years have seen drops in people coming only because of health issues we been fighting and were not able to get everything up. Man these folks don't miss a thing, something not up they come and ask me.

There was a big problem the year I could not bake the brownies anymore, man everyone complained about that but baking and wrapping 600 brownies is no easy feat. Usually we are still running around like chickens with our heads cut off as the first child of the night approaches the door. So the last few years we seen numbers drop to around 300. This season was going to be a special Walking Dead tribute. We advertised it last year & I spent a lot on materials to build the sets and cloth the cast props. I'm going to have to do some real explaining this year and we have to postpone this tribute to 2017. Health issues this year and 8 operations between the 2 of us....there just has been no time to build anything.

Physically I can't even get up my regular decorations that I have. Only one way to pull it off....I would need a person to be able to do it. I can't even stand these days. Its killing me ....front room is filling up with halloween orders coming in, we even still have some boxes from last year that never got opened.

As far as advice to build growing numbers......I just keep adding more stuff every year, most of the shopping I do for my haunt is Flea Markets, garage sales and auctions, Goodwill & Salvation Army and any garbage I see while driving around! Doing it every year is the key to getting them to come back and we try to offer things...for instance I take family photos in one of the rooms and post them on the net in picturetrail, so they have a picture from the evening , we do candy, bags of popcorn and use to do the brownies. People loved those brownies.

At first our haunt was kids coming to the door and getting their candy. I always had decorated more inside than outside. I use to own a cafe and so we had tons of decorations from that.....the 3rd season here I opened the house up to kids coming inside and since then we never looked back, we started with kids and moms coming in and before ya knew it dad and extended families were coming. The inside tour really changed the numbers for us.

People had never experienced Halloween the way we were offering it, the inside tour in our home.......but oh it is exciting and you just get hooked into doing it. Plus you have a very personable relationship with your crowd, while standing in line for family photos, it gives me a lot of time to really visit with the people. I just love it. See...just sitting here typing this makes me still try and think of someway to get this stuff up for this year. For sure next year will bring the Walking Dead because the amount of stuff I bought to pull that together just cannot be overlooked.

So hang in there and work it. Give them something to talk about....that is what brought more people to my place>>>>they would say>>>>>Oh you gotta see this! I still laugh about those first times that 3rd year when I was inviting the kids in the house>>>>Its funny....everybody got scared....right away. Kids were afraid to come in w/o moms.....moms were afraid to let them come in so I'd say....please come in with your kids and because the inside of the house was so heavily decorated they just could not believe it. But it was fun starting it.

Maybe I better go and try to get some of these totes unpacked.........I can wheel through the rooms in my wheel chair!!! lol

Good Luck Silent Raven!
May the Force Be With You
 

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"Not on a Main Street?" The Ravens Grin is behind the stores at the end of a dead-end street which is two blocks from the highway.
I have my "Spook-mobile' car parked right next to that highway. I bought a solar-powered set of 3 solar spotlights, all of these are inside of the car, they turn on with the darkness to ILLuminate the inside of the car, showing a dummy in the passenger seat.
The car is a 1989 Olds station wagon, so many assume it is a Hearse.(Not!)
I have many crazy decorations on the hood and it's roof, and in the grill, all for naught, if I had not painted a simple map on the car so anyone can find the house .
Then some people will ask me:"Is that car up the street, yours?"
But it does make a whole lot of people stop, look, take pictures, drive down and around the block to find my house.
Can you legally park a car at the popular end of the street you live on?
 

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FACEBOOK was the key for us. I actually posted about it last year. We were getting 6 - 12 TOT's and it was killing me! Although our city has no bad areas reputation wise, it does have (unfortunately) established candy zones that get thousands. And we weren't in any of them - in between 2 actually - but that was no mans land. We tried word of mouth - got us from 6 to 12 but that wasn't enough. So I made a FB event and joined a local moms group. Got permission to promote to the group (since it was a free event) and last year we got to over 200! This year I've switched to a permanent FB page - to hopefully make it easier to build from year to year - and just got the okay to promote to the moms group again.
I also made simple business cards that say "Spooky Alley Halloween Yard Haunt, Oct 31st ONLY, 7 - 10pm, our address" and they also have a QR code (from a free QR code maker online) that when scanned takes them to our FB page. When I am out shopping and people comment on my cart of Halloween or just talk to me in the Halloween section, I hand them a card and tell them about our haunt
We are also adding signs painted with a JOL and an arrow in a couple key spots this year. We made them last year but forgot to put them out!

Goodluck!
 

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We always ranged between 50 and 100 TOTers. A couple years ago I contacted a local TV news station and they came and did a story on our yard haunt. It ran for three days on every news cast. The night of TOTing we lost count at 300. IT was about 250 last year as well.
 

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I just moved and according to one of my neighbors we only get about 50 kids despite living on the main street. I use an app called Next Door and every year they do a trick-or-treat map. Between the app and word of mouth we went from 35 kids to 50 at the old house and that was on a one way road on a giant hill.

You could also advertise your place online. My first thought is Craigslist, I believe you can advertise events on there. Someone has already mentioned Facebook, but, perhaps put flyers up around town? Libraries, community center, family friendly stores, your church if you have one, maybe your area has a community board? Our local laundromat let's anyone put flyers up on their windows.

Another idea is to make a sign and hang it in your yard. Personally, I want to get a countdown board put it somewhere visible to get the kids pumped. I'm not doing a walk through, but, if I was I would make a sign saying "Coming soon! (SilentRaven's Haunt) One Night Only October 31st ?pm - ?pm"
 

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Social media is the key. That combined with word of mouth will grow your haunt. We have a neighborhood trick or treat Facebook page that we post to. We advertise at our local Spirit Halloween store as well as some signage around the community.
 

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Ads on Facebook are not for us. "Contact 80.000 people near you!" There is not nearly that many people within a 25-30 miles radius, and most of the closest ones are 75 years old.
We did try a Facebook ad 110 miles away. We maybe saw a couple of people show up because of that? Maybe not?
but, what "works'.. "Works", if it works for someone?
 

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The warning is "beware what you wish for", many haunts build to a number they can't handle, is no longer FUN or causes congestion on the street, which results in "not" doing Halloween. I decorate early, slowly between 9/1 and 10/31, normally have a scare at the door and hand outa full size bar, from a selection.
I use the apron of my driveway as a photo op, to help being "that" house, we all are striving for!
 

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We play music and have spot lights like from the clubs to draw kids to the dark street, we are
Within walking distance to the mall
Only us and the house next to us past out candy
Last year not many kids sad really
 

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Do you have an actual home haunt or do you just want to hand out candy? I have to wonder what a normal, non-Halloween-crazy-like-us parent would think about someone actually advertising to get kids to come to their house to get a piece of candy. On the other hand, if you are actually running a small haunt then that's an activity that parents are more likely to be interested in.
I think some towns are just more trick-or-treat oriented than others.
 

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Go the old fashioned carnival route: Have some strobe or other lights pointing up at the sky and blast scary music.

I'm stating the obvious here: the Halloween lights go on every night at our house so the people passing by know where to come back on the 31st. I normally don't put on the strobes until the week of so that I don't annoy the neighbors.

Halloween afternoon, the noise starts early. I crank up the scary music as loud as it can go and open all the windows to let it out. No one has ever complained and I'm actually surprised at that. I only do that once a year and the rest of the time, music is pretty quiet. "I was told that I could listen to the radio at a reasonable volume from nine to eleven................

Anyway, I suggest giving that a try! Oh, and having a reputation for handing out good candy helps too.
 

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... I have to wonder what a normal, non-Halloween-crazy-like-us parent would think about someone actually advertising to get kids to come to their house to get a piece of candy.
evil candy klown.jpg

It will take a year from now for word to spread, but if you have some sort of raffle-esque treat hand-out, that will attract lots of TOTs. Get a couple of BIG carnival plush toys, or a razor scooter, or a little bicycle. I let the kids play fish pond, or Plinko, or Grabber Grab Bag. While most of the goodies are 50 cents- $1 (I get 80-100 TOTs) There are a few really really nice treats sprinkled in.

Believe me; when junior goes to school the next day and tells his buds about the house where he got a BICYCLE, all his buddies and their siblings will be at your doorstep!

edited to add:
BTW, Some of my neighbors hate me for doing this. Without my over-the-top TOT offerings, they would only get 15-30 TOTs max. Now they all have to buy triple the candy.
 

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Social media should be enough if you want a modest influx of TOTs to hand candy too. Also many times if you are increasing the size or quality of your decorations each year word of mouth will help bring in more people. If you have kids in school, let other parents know to stop on by. If you are trying to attract people to a homemade haunted house then get in contact with your local TV or radio station and any seasonal Halloween store. :)
 

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We used to easily get about 250+ kids on Halloween. We live in a rural community and everyone seemed to come to our street. That was, alas, until the Town's bright idea to do "TRICK or TRUNK." Now we see maybe 75 at the most. It is too easy to turn the kids loose in the park, walking 8 feet between candy stations. Ahh, the fond trick or treating memories the new generation of kids will have... ...not. :rolleyes:

Oh well, I will keep haunting the yard until the numbers drop off further. My motto: "Haunt it, and they will come!"

Eric
 

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I think the best thing to do is just make sure that the path leading up to your door is well lit and that you have fun/friendly Halloween decorations up.
 

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Just decorate your garden with Halloween decorations and scatter pumpkins around your front gate and door that will sure attract pleny of trick r treaters:)
 

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I think the best thing to do is just make sure that the path leading up to your door is well lit and that you have fun/friendly Halloween decorations up.
LOL... so funny. Fun/friendly decorations never got my attention more than the creepy, and spooky decorations. And well lit depends on perspective. :) My graveyard will be well lit with dark colors... does that count? LOL.
 
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