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Discussion Starter #1
The main theme for my Halloween yard display is a cemetary. I have plenty of tombstones, Mausolem, raven with red lights, Cat with Yellow eyes, " new graves" and of course fog and sound. But it still seems a little "empty". Anybody have any good, inexpensive ideas for some "filler" for the cemetary in the yard? I'll attach pics to give you an idea of what I mean be kinda empty. Thanks!
 

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What about plants and grasses?
Fake weeds around the tombstones, dead brush, dead flowers, dead vines, tree stumps.
You can purchase fake foliage from a craft and/or floral store.
Sometimes dollar/99cent store carries stuff.
Just stick them in the ground ,no need to water.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
What about plants and grasses?
Fake weeds around the tombstones, dead brush, dead flowers, dead vines, tree stumps.
You can purchase fake foliage from a craft and/or floral store.
Sometimes dollar/99cent store carries stuff.
Just stick them in the ground ,no need to water.
All great ideas, thanks! I try and let my grass grow for a while to look old and unmaintained but I definately need to throw some leaves and branches around and stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Where's the coffins with skeletons and bones?....Maybe a caretaker...My stuff felt like it was missing something until I started adding characters...Maybe that's what your feeling it's missing?...ZR
Another good point. I have characters but they are for my other theme of classic horror killers. Guess I need to add some more " graveyard characters " and add a coffin or two. Just a pain in the butt to make and more importantly, find a place to store.. lol I'm al ready out of room. ;)
 

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Seer of All
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More zombies! You can never have too many!
And lots of dead foliage and spider webs. That should fill it in nicely!
 

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Moss or other distressing on the fence would look nice. Maybe some torn/ripped black plastic hanging from various things.

Keep in mind that more does not always mean better. You don't want to end up with a cluttered look. A few simple additions should breath some new death into your cemetery.
 

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Love your house and yard. The tombstones look terrific BTW. Looks like you have a decent size yard to work with and some nice props already. Do you have a picture of the yard taken at night? During daylight you take everything in at once so it's a bit hard to comment since it's what you see at night that should probably be the focus.

I looked over your pics, and I think I'd go another way. Instead of spreading out the graveyard to both sides of the driveway and adding more tombstone filler, I'd centralize the graveyard and try moving the stones closer together, focusing on getting them lit properly at night, and expand your other props in other sections of the yard more in scenes that would shift the ToTers view from scene to scene as they walked down the sidewalk, up the driveway and to your front door. I would space the scenes out more between each other and add more detail to each of them, so they don't stand in isolation so much.

You didn't say what kind of lighting you used. Maybe the use of motion sensors to trigger lighting for the various scenes would help shift the focus.

If you wanted to add more cemetary filler, I'd suggest adding a grounds keeper (deformed human or skeleton or ghoul) holding a lantern, maybe use a shovel stuck in the ground around a fresh grave instead of a rake (digging up a grave seems scarier than raking), maybe add some zombies as some suggested but have them picking through a gravesite, add a woman's hunched, kneeling ghostly figure at one of the gravestones (you wouldn't even have to show a face or any body detail) dressed all in white and covered with whispy sheer material that could blow in the wind. You could set up a motion trigger to play a woman's weeping voice as ToTers near.

Since you already have a fence around your yard (great for keeping unwanteds playing with your props) maybe you could cordon off the cemetary with a low lying walled section. A cheap solution might be to get simple wooden stakes for anchors that you attach some wood or foamboard to and if you don't want to paint it to look like brick, buy some scenesetter brick and staple it on to cover and create the same effect. Don't forget to add some spider webbing where appropriate.
 

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Loathsome Crypt Dweller
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Seeding the yard with a few (not a whole lot, mindya) skulls and bones is always good--makes it look like someone (or something) has been up to no good in the cemetery. If you want you can make 'em look slightly gnawed on. Something like a single torn, bloody shoe near the entrance might pick things up a bit as well, get 'em wondering what's going on here.
 

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Loathsome Crypt Dweller
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Ah, now...where was I?

It helps in deciding what you might use to populate your (very fine, by the way) cemetery if you have a story to tell. I always think of haunting as theatre. You're not putting out decorations--you're putting on a show. Even if nothing moves, there can be suggestions of movement, hints of action. What's the story behind your graveyard?

It doesn't have to be complicated or even original. Is it cursed? The result of toxic waste? A meteorite? What're them zombies doin' there, anyhow? Are they friendly? You can get ideas this way about all kinds of stuff you might add to the scene.

Are you part of the show? I haunt my cemetery, telling stories about the people buried there, doing what undead graveyard caretakers do. See Lavinia Fischer on wikipedia. She's one of my "guests." The Salem Witch Trials, victims and perpetrators, are always popular features as well. You'd be surprised how many people have no idea what happened at Salem.

Fun and educational.

Doing a little startle to a visitor is a lot of fun as well. Part of the show.
 

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Reaper
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You have a lot of open space, if you didn't want to add anything new, you could bring things closer together to make the fenced area smaller to make the graveyard seem fuller.
 

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How about a few urns with dead flowers and weeds in them? Or even a few heavily weathered funeral wreaths? You can get a decent sized grapevine wreath at Michaels for $4. They're very natural and kind of creepy looking with all of the vines twisted together =)
 

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Reaper Queen
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I can't really add much to what the others have said, other than maybe a spooky tree, or a tree of souls type of thing, but then, the problem is storage,then just what the others have said a gravedigger/ caretaker, a reaper, mourner, spiders and webs, urns with deaad flowers. a ghost or 2, etc.
 

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Look at it this way, the more coffins you have, the more storage bins you have to store everything else in! Then you don't have to buy a bunch of plastic bins when you just have to open the lid and everything is right there.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Love your house and yard. The tombstones look terrific BTW. Looks like you have a decent size yard to work with and some nice props already. Do you have a picture of the yard taken at night? During daylight you take everything in at once so it's a bit hard to comment since it's what you see at night that should probably be the focus.

I looked over your pics, and I think I'd go another way. Instead of spreading out the graveyard to both sides of the driveway and adding more tombstone filler, I'd centralize the graveyard and try moving the stones closer together, focusing on getting them lit properly at night, and expand your other props in other sections of the yard more in scenes that would shift the ToTers view from scene to scene as they walked down the sidewalk, up the driveway and to your front door. I would space the scenes out more between each other and add more detail to each of them, so they don't stand in isolation so much.

You didn't say what kind of lighting you used. Maybe the use of motion sensors to trigger lighting for the various scenes would help shift the focus.

If you wanted to add more cemetary filler, I'd suggest adding a grounds keeper (deformed human or skeleton or ghoul) holding a lantern, maybe use a shovel stuck in the ground around a fresh grave instead of a rake (digging up a grave seems scarier than raking), maybe add some zombies as some suggested but have them picking through a gravesite, add a woman's hunched, kneeling ghostly figure at one of the gravestones (you wouldn't even have to show a face or any body detail) dressed all in white and covered with whispy sheer material that could blow in the wind. You could set up a motion trigger to play a woman's weeping voice as ToTers near.

Since you already have a fence around your yard (great for keeping unwanteds playing with your props) maybe you could cordon off the cemetary with a low lying walled section. A cheap solution might be to get simple wooden stakes for anchors that you attach some wood or foamboard to and if you don't want to paint it to look like brick, buy some scenesetter brick and staple it on to cover and create the same effect. Don't forget to add some spider webbing where appropriate.
Thank you so much for the compliments, I really appreciate it :eek: Unfortunately I don't really have any pics at night. I use blue lights for the cemetary which looks awesome since it looks like moonlight. I actually do have my yard display set up so its kinda like going from scene to scene. You walk "thru" the graveyard by walking up my driveway and then as you turn down the sidewalk it turns in to where my "torture devices are and then next are the classic horror movie killers. I do actually like your idea of maybe bringing the tomb stones in together and I'll be thinking about that. I just want to make sure I have enough props to fill my yard so I dont have any real "bare" spots.

Im enjoying all of your ideas and advice and havent even thought of quite a few of them ( Hence the thread) ;) Please keep em coming and I'll make sure to get night photos this year! :) IVe attached a couple more for you guys ad gals to get a better idea of my yard.
 

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Oh my god you have a large yard! I read in your original post about a mausoleum and kind of thought hmmm. Now see the bigger picture! Yard envy!!!

Cool driveway gates. BTW what do the posted Rules say. I couldn't quite make them out.

With a yard your size I can see why you spread stuff out more. After seeing the whole yard ?? I still think I would keep the cemetary all together. Maybe I would set the mausoleum more in the background with the tombstones in front. The mausoleum adds a nice layer of height to the scene and you want to create midground and foreground to the scene. Do you have a FCG in the mausoleum? If you don't make use of the opening, then I would like the front of the mausoleum. Otherwise some lighting behind it, maybe reflecting off of tree branches above, would be a nice effect.

You might also consider a few other colored spots to illuminate your props. Layering of colors, where the background is one color and the prop another, adds a lot of visual interest. The time spent playing with the lights at night to get the right placement is really worth the time spent.

With the great trees in your yard, don't overlook using spooky uplighting or downlighting from them.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9bhjVWYQPE
Oh my god you have a large yard! I read in your original post about a mausoleum and kind of thought hmmm. Now see the bigger picture! Yard envy!!!

Cool driveway gates. BTW what do the posted Rules say. I couldn't quite make them out.

With a yard your size I can see why you spread stuff out more. After seeing the whole yard ?? I still think I would keep the cemetary all together. Maybe I would set the mausoleum more in the background with the tombstones in front. The mausoleum adds a nice layer of height to the scene and you want to create midground and foreground to the scene. Do you have a FCG in the mausoleum? If you don't make use of the opening, then I would like the front of the mausoleum. Otherwise some lighting behind it, maybe reflecting off of tree branches above, would be a nice effect.

You might also consider a few other colored spots to illuminate your props. Layering of colors, where the background is one color and the prop another, adds a lot of visual interest. The time spent playing with the lights at night to get the right placement is really worth the time spent.

Thanks again :eek: Yeah its a good size yard so its tuff to "fill" it in without having a million props. I was debating for a while to moving it all to my backyard but its too open, everything would all be together with no seperating the "scenes" I actually do use a lot of lights with my props, different colors, different effects. I even have a thunder/lightening "show" with the lightening coming from Clip lights up in the trees. Its pretty awesome. I wish I had night photos for you to see but I'm usually in display scaring people when its dark. I also have a really cool effect, which I recommend to everybody if you are able to. Its to use those High powered work lights you can get at Lowes, HD, Walmart for about $20-$30 and place them in your back yard shining up at the trees and the back of the house. It creates a very eerie sight, very movie like. I really like your idea of putting the mausoleum back in the cemetary too ad depth and height. I might have to figure that out. And yes, I have my FCG in there and was a big hit. I'll post pics of it and the signs in the front. Not that anybody ever reads them, but if something were to happen, ie: somebody get hurt or something, I at least have those signs so semi protect me in case of a lawsuit or something. Thanks again everybody for the great ideas and the compliments!

Here's a link to the lights I was talking about: UtiliTech at Lowe's: Tripod Work Light

FCG Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9bhjVWYQPE
 

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Funeral Crasher
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Guess I need to add some more " graveyard characters " and add a coffin or two. Just a pain in the butt to make and more importantly, find a place to store.. lol I'm al ready out of room. ;)
You could make a couple of these. They don't take up much room to store:

http://www.halloweenforum.com/tutorials-step-step/78007-slim-line-groundbreaker-coffin.html

Also another idea I like is one that Forum member "Pandora" did. She took some fairly large limbs that were cut from trees, dug a hole in the ground and stuck them in various places around her cemetery. It looked really good!!
 
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