Halloween Forum banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
600 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Happy September 1st .. This is when I normally go in Halloween Panick mode and rush around getting everything that I told myself I'd get done over the summer started and in the works. This year I'm contemplating what to do though, because my 'crew' has had the audasity to become adult children and go away to college. I've lost my art director, my oldest who went back to her Art/Bio major .. While I limped along last year without her, the big blow is my Everything Tech Guru ( middle DD) started Freshman year Engineering. I am left with my Husband, who is great and my total labor department. My youngest, who tried to ditch me last year for a party, yeah :p .. And me. Part of me is thinking about throwing in the towel, part really downsizing .. It just seems daunting for two people. :confused:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,769 Posts
I'm pretty much for the most part of the plan/build-season a party of one and yes, it is daunting sometimes. Your choice is either skip this year decorating and enjoy the holiday in other ways or plow a head, go for a plan that can be scaled as it gets closer if need be, and march on. What you get done is great, and done with some forethought what doesn't happen won't really be noticed by the kids who come. Less can sometimes be just fine. There's always indoor window displays if you have windows facing the ToTers and those can be done ahead and just put in place kind of last minute if the outside doesn't come together. A few years ago either due to impending rain or just my mood I've contemplated skipping decorations and just handing out candy, but if you're like me it gnaws at you and you find yourself looking for some standby props, decorations and lighting to at least put out. I find it so hard to have a dark, undecorated house on halloween night.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,774 Posts
Congrats on all the crew moving on to college!

Unless I can wrangle a buddy, it is just me this year- so I certainly feel your pain. With no one available to provide a good jump scare or other gag, I try to have more projections and animated props, giving the TOTs lots of movement to catch the eye.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,511 Posts
oh lord, i hear this....that was the downfall of our big maze, kids had to work too hard and moved on to college/friends and i got a hip issue cant get off a ladder safely. thats when i took it inside for us, i never had time to really do our inside like the yard and maze just couldnt do it all.......now i vamp up and do my inside for us and do some outside if weather and im feeling good enough to do it or..........guess what? we also go out and do halloween for us. took me three years to get over not doing the maze and i havent gotten rid of a thing yet, thinking one day we might have a halloween wedding here with our art major....lol...........you will enjoy doing things just for you.......our neighborhood has aged up now too its not worth it....im totally into what i want to do and having a ball....dont be sad, morph to something else for you now!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
600 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks so much to the help, ideas and pep talk! I figured there would be others here in my situation and y'all would share what you do. I think part of what's taking the wind out of my sails is I've always done this with the kids, it was a way to keep Halloween alive at our house even when they deemed themselves ' too old' to trick or treat anymore. We've stepped up our decorating each year and it's blown up to a rather large display at this point that draws 500 -600 people. Every fall people start asking a little before Oct when stuff is going up, everyone brings their kids by almost every night to see what's new. I'm trying to figure out how to downsize without disappointing anyone I think. I knew this time was coming, I think I've been a little in denile though ;)
 

·
Monster Collector
Joined
·
3,385 Posts
My "crew" has always just consisted of my Son and I. I lost my Brothers help some years ago. It can be tough with just a couple people, but have heart, you can do it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
799 Posts
Yeah, smaller crew is better! And maybe downsizing isn't a bad thing.

And Happy September 1st to you too! This is usually when I feel the holiday starts for me!! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
413 Posts
I'm about 3/4s of a person most of the time. 3/4 of me is working on whatever I'm working on, and the other 1/4 is keeping an eye on my youngest so she doesn't destroy something or hurt herself. That child is a going concern. In theory, she and her older sister are "helping" me. Helping lasts about 3 minutes until the older one gets bored and does some other activity, and that's when the little one gets creative. She's 4 now. I don't anticipate this year being any easier. Daddy helps, when he's not poking fun at me, or egging the children on in driving me crazy.

Wait, the youngest is starting school this year. Maybe I can finangle a few extra days off.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
453 Posts
I do 95% of it myself. Art, tech, and planning. About the only thing I get help with is actual setup (and that is only the small props) and handing out the candy. If you got to go smaller to handle it, go smaller. This is my last Halloween with my kid so hopefully they are more involved this year and understand your situation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
600 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Two people? Meh. I do 90% of ours alone. My wife and 2 sons help, but mainly it's just me because I have the blueprints in my head and know how everything assembles and gets lit.
As far as planning, that's all me. As far as building it .. the creative part .. I can paint, draw, sculpt and to a certain degree build, that's why I can limp along without my oldest to help. Although her help made it go so fast., since there was two of us on the job and we could take on more. As far the the tech part, that's so not my gig unfortunately.. It's just not how my brain works. So my middle daughter did all of that for me. My husband understands all that stuff, but he just doesn't have the time, so I try not to overload him. I try to keep his part just labor, especially high stuff, I have a head injury and can't be on the roof/in trees type of thing. Plus Archery season opens here next weekend and we do that together, so ithat takes up time too. Last year four people on Halloween night was perfect, two to dress up, hand out candy .. Two to roam the area since we get so many people. This year it would be one to hand out candy, one to roam. Unless I can get my youngest involved, she's great with kids, just very social and normally wants to hang with friends instead of be home.
 

·
Caretaker of Eerie Manor
Joined
·
6,492 Posts
We're kind of in the opposite situation in that we have a surplus of volunteer helpers. When we started to expand our haunt several years ago, we recruited our kids and some of their friend to help out. Once they got involved they had so much fun, they wanted to come back every year. I was heavily involved in our Scout Troop so we got older kids from there to assist as well as some friends and co-workers, all of whom line up every year to volunteer. Last year we had some of our helper's parents who wanted to join in so we found spots for them as well. We have a crew of about 20 to run the haunt, and each year we have people contact us offering to help out. I normally have to turn people away! This year is no exception and we're lining up about 25-28 helpers. I'll gladly send you my overflow! lol!
We find that there is no shortage of people who would love the chance to get involved in a home haunt for a couple hours and scare other folks, or even help with some set-up/tear down/etc..

Our crew from the past two years

2014 Zombies


2015 Carnevil of Terror
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
101 Posts
I have always been a one man crew until I married and now I have my wife to tell me what to do. lol

My suggestion:

Forget the minutia.
Focus on your BEST props.
Use broad strokes until you have most of your stuff up.
Then fiddle with the prop(s) and displays that are your favorite(s).

You should enjoy this as much as the TOTers. If you dont, its time to change your plan!

(2 cents given)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,208 Posts
Buy fishing line or 1/16th steel cable rig everything back to a central "Command Post" and make it all happen yourself. run the cable inside of small pvc pipe, tape the joints instead of glue take it apart for next time. No electricity needed, no servos, no cylinders, no compressor's So much cheaper!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,392 Posts
Here's my suggestion... about October 1st, start putting out some decorations... but make sure you're outside and doing it when the kids are getting off from school. Invariably, a couple of them will be compelled to come over and talk to you, ask what's going on, and you skillfully steer the conversation to how you could use some help making props, decorating, and scaring people, and more often than not they will sign on immediately. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
600 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Here's my suggestion... about October 1st, start putting out some decorations... but make sure you're outside and doing it when the kids are getting off from school. Invariably, a couple of them will be compelled to come over and talk to you, ask what's going on, and you skillfully steer the conversation to how you could use some help making props, decorating, and scaring people, and more often than not they will sign on immediately. :)
This is a great idea, but I'm in a neighborhood that's changing over. All the kids were little when my kids were, now everyone is older teens or young adults. No younger kids around at all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,392 Posts
This is a great idea, but I'm in a neighborhood that's changing over. All the kids were little when my kids were, now everyone is older teens or young adults. No younger kids around at all.
That's perfect! Younger kids end up wanting to go trick or treating, and older kids want to go to parties. What you need are the 13-15 years olds who are getting too old for trick or treating and looking for something to do.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top