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My inspiration to start doing more than a pumpkin on the porch came one halloween night in la mesa calif, looking for a nice neighborhood to take my little trick or treaters, I stumbled on this guys setup
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There was a line a block long to get in, you started in the garage, the around to the backyard, around the other side and back out the front, we returned 3 years and every year it just got better and better, been 3 years now since I've been back, but looking at his website, wow, it's gone insane! He even got a gig doing Sea World 2 years ago and has even started his own prop company.
So that's where my madness began, don't think I'll ever come close his setup, but I can always dream right?
 

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Shadow box dancer
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I too had a similar experience. I had a pretty decent haunt for 6 years then do to a move to CA I didn't have a haunt for 5 years. But, while living in Los Angeles I got inspired to haunt again big time. I was fortunate enough to visit Boney Island before it closed and the House on Haunted Hill. Along with the Pirate Cave,The Haunt With No Name, Malice in Wonderland and few others.

However there is one the serves as an inspiration on a daily basis. It was the House of Restless Spirits in Santa Monica CA. House of Restless Spirits It is by far the hands down winner for creativity and amazement. There is not a single actor and not a single ounce of gore. Just sheer and overwhelming techniques. Including a few hologram like effects and some effects I still don't know how they did. You have to slowly take it all in or you can miss some of the most amazing parts. Make sure to open the garage door, we almost walked right past it. I still get excited just talking about it, and the best part is that it is free. Big lines, but well worth a wait. There are very very happy people coming out of this haunt. Everything is very understated and not terrifying. So if you need to have a chainsaw with no blade to get you going this is definitely not for you(by the way the chainsaw thing is getting really really really played out).
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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My childhood inspiration for horror and spooky decor was a haunted house in a little town amusement park that sadly no longer exists. The house had a HUGE face on the front of it with a long crookedy nose that extended out to the wait line, and had a hose hooked up to it - they'd blast random cold water on the patrons waiting in line (which isn't as bad as it sounds - this usually happened in the middle of summer) and they had the most amazing painting that covered the front of the building - a huge wasted landscape with demons, zombies and lots of gruesome stuff, but you'd have to study it for a LONG while to take it all in. I was too scared to go in there until I was in high school, and the ride itself was hokey, but fun.

The hubby and I got married on Halloween, and had to tone down our wedding decor and plans (wanted a full on costume party) because our families threw a snit (rhymes with) fit. Looking back, we regret giving in on it. :(

So when we bought our first house, we wanted to do lots of decorations... and I made props and put out a little graveyard with store-bought tombstones and was really pleased with myself... until I googled "halloween prop building" to get some ideas and came across this huge community of people that were light years ahead of me as far as decorations were concerned. :eek:;)

I've been upping my game ever since. :D

SO you could say, this forum has been my inspiration!
 

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I've always loved decorating, but didn't feel the need to go all-out until I moved to a place that didn't naturally have a Halloween feel...Los Angeles County. (I see two other Californians here! Hi!) On the east coast, the yards are already "decorated" with gorgeous colored leaves, the homes are old-fashioned (often Cape Cods), the air is chilly and the sky tends toward a delicious Halloween gray by late October!

Here, I like going nuts because blue skies and plowing palms don't feel very Halloween-ie to me! So I started super-decorating about 3 years ago. :)
 

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Mill Creek Haunted Hollow
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I'v always loved Halloween. I remember the great Halloween/birthday parties I had as a kid -- carving pumpkins, decorating, etc.

Always tried to decorate with whatever I could, but didn't get into the yard haunt aspect until my wife and I bought our first home. Since then, every year I try and get bigger and bigger. Finding sites like this shows me just how far I have to go!

:D

It's nice to find sites that validate my hobby and fun. And I can show pics to my wife and tell her, "see, at least I'm not doing that . . . yet."
 

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I always loved Halloween and when I finally got married and got my own house I couldn't wait to decorate it up!!! But it didn't start "getting out of hand" until I started using the internet. haahaa I love technology!
 

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i think mine came from an interest in horror movies and the rush i'd get TOTing as a kid. There were a couple people who would either play spooky music or dress up and get into character while passing out candy. Once i worked in my first haunted house @ 14 the deal was sealed. I vowed to do what i had wished someone would do when i was a kid. I paired up with my brother and a kid up the street and we ran a home haunt for most of the years in high school. People we scared then now come to their house with their kids and ask his mom about the haunted house and tell her about how scared they got coming. That was 15 years ago! That alone keeps me doing it.
 
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