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Hello All!

Sorry that I am posting this late, but I have been busy the past week.

Vlen the Magic Mirror returns after a two year hiatus. Last year (2015) for Halloween I did the 'Scare Zone' as something quick and easy to put together, because I was still dealing with the reality of my mom passing last year. The year before that (2014) I did 'The Creep Machine', which was my really BIG Halloween show. Both years, I have heard people comment on missing the Magic Mirror routine and I kind of got the gist that they were NOT tired of it after four years of my doing it prior to 2014. So this year I finally brought the Magic Mirror back.

The display was not large this year as I have decided to scale back to facilitate an easier setup and take down. As a result the display resembled my 2011 display most, since that year I also didn't do the Singing Pumpkins. I ran a window display called Hallowindows back then and for this year, Spydro the Jumping Spider returns as well.

While it may seem like there wasn't anything new this year, I did make some changes, but most of those changes were behind the scenes. I changed the computer system from a huge desktop system, to a very small Acer notebook computer. For the sound I had a mixer, amplifier and speakers...all separate...and I condensed that down to ONE unit. The speaker also handled Bluetooth so I was able to stream music to it from my Kindle Fire tablet. So that is where most of the changes were. BUT I did have some new things for the people too. I introduced a doorbell / knocker that contained a rather unusual surprise for those that pushed the button! I also had a 'wildcat' scare in the vestibule with me. That was mostly to scare the teenagers :).

Another big change was that I revamped the Magic Mirror routine itself. I had Vlen telling TOT's (Trick Or Treaters) Halloween based jokes. I have also added sound effects such as a drum hit for the joke punchlines and also a bell when I delivered the candy down the chute.

So now here is the video of Halloween night!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13upq-6Brjg

Ok, so that was one of my longer Halloween videos, but that was because I normally post a narrative and Halloween night footage separately. This year I posted them together because I didn't get much footage of the Magic Mirror in operation. In fact I only had two clips and one didn't come out right. So I only had the one you see in the video above.

Halloween started quite differently this year in that normally I take off from work, but things didn't work out that way this year and I ended up working for half the day. I figured that as long as I got to the house by 3:00pm, I would have an hour to get everything in place and running by 4:00pm. That is when the show/display started and it would run until 8:30pm. Sadly, I didn't get to the house on time and I arrived at 3:15. Needing an hour, I ended up opening up at 4:15. I did get a couple TOT's before that time, but I did kindly tell them to return later.

My kids and my wife shortly went out trick or treating themselves shortly after I opened. Then I sat, and sat and sat...no one was coming! Then just when I thought I had my first group, it was my own kids back from Trick Or Treating. LOL! After I gave them my spiel and some candy, I went outside to take a look and it was about 5:00pm...NO ONE outside! So I sent my wife out to get us pizza for dinner and sure enough, shortly after, they began to come. They kept coming on and off from about 5:00 to 6:30, so I had my dinner in the vestibule like I normally do. I actually like it and it's pretty cool just chilling out in there (and this year I WAS literally chilling in there), and having pizza. I did eceived many compliments too. Some of the more braver kids even said that despite that my display was smaller it was better than the neighbors across the street! I don't think that is the case as my neighbors put A LOT of work into that display. Usually two and sometimes 3 people worked on that display for 3 weekends! But the problem was that my neighbors didn't interact with the kids like they did last year. They didn't want to be out in the cold and as such they didn't get many TOTs there at all. With only automatic walkway lights that would turn off after a while, most kids were afraid to enter the yard. BIG mistake. They should have at least kept the driveway and walkway lights on.

At 6:30 it already slowed down and more of the older kids started to come out. But the TOT's steadily declined until about 7:30 and then it was practically dead again with only one or two groups coming every 15 mins or so. At that point I already started to take the signs down and some of the outside lighting. By 8:45 only the Magic Mirror was still running and I was just about to start taking that down when I got my last group. So I did the spiel for them and that was it.


So no, it wasn't a good turn out this year. I think I got about 50 kids when I normally get 85 to 100. I bought 5 bags of candy and only used about half of it. Normally I usually have one bag left. Despite the fact that I didn't have many kids this year, I did get many compliments. They did like the jokes, so I am going to keep that. But I didn't get many older kids and I am a bit sad that I didn't get to use my 'wildcat' scare. So I am not sure if I am going to use that again. The door knocker / bell was a hit too, so I am going to keep that.

Tear down went very fast at the end of the night as the new rig 'back stage' was very easy to take down. I managed to pull all of my signs, lights and extension cords in too. In the end, only the curtains and the facade are still up in the vestibule. Everything else is down. I am going to go back this weekend to finish the job.

Also there will be more changes in the coming year. The biggest one is that this year was the last year I am doing a display at my parent's house. I have decided that since I am going to redo the facade anyway, now it is time to move the Magic Mirror to my own home. Last year I specifically made a trip back here to the house to see what the TOT (Trick or Treater) situation was like and I found out that there is definitely some action here.

I intend to use a video projector to project the image of Vlen on a 'screen' in which I will put that in a frame so it looks like a mirror.

I started things off right for next year and I went to Spirit Halloween's 50% Nov 1 sale. I made a nice score too and picked up another large scare prop.

So that was my Halloween for 2017!

I have posted some pictures below:

The first picture is of my new setup in the vestibule, note the smaller computer and all in one Alto speaker. Also in that picture you can see the chair, where I sit in the bottom right corner, my microphone and also the sheet of paper that has all the Halloween jokes I used for the night. Just above that sheet, where you see the orange glow by a curtain, that is my 'one way' scrim where I look out and see the TOT's. The bottom left next to the propped open storm door is my 'stash' of candy. So I had that candy and what you see in the bowl. Directly under the bowl, under the table you can see the candy chute.

The second picture is of the current display at my own house.

The third picture is of a preliminary test I did for next year (Halloween 2017) using a projector to project the magic mirror face on my picture window. This is where the Magic Mirror will be for next year.

The fourth one is of my boys dressed up. One is Kylo Ren and the other is some Zombie Swamp monster thing.

The fifth picture is a daytime shot of my jumping spider.

Well that's it folks! Enjoy the video and pix and I will see you all next year in 2017 when Vlen the Magic Mirror debuts at his NEW location!

Be well, and scare well!

11-17-2016 Please note: If I do not respond to your comments it is not because I am being rude, it is because I have signed off the Halloween forum for the season. SEE EVERYONE HALLOWEEN 2017!!

Diaval.
 

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Valkyrie Of Halloween
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What a cool idea! I think it was because it was a Monday. We had an extremely slow start, too. Picked up once it started getting dark, but we were worried it was going to be a poor turnout as well. But then it really picked up.

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
awesome !!!!
Thank you very much!

What a cool idea! I think it was because it was a Monday. We had an extremely slow start, too. Picked up once it started getting dark, but we were worried it was going to be a poor turnout as well. But then it really picked up.

Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk
Thank you. The Magic Mirror puppet can be bought from Imagineerieing.com, so that part of the display I didn't create. The facade as well as most of the items in my display are custom made. I have been using that same facade (with minor alterations), since 2009. Yes, we had the slow start too and then it picked up...but after 7pm it just died of. Even though I kept the Magic Mirror 'open' for 15 minutes longer this year (I stopped at 8:45), I already started to pack things up at 7:30. By 8:00, I already had the signs and jumping spider taken down. I ran the Magic Mirror longer because I had a TON of candy left over. I was expecting a big turnout especially since I told everyone I was bringing the mirror back. But given the poor turnout this year and my tiring of setting up TWO Halloween displays (one at my house, and the Magic Mirror at my parent's house). I think it is time to move the Magic Mirror routine to my own home. Which is what I am going to do next year.

Nicely done. The one prop that always gets TOT'ers is the jumping spider. I love it.
Yes, it does get them good. This year I bought the Bale of Hay Pumpkin Popper from Spirit, half price! That will be my main scare next year. Here is the video of it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWuMaG6MP6o



Great haunt! 2017 here we come!
Thank you. I am glad you like! BTW, I scored and got a new video projector (FOR FREE!), so yeah, next year the Magic Mirror will be a WHOLE lot larger because it will be a projection. Until 2017!
 

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Love the Magic Mirror! It's a nice set up you have for it in the doorway. But it sounds like it will be much easier to set it all up at your place next year. Your TOT fan base at home will grow once they get to see the mirror in action!
 
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