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What is the biggest error that you've ever made in your hanunts? What did you learn from it? Help others to not do what you did. Mine has to be not getting adult actors for my haunt. Every year I tend to get one or two adults and a bunch of TOTers that wanted to help out. I'm not saying that kids can't be scary, they just didn't get any lessons from me. When I was younger, I was scary, but that's just because I've been a haunt guy since I was eight years old.
 

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I always tried to spell haunts right. HA HA HA. Really, last year I attempted to have the Jeepers Creepers thing going on, with the scarecrow. All my shocks kept blowing over. We had a lot of wind in October. Seemed that nomatter what I did, they would not stay in place. Was a real pain in the wazzoo.
 

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Pirate Princess
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Mine is better lighting better lighting better lighting. What is the purpose of having a kick booty awesome haunt and then nighttime hits and no one can see it? I did get some lights but not the effect that I wanted. This year major difference. I hope
 

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Factorial!
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The biggest mistake I've made (granted i just decided to start building props last year) was when i made a fog chiller and didn't allow a few inches for the fog to expand. nothing came out we were disappointed and by the time i realized what went wrong (after Halloween) we had already thrown the chiller away.
 

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I do a Haunted forest every year...and the thing I keep running into is that I have too much lights on the trail and people were able to see the ones doing the haunt. Also, if you have games going on that has prizes for winning...make sure this is well supervised, we had kids last year doing the games when no one was watching and taking the prizes, they found where I hid them.
 

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My biggest mistake was using black plastic tarps for walls. In my 2007 haunt I almost had a group of ToTers fall through the wall because they were leaning against it.
 

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Cardboard props are ok, unless they:
1) Get wet
2) Have something heavy on top of them
3) Get wet while something heavy is on top of them!

Awesome gargoyle + cardboard pillar for it to sit on + early morning dew for a month = smushed box & broken gargoyle.

This year, the gargoyle has a sturdy pillar made of wood.
 

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The mistake I've made is putting to much work into the beginning of the haunt and not enough in the end. I do a walk thru HH in my basement. Two years ago I had a back story that ended with a little girl demanding her doll back. I thought it would be scary, it wasn't. Every one seemed let down after being scaried thru the haunt, then nothing. Same thing last year, I started out strong with a stone wall and portraits including one that dropped. But the last two rooms were let downs. I managed to pull the last room together in the end, because I learned the importance of pacing. Don't put too much in one area.
 

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I do a haunted maze thats inside a big shed.
One year we decided to make a cave & incorporate it into the design. We didn't really have an idea how to go about this. And didn't play around with design theories before starting to build it. (big mistake)

With a large roll of black plastic, (yes, I know it's flammable) flash light, utility knife, staple gun w/ staples, & two people, we were ready to go with it. We had semi planned that the caves would be 6x6x6, letting the ceiling droop a bit like real caves. Rolled out the plastic, cut it, & moved it into place. Having one person hold the plastic up in place while holding the flash light. The other person then simply staples it in place. It was very akward doing this, especially when the staple gun either jammed or ran out of staples. We soon learned the hard way.... that the standard staple gun suck! The reverse pressure handle stapler works much better & doesn't jam. Using this technique of cave building, we eventually built our largest one of 25 ft (arc shaped).
 

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Master of my own Universe
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Having worked for quite a few hours on one of my tombstones, I posted a pic of it on the forum.

Unfortunately, one of the responses I received pointed out my mistake ...

I misspelled the name ...

No biggy normally but when you misspell Edgar Allen Poe with Edgar Allan Poe ... :(

So kids, remember, measure twice cut once and spellcheck twice, carve once !!!
 

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Last year the Cub Scouts did their first haunted house fund raiser. We had been talking about it for a few years, but last year was the first time it all came together.

I was put in charge of it all. I wrote a script and planned out how I wanted it to be and really had a lot of ideas of what I envisioned

Well the Cub Master's brother in-law and his brother had been doing yard haunts and were willing to help us in the set-up and loan us some stuff. I also thought they had said they would light the whole thing for us.

Well two nights before we were suppose to run this thing, the walls are set up and I had spent all my free time the last week working on getting it together. Well the brother in-law and his brother decided that there is not enough stuff in it and basically muscled they way into trying to take it over. They just started to pull out prop after prop and just throw it anywhere, ignoring my designs and the over all theme I was going for.

There was also a big issue on gore. We were targetign grade school kid and families with this one and I very much felt a wall of decapitated heads was NOT the kind of thing for thsi haunted house. it did not fit with the theme or the storyline, it was out of place as to where ti was and it was I felt too much for what we were trying for. And I felt this way about a lot of other stuff they did.

Also, when we asked the about helping with the lighting the same night, they acted as if it had never been mentioned before, but they would willing to help us wit that. It ended up that what they had and what they did was not very impressive and I could have done that myself. I had been under the impression that they had better lighting equipment than what they used.

Anyway, the next day I came back to the set up and decided to take down all of what I felt was too gory and did not fit with the theme. I was in charge and this was suppose to be my vision.

Well the brothers didn't like that very much and get upset. They started to threaten to take all their props and supplies. It was got a little nasty. The rest of the parents in the Pack however sided with me and they were able to help clam things down in an manner that more or less settled the issue, taking some control away from me. That ended up being a good thing, even though there was one room that didn't work for me since it was way off theme (Basically a black light room for the sake of having a black light room and using props that would work in that room, even if they had nothing to do with the theme of the rest of the castle).

In the end it all worked out well and we made a lot of money off it. We got a lot of compliments and even the brother went through and ended up admitting it was not that bad

So the lesson on this was dealing with ego. When you get a lot of creative people together working on such a project, you need to make sure they are all on the same page and that they know who has the final say.

I am ready this year and have a better idea of what we can and need to do, as well as a better idea of just what I have access to. If the brothers wish to be involved, since we will most likely still be using some of their supplies since we have stored their stuff for them all year long, I will make sure from the get go that they understand that they do need to work with me and not try to take control.

I hope that was not too much of a rant.
 

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Hauntless
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I'm with PTG, not planning for wind. Of course on Halloween day we had gusts of 30+. All during set-up I was running from one prop to the next repairing the damage.

So, the next year I got smarter and put the haunt in the garage. I then decided that if I just keep drilling holes in the wall, I'd find a stud to hang a light from. The day of Halloween (of COURSE!) I noticed that the paint is coming off in strips on one of the walls. I had accidentally drilled a hole into my upstairs water drain. UGH! So, at 3 pm hubby is tearing apart a section of my haunt, ripping drywall down and plugging the hole. Lesson learned....use a %*#!*&'n stud finder!
 

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Haverghast Asylum warden.
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I make the same mistake every year. I seem to forget that quality is far more important then quantity. I always plan my haunts to be as long as can be. In the end I'm left with blank halls and empty walls (do to lack of decore). while looking at my 09 plans I realized I'm making the same mistake yet again. :eek:
 

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Reaper
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One year we had a pile of slab wood in the driveway and stacked a couple pumpkins on it, some of the tots thought it would be a good spot to climb, they were ok, but it could have gone awry if they had an avalanche of slab or pumpkins fall on them.
 

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Our haunt has about 400 square feet of small rooms and hallways made of PVC framework with black plastic zip tied to it. we operate out of southern california...

southern california... one of the driest regions in america in terms of rainfall...

unless its halloween 2008. and when it rains, it pours. literally.

we had water pooling up in our ceilings that made the plastic look like gigantic balloons. some sections were about to collapse before we realized how bad it was getting. we ran around with a knife poking holes everywhere we could see it building up. it was only after we drained all of our plastic ceilings that we realized that we had exposed electrical cords on top of the ceiling. yikes

somehow nothing happened. i cant tell you how many potential disasters we avoided last year. still stresses me out to think about it. everything went off without a hitch. except we had hardly anyone show up the night it rained. weather is a haunters worst enemy.

if it was up to me, our haunt would be under a gigantic glass dome. maybe then nothing would go wrong...
 

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I play with dead people
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Asking people to help. Them saying they are going to help. Them showing up late. Drunk

Note to self. Get better help or do it yourself
 

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My wife works at our local Humane Society. They decided at the last minute to have a haunted house,then added a haunted trail and haunted maze. She was put in charge and I told her I would help. It was Oct 1. We worked every weekend with the help of two wonderful friends. We spent 200 dollars of our own money but it was worth it. Out of the two other Halloween haunts in the area ours was voted best. It was very nerve racking trying to get everything done in that short amount of time. This year we're doing a haunted house but it's going to be ours. That's why I'm here today looking for ideas. Start early is my new moto
 
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