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My 2013 Sp00ktacular Halloween display in Florida went off "Almost" Flawless lol

Here is a link to the video I said I would post.
Working on tracking down the neighbors with photos and video and will post more soon.
Screaming kids made it worth the fun. The shocking flashing fuse panel was the main scare as people were exiting.

The saw blade was the talk of it all. I'm sure some of you will see it on social media as there was hundreds of pictures of it taken last night and I have already seen it being shared on social media today :) I feel a sense of accomplishment after all this.

A few of you expressed interest in the saw blade photos I posted upon completing it and trust me it will be worth your build time.
It's an attention getter at 4 feet tall :)
I will post more very soon. Thank you all for all the wonderful ideas.

The details in the video description gives more details as to what all is in it and what all goes into it. We are all about lighting since it can make or break anything. But we go all out for Christmas too so lighting is my strong point.
Thanks again everyone :)

 

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The only downfall for the night was the laser vortex having issues (cant really see it at beginning of video) The batteries kept having to be replace every 20 minutes. Next year I have to learn how to solder a plug on the laser instead. Went through 16 aaa batteries last night :( Oh well. It was worth it.

Special thanks to Daveinthegrave (hope that name is right) for the Ouija board prop.
Not sure if I can tag him as I am not that advanced but I really want him to have the credit for that board. It amazed people and actually created a bottleneck at many points throughout the night lol. Thanks Dave much appreciated :)

The video will show red and green dots going through the trees. Those are red green laser projectors I got on ebay for around $25 each. It's something you have to bring in at night but well worth it if you have lots of trees.

The empty forclosed house across the street has my car in the yard crime scene taped off with the car jacked up on the front end and a body under it making it look as if it were run over.


Some things aren't clear in the video but I will try to break it all down as I remember. Still pretty tired at the moment lol.
 

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Follow up. Youtube suggested fixing the shakiness so I did let them. Well they made it 100 times worse. So I clicked to go back to the regular version. It should be done going back in 30 minutes or so. Once it does the video will look much better. Their version is what is showing now and it is horrible! Mine is not even shaky but theirs is.

Should be able to view the right video in 30 minutes when it finishes converting back.
 

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Thank you everyone. I was pretty shocked to wake up and see someone had shared a photo on facebook with one of my friends and it was one of my props from last night. The feeling made it all worth it. I really thank everyone for posting photos on here. You photos played part in some of my lighting and some ideas for props. The toxic barrel was on here but I added my own spin to it. I can honestly say I will really have to up this all next year. Now time for a week off and then to start christmas. Found myself buying $300.00 worth of led Christmas lights today so I am already getting my other holidays on..

I heard someone saying to another haunt visitor last night "I'm so glad people actually still do stuff like this for humanity, My neighborhood doesnt do anything"
I smiled to myself and when him and his kid got closer and reached the end where we were giving out the treats, they got 3 handfuls of candy and told him some people still care about others and if this is how I can express myself and make others happy then I will do it as long as I can breathe. Then told him to come see the Christmas display but it wont be as good as halloween lol..

:)

Yep, I got the Halloween bug full speed now :)
 

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Wow! That is some impressive display/haunt you have there. I can't imagine how long it must have taken to set that up. I only had three major attractions on the side yard of a house, but this is one of the largest displays I have seen yet.

Yeah, I agree about the lighting. It is GREAT! However I would have liked to have seen some kind of 'dusk' walkthrough in which you can see more details on the props and still have the lights seen too. I usually find the best time to take my 'showcase' pictures is just went it starts to get dark.

But, again, stupendous job.

Geo
 

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Wow!!! AMAZING HAUNT!! Great job!! I would love info on how to to the Oujia Board prop...thats incredible!!!
 

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Uh, wow. That's all I can say. You sir, are my Halloween display hero!
Lol. Well thank you. I am nowhere near a pro at this. There are much better displays out there. Just trying to make memories last a lifetime for others. As a child I still to this day remember this house on Taft Street in Hollywood Florida who went all out for Christmas and did 3 houses worth of lights. It later got moved to the indian reservation down there. Needless to say that memory is when I was around 8 years old. That is a gift as far as I am concerned because it has lasted a lifetime.

That is my ultimate goal. To give both children and adults alike memories that will last a lifetime. Not just for Christmas but for halloween as well. After all they will keep coming back year after year to see what is new. Hopefully it's a family tradition and this will lead to future displays. Sadly many do not even put up decorations anymore and I hope to change that. Now if only I can figure out how to get others to do that. By being here we are all looking to make others happy in one way or another and for that I am thankful :)
 

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I agree. I only got video BEFORE most of the props were out 3 days before. Sadly I had planned so much for the last day I still did not get everything done. I wanted video but exactly at 7pm when I opened it there were aleady about 50 people waiting. I ran into last minute glitches and things I forgot about until around 8pm. This year I learned a few things and hope next year to learn from my mistakes. The video is one of the things I learned from. I now know next year to have video before it's too dark.

Also I learned to make sure to have it set it up the night before so there is not last minute issues like this year. I truly appreciate everyones feedback as you can see on my youtube video from last year as well this year I really went all out. I had a lot of new things and tried my best but will have to learn from the mistakes and make it even more "spooktacular" next year :) ALL suggestions will be taken into consideration. :)
 

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Daveinthegrave Is actually the one who built it and his work was extremely appreciated by everyone who saw it. All I did was the base/riser and add some trendmasters candelabras to either side of it. I got them on ebay for around $20 each. . But the board itself is all daves hard work. He handled the mechanics. During my multiple emails to him I found out about this forum and joined. Somewhere I saw he had a tutorial on here. Let me try to find it real quick...

http://www.halloweenforum.com/tutorials-step-step/105127-black-vent-motor-tutorial-part-1-a.html
and
http://www.halloweenforum.com/tutorials-step-step/107555-animated-ouija-board-vent-motor-part-2-a.html

There are step by step instructions. But if you are like me and have a hard time following instructions, Then it may be best just to buy one from him. I took the easy route and did just that. Either way it is worth it to have one as it was a main focal point and there are hundreds of pictures of his work (the board) all over the internet right now after all the pictures taken of it :)
 

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Wow!!! AMAZING HAUNT!! Great job!! I would love info on how to to the Oujia Board prop...thats incredible!!!
The animated Ouija Board IS very sweet, especially the way you displayed it. I'll have to look into that next season. Thanks!
I really liked that one myself. My best guess is that it is done with a magnet.

I agree. I only got video BEFORE most of the props were out 3 days before. Sadly I had planned so much for the last day I still did not get everything done. I wanted video but exactly at 7pm when I opened it there were aleady about 50 people waiting. I ran into last minute glitches and things I forgot about until around 8pm. This year I learned a few things and hope next year to learn from my mistakes. The video is one of the things I learned from. I now know next year to have video before it's too dark.
Is this your first year doing a display? If so that is extremely good for a first year. But, yes, I went through the trials and tribulations of doing show work early on. Having a background in theatre there is something that is done which is called a 'dress rehearsal'. Which is basically a dry run through of your show with everyone and everything set up and ready to go as if it were the actual show. So I basically learned from that. Every year I make sure that I leave the night before to test everything to make sure it works as it should. If you read my post for this year's show, I have ran into a problem with my jumping spider which had a characteristic I didn't know about. Luckily the dry run / dress rehearsal flushed the problem out and I was able to correct it so it was working fine for Halloween.

That being said, in regards to video, I learned too that my camera does an OK job with night videos, but it isn't the greatest at capturing details. I found that it seems to be best to take video just as it is getting dark so it is light enough out that your camera captures details AND you can put on your lights.

As for getting everything set up on time. I hate to sugarcoat it, but it rarely happens for me too. There is just always that little something extra you want to put out but there isn't enough time to do it. The larger your display gets so does the issue. For my display I wanted to put more spider webs around my jumping spider. I wanted some spider 'sacs' and perhaps plant a few smaller spiders in the area too. You know...to make it really look like a next or lair. I didn't get to do that. Also I had some new fences to create a path to the jumping spider and to keep people out of a certain area. I wanted to line that with lights. Didn't get to do that either. I bought two new lanterns to put on my Singing Pumpkin display. I had them out on my dry run, but I was afraid they were going to 'walk' and I didn't have a plan to mount them someplace, so THEY didn't get to go out either.

One rule that I have experienced but having difficulty in correcting is that no matter how early you plan for something, most jobs the first time through will take MUCH longer than anticipated. So if you have many new items you will need MUCH more time setting them up than if you had set something up before. This is very true in my case as I build most of my props.

As for the dusk video...do you still have everything set up? You could always take a dusk video the next day too. I really would have loved to see the details in your props.

Also I learned to make sure to have it set it up the night before so there is not last minute issues like this year. I truly appreciate everyones feedback as you can see on my youtube video from last year as well this year I really went all out. I had a lot of new things and tried my best but will have to learn from the mistakes and make it even more "spooktacular" next year :) ALL suggestions will be taken into consideration. :)
Oh, Ok, so this isn't your first year...I kinda thought I saw the name "SpOOktacular" here before. But yeah, a dry run is VERY important. Also don't bite off more than you can chew by trying to put out too many new items. Again...this is an area that sometimes I don't heed my own advice on. BUT I guess you have to use your best judgement here. I find too that I have to add even more time due to my age. I am not 30 years old anymore and setting up props and decorations for a long period of time sure does take its toll on me.

Even though it was a long dream to pull off a display/haunt as large as yours my problem is having to deal lwith the weather which as proven to be a big problem here on Long Island, NY. Since 2009, only one year (2011) I had a fantastic evening with NO bad weather (even though that day we had some snow on the ground in the morning). Unless I had several people on hand to deal with a weather emergency, I just don't think something on your scale would ever happen for me...unless it was done indoors. It is just a shame with the weather here...you just can't count on it. Well, you CAN count on it, you just count on it being bad all the time.

Ahhhh, I think I saw that you posted a link in regards to that Ouija board. I am going to check that out.

Edit: YUP! Done with a magnet :).

BTW, the giant saw blade...is that animated? Do you have a TUT on building that?

Keep up the great work BTW, it is outstanding. I love the lighted path you created. That is something similar I wanted to do with my fences, but didn't have to time to do so.

Have a good day! I have to go back to the house and pack everything else up that I didn't put away on Halloween night.

Geo
 

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thanks for all the info on the Oujia board! I would love to add that as a new element next year...would be great to have a fortune teller room!! Great work on your display!! I bet everyone loved it!
 

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thanks for all the info on the Oujia board!
Yes, ditto that comment. I took a quick look at it and it doesn't look too difficult to pull off. But I MIGHT just up the ante on it a bit. This is definitely on the burner for next year.

I would love to add that as a new element next year...would be great to have a fortune teller room!! Great work on your display!! I bet everyone loved it!
That is a good idea too. I did a fortune teller one time...in fact it was last year. Since Hurricane Sandy came and left us without power, I had a battery operated crystal ball, Jack-O-Lantern and a few other pieces. I also had a Mardi Gras mask that had a huge feather stickiing out of the top of it. I donned my punk rocker wig and the mask and the Hip Swami was born. It obviously wasn't as good as the Magic Mirror, but after all I came up with the idea in less than a day and there was NO power to boot. I had thought of revisiting the Hip Swami and see what I could do WITH power, but I will see what I will do. The people in my area were happy to see the Magic Mirror return after last year's fiasco. But I am certainly looking to change things up for 2014 since it is a Friday Halloween.

Geo
 

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I really liked that one myself. My best guess is that it is done with a magnet.



Is this your first year doing a display? If so that is extremely good for a first year. But, yes, I went through the trials and tribulations of doing show work early on. Having a background in theatre there is something that is done which is called a 'dress rehearsal'. Which is basically a dry run through of your show with everyone and everything set up and ready to go as if it were the actual show. So I basically learned from that. Every year I make sure that I leave the night before to test everything to make sure it works as it should. If you read my post for this year's show, I have ran into a problem with my jumping spider which had a characteristic I didn't know about. Luckily the dry run / dress rehearsal flushed the problem out and I was able to correct it so it was working fine for Halloween.


BTW, the giant saw blade...is that animated? Do you have a TUT on building that?

Keep up the great work BTW, it is outstanding. I love the lighted path you created. That is something similar I wanted to do with my fences, but didn't have to time to do so.

Have a good day! I have to go back to the house and pack everything else up that I didn't put away on Halloween night.
Geo


Had to shorten that a bit so it didn't take up the whole page.
Actually no I had everything tore down the very next day and ready to prep for christmas. Made the kids help so everything came down fast. Took 3 weeks to put up and less than 6 hours to tear down everything.

Thank you for taking the time to respond. Actually this is my first few months on here but have been displaying a few years now. This is my third year for the display at this house. Most years before it was simple dollar store items and pumpkin trash bags filled with leaves and white garbage bag ghosts hanging from fishing line stretched across the yard.. The first year was just graves and a couple strobe lights at this house. Last year was a couple fog machines, graves, and a light border around the yard and Reg & Green dj lasers aimed at the trees. People were amazed and kept complimenting it so I figured I would up it this year. Sadly I spent more than I should so my upgrade to led lighting this christmas will have to take 2 years rather than one year due to insane costs of led lights. Most of my props were honestly last minute ideas built in the last 3 weeks of October. Other than the Ouija board but I can not take credit for that one as Daveinthegrave spent hours working on that. I had a vision of how I wanted it displayed and it turned out flawless! The black light made it really pop. The candelabras also are a good addition. You can find them on ebay by typing in Trendmasters candelabra during the down months where halloween stuff is cheaper. Flicker bulks are also cheap as most have a bulb break then sell the whole thing on ebay at a discount not realizing the bulbs are about a buck a piece.

As for the video I will have to try next year. I do have one video but unfortunately none of the props were out yet. It's just when I finished the border and tooks video so I knew how it was looking for next year. I have still shots the week before but honestly none of the props were out yet. Just the border and some of the poles for holding the pole prop people I have out. Most everything got changed around a couple times as I have never gone this far with the display so I had to keep changing some things around and finding the best spot for them. I will add a couple pictures of it to here

This year I took it to a whole other level. I started off during the winter buying props last year.
Then it seemed to grow but the last month I was watching Making Monsters on travel channel every weekend and snagged the ideas for the barrel from them then saw toxic barrels on here and tweaked mine a bit. Also the saw blade prop was something they put into a haunted house. I made my own spin off of it. Unfortunately it did not spin this year as it was made a week before halloween so I did not have time to look into how to motorize it. Maybe next year it will be. Hopefully someone on here has ideas on how to get it spinning safely. I plan to research as much as I can on here this year. Then maybe get it all sorted out before next year of what to add and how to do it. After all that is why I am here to learn. Knowledge is a treat that should be passed along every year. That being said now I have to start on Christmas. The good thing about my border for halloween is the outskirts are pvc pipes and joints that also double as my christmas border then I just add pvc poles with home made lollipops made out of corrugated plastic sign material, and plastic wrapping from dollar tree. Already got those up but christmas lighting is something else we get in the paper for every year so I have to start early.

Hope I answered most of the questions :)

Here are images of the layout a week before halloween. As you can see many things were changed after these pictures. 90% Of the props were not out yet as this was only the walk through borders. Sorry not photos of the props. Will add some photos soon.
 

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This part goes out to everyone as a group. What are your all suggestions on taking payment? Many people were asking if we charged and I told them no not at all. We did not take any form of payment or donations. Many visitors said we should as this display was better than the haunts in the area that were $3 per person. Others suggested it and many kept asking if we did charge. I want this to be memorable but wonder if I should atleast have a sign reading "accepting donations" or maybe advertise it next year as bring a food item donation or even better a new unopened toy for a donation.

I like the toy idea but it may seem a bit early for a toy drive for christmas. There's a reason behind this toy idea.... My plan this year is to take my kids down to Metropolitan Ministries in Tampa and have them volunteer some time and assist in giving out food and toys to needy families. My kids seem to think they go without and are deprived. Well I want to show them what that truly means. As a child I honestly had almost nothing are far as possessions. We struggled for food and had to live the country life sometimes. My kids were starting to act spoiled and it really bothered me this year. Seeing them EXPECT top of the line shoes and clothes really bothered me. Business was good the last 2 years so I spent money on them but then it became an issue where it was being taken for granted. My two kids are 15 & 11 and my girls 2 kids are 14 & 10 so I guess they are at that age but I want them to understand sometimes it is better to help others than to worry about buying those expensive things for ourselves. So I vowed to show them what others go through and how it is for them to struggle and have to swallow pride and ask for help. So this year they have no choice and will be volunteering at a well known help center down here. So that is why I ask about maybe accepting toys as a donation for entrance not yet but not mandatory. I might be jumping the gun but I just feel if I can do something to give back rather than just put on a display, Maybe this would really be a good thing. Does anyone take part in anything like that?
 
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