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For many years I had always wanted to decorate the house beyond the front door but never did so. This year I just decided to do it and decorate into the front yard. At first it seemed as though things would be a breeze but very quickly I realized the amount of work required to do what I really wanted wasn't going to be possible due to my late start (end of September).

In the end I built two entry columns, one smaller column, gate section, fencing sections, two hanging spider victims and three hanging spider egg sacks, a full size pose-able dummy prop, two smaller pose-able dummy props, two full size toe-pincher wooden coffins, gollum'ish ground breaker (with skin, eyes & hair), fog chiller, giant lighted pumpkin head scarecrow, various hanging bone mobiles, bone and skull light post, three floodlight rock shield covers and several other small things that elude me at the moment. All that done in a little bit over a month for my first real Halloween yard display. Of course you all know that doesn't include all the fog, sound and lighting testing to make sure things are just right. It was definitely more work than I had anticipated.

Actually about a week or two before Halloween I was beginning to rethink why exactly I was torturing myself to get all this stuff done. I just wasn't sure if all this trouble was going to be worth it but I stuck it out. Come Halloween night the first group of TOT's (teenagers) that ran away scared before even making it to the walkway (IT WASN'T EVEN DARK YET) made me forget all the hard work. Those screams of terror ... ahh yes ... THEY MADE IT ALL WORTH WHILE!

I learned a ton about prop making and how paying attention to the right details can make all the difference. I owe the vast majority of thanks to you people on this forum. Thank you everyone for posting your ideas, pictures and techniques! You inspired me to finally get out there and build it!

And yes of course, I have bigger plans for our 2nd year. Much bigger!















A few more pictures of some of the setup can be seen here
 

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wow all i can say is wow nice display and i can tell you you have the touch to play with the light and i love that gargoyle video can't wait to see what you will come up next year
 

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OMG OMG OMG!!! I LOVE the gargoyle in the video! Where did you find him? He looks huge! I got one that was similar at Walgreen's but it was smaller and much more jerky in it's movements. I love how slowly yours moves his wings.
I also really like the mobile/wind chimes! What a great idea!
 

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Funeral Crasher
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OMG OMG OMG!!! I LOVE the gargoyle in the video! Where did you find him? He looks huge! I got one that was similar at Walgreen's but it was smaller and much more jerky in it's movements. I love how slowly yours moves his wings.
I'm pretty sure Big Lots sold that Gargoyle. His original price was $50 I think.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
OMG OMG OMG!!! I LOVE the gargoyle in the video! Where did you find him? He looks huge! I got one that was similar at Walgreen's but it was smaller and much more jerky in it's movements. I love how slowly yours moves his wings.
I also really like the mobile/wind chimes! What a great idea!
I picked him up at our local Sam's Club. We went in there one day picking up snacks for the kids' school and came across him. I originally didn't want to buy him but my wife insisted he was too cool to pass on. At the time we bought him I had no idea where or how he was going to get worked into what I had planned. But when I finally took the plunge to build the entryway pillars I figured that was a great way to showcase him on a smaller such pillar to interact with people walking by the graveyard.

About a week and half out from Halloween I was doing some testing and came to realize that he wouldn't trigger at night by someone simply walking by him. A shadow had to move over his sensor in order to activate him. Being that the street light that is close by our house doesn't work worth a damn I had to come up with a bright light that I could place near the curb to activate the sensor. Only problem was the light had to be strong enough but not blind people and concealed in a way that it wasn't totally obvious but couldn't be tripped over (lawsuit).

So I did some rough testing and staked the position for the trigger light and put off making the sign to block people from falling on the light until Halloween afternoon. The light trigger is shown below (with flash).



I think the gargoyle was about $80 if I remember correctly. He is pretty tall, about 28" or so. He was placed upon the pillar that is slightly shorter than 48". The idea was to make him look a bit more menacing to passing TOT's, almost as if he was towering over them. I wasn't able to see people's interaction with him from my vantage point but from the others helping on Halloween night I gathered he did his job quite well.

He only went out on Halloween night. I had another gargoyle upon the pillar the rest of the time. He was much smaller but looked pretty sweet with the green light on his face.

Oh and I stand a bit corrected. My wife reminded me that I worked on the coffins at the beginning of September and then didn't start up again until the end of September. So a little more than a month of work less the coffins. It was still a whole lot of work with so many things left on the drawing board.

And thank you everyone for the kind words. More encouragement for next year!
 

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The Big Kahuna of Fright
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Zeke - and you say this is your FIRST attempt at pulling off a Haunt? Dude, that was AWESOME!!

My first haunt was a pathetic collection of plywood tombstones. No lights, no fog, no sound. My, oh my, how things have changed in the Haunted World....
 

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Prince of Arkham Asylum
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Very impressive Ezekiel! Thanks for sharing! I'm kind of regretting not getting the gargoyle when I had the chance.
 

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Wow...Ezekiel you did a very good job for the 1st time, will be neat to see what your able to do with some time now for next year...great job.
 

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Fantastic 1st Haunt! I'm very impressed with everything you did...I really love the lighting effect too...very cool!:)
 

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What a great set-up there ezekiel, with you doing this good the 1st time I can only say that I bet your neighborhood is gonna love you in the years to come! Ya know hanging out in here with us kinda makes a person go crazy when it comes to Halloween!!lol

I look forward to seeing what your display will look like in 2009! Amazing you did this all in one month!

the Muffster
 
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