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Hello Haunters,

Working on a project maybe a podcast or video cast. What are some of the issues for any home haunters. issues with your neighbors? Did you have a great idea in your head then didn't work out, Why what happen. What weather issues have some of you had to deal with What help you over come it. Anything you like to share be very grateful :D.
 

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weather, weather, weather! Our neighborhood loves what we do - we are 'the Halloween house" to the folks who see us out and around (Lowe's staff always ask what we are building lol)
Weather is our nemisis. In middle TN it is usually windy all month so everything in the yard has to be well anchored. Temp wise it is either still extremely hot or freezing - very few "comfortable" temp Halloweens. As a result we have contingency plans. Rain or cold wind on The Day means the garage becomes the witch's cottage so kiddos can get out the weather and warm up if needed. Heat means a lighter costume for me and setting up in the driveway itself with a small fan.
 

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Same for us... weather. One year we put up our Jeepers Creepers Creeper on the roof, and the next day we had a tropical storm appear and our Creeper spread his wings and flew... except he's not designed to fly. :( The winds were still blowing Halloween night and we had to rebuild the Creepers wings and construct a ground stand so he could just stand in the driveway.

Electrical gremlins are another issue, especially with light and sound. You set everything up, test and retest, and everything checks out 4-0, then comes Halloween and all of a sudden nothing wants to work. Lights burn out, Bluetooths won't read, cords come unplugged, projectors quit, and on and on.

And of course everyone's common problem child... fog machines!!! These also work great when tested, and then comes Halloween and they work for about five minutes and then poof - they're done.
 

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Those are some pretty open ended questions. I could go on and on about each. But I'll try to be brief.

My biggest problem with my neighbors is when their stuff is better then mine.

Weather, wind is the biggest issue. You always end up sacrificing the overall look to make sure it does not fly way. I am always looking to make things cost effective (who am I kidding, "Cheap") So, that usually turns into light weight material and that makes it hard to keep things in place. Adding wires and stakes just does not look right, so I either skip the idea altogether or only put stuff out on Halloween day (when its not windy.)

I have many great ideas, but like I said above, if cant make it cheap (with in a few hundred bucks) or look right to stand up to the weather, I usually place that project on hold. Many times when things don't go right it's because of money. At some point you have to stop pumping money into it and say "that will do".
The other place where I get hung up on is storage space. I try to make things so they store easy (which also adds to the cost). I think we all build to the max of our storage space. If I had a closest, I would fill the closest. If I had a Barn. I would fill the barn. You get the idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Those are some pretty open ended questions. I could go on and on about each. But I'll try to be brief.

My biggest problem with my neighbors is when their stuff is better then mine.

Weather, wind is the biggest issue. You always end up sacrificing the overall look to make sure it does not fly way. I am always looking to make things cost effective (who am I kidding, "Cheap") So, that usually turns into light weight material and that makes it hard to keep things in place. Adding wires and stakes just does not look right, so I either skip the idea altogether or only put stuff out on Halloween day (when its not windy.)

I have many great ideas, but like I said above, if cant make it cheap (with in a few hundred bucks) or look right to stand up to the weather, I usually place that project on hold. Many times when things don't go right it's because of money. At some point you have to stop pumping money into it and say "that will do".
The other place where I get hung up on is storage space. I try to make things so they store easy (which also adds to the cost). I think we all build to the max of our storage space. If I had a closest, I would fill the closest. If I had a Barn. I would fill the barn. You get the idea.
Thank for pointing this out OctoberDream that they are to open ended questions. I wasn't sure were to start with this. But Ill make my next post more to the point. :)
 

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I'm going to echo the weather, and add snow. We have had the odd year here and there where we get a freak snowstorm before Halloween. But yes, October is very windy here, and it wasn't until I twigged to the idea that I could make props that slid over rebar in the ground that I even bothered because otherwise I'd be chasing my tombstones into the next county.

Storage is a big one for any decorator. When your decorations/props live in storage for the majority of the year it makes building awesome things a singular challenge. Whatever I build has to be able to fit in my very very limited storage via breaking them down or some other measure. I havn't attempted larger props because of it.

Let me add vandalism and theft in here. I, fortunately, have not experienced this first hand but I know someone in a local Christmas group who lovingly handbuilt some 4 foot tall nutcrackers for her porch and they got nicked. This is a worry the more time and effort and money I pour into my display every year.
 

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I have many great ideas, but like I said above, if cant make it cheap (with in a few hundred bucks) or look right to stand up to the weather, I usually place that project on hold. Many times when things don't go right it's because of money. At some point you have to stop pumping money into it and say "that will do". The other place where I get hung up on is storage space. I try to make things so they store easy (which also adds to the cost). I think we all build to the max of our storage space. If I had a closest, I would fill the closest. If I had a Barn. I would fill the barn. You get the idea.
We have two standards that our props must adhere to. First, they must be waterproof, so nylon is in - cotton is out. :) The second is all props must be "11/1 Compliant", meaning they must be able to be broken down and stored on Nov. 1st. I've had to do two redesigns to our Pumpkinhead figure to make him 11/1 compliant, but it'll be worth it when we can break him down into six pieces and store him.
 

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The second is all props must be "11/1 Compliant", meaning they must be able to be broken down and stored on Nov. 1st.
Is that a personal goal or an HOA thing? Either way - I like it. But I think if it was required, I'd probably have more of an issue. Mine's the only house on the street and one of very few in the 'hood that do anything. I'll spend the entire month of October setting up & tweaking, but on November 1 - GONE! My husband even willingly takes the day off work so he can help me.

Back to the original question - weather always. I'm in SE Michigan so we've gotten snow on Halloween before. Storage - yes. I have a nice big yard, but a small house, so the garage, shed & lean-to are full.

I've also had problems for a couple years with kids insisting on walking up the next door neighbor's driveway (her light is never on for ToT) to avoid the ditch along the road, shuffling across her front yard and right across the middle of the entire cemetery to get to the candy in my driveway. I yelled at so many kids, because if I can't see all the extension cords that I know are out there - a kid making a bee-line for candy sure won't see anything else! So I simply bought a couple rolls of 2 foot tall garden fencing from Lowe's (I think 15 feet long) and running it across the front of the cemetery and down that side along the neighbor's house. It goes far enough back that it totally deters kids from going that way and has pointy tops to discourage stepping over :D.


 

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For me one big problem is wind. One year I fogged the neighborhood for an 8 block radius because my fog drifted, literally. It also plays heck with keeping things in place.

There is also issue with street lights. I have one in the corner of my yard. If the weather turns cold early the leaves don't block out the light. So that is always an ongoing issue. Another issue is lighting in general. How do you hide cords from sight and tripping. Where do you place lights for optimal effect but out of sight. How do you "pipe" in sounds (speaker placement and how to split audio). It really is a lot of work if you want to go all out. A lot of thought needs to go into the set up. Don't forget back up plans. If A doesn't work out I can build B.
 

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Thank you so much for all the post so far. I'll be posting more about other topics. If it's OK with everyone who posted. If I reference your screen name for credit? I'll send a private message make sure.
 

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My biggest problem is not being able to get my lighting right, my display is basically hidden in the dark because my lights only light up a small area.
Hello dbruner,

When you are lighting your display. Are you only using lights on your house? Do you run extra lights and you don't haven enough of them? Do you also have a photo or a video to share?
 

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Hello Shadow Panther,

Thanks for the post. When your using fog are you wetting your yard ? I had the same issues with wind. I was trying to think of best ways to deal with it. I had a similar issue with a street light in my yard. I took a gun and shoot it. But they just fixed. So shooting its out of the question. lol Im not trying to post all my answers here just yet at least but. painting my cords black or wrapping in black tape. Dose help a lot to hide them. When you say split the audio? Do you when having two different sounds playing or music and sound effects? Don't forget plan C just thought everything out there and hope it turns on.
 

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For me one big problem is wind. One year I fogged the neighborhood for an 8 block radius because my fog drifted, literally. It also plays heck with keeping things in place.

There is also issue with street lights. I have one in the corner of my yard. If the weather turns cold early the leaves don't block out the light. So that is always an ongoing issue. Another issue is lighting in general. How do you hide cords from sight and tripping. Where do you place lights for optimal effect but out of sight. How do you "pipe" in sounds (speaker placement and how to split audio). It really is a lot of work if you want to go all out. A lot of thought needs to go into the set up. Don't forget back up plans. If A doesn't work out I can build B.

Hello Shadow Panther,

Thanks for the post. When your using fog are you wetting your yard ? I had the same issues with wind. I was trying to think of best ways to deal with it. I had a similar issue with a street light in my yard. I took a gun and shoot it. But they just fixed. So shooting its out of the question. lol Im not trying to post all my answers here just yet at least but. painting my cords black or wrapping in black tape. Dose help a lot to hide them. When you say split the audio? Do you when having two different sounds playing or music and sound effects? Don't forget plan C just thought everything out there and hope it turns on.
 

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My maibn issue is I live in TN and it's too hot to put stuff out till mid to late Sept. Fix? Move.

I want to move.

I need to move.

I hate it here.
 

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When I fogged the town (lol) I didn't. I was sick on Halloween that year and cut quit a few corners. Even the flu couldn't stop me from celebrating. I have been checking into solar charging cord poles. This I feel will cut down on the number of cords and how long I'll have to run them. As for the street light I am still thinking about that one. Splitting music meaning say I want a wolf howling at point A and say 10 feet away I want screaming at point B playing at the same time. A surround sound effect in essence.
 

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For me one big problem is wind. One year I fogged the neighborhood for an 8 block radius because my fog drifted, literally. It also plays heck with keeping things in place.

There is also issue with street lights. I have one in the corner of my yard. If the weather turns cold early the leaves don't block out the light. So that is always an ongoing issue. Another issue is lighting in general. How do you hide cords from sight and tripping. Where do you place lights for optimal effect but out of sight. How do you "pipe" in sounds (speaker placement and how to split audio). It really is a lot of work if you want to go all out. A lot of thought needs to go into the set up. Don't forget back up plans. If A doesn't work out I can build B.
Hiding cords is actually very easy. We go to all the stores the day AFTER the other holiday that has a lot of lights. You can pick up extension cord very cheap and seeings that it is the other holiday most of them are dark green so you don't even see them at night. We also use a lot of colored flood lights in our display and about 5 years ago I thought well dang, you can see them all when you are looking at the display and they were extremely distracting. So I made MANY three sided boxes with a top out of scrap plywood I had laying around and painted them all black. They sit over top of flood lights and when you are out front of the display you cant actually see the lights and they aren't distracting anymore.
 

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Hi Ascarefromsimivalley, The lights I use are the colored ones you stake into the ground. I have four or five of them but they don't light up a very big area. Do I need larger lights or do I need to raise them up (like in a tree) and aim down? Or both?
 
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