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Horror off the Highway
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Hey everyone!

As some of you might know, I moved last June to a wonderful home with over an acre of land. The downside is that I do not live in the city anymore. I live near a small village of about 1000 max. As much as I loved my home haunt, I only got three TOT's with two being my neighbors across the road.

Now I have a difficult decision to make with two major factors weighing in :

1. Being in a small town with only a little bit of traffic driving on out road.

2. I don't really have anybody helping me with setting up my haunt. My parents are in their 60's and I really feel bad when my dad helps me setting up my haunt. I've asked my husband to take a day off to help me but with him being seasonal he says he cannot book any time off. It causes arguments as he knows that Halloween is my favorite holiday and love setting up a big haunt every year. I've posted on my FB that I need help and will offer grub and drinks as thanks with no replies.

It's so extremely frustrating that I feel stuck in this situation. I fear that if I don't get any help/TOT's that my time as a home haunter is nearing the end.

Does anyone have any tips to help me? Anything would really be helpful.

Thanks for your time--MOTA
 

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Congrats on the move and I'm kind of jealous of your new yard size. So much in the way of possibilities I'm sure.

Don't know if you are involved in any school/university/church-type activities, but those would be my first suggestions. Also if you want to do some good in your community, talk to service organizations like The Lions or The Rotary Club or perhaps a Girl or Boys Scout Group, a local group working to raise money for Breast Cancer research and see if they could lend volunteers and maybe turn it into a fund-raising or food donation event. If you have a community playhouse, maybe some of those people would lend a hand.
 

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We live in a small community in the Sierra foothills and in 20+ years we've had exactly zero TOTs. That's understandable given that the average lot size is around 5+ acres so things a pretty spread out. We've always liked Halloween and would always attend parties thrown by our friend's. As the years have gone by the people who hosted the parties have one by one moved away until there was just us. After a couple of years without a Halloween event to attend we decided to take up the torch and host parties ourselves. The average age of the people attending our parties is around 50+. We do get younger family members including some children. The parties have grown as people bring friends and then those people will bring other people and so on. We've found that people, even mature adults, like to get together, dress up and have a good time. The haunted house seems to be a favorite.
 

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What Hump?
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I know Ontario is huge, but another haunter at this link:

http://www.ontariohauntersclub.com/id37.html

Might live near enough to you to hook up for Make-N-Takes throughout the year and maybe help with setup for Halloween.

We live on a 5 acre parcel. Our first couple of years here, we had no TOTs at all (didn't have a haunt yet).
As our haunt gets bigger and bigger, though, we now get hundreds per year.

Hang in there.
 

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MOTA, my husband is 76 and we still put up a haunt in the three car garage, the back yard and along the frontage. Even if I only had the local neighborhood kids I would do mine. With the onset of his COPD, the burden of the haunt is on me but I will do it until I can't muster up the strength. I do this for me, what other people get out of it is a BONUS!
Now have you put up flyers or any signs or anything? I agree with the others in getting the local charities, scouts, etc. to be involved. I put flyers with the address on the side where people could tear off one of the addresses and take it with them. I live up on a hill nestled back away from the local traffic so I asked the neighbors at the bottom of the hill if I could put up a sign in their property frontage.
 

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I am in a similar situation - Land- rural- but no help.

But as I've always said, if you haunt it, they will come.

Few kids can mean great treats! Getting a great deal on carnival prize toys one year, I gave out awesome treats and the word got out! I went from 13-22 TOTs on average to -at one point- 250+... INCLUDING being THE stop on a Halloween hayride.:D

I can't afford to give out big treats in those numbers anymore- but I still get an average of 75-90 TOTs- which I think is a perfect number for one person to handle. I hand out treats purchased from Joissu.com for an average of 46¢ each... plus a few bigger items that I give out lottery style. This year, I m thinking of adding a boy's and girl's bicycle!

If I knew I was only expecting less than a dozen TOTs, I would let them choose one treat from a big caldron (or similar) that had dollar store toys, large glow items, and king-sized candy bars. Add super-good treats to an awesome set-up and believe me, the kids will be talking about nothing else in school the next day!

Then just watch those TOT numbers rise!
 

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I don't really have any TOTs either, but then I do need to get patrons, customers, tourists . "But you can't build a haunted house all by yourself!" Stand back, watch me! I sort of said 28 years ago.
"It will never "work", way out in the middle of "Nowhere", hidden behind the small town storefronts, down a dead-end street/parking,lot."
I just guess that I have to make something that people will positively remember , talk about for years (in a positive way, of course!) Do things maybe nobody else has ever tried before?
Being "different" or Odd" will bring some free "press" , you know.
Today a man from England and his USA girlfriend were here. Last night a family from New York state and their two kids were here as they are traveling to Hawaii.
Two local boys joined them and really paled-up with the New York boy (great to see!)
THE Last Person to Ever Give-up on you, is YOU!
Stay the course!
 

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Horror off the Highway
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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you all for the tips and words of encouragement. I will ask the township of Martintown (the village I live near) if we can come to a understanding. I guess they set up some sort of haunt in town that the locals will go to. If they help promote and set up my haunt, I will come help set up theirs. We shall see how that goes.

As for advertising, being it was my first year there I am not surprised that I had almost no turnout. I will ask the local stores if I can put up a sign and flyers as well as I will put a big light up sign across the road so that people driving by can see it.

I will be better prepared this year I promise!!
 

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Soccer and Lacrosse Dad
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Drove down the 138 to Akwesasne yesterday. I was looking for a Halloween sign but didn't see one. I think you need to make one super huge sign and post it where your road meets the 138 so everyone can see it. See if you can put one up beginning to mid October. All the rural families who travel into Cornwall for Halloween will stop by if they know you are there. Large signage and perhaps glowing or light reflecting pumpkins/arrows every couple hundred meters on halloween until you hit your driveway. This keeps them moving forward
Be sure you are very well lit up and go full force. Expand beyond T's appreciation level so people talk about you afterwards. Get the paper their ahead of time. If families travel off the 138 to see you they have to feel rewarded in doing so. You must amaze them or they will feel like they wasted their childs time. Remember good news travels fast, bad news is super sonic.
 
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