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Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks!
So for the past 3 years, I have done a Haunted House Party, with most of my props and energy going to make the inside of my house spooky for party guests. I also do a yard cemetary, but mostly I've focused on the inside party. Well, things change, friends have kids, move away, etc, and it seems that if I have a party this year, it will be a pretty small crowd. I'm trying to decide whether I should scrap the party and focus more on a yard haunt for TOT, or what. Any related experience with this dilemma would be soo appreciated! :eek:
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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We did a yard display only until 2 years ago, and then added a Halloween party for about 20 close friends.

I still go all out on stuff for the yard, and that's my main area of focus. Our parties are gaining as far as prop building and prep time.

If you do both, best advice in my opinion is DO NOT DO THEM THE SAME WEEKEND.

I was so burnt out last year, doing Halloween and party Nov. 1st... too much stuff to do and I didn't get to enjoy either one as much as I usually do. :(

Smaller parties mean you can really do fun stuff and not worry as much about gobs of food and drink and mess, and you've got plenty of time to come up with whatever props you want to add to your outside display.... :)
 

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Shadow box dancer
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I have found that if you do a yard haunt, your friends and family end up showing up to check it out. So we basically had an impromptu party. Now we now that it will basically turn into a party and we plan accordingly. :) We don't really plan on having a theme for those who show up, but we make sure to have food and drink for those who pop in. In the future once we have more props that we will use on a yearly basis and we have more time, I think the "party" will get more detailed and involved. But, yeah it is a lot of work to do both!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I want to do both, actually! But I fear that the number of people I'm close with here in town has dwindled so much that it will seem....I dunno....more pathetic than a party! :( I guess I'm wondering if I should concentrate more energy on the yard and just have a totally relaxed kind of get-together. It's just a bummer...we used to do a costume contest and games and all kinds of fun stuff. I have a feeling that just isn't gonna really be possible with only a handful of people to attend.
 

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Shadow box dancer
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My personal thought process is to focus on the haunt until I have enough good pieces that I can use every year. That way I will have more time in following years to have parties. Plus like I mentioned before, if you create a great haunt people will be drawn to your house. We basically kept it low key party wise, but friends and family came and some actually wore costumes. I definitely think it is a good idea to focus on one or the other until one becomes so easy that you can spend more time on the other. If that makes sense. :) We spent so much time on the haunt last year that a party was an after thought. But, we had the crock pot with pulled pork, rolls, coleslaw, baked beans and some snacks set out so that people could grab stuff and no one really had to keep being a host or hostess. That way everyone could pop out and mingle and watch the TOT's get scared.
 

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Lord of the Cemetery
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We don't normally hold a party as such...At least not one that's planned.
Mrs Samedi provides plenty of hot food for all the actors and helpers after the last of the TOT's have gone and the front garden props have been brought in.
My contribution is a crate of beer or several by way of thanks, so the evening usually ends up in drunken debauchery, planned or not.:D
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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If you still want to do a party and have a very small number, why not do a dinner party?

You could do a theme like ghosts or vampires with appropriately themed costumes and eats - a 3 or 4 course meal - and have a movie showing after with cocktails... that would be lots of fun!
 

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Shadow box dancer
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A dinner party would be really cool. Especially with a central theme. If I only had someone to cook a 3 or 4 course meal for me and my guests. :)

The only draw back of something like that is that you are kind of obligating yourself to a set time table. If you go with more of a buffet or food that you can leave out, you can still be out in the haunt while your guests eat and mingle. I am assuming that the original intention of this thread was the idea of having a party and the yard haunt both on Halloween night .
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yeah, Frankie'sGirl, the idea of a dinner party had actually crossed my mind as well....with a small group, that might be a nice, intimate way to celebrate. Although yeah you're right yardhauntjunkie, then I really wouldn't be able to spend any time outside and dealing with TOT's...so maybe the dinner party would be a night or two before Halloween? Hmmm.....I definitely would like to have both some sort of party and a yard haunt for the TOT's....maybe breaking the two events up would be the best way to handle that....
 

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Shadow box dancer
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Yeah, Frankie'sGirl, the idea of a dinner party had actually crossed my mind as well....with a small group, that might be a nice, intimate way to celebrate. Although yeah you're right yardhauntjunkie, then I really wouldn't be able to spend any time outside and dealing with TOT's...so maybe the dinner party would be a night or two before Halloween? Hmmm.....I definitely would like to have both some sort of party and a yard haunt for the TOT's....maybe breaking the two events up would be the best way to handle that....
Now you sound like you are going to have all three. A yard haunt, a small party with buffet on Halloween night and then a dinner party a few days before. By the end of this thread you will have so much stuff planned you will still be having stuff at Thanksgiving. :) But seriously that is the beauty of Halloween this year being on a Saturday. You could have a dinner party Friday night and then you could focus on your haunt on Saturday night.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hahahahaha! Yeah, let's just do Halloween through all the holidays! hahaha

Hmmm....I'm gonna have to think on this a bit....but the dinner party one night, yard haunt the next is kinda appealing to me...hmmmm....
 

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livin Halloween every day
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I cant really speak here for one over the other. I have a party every year and the yard haunt, i could not think of ever stopping either one because i enjoy them both sooo much. I would have to say do them both and hold it all together for as long as possible. As long as you enjoy whatever it is that you do then i guess it's all good.
 

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STARK Raving Mad
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I say do it all (haunt, party, dinner, etc). We do. We build a huge facade in front of the house and a 6 or 7 room haunted house in the garage. Then we completely decorate the inside of the house. Finally, we usually set up a cemetery or pumpkin patch in the front "yard".

On the night of our party (always the Saturday before Halloween), as the guests arrive, they stop to get their picture taken in front of the facade, then proceed through the haunted house which exits into the living room. In the dining room, my wife has a wonderful array of food spread out (with Meat Head as the centerpiece). We also have a food passer who walks around with "finger" foods, which is great for the folks who never seem to leave the general vicinity of the bar!

We keep everything up after the party, moving whatever we had set up on the kitchen island to the dining room table. Then, Halloween night, we partition off whatever part of the house we want to keep hidden (not much, usually), and open up the haunted house to the ToTs. I patrol the living room and dining room (in costume, of course) and my wife sits out on the front porch with a cauldron of Treats. As the ToTs exit out the front door, they get their candy & go.

I know it sounds like a lot of work... and it is! I already have the facade and haunted garage designed and have started gathering building materials and making room in the garage. We'll probably start working on the haunted house in the next few weeks and the facade in August. Funny, no matter how far in advance we start working, we always seem to finish up 10 minutes before the party starts!
 

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jester girl
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if you had the dinner party the night of the haunt before, did you really have time back then for the haunt anymore than you will now? i think frankies girl has the right idea, a dinner party. that sounds fun. but have it start earlier than the haunt. then show movies during the haunt to the dinner guests. that way you can slip around to both and not be missed as much. and have a great time. sounds fun.
 

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Technological Terror
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I agree with The King, it's hard to do both on the same night. I have been doing both for a few years, and it's just too much to try and enjoy the TOTs and entertain your guests. I am definitely splitting mine up this year. The party will be before Halloween, so I can take the pleasure of seeing the kiddies screaming and running!
 

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why wouldn't you want to split up all of the fun events. besides, spreading out the Halloween events throughout the whole month of October makes the fun live longer. I'm planning little things for every weekend in October, like movie night, haunted hayride, a trip to the pumpkin patch, etc. I think this year I'm going to have a dinner party and hopefully I'll find a Halloween related murder mystery dinner type thing, and do that the Friday before Halloween.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yeah....I'm really leaning towards the idea of party on Friday, TOT Haunt on Saturday. That way I really can focus more on each individually. Also, this year I am going to have alot more out front than I ever have before (Been BUSY building!) and I kinda want to be able to keep an eye on things as well as get to see people enjoy it. :)
 
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