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This all started last Halloween, 2018. I was dressed in my grim reaper costume, standing very stoic and still as the unsuspecting ToTr's wandered up to my wife for their loot. I would then become animate and move very slowly, yet deliberately toward them. A good scare was had by all, and they enjoyed the jape. Almost every one of them, and their parents, too, would then ask "where are those great pirate skeletons you had outside last year?"
That "last year" 2017, I pulled out all eight of my pirates (my skeleton crew) along with all the props and furniture out onto my front yard. I could have sworn that only four to six ToTr's showed up that night, causing me so much frustration and perplexity that I didn't bother with much of any real outdoor decor for 2018. But alas, here were these dozen or more kids (and their parents) requesting a return to piracy for the next year's theme! MY answer was, "Hoist the riggin' we're goin' on the account once again!"
We don't have a very large population of children in our little neighborhood to start with, and we don't expect the crowds that the bigger subdivisions get, but for these folks to ask for the prior year's set up, the word must have gotten around!
Fast forward to this year 2019- I have added to my crew, now having a compliment of thirteen pirates; they have taken over the formal dining room, and have spilled out into the foyer. There's one trying to jump to the chandelier from the 2nd floor railing, two have found big barrels of rum, and there is general tomfoolery abounding! Realizing that I have just too many little detailed props to try and hastily set up outside for only a few hours, and being mindful that more often than not it rains on Halloween around here, my wife allowed me to announce to the neighbors that the Trick or Treating will take place in our foyer, so the pirates can be seen reveling in their raucous and rowdy best environment!
To add some (weather-proof) piratical atmosphere to the outdoor decor, this year's Home Depot offering of a large-scale pirate ship was exactly the thing I needed to welcome my fellow buccaneers to the "haunt"! I've posted on our local town's Facebook groups, and made sure to tell the neighbors of the event happening at our "Morbid Manor". Now to see how many will dare enter the pirate's lair for loot and plunder...
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This was 2017, complete with a brand new fog machine;I'll bet there weren't ten kids in total who came by that night! I was despondent.
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Now on to 2019, in the pirates' den--
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Here is the front yard this year
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Thanks for reading along, and wish us luck for a well-attended Halloween haunt!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Very cool! I like all the props you have throughout your setup. I need to get more netting to drape over props and probably build another (or 2 or 3) pirate chest. My favorite guy is the one holding the pipe - his pose and demeanor look very realistic. Good work!
Many thanks!! Those treasure chests were a labor of love, and the big wooden chest is all from one wooden pallet. It's awkward and massive to pick up, but when it's in place, I'm happy for its realism. I found a lot of green, and also black netting at Goodwill for $1.99 each; cheap for the length (2ft X 6ft), I realized that I could hide a bunch of plain boxes with a yard or two of upholstery fabric from the craft stores, using it to represent bolts of cloth that would have been part of plundered cargo. The rich colors and patterns help accent all the grim and grimy appearance of the pirates' surroundings. At least, that's how I hope it comes across!
That ol' salt with the pipe is my very first "genuine" Buckey 4th quality, and is my favorite, too! I named him "Allardyce" after the poor pirate in Treasure Island whose outstretched skeleton marks the way to the treasure trove.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks you all for your support and kind words of encouragement!! Although there is a "threat" of rain, we are going to have a fun evening, as my oldest son is coming home from college to help out and be a part of the festivities! It promises to be a great All Hallow's Eve for the family if nothing else! I found some ambient soundtracks on YouTube of creaking pirate ships, as well as a 2 hr soundtrack of all the sea shanties from Assassin's Creed Black Flag, and will play them on bluetooth speakers set inside the display. Adding sound is as close as I've gotten to an "animated" display, so I hope it conveys well.
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The crew is jumping out of their skin in anticipation! They can't wait to show off the recovered treasure that is Captain Hook's lost hand (in the presentation case). They made a fine pair of boots out of the crocodile skin
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a skeleton selfie
 

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Love the guy with the beard! It all looks great. Hoping your house is overflowing with revelers on the big night 👻👻
 

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Many thanks!! Those treasure chests were a labor of love, and the big wooden chest is all from one wooden pallet. It's awkward and massive to pick up, but when it's in place, I'm happy for its realism. I found a lot of green, and also black netting at Goodwill for $1.99 each; cheap for the length (2ft X 6ft), I realized that I could hide a bunch of plain boxes with a yard or two of upholstery fabric from the craft stores, using it to represent bolts of cloth that would have been part of plundered cargo. The rich colors and patterns help accent all the grim and grimy appearance of the pirates' surroundings. At least, that's how I hope it comes across!
That ol' salt with the pipe is my very first "genuine" Buckey 4th quality, and is my favorite, too! I named him "Allardyce" after the poor pirate in Treasure Island whose outstretched skeleton marks the way to the treasure trove.
I wish I got that lucky with the netting at Goodwill. I like the idea of the fabric, might be a good way to add more props and realism to the overall feel. I might have to check out getting a Buckey - looks very realistic!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
"Never give up, never surrender." and of course, "If you build it, they will come."

Great work.
These words were ringing in my ears last night as we had our best turnout in the six years we've lived here! Parents and children alike had such a positive response to the indoor haunt, and many of the families remembered us from last year. The kids were overheard saying they really wanted to visit "The Haunted House", and were all eager to get a look inside! I was dressed in my pirate regalia, and had metal gold doubloons to hand out while my wife and daughters handed out the candy. My oldest son, dressed as the grim reaper, stalked the top of our street, guiding folks to the house. It was an unforgettable night of family togetherness and entertaining, and I was honored to have many parent and child tell me the place looked as good, if not better than, the Disney attraction.
This was a night to remember!
 

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These words were ringing in my ears last night as we had our best turnout in the six years we've lived here! Parents and children alike had such a positive response to the indoor haunt, and many of the families remembered us from last year. The kids were overheard saying they really wanted to visit "The Haunted House", and were all eager to get a look inside! I was dressed in my pirate regalia, and had metal gold doubloons to hand out while my wife and daughters handed out the candy. My oldest son, dressed as the grim reaper, stalked the top of our street, guiding folks to the house. It was an unforgettable night of family togetherness and entertaining, and I was honored to have many parent and child tell me the place looked as good, if not better than, the Disney attraction.
This was a night to remember!
Awesome to hear! It's amazing what compliments like that do for your self esteem. I spend so much time on my setup and see it everyday that I forgot that I'm part of a small and unique group of people that do this type of thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I hope yo
Awesome to hear! It's amazing what compliments like that do for your self esteem. I spend so much time on my setup and see it everyday that I forgot that I'm part of a small and unique group of people that do this type of thing.
I hope your night was just as rewarding! It better had been, or I'll personally come by an' keelhaul the mutinous dogs who didn't properly appreciate your amazing work!
 

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I hope yo

I hope your night was just as rewarding! It better had been, or I'll personally come by an' keelhaul the mutinous dogs who didn't properly appreciate your amazing work!
Haha the ~200 ToT's sure enjoyed it, but I think the parents did more. They were amazed at all the detail and a couple came by twice to see details. I have some people that told me specifically come to my neighborhood just to see my setup. Pretty amazing feeling.
 

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Off subject, but these are pics I promised of the stair steps I made for the TOTs to be able to reach the stockade I made.

IMG_20191102_162939283.jpg IMG_20191102_162952127.jpg IMG_20191102_163011247.jpg

The boards are 2"x6"s. Each of the step tread boards and the long horizontal side boards measure 30" long. The vertical side boards the top step tread sits on are aprox. 11" long (double the width of the 2"x6"). I measured about 4" from the back of the bottom step to the front of the vertical board for the top step. The extra length of the side boards that extend past the steps is to keep the stairs from tipping forward when someone is on the top step. You could make the stairs narrower and cut the length of the step treads to 24" instead of 30". The bottom step overhangs the horizontal side boards the thickness of the 2"x6". The top step tread sits flush. Those can be changed so the the bottom step sits flush and the top step overhangs by putting the vertical boards on the inside rather than the outside. You could probably use 1"xs instead of 2"xs for the step treads. I used the 2"xs because it was what I had on hand.

I placed the steps under my stockade so that I could move them forward or back depending on what step height would be needed for the TOTs. If they didn't need steps I pulled them forward enough that the steps were out of their way.
 

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Off subject, but these are pics I promised of the stair steps I made for the TOTs to be able to reach the stockade I made.

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The boards are 2"x6"s. Each of the step tread boards and the long horizontal side boards measure 30" long. The vertical side boards the top step tread sits on are aprox. 11" long (double the width of the 2"x6"). I measured about 4" from the back of the bottom step to the front of the vertical board for the top step. The extra length of the side boards that extend past the steps is to keep the stairs from tipping forward when someone is on the top step. You could make the stairs narrower and cut the length of the step treads to 24" instead of 30". The bottom step overhangs the horizontal side boards the thickness of the 2"x6". The top step tread sits flush. Those can be changed so the the bottom step sits flush and the top step overhangs by putting the vertical boards on the inside rather than the outside. You could probably use 1"xs instead of 2"xs for the step treads. I used the 2"xs because it was what I had on hand.

I placed the steps under my stockade so that I could move them forward or back depending on what step height would be needed for the TOTs. If they didn't need steps I pulled them forward enough that the steps were out of their way.
Thank you, I'll be adding this!
 
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