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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello fellow haunters, let me give you all the rundown so hopefully I can get some much needed advice.

Over the past couple of years the weather on Halloween has not been the greatest for yard haunting thus causing my planning and hard work to go to waste as I prefer not to put my props out in the heavy rain and only receive a small amount of TOTs. Fast forward to 2015 I have finally decided to stop letting the rain get the best of my Halloween by creating a porch haunt. The only downfall of creating a porch haunt is the size of my porch, the covered area closest to the door is 5' x 5' and directly infront of this area is a 5' x 7' uncovered step.

I am looking to make the most of my porch but really don't know how to tackle decorating it even though it is quite small. I don't just want to put out a couple jack o'lanterns and a stuffed dummy and call it day so I was just wondering if anyone has ever done a haunt like this or if anyone has any themes/ideas for me!

thanks :)
 

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Caretaker of Eerie Manor
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Small spaces can be challenging but fun, as you can really go nuts with small details that would be lost in a big scene. A toe pincher coffin standing upright with a zombie or skeleton inside. Some hanging ghost props illuninated with blacklight, along with your jack o lanterns. A small table with an actor sitting at it dressed as a fortune teller, etc.. Add things that are congruent with your main ide to fill in all the corners and you can have a real nice display.
 

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A creepy witch prop with a small cauldron and a nice sound track of cackling, bubbling brew. Hang bats, spiders and other witch like things from the overhang.
 

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black light queen
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have you considered using black lights? make your props ultraviolet reactive with neon/fluorescent paints ... they'll pop under black light and you make your small space more dramatic

last year, or was it the year before? we got a bunch of rain leading up to the big day ... i had my props out, but since they're all store bought ones that i've modified to make blacklight reactive with craft paints, they survived ... a few tombstones didn't fare as well because the coating that they had from the factory peeled off due to the rain

i don't have a lot of time to make props from scratch, so i modify store bought ...

oh, just thought of something else ... have you considered using projectors? a rear projection on a cheap walmart shower curtain might be right up your alley as well :) hopefully you have a window looking out onto your porch that you can use ... it can be in an upstairs bedroom, assuming you have 2 or more stories ...

amk
 

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A cool technique I saw at a local haunted house I want to Try on my porch is using cammo netting, cutting it up in certain spots so it hangs down creating a vine look, perhaps hang a flickering light, maybe a little fog rolling through. I wish I had a pic to give you a better idea but it was really cool. Good luck
 

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Do you have Gazebo's in The US? Over here in Britain you can get a 3mx3m pop up gazebo which would provide you with some extra shelter (assuming you have space) as well as it being a good place to hang things from.I have one like this:

http://www.halfords.com/motoring-travel/camping-caravanning/gazebos/halfords-pop-up-gazebo
 

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Here's what I did last year, majority of it was on my porch. Of course I had help making it creepier by it being enclosed. All the lightning and sound came from the porch. Jdubbya had a good idea with the witch, except I went the cauldron creep way. Built it all myself and wasn't too difficult. Hth!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SI7gldf_NI
 

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Spider webs. Lots of spider webs. They are cheap and in the use can be quite spooky. Plus you can hang spiders, skulls, mummified victims in them.
I've done this in the past with my porch. It's pretty cool. I also took a blucky wrapped it in spiderwebs and hung him from my rain gutter with a bunch of webs behind it.
 

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Here's what I did last year, majority of it was on my porch. Of course I had help making it creepier by it being enclosed. All the lightning and sound came from the porch. Jdubbya had a good idea with the witch, except I went the cauldron creep way. Built it all myself and wasn't too difficult. Hth!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SI7gldf_NI
That's awesome. What did you use for your lightning effect?
 

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Lighting, spiderwebs and Jack-o-Lanterns. Depending on your budget you can go with a basic fluorescent UV strip light and glow in the dark spiderwebs or if you have a bigger budget check out the premium giant size spider webs (Ebay has loads) and LED UV lighting. You can also buy cheese cloth and some rit white fabric dye and wash together for great black light performance. The more jack-o-lanterns the better

Buy some floodlights for up-lighting of the entire front side of your house, I prefer blue for the eerie effect. LED's are best if you have the budget.
 

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I just ordered a wedding tent from ebay for 99 bucks. Its a ten by thirty. I'm going to run material down the middle to make a U shaped walk through. Plenty of space for a haunt. It won't withstand strong wind, but light rain is ok. Good luck and make sure you show us what you come up with.
 

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Your best friend is going to be visqueen... it is a thicker version of trashbag material that comes in rolls of 10ftx100ft. That is WAY more than you'll ever need for one Halloween and should last you at least a few years. Home Depot sells it for about $20 per roll You can use it to completely control what light gets in to your haunt, or in your case extend your haunt. Use some scrap wood to frame out a tunnel leading up to your porch. It doesn't have to be heavy duty, just strong enough to hold up your visqueen walls in whatever wind you experience. Cover your frame in the visqueen on top and sides and you now have a pitch black tunnel, the perfect blank canvas for a haunt! If building that frame sounds daunting, just secure a cable or clothesline to the middle of the roof of your porch, and tie the other end of the clothes line to something sturdy (tree, light post, etc) across from your porch. Instead of 10x100, get 20'x100' visqueen and just drape it on the clothes line like a tent for an instant tunnel. You'll have to secure the sides to the ground by weighting them down and if the wind is too strong just cut some wind slits in the walls. You'll let some light in but at least your haunt won't blow away! Visqueen is water proof so rain is no problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Wow! Thank you all for the great suggestions, they are all greatly appreciated! I definitely have a lot of different ideas and options to consider for decorating.

Jdubbya: First, let me tell you I am obsessed with your work, your haunt is unreal! You are very lucky to live in the house you do because the style of your home compliments your halloween decorations perfectly, so jealous. In past years I have done a small witch/cauldron creeper display on my porch so I kind of want to stray from it but I am still undecided if I want to leave it out completely.

Annamarykan: I am with you 100% on modifying store bought props, of course I have made some but don't always have the time to build so modifying store bought items is a specialty of mine. I love your idea for a projector, I do have two big windows (one above my front door and one to the left of the door) so a projector is definitely something I'll consider!

Magnusius: the camo netting sounds great, could be cool for a witch coven/swamp idea!

Rick: wow, amazing work! I love how you created a little walk through and let me tell you I am obsessed with your flashing (lightening maybe?) lighting. The inside of your cauldron is beautifully detailed as well.

Jackrum; spider webs are added to my shopping list, thanks for the idea!

Rupertoooo: love your suggestion about the blue floodlights, I am for sure going to use some ... I can see the eerie glow my house will have now!

In reply to everyone (lawrie, hallowweenkat, mamagrizzly) asking about/mentioning a canopy, I have thought about using one but often times the only ones I can find in stores near me and online are rather large (usually about 10' x 10') which really wouldn't with the space I have. I am going to have to look into finding a smaller canopy because I definitely see an advantage in using one after all of your suggestions and ideas (such as Visqueen from ice).

Question for everyone: do you feel that when you actually want to scare the TOT's you are forced to sacrifice detail in your work? For example, if I created a stuffed dummy zombie/scary scarecrow/whatever and sat it in the corner of my porch it would scare the TOT's but I would be lacking detail whereas if I created a witch themed display (which in my opinion is not very scary) I could put loads of detail into my work/props.

I'm just trying to look at how to make the biggest impact possible in a rather small space. I think I want one statement piece and then some more props and mood setters (lights, sounds, fog, etc) to compliment it but I just don't know what to make that statement piece yet. Keep the suggestions coming, I love all the help! Thanks everyone :)
 

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That's awesome. What did you use for your lightning effect?
It's called The Perfect Storm http://www.amazon.com/Perfect-Storm-Lightning-Effects-Kit/dp/B002KV3G0S/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top?ie=UTF8. It comes with a cd you play on a stereo or whatever and uses a little speaker to detect the thunder sounds and produces lightning to whatever light source you want to use. I modified it though and removed the speaker and wired in a 3.5mm jack. Makes dialing in the thunder and lightning a lot easier and precise.

Question for everyone: do you feel that when you actually want to scare the TOT's you are forced to sacrifice detail in your work? For example, if I created a stuffed dummy zombie/scary scarecrow/whatever and sat it in the corner of my porch it would scare the TOT's but I would be lacking detail whereas if I created a witch themed display (which in my opinion is not very scary) I could put loads of detail into my work/props.
I had limited time and just went with the one big prop, the cauldron creep. I can say this, it scared the pee out of quite a few toters lol
 

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Be prepared for anything. Pack the porch with everything you got. Your luck and our luck, especially this year, with Halloween being on Saturday, it will be a spectacular night, no wind, clear and crisp. That's about how it goes when you think the worst. When the weather looks great put it out front and enjoy. I know all of us will.
 

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I think you're right about the big statement piece. That's sort of what I did for my porch. It isn't very large either. I made a Weeping Angel and then filled it out with some smaller things like a store bought mummy, animated raven in a cage and spider. With a lot of spider webs of course :) It seems like the kids found it scary enough but what really scared them was me dressing up. It wasn't a super impressive costume but sitting there with a sort of skull make on in a rocking chair seemed to really freak them out. Several ran off without getting candy!

I'm just trying to look at how to make the biggest impact possible in a rather small space. I think I want one statement piece and then some more props and mood setters (lights, sounds, fog, etc) to compliment it but I just don't know what to make that statement piece yet. Keep the suggestions coming, I love all the help! Thanks everyone :)
 
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