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Discussion Starter #1
Question from the other side….of the globe...

Hey there,

As an Aussie we obviously don't do Halloween as full on as you guys however every year it has been picking up momentum. Last year I succeeded in possibly becoming "The Halloween House" in my estate and would like to add to my decorations every year to make it the biggest and best Halloween house in the Southern hemisphere. Hehe. My point (I have a point) is, living on the other side where we have spring during October and daylight savings where it doesn't get dark until 8.30pm - 9.00pm, it can be difficult to make an impression when the majority of trick or treaters visit when the sun is still up. Whilst Halloween decorations are great because they are effective during the day, they are most impressive at night depending on the theme and the decorations I have.

Now my question (and point) is, when you decorate your houses, do you have your house available for public viewing in the days leading up to and including Halloween or do you set it all up and only have it all 'happening' for visitors on Halloween day/night?

I look forward to hearing ideas, tips and any other bits of information from everyone.

Cheers,
Paris

:D
 

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I make sure all of our decorations are up and running for October 1st so whoever happens to drive by can hopefully enjoy it. That being said, fog effects and certain lights/props can't be put out seeing as I live in a region where rain is all too common, so those go out the day of. I've actually found that I kind of enjoy my display more around daytime/dusk seeing as once it's night our TOT's get few and far between, plus, you get to see more detail and all the work I've put into the display :D
 

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Hope you're having a pleasant eavening all the way on the other side of the world, there tonight. (it's 6 AM here, IIRC that's like 9PM there, I used to regularly chat with folks from Australia and NZ)

You're going to find both answers on here. Some like to decorate their yard October 1, and have it up all month. TYPICALLY, these people are "display" type haunters, meaning they have a yard display for Halloween for people to walk or drive by and view. Then there are going to be those that only have things out a day or two early, or even only Halloween night. Reasons range from person to person, and include concerns about weather ruining props, theft, vandalism, and those of us who do a WALK THROUGH, meaning our guests walk through an interactive maze with actors and props. This typically takes a little more effort and organization, thus can't usually be done month long.

There are various combinations of display vs walkthrough as well.


Now, as for me, personally, my answer is yes.

I have some things that are actually up YEAR ROUND. Come October, I'll add little things here and there, and have been known to put up a scene or two that have absolutely nothing to do with what I'm doing for Halloween that year. We have the countdown sign at the center in October, and many people come by just to check on the sign.

That said, I take the week leading to Halloween off, and begin building 'for real'. The night before Halloween, we have an open house party. All the lights are on, and the neighbors come over and help us carve a crapload of pumpkins for the yard, eat, and enjoy everything with no scaring or actors. This is a great time for little kids to see everything. Now, Halloween NIGHT, the music is on and the actors are in costume and many kids, though they've seen everything the night before, are still awful scared Halloween night.

Now, in your case, I'd almost recommend attempting an indoor walkthrough so you can control lighting. A garage, carport, etc can be relatively easily converted. I've managed to make a reasonable show out of EMT conduit, fittings, and tarps to create an indoor space in the past as well.
 

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As another Aussie who is extremely frustrated by the fact that daylight saving means most of my TOTS arrive in daylight (I could do so much more in the dark!!!!), I tend to setup a day or two before Halloween, with the fog machine coming out around 5pm. I've worked hard to build a reputation for Halloween so that now people are coming from further afield just to see the crazy man with tombstones and a fog machine on his lawn, but I think it would take a huge effort to get people coming around in any numbers in my area anytime before Halloween evening.

Grant
 

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Wisp in the Mist
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I set up some things early, to set the mood. I can't leave everything outside all month, though. Things would surely be stolen if I did. Our neighborhood is fair, but there is one a few blocks away that isn't nice at all. People from there walk through our neighborhood, often taking whatever they like, that is left in yards and on porches.

We are allowed two nights of ToTs in the town that I live in, the 30th and 31st. Because of that, we do get to "show off" a little more than when I've lived in places that only have one night.
 

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A Wee Bit Wicked
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:)Welcome to the forum! I try to have my decorations up by the first of October. I don't have a walk through, more of a yard display. This year I am increasing my graveyard and lots and lots of ghostly beings. :D Congratulations on becoming "The Halloween House". It's an auspicious title to have.:D




 

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Kitchen/Green Witch
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I get all my Halloween stuff up the last weekend of September. I have a graveyard display. There are a few things that I only put up for ToT, though, like my posable skelly. He stays in the house doing things around the house all month and only goes outside on Halloween just to greet the ToTers, lol.
I actually have a similar issue with lighting, because our ToT around here starts at 5pm and last til 7pm. Blah. I hate it. Most of the neighborhood kids come right at 5, so no ToTers really get to see my display in the dark. Having my display up the whole month gives people a chance to see the lights, at least. I don't get too many ToTers here, anyway, so between that and it still being light out during ToT, I don't get too carried away with lighting and such.
 

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I can certainly understand the frustration of a Australian spring-time Halloween- from long daylight hours to a lack of fresh pumpkins.

I'm not an urbanite, and ToT's here are few. Our big event is a party with adult friends and neighbors on the weekend before Halloween (leaving the Big Day open for people to take the kids out, be home to hand out treats, or whatever else they please.)
I only used to do a few things outside, but I got such a good response that I was encouraged to kick it up a notch. I put things up a little at a time, which is nice for me, too-- not so stressful. Starting in early Oct., I use nice days to decorate outdoors, and rainy days to get the house ready. People going by on the road look to see what's new and different each day. For neighborhood folks, it builds the excitement leading to the party.
It's a small community, and I don't worry about props being damaged or stolen. (Doesn't hurt that we have a large protective dog, either :) )

I agree with UnOrthodOx about having at least some dark spaces if you can. A garage or large party tent walk through can really add to the atmosphere, if you don't want a bunch of little ankle-biters running through your house. (We had some kids go through in the next day or two after the party, but we knew them.)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Wow great reply from everyone. Thank you all for your detailed information. I now understand that there are a number of factors to consider in deciding when the decorations go up and it's an individuals choice.

I guess if I'm going to be known as the halloween house in the area, more and more people will come each year.

To answer many of the posts on here, I usually decorate the front yard and last year I stepped it up by placing creepy characters in the front window with creepy music and added a smoke machine to the graveyard (I'll post some pics of last years decorations). This year I plan to incorporate my front lounge room as well so I will be doing a walk through which will be dark. This room will have most of the lighting for effect so I'm quite excited about that. I live in a wonderful community where I can place decorations outside without fear of them being stolen or vandalised so I'm thinking I'll spend the month of October setting up bits and pieces outside and working mostly on the lounge room and then the week of I will work on outside and have it completed a couple of days before. We get heaps of ToTs so I'm sure word will spread and each year I will get more and more people coming to view my house :)
 

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"Must be a lot of work take down your Halloween decorations!" He said as he is looking at a 12 foot high skull welded together out of heavy steel,whose mouth opens allowing exit from my house ,several car bodies smashed into the outside of my 1870 house,another car body rests on the roof of the cupola almost 40 feet above the ground.. no I don't take my decorations" down" or" in", "Duh?" hahaha!
According to other haunters (Pro) I have "The world's worst Location for a haunted house,in the middle of pretty much no where miles from any where.
I have been doing this now right here for 28 years.
Just today a man and his small kids were looking at the house and I told them if anyone in their group might be a little nervous to be in the house to bring them back on a Sat.or Sun, afternoon.
We will cater to children,promising them what we will Not be doing to them,we turn on more lights if needed,we bring out a puppy or a kitty for them to see, pet,we make them part of the show in the first room, we allow them to push some buttons to activate some props,which often then get quite a reaction from the rest of the child's family! (And THEN they LIKE Being here!) Odd how this works..... hahah!
How many small children get to safely Scare the rest of their own family?
We offer FUN not Fear-so much.
 

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Prop Master
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I run a walkthrough haunt but it's only open on Halloween night. I start construction every year around June and it usually takes up until the last day to finish everything, but my walkthrough is massive compared to most. I do however put a graveyard out front with my light up Nightmare on Barberry sign out front in the first week of October. Crime isn't really an issue in my neighborhood, and even if some teenagers got bored, i build and make all my own props anyway so i caould alway's replace it. My whole walkthrough is in my back yard behind a locked gate and fence, and i don't open the gates till around 7pm or so, by that time i have a huge line to the street of patrons waiting to get in. The secret to my success is i live in a town in California's mojave desert and i'm like the only actual haunted house here so everyone comes to my house. If you get as much people as you say you do, and your the onlyone in your area, i would recomend trying a inclosed walkthrough, so it will be dark even if it's spring outside. Good Luck and happy haunting for 2015.
 

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Creepin' It Real
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U.S. haunter checking in. My yard display goes up and back down the night of, which means in practical terms it's a daytime only haunt. (City requires ToTing to end at 8p.m., and leaving any valuable props outside overnight would pretty well ensure I wouldn't have them by the following morning). I've turned the daylight situation into an asset, by using the light to show off all the little details I treasure. I'm able to indulge my passion for fiddly little enhancements that probably wouldn't be visible at night.
 
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Discussion Starter #13
All this information is wonderful and has given me great ideas and an understanding too. Thanks for all the tips :) It seams many factors are considered when decorating for Halloween. I'm definitely going to be using my lounge room this year for the "night" time atmosphere and will continue to use outside too. i'm so excited about this one.
 

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I run a walkthrough haunt but it's only open on Halloween night. I start construction every year around June and it usually takes up until the last day to finish everything, but my walkthrough is massive compared to most. I do however put a graveyard out front with my light up Nightmare on Barberry sign out front in the first week of October. Crime isn't really an issue in my neighborhood, and even if some teenagers got bored, i build and make all my own props anyway so i caould alway's replace it. My whole walkthrough is in my back yard behind a locked gate and fence, and i don't open the gates till around 7pm or so, by that time i have a huge line to the street of patrons waiting to get in. The secret to my success is i live in a town in California's mojave desert and i'm like the only actual haunted house here so everyone comes to my house. If you get as much people as you say you do, and your the onlyone in your area, i would recomend trying a inclosed walkthrough, so it will be dark even if it's spring outside. Good Luck and happy haunting for 2015.
i would love to use my side/backyard as a walkthrough….hubby - not so much. lol. Although last year he was shaking his head at what I had done to the front of the house but after a successful evening with so many ToTs coming past with their families, he announced that this year we would have a barbie at the front and invite friends over for drinks so i might be able to get him to come around to a big walkthrough eventually. Hehe.
 

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Great job! I was going to post that you should put props in windows so they could be up at night when it became truly dark, but you already do that.

I don't put alot if stuff up until the week before halloween. We have high winds and rain often in October.

I do put up my fence and graveyard earlier. It has grat impact and very sturdy.

I am so happy Australians are getting into halloween!

Question: Is "estate" a word Australians use to indicate their housing area? It seems very regal!
 

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Aussieboo, I don't want to divert this thread, but I'm also dying of curiosity: how much awareness of Halloween is there in your area (or any other area with which you are familiar)? Are the neighbors raising their eyebrows in shock when the tombstones, ghouls, and creepy dolls come out to play in your yard? I imagine they would be quite startling to anyone who didn't understand why your estate has taken a turn for the macabre!
 

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Great job! I was going to post that you should put props in windows so they could be up at night when it became truly dark, but you already do that.

I don't put alot if stuff up until the week before halloween. We have high winds and rain often in October.

I do put up my fence and graveyard earlier. It has grat impact and very sturdy.

I am so happy Australians are getting into halloween!

Question: Is "estate" a word Australians use to indicate their housing area? It seems very regal!
Thanks for your kind words Countess. Melbourne is known to have 4 seasons in one day so every year in October can be very different weather wise. Last year we had wonderful warm weather but this year we could have rain, winds or even hail. lol. I guess I won't know until the week of Halloween with how the weather will behave so I wouldn't be able to set anything up outside until a few days before.

Lol yes estate is our housing area. We have the suburb that we live in and then within that suburb are different housing areas with estate names so I live in the suburb of Doreen but in the Laurimar estate.

Trust me, I am so happy that we are getting into Halloween too. hehe. But you will still find Aussies on FB complaining about it and a debate every year about why we are taking on an American tradition…not me…I LOVE IT! lol.
 

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Aussieboo, I don't want to divert this thread, but I'm also dying of curiosity: how much awareness of Halloween is there in your area (or any other area with which you are familiar)? Are the neighbors raising their eyebrows in shock when the tombstones, ghouls, and creepy dolls come out to play in your yard? I imagine they would be quite startling to anyone who didn't understand why your estate has taken a turn for the macabre!

Hey Bluefrog. It depends where you live in Oz. Our suburb is full of young families and teens so they're really into it and get dressed up including most adults however there aren't that many houses that would go full on with decorating like I do (I've only counted 2 other houses in the suburb next to us that has) but houses still decorate with a few things around their garden or front of their house. Those who don't decorate still get into the ToTing by handing out lollies to the kids that come by so that's great. Last year we had heaps of ToTers come by because I had a sign at the end of the street pointing them in my direction….my house is in a street that comes off the main street so ToTers can miss our place as there are no other streets that come off our street so the sign worked brilliantly last year. When they did come past, they were all amazed by my decorations (to me it wasn't enough but still a lot more than other houses). They would ask me lots of questions about where I got my decorations from, how long it took me to set it up….they just loved it. It is getting bigger each year and I'm sure more and more houses in my area will really get into it each year as well as other parts of the country BUT I will make sure that MY house will be the best Halloween House. lol.

Funny thing is the street behind our street is known for their Xmas decorations…they go FULL ON with it and for a whole month people travel all over to view their decorations…they have performers and food trucks etc. Every year our street has a xmas street party and then when it gets dark, we take our kids for walk to that street. one of the neighbours told me she will kill me if I went full on with my xmas decorations because of the amount of people that go through that street…I laughed and told her I wouldn't do that to our street. Haha. They know how much I get into Halloween and that's fine because it's only for one night but I'm not about to disturb our usually quiet street with a months worth of xmas decorations. lol.
 
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