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Prop Master
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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.
I'm sure your husband will come around eventually. my wife didn't even celebrate Halloween when i met her but look at her transformation.

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The left is her posing for me when we first met, the right is 2 years later. See the transformation. Now she lets me tare apart the front and back yard. Don't worry girl you'll get him LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
I'm sure your husband will come around eventually. my wife didn't even celebrate Halloween when i met her but look at her transformation.

View attachment 239260 View attachment 239261

The left is her posing for me when we first met, the right is 2 years later. See the transformation. Now she lets me tare apart the front and back yard. Don't worry girl you'll get him LOL.
Haha I'm hoping he will. He has agreed to wear a butchers apron so it's a start. lol.
 

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AussieBoo, you live in a fabulous city. Honeymooned there sometime ago and really loved the area. You have a nice house and yard to decorate.

I'm quite impressed with what you do already. Way more than I expected given that Halloween isn't prominent there. The windows looked great. That's something I like to incorporate too given I never know what the weather will be come end of October. I set up outside on the day of Halloween and guage what will go out that day. Pretty much everything outdoors comes down that night after the last ToTer has come by, which for us is about 8:30 or 9pm, and stored in the garage to be sorted out the next day. I think decorating that day keeps it special but it is alot of work to plan on that day and you're never sure it gets fully appreciated given the short timeframe.

8:30-9pm is quite late for darkness. Here we are still on daylight savings but it gets dark much earlier. Until this past year we had to contend with a fairly bright street light so did have some of the same issues creating a spookier atmosphere (the new LED streetlights actually are great for halloween now). These would be my suggestions:

*If you can invest in some colored lighting for some of your displays I think it would still yield a desired effect during the waning daylight and for sure later at night. Some of the LED lighting we have here is very vibrant, even some of the colored florescents do a nice job. If you don't have stores carrying this, check the internet for shipping to you.

*you have a wonderful white fence area that screams decorate me...or project on me at night.

I see the fence as the foundation of some "building" for example--with several framed arched window silhouttes, turret, or props--appearing above at the fence line...ie a castle wall with dragons or a wizard peering down from above. Example of the dragon-- a foamboard or plywood dragon rigged with fog coming out of it's nostrils in bursts periodically (low-lying fog would work best)...that should gain you some more attention from passerbys. Just one example brainstorming here.

*You have a great porch area to use. If you could suspend something like black plastic sheeting, even cut into strips to move in the wind (if you pull on the strips they will get deformd and sort of look like drooping branches from willow trees or hanging seaweed -- see this from Martha Stewart: http://www.marthastewart.com/271722/witchs-curtain ), from your gutters or between posts and I think you'd have a darker, scarier area for the kids to walk up to and get their candy. Given your porch posts, maybe you could even use a tarp with grommets on it and lash it to the posts to create a solid tarp wall of sorts. You could decorate the streetside and the porchside of it.

*Think of themes from Australian history/culture that you can pull from to make the appeal more local. Ghosts haunting a scene like Port Arthur maybe. Abandon ruins on an island with crocs in the waters and unfortunate escapees rendered to skeletons after an unsuccessful attempt to flee (sort of Island of the Dead). Occasional fog machine bursts might help create more of an atmosphere of a swamp area. And for sure the screaming sounds of tassie devils sends chills through anyone! If you can get one of those mean skeleton dogs like GrandinRoad sells ( http://www.grandinroad.com/small-skeleton-dog/halloween-haven/outdoor-halloween-decorations/681360 ), maybe it could double as a skeleton devil with some added growling/screeching sound effects in the background to sell what it's suppose to be.
 

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Rutherford Manor Haunt
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Our set up is a yard display and a walk through which goes through our garage (very dark) and back outside through our back yard (tarped area but exposed to ambient light). We begin our set up with the cemetery in early October, from there we add to veranda, fence line along driveway and 2 weeks prior to Halloween we close off the garage and work on the maze. It gets dark here around 6:30 by that time so we are fortunate for low light, mind you it can be -15 degC :( so that presents other challenges!! I think you have the right idea, have one scene in an area where you can control the light, maybe add tarps or fence lines to outdoor areas to it dimmer.

Sounds like you are well on your way to being the place to see, in time you will have teens and adults come by later to enjoy the yard in the dark as well. :D
 

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Wow GoS amazing ideas. thank you! I was thinking the same thing about the lighting. As it got dark last year, there were still a few ToTers and the only lighting I had was the ones on my front porch so i will be looking at lighting for the graveyard this year. The fence idea is amazing too…i never thought to look at that and utilise it for decorating. Glad you love my city…I love it too :) xxx

Trex thank you I definitely think I've advanced in my decorations in my area. I have a feeling those who visited last year will visit again and tell others in the weeks leading up to Halloween. I've decided I will definitely use my front lounge room to decorate a different theme each year. I only told my hubby last night when I was showing him signs I created for this years Haunted Hotel…he wasn't impressed that I'm using a room in the house but I told him i wasn't asking him for permission. haha. He's totally fine with it now…not his decision anyway. hehe. As I said in previous posts, Melbourne has 4 seasons in one day…we could have a beautiful warm night this Halloween or it could be freezing. lol. I'm looking forward to choosing a theme for our lounge room each year.
 

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hi Aussieboo, I too am fully into Halloween, where I live (northern New South Wales) the kids have got to know that an old witch lives at my house and she hands out lots of treats. yes that's me. I am the only person in our small town that totally gets into to decorating. this year we are having our Halloween party on the 24th as I don't really want adults standing around drinking while the kids are toting on the 31st. my whole back yard will be decorated for the party and I am trying to convince my hubby to let the kids come through to the back yard on the 31st, but he is not keen and wants me to move it all out the front. he is not into it like I am, and rolls his eyes at me all the time, but this past weekend he got his power tools out and helped me make stands and fix up some props and this weekend we are going to make a coffin, so he is slowly coming around.
 

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We share the same problem!
We're in Melbourne and the weather is completely unpredictable in October. Last year it was above 30C and the sun was out until really late, previous year it rained and got dark quick.
We've just started running a backyard maze for the kids to come through, we open it from 7pm for the younger kids to come through until 9:30 so we still have the dark scary effect. We start building the structure a week before but won't put up the decoration until the night before unless the weather is good we'll do it a little earlier.
Sadly i don't trust people enough to put on a show in the front yard leading up to Halloween
 

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Hi gidget. It's so great to hear from others in OZ. I had the same issue with hubby and his rolling eyes...lol...but now, while he still says this halloween stuff is all mine to do, he has come around and while he won't admit it, I know he's going to love it. hehe.

I think this year will be the year that my house will be known all through my area as that Halloween house.
 

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Hey Chantelle. Where abouts in Melbs are you? Yep totally agree on the weather problem here. Last year was amazing weather...hoping for a repeat of it this year :)

I'm going to get started on my hotel beginning of October - this is indoors so I can spend time working on it. Outdoors I'll probably put out stuff mid October - stuff like the cemetery fencing and arch I have, and other things that don't look like Halloween. While my neighbourhood is great and I don't have to worry about thieves, I don't think they'll want to see the scary stuff go up earlier than a day before Halloween. lol. By then, I'll have all the big things completed and it's a matter of decorating.

A maze will be amazing! Is this the first year you are doing the maze?
 

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This is a great thread, guys!! No one would deal with these complexities if they didn't REALLY want to do it. Dressing up a house for Halloween is one of the breeziest, most enjoyable things a person can do, IMO. It's weirder and more creatively satisfying than decorating for any other holiday.
 

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Hey,
We're just in Craigieburn, not too far from you i think? I'm also hoping for a repeat of last year, i'm just a bit concerned about the wind because i already live in a wind tunnel and last year it was super windy in the morning that it kept blowing my scene setters away!

The hotel idea sounds great and so jealous you get to decorate inside, my partner refuses to do inside unless its close friends and family! I might have to pop by to see your decorations, i haven't seen any other houses slightly decorated for Halloween.

This will be our 2nd year doing the maze, last year we had 116 people show up so should be interesting. We're expecting roughly triple the amount this year going by our Facebook page.
 

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Hi Chantelle. Yes Craigieburn is not far at all. Funny thing, my husband mentioned a friend of his liked an FB page about a Halloween House in Craigieburn and immediately I wondered whether it was you. I'm guessing I'm right? That's pretty awesome that you are doing a maze. I will head to your FB page and like it so I can check your progress.

Lol it's taken a few years for hubby to give in...just as long as I do it all myself, he's fine with me going crazy with Halloween. lol.
 

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It might be our page, i know there is another house that does a scary walk through. I think it's targeted more for adults though but they do a non scare for kids too.
https://www.facebook.com/Melbourneshouseofhorrors that's our page, you're more than welcome to come along this year?!
It drives my partner slightly crazy when im too impatient and have to go to the shops ASAP when i know they're stocked up on Halloween items!:D
 

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where are all the Halloween stores? I have picked over Big W, all the cheap dollar shops, and its now too late to order any more online.......I want shops like spirit Halloween that they have in the USA.

I have started decorating, but with this hot sunny weather I don't want to put out my skeletons and large props as I don't want the sun to fade or perish them, so it looks like most of the decorating will have to wait until the last minute. I have done all the inside stuff though.
 

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I have started decorating, but with this hot sunny weather I don't want to put out my skeletons and large props as I don't want the sun to fade or perish them...
I just mentioned this on a post about refurbishing latex props, but it seems worth mentioning here since you have such powerful UV levels. I use a UV protectant on latex and plastic props (good for rubber, vinyl, etc.) It's the kind of stuff they market for use on fiberglass boats, surfboards, snorkel and dive equipment, camping gear, etc. It screens UV rays, and helps replace plasticizers, making stuff slower to dry out and crack. I think it would be worth checking out to prolong the life of your props-- even if you don't have them out for an entire month.
 

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thanks ooojen, have never heard of anything like that before. with the amount of money we spend on props this would be another good investment to make them all last a little longer. will do some research and see where I can buy it. I am thinking maybe my local camping shop might have it or will point me in the right direction.
 

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Hi there

Although I've been decorating my home for Halloween for a number of years now, I'm still a bit of a newbie at it. My question is: I love the creepy doll in the window and would love to do something similar for my house this year. Do you have to paint the doll with special pain or will a blacklight suffice to give off that eerie glow?
 
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