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For those of you that embrace a different theme every year, do you ever repeat a theme?

I don't ever have a theme per se but I will cycle through my treat give-away method...Wheel of Fortune, Fish Pond, Plinko, etc. Since I mostly stick to a classic look and have a ton of stuff, I just vary the items each year. The scary animated old lady in the antique wheelchair become a black draped static figure in the same creepy wheelchair at the top of a flight of stairs. The 6' inflatable spider moves from the roof to the lawn. The graveyard moves from the lawn to the front garden. Same basic stuff every year with about a third of it staying packed away.

So what's your style? Complete switcharoo? Different theme each year? Or tried and true?
 

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I follow a similar rotation plan, too. I add new things every year, keep a few things packed away, and move things around. I don't completely change themes, but I change the main focus.
 

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We have repeated a theme for 4 years in a row which was a haunted corn maze but then last year we changed to giant spiders with a
40 foot giant spider web. Im going with the spiders and web again as im building bigger and better spiders, we had 2 last year that were
8 feet wide and 6 feet tall..... adding more props as fencing, cemetery columns, bigger cemetery stones and ghouls. One thing has stayed
the same since we started our yard haunt 6 years ago and that im always Michael Myers and people always come looking for him. We
started with 200-300 TOT's and now usually get 500-600 in a 2 hour period. Our street is the place to go as about a dozen of us setup
for the big day :)
 

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People come through my house and see mostly the same things each time, then suddenly something happens that they had never seen happen here before! Who jumps, screams? The one who had been here a few times and they thought they "Knew -it-All!" So there they are screaming in front of their friends they brought here for the first time!
"But why did YOU scream? you have been here before!"
"But the last three times i was here, THAT DIDN'T happen!"

Why just make it so only the previous visitor gets all the fun of laughing at their newbie-friends?

After 20 years , suddenly the one couch "Comes Alive!" After many years of being normally "Ground-bound" "Jim" now can float through the air!"( Not just bad gas.)
So people's imaginations become stimulated and guess what happens then? They begin imagining some pretty wacky stuff here or events here that could never happen (As far as any effect I have had anything to do with)
The huge part of their entertainment here is suddenly what ever sprouts in their own brain! You are welcome, thank you very much, drive safely.
 

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After 3 years of building it up, this is the decision facing us this year. I am leaning towards a major rehash - new layout, etc. - but am struggling with how to rearrange the puzzle pieces. Hopefully I find the key bit of inspiration soon!!!
 

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Rutherford Manor Haunt
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Seems like our set up is always changing mainly because we have added areas making the Haunt larger. This year we are changing out the garage portion of our walk-through because the rooms have been in use for 3 seasons. The nursery and living room will be gone; the Lab is being overhauled and will hopefully seem new to our victims! We re-purpose as much as possible though, the panels will be reused, some props, most of it will be rehashed in some way.
 

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And if you cannot get the 10foot plank into your set room, just cut a hole in the wall, don't worry about the hole, someone will somehow make it very scary(They always do!) That's what I did today. The hole for the plank allows some daylight into a formerly dark hallway,right down at floor level (If the sun is out)
People can't see in through this hole because it's mostly behind a phony garage door that is partially open.
 

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The Ravens Grin Inn "Theme"....It is an actually haunted, haunted house (Which keeps life interesting!)
It was an Inn and a Tavern and maybe a brothel? It was also an Oldsmobile dealership. It was a School House for three years 1903-1906.
I enjoy this house having a huge wine and Beer cellar below the level of the basement, a place where people sometimes experience special effects.. that I could never do.
But, more weird things have happened in the front room of this place than the wine/beer cellar.
Much of this small downtown is on top of a large piece of dolomite rock, possibly a "Haunted" rock?
Some of the downtown stores here also have some of those strange and supernatural occurrences ever so
But, almost none of these things we" living" experience are at all like a Hollywood horror movie ........

My "Theme" here is somewhat classical, since it is an old house, filled up with my own artwork.. if that sounds a bit dull you may find experiences here that you will never forget.
I love making people scream! Jump! then LAUGH!

.. and i have never "Made-Up" any of the stories concerning this house. Then I show them some evidence here concerning one very personal extremely strange story I often tell here....after I give them the time to wonder if i am actually dead or alive?
 

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The Ghost Host
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We do different themes every year, but are fortunate enough to have a huge amount of "staple" decor that can fit in for any theme.

For example we have all of our witchy stuff...potion bottles, ingredients, etc. One year it's an apothecary, the next it's a "curiosities" cabinet. One year our Frank animatronic is just that....the next he gets a clown mask thrown on him and he's a giant stalker clown. This year he may be part of a mortuary scene. For us, it's all about keeping the foundational pieces but rehashing them with little details to fit a new theme punctuated by new decor that fits whatever theme we're doing.
 

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Our home "haunt" has pretty much stayed the same cemetery scene. We'll add new stones or lights or something but it's basically the same. When we did the decorating at the improv theater for their Halloween thing we did whatever theme meshed with the Movie they we're redubbing that week. So we have done big bugs, zombies, haunted mansion, swamp, even alien. We no longer do the theater but we now throw a potluck party for a local geocaching chapter. This will be our third year. First was a classic witch and cemetery theme. Last year it was a haunted logging camp this year it'll be a Carn-evil.
We've always tried to get things to do more then one theme by changing a mask, costume or setting.
 

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I've been keeping the same theme for the past 3 years but adding/removing/rearranging props/decor/layout for each haunt. Storage does become a problem as I try to keep it looking different each year. I'll cycle through props every 3 or 4 years. I have to be honest, I'm not sure if it's the best. May be better to have one set of things and stay with it. Grass is always greener eh?
 

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Blue Pill? or Red Pill?
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Since I change every because of storage issues, I sell it all before the next season. I keep only essentials - foam, pvc, wood poles/beams, skellies, life size monsters that I redress each year to fit the theme, rats,skulls, rope, netting, paint, and lights. I have kept some of my fave creations though- not to the delight of the hubs!:mad:

Sometimes I have had to sell the pose-n-stay, because it was part of scene (pirate skelly ontop of mound of treasure), but others, I just sold the masks (last year plague doctors)
 

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We have the same general 'theme' each year, which actually took a little while to boil down. My DH and I started out just displaying anything & everything we liked, but about 2 years in I wanted to whittle things down to really create more of a look rather than a mishmash. We grow each year with some new props, and every couple of years I like to change up the layout, although my DH is *always* resistant to that at first! LOL! We are getting less room now for the big props, which in a way is kind of cool because it's allowing us to focus on lighting & upgrading some of the details. Last year though, I finally got my first witch prop (my Hagatha!), so that added a new scene & we're sort of starting from scratch with that and will keep adding to it.
 
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