Halloween Forum banner
1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
188 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got interviewed last night by a national newspaper (one of the top 2) who came to view our yard display as part of a feature article he is writing on yard haunts. During the interview I described this forum and and he was intrigued about the larger haunt community. I was asked to post on the forum and ask if anyone wanted to comment on certain aspects of yard displays. (Mods: if this is not allowed sorry-PM me with potential solution?)

1. Are there are any rivalries between yard displays that are say principally lights (think LOR style Christmas show) vs. animatronic/traditional graveyard displays?

FYI: My personal opinion is not really. I see more of a break between home haunt vs. commercial (why pay $$ when some guy
is doing it almost as well for free!!) However, he has my $.02 what are your thoughts?

2. He didn't ask this as a followup, however my impression is the bigger debate here is between gore/ no gore. Any other rivalries topics of debate?

3. If anyone else is interested in commenting or talking to the reporter please send me a PM with your email/digits that I can forward. This will need to be done within the next 24 hours to enable the deadline.

Thanks Rich.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
237 Posts
"FYI: My personal opinion is not really. I see more of a break between home haunt vs. commercial (why pay $$ when some guy
is doing it almost as well for free!!) However, he has my $.02 what are your thoughts?"

With all due respect, I disagree.
I did a yard haunt, with 18 to 23 actors for 7 years. I now own and operate a 'pro' haunt around 7000 sq feet with 25 to 30 actors. I did a really good yard haunt but in no way could I provide people in my yard, for free, what I provide them now. My haunt stays in place 365 days a year, I can improve/change anything anytime I want to. I couldn't possibly have done that in my yard.
It's apples and oranges really, yard haunting/diplays are amazing and so are pro haunts, both have great things about them and both have limitations.
Why does there have to be such a division between the two?
Although, I will admit, I don't go on the 'pro' boards much as it feels like I just walked into the boys locker room but that's another subject :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
456 Posts
I don't have a home haunt, but would like to do one some time. On the way home from work a week or so ago i had to drive past the post office. I noticed someone had set up a small haunt in front of their house. I read the posts in this thread and a thought occurred to me. I live in Mebane North Carolina. It is a very small place. This haunt was not in a high traffic area. My impression is that the only folks who would be aware of it would be neighbors and friends. So why do it? My guess would be for the fun of it, since it is likely not to get many visitors. It makes me think that there must be many more small, out of the way haunts made by folks for the fun of it than pro haunts, or one ups-manship neighborhood haunts ( you know, as in " Well Bob at the end of the road here had two inflatables and projections last year, so I need a light show synced to the "Monster Mash" song. That should get him.). This may just be personal bias, but from my time on this forum ( and even as great a community as it is there are others, I know that) I haven't seen any competition per se. What I have seen is a large group of folks who are really into Halloween and more than willing to help with all kinds of advice on building props, making costumes, and putting together Halloween parties and haunts.
There is a big difference in sensibility between Christmas enthusiasts and Halloween enthusiasts. Christmas and Halloween are both holidays, like apples and oranges are both fruit. Christmas fans pursue twinkling lights, nativity scenes, and tree decorating as ardently as we pursue witches, vampires and zombies hanging out in our homes and yards. But apples are not oranges ( if you will allow me to belabor the obvious). And Santa, Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus in His manger are not zombies---unless you are really into Halloween. And in that case they can all indeed be, and sometimes are, zombies.
In fact I picked up a battery powered animatronic foot tall Santa and Mrs. Claus set from a local Goodwill several weeks ago. They are both destined to be turned into Mr. and Mrs. Zombie Claus by next Halloween. Then, when we set up our Halloween tree again next year the Zombie Claus' will stand proudly and creepily next to the zombie garden gnome who already stands watch under this years tree.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
346 Posts
I have a garage haunt and decorate my yard too. Pretty good neighborhood where about 1/3rd of the houses have decorations beyond a jack o lantern. To answer your questions:
1. I don't think there is any rivalries between types of yard decorations - I know some rivalries exist in the community but not bitter mean-spirited - more of trying to get the bigger 'ooh' and 'aah'.
2. Again not really a rivalry between gore/no gore - most people seem to appreciate anyone who decorates (I know I do). If you are looking for the most polarizing decoration I would say inflatables vs. non-inflatables.

Have to agree with Grey Lady about professional haunts - there are some things that a home haunter is not going to be able to do. In addition to the size, money and effects pros also deal with huge numbers of patrons with continual scares for hours with props and actors needing to be "on the mark" consistently. A few home haunters I have heard pull in 1,000 or more but I believe most are around the hundreds (or much fewer).
 

·
Imitation Imagineer
Joined
·
1,204 Posts
Hmmmm.....I guess I don''t recall seeing, or reading, anything that calls to mind a 'rivalry' per se. However, if there are some out there, I'm pretty sure that they are indeed friendly, and inspirational, games of 'one-up'. :)

Now, I think most here would perceive, and acknowledge, that there are camps of preferences (static vs. animated, eerie/creepy vs. horror/gore, inflatable vs. no inflatable). However, I do think that it really does stop at preference, for the most part.

For instance, while I'm not an inflatable owner, early in the month, I did see a yard in the neighborhood that had roughly seven of them on display, and I was thrilled! Simply put, I was just happy that someone was putting their celebration of the holiday on display.

A perfect example of the range/spectrum of appreciation might be a lighthearted display such as Hilda's. Now, consider that I cut my teeth on the Lovecraft, Edgar Allen Poe, and the Haunted Mansion, so am primarily a fan of dark, creepy, eerie, and things exuding a dark humor. However, her bright, happy creations are one of my favorite examples of a yard display.

Further exploring the 'rivalries' concept, while I definitely believe that there is comparison, I'm inclined to believe that it is primarily used as a source of inspiration to improve. Some of that has even led to instances of haunters 'joining forces'. So, rather than examples of rivalries, I immediately think of instances where some tremendous collaboration has resulted.

For example:

- jdubbya and lewlew combining on Road's End/Eerie Manor the last couple of years.

- Pumpkin5, Bobzilla, Halstaff, and Dead Things getting together to create Ollie G. Mucklebones.

I guess my summary view would be that, while I can't immediately think of a true rivalry scenario, I do believe we all enjoy the variety, and creativity, and influence one another for the better...

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
475 Posts
Hmm the only rivalries I ever really seen here or around my area are bashers vs Non Bashers.

Example. Guys doesn't like inflatables and say "they are so childish, stupid, blah blah.blah"
You will almost instantly see people defending them. Even when they personally do not like them and may even agree.
Why? because it is every haunter right to express their love of the holiday in their own way. It maybe the only holiday left with not set rules on decorating.
As a haunter I do look around the Neighborhood to see decorations. From Pumpkins to fancy light displays.
I hear all the time "competition" from those that aren't "Halloween Crazed". I tell them it isn't a competition it is a celebration!

As for Pro haunts I go to one every year. I did HallowScream this year. Rivialy? No, Inspriation! They have teams and resources I will never have. So they have ideas and props that I can be inspired from. I think it is awesome when I actually get a jump from one. The Other side of it is Pro-Haunters for the most part started out as Home haunters and some still do so can't see the riviarly there.

Oh and maybe "Are ghost real?" that always seem to hit some nerves with people in the haunter realm. LOL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
126 Posts
I don't have a home haunt, but would like to do one some time. On the way home from work a week or so ago i had to drive past the post office. I noticed someone had set up a small haunt in front of their house. I read the posts in this thread and a thought occurred to me. I live in Mebane North Carolina. It is a very small place. This haunt was not in a high traffic area. My impression is that the only folks who would be aware of it would be neighbors and friends. So why do it? My guess would be for the fun of it, since it is likely not to get many visitors. It makes me think that there must be many more small, out of the way haunts made by folks for the fun of it than pro haunts, or one ups-manship neighborhood haunts ( you know, as in " Well Bob at the end of the road here had two inflatables and projections last year, so I need a light show synced to the "Monster Mash" song. That should get him.). This may just be personal bias, but from my time on this forum ( and even as great a community as it is there are others, I know that) I haven't seen any competition per se. What I have seen is a large group of folks who are really into Halloween and more than willing to help with all kinds of advice on building props, making costumes, and putting together Halloween parties and haunts.
There is a big difference in sensibility between Christmas enthusiasts and Halloween enthusiasts. Christmas and Halloween are both holidays, like apples and oranges are both fruit. Christmas fans pursue twinkling lights, nativity scenes, and tree decorating as ardently as we pursue witches, vampires and zombies hanging out in our homes and yards. But apples are not oranges ( if you will allow me to belabor the obvious). And Santa, Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus in His manger are not zombies---unless you are really into Halloween. And in that case they can all indeed be, and sometimes are, zombies.
In fact I picked up a battery powered animatronic foot tall Santa and Mrs. Claus set from a local Goodwill several weeks ago. They are both destined to be turned into Mr. and Mrs. Zombie Claus by next Halloween. Then, when we set up our Halloween tree again next year the Zombie Claus' will stand proudly and creepily next to the zombie garden gnome who already stands watch under this years tree.
This is our first year of going big. Not a haunt but just a detailed display. We (mostly me) spent a good 6 months since last Halloween making props. Why do we (I) do it? I like the challenge of building the stuff just to see if I can do it. I really love Halloween and my kids love pitching in although they don't seem to have my stamina. We typically only get maybe 50 ToTs but it will be interesting this year to see how many more we get as we have advertised our little display to our friends and neighbors. My guess is we'll easily double that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
518 Posts
I think its more like stages of Halloween Celebration with the public (different then having a party).

Stage 1 you decorate, pumpkins, ghost/witch etc
Stage 2 you do a yard display, added fencing, lighting, larger portion of yard and some animation
Stage 3 you build and make and add more stuff to your yard display more animation, fog sound and lighting.
Stage 4 you become a home haunt, by building walls, using more of your yard, your garage more animation (built or bought).,
You can stop at any one of these stages, but (observation only) if you continue to stage 4, eventually you burn out and stop haunting, (overwhelmed by success neighbors, town, traffic problems) , you try going PRO, or you scale back. Very difficult to stay at the stage 4, for long, the work, the storage, loss of help, life changes, health, wealth and location.

The "Tastes", is a whole other discussion, gore, store bought, home built, computer generated, modified (hacked), inflatables, fall harvest, artistic

The Forum is a blend and mix of the different "stages" and "tastes" and for me that is part of the fun and energy.
(not to forget the home parties, costumers, those who still TOT and the interior decorators. sorry if I missed anyone)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,392 Posts
Frankly I think our numbers are too flipping small for there to be rivalries. :) You pull into a neighborhood on Christmas Eve and in most areas 75%+ of the houses will be decorated either with static decorations or light displays. Go into most neighborhoods on Halloween and you're lucky if even 10% of the houses have anything up or out. We're too glad to see someone else decorating to see them as rivals.

What I do find interesting is while the baby boomer days of neighborhoods teaming with kids of all ages are now gone, the love for Halloween hasn't. The last two years we've actually had more adult guests than kids coming through our haunt. They remember the joys of Halloween from when they were kids and want to relive it as adults, so this is why we tend to focus on scaring more mature guests than children. My kids had no idea what the Creature From The Black Lagoon is when I made him, but after seeing hundreds of visitors come up to our Creature figure, asking to take pictures of it, and wanting to talk about the impact the movie had on them in the 50s, 60s, 70s, and even 80s, they now have a solid appreciation of him.

I think there is a "commercial" vs "home" rivalry when it comes to props and displays. The market for commercial props and decorations is very limited right now, so if everyone relied on commercially-available items, everyone's yards would look the same. This is a big reason why we make most of our props at home. Who wants to see the same things in their yard that all the neighbors have? This would change if commercial vendors offered more diversity of product, but that's not going to happen until the vendors and buyers come to some sort of agreement on quality/price and commitment to buy at or near full price.

I do see a gore/no gore conflict if not a rivalry. To me excessive gore = bad taste, but a lot of the younger generation grew up on lots of gore and find it more acceptable.

As for inflatables... they are the physical presence of evil and should be banished. :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Miriya

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
990 Posts
The only rivalries are here on the forum. I have never seen one or been in one in real life. I have some gore but I love it when anyone decorates.
The funny thing is people down playing their decor to me because I go crazy. I slow down or beep the hearse horn when I see a halloween wreath, air blown or any other decoration. I do love to see people go nuts too...........
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
375 Posts
I think its more like stages of Halloween Celebration with the public (different then having a party).

Stage 1 you decorate, pumpkins, ghost/witch etc
Stage 2 you do a yard display, added fencing, lighting, larger portion of yard and some animation
Stage 3 you build and make and add more stuff to your yard display more animation, fog sound and lighting.
Stage 4 you become a home haunt, by building walls, using more of your yard, your garage more animation (built or bought).,
You can stop at any one of these stages, but (observation only) if you continue to stage 4, eventually you burn out and stop haunting, (overwhelmed by success neighbors, town, traffic problems) , you try going PRO, or you scale back. Very difficult to stay at the stage 4, for long, the work, the storage, loss of help, life changes, health, wealth and location.

The "Tastes", is a whole other discussion, gore, store bought, home built, computer generated, modified (hacked), inflatables, fall harvest, artistic

The Forum is a blend and mix of the different "stages" and "tastes" and for me that is part of the fun and energy.
(not to forget the home parties, costumers, those who still TOT and the interior decorators. sorry if I missed anyone)
Well I've been a Stage 4 for almost a decade now. Haven't burnt out yet. I add something new every year, but I find I don't use everything I've got every year. I have a one car garage that isn't big enough to fit a car, so it is my Halloween storage. I do feel however that if I did a Halloween party every year, I would burn out. Didn't throw a Halloween party this year and I am so glad about it. I only wish I had a 2 or 3 car garage so I could bring my maze entirely indoors, would also help with some of the stress the weather brings.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
188 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I also love to see any decorations, the question as posed to me was something I had not considered prior as the community is very supportive. This last year however at a convention I did run into some pros that were worried an explosion of really good home haunts and an organized home tour route some of us were kicking around would cost them business. Considering it costs 50-80 bucks for a family I can see the concern.

The stages of haunting is spot on. Im at 3.5. We are a yard display/show and will never do a walk through. However our show at 9 minutes + is pretty packed and is more than dancing lights.

Gore/ no gore, Blow ups/ no blow ups etc are open to debate. My guess is that most of us CAN agree glitter is an evil that must be crushed.

Thanks for the lively and civil discussion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,217 Posts
Right on Jersyscare....Stage 4 ...that's the song I'm singin and will continue to sing for awhile cause my overworked Halloween brain along with the very large yard I have that can actually accommodate all of my visions is still wide open to expansion. I really need to stop storing those Halloween tablets on my nightstand and living here within the forum with all this creativity and instruction and people so willing to help you be nuts....well let me just say.....its not easy to stop or slow down. I remember when I first found this place......I think I was in shock for a couple of years......and to think I thought I had a lot of ideas. This new family of mine took me to a whole new level.

I been decorating forever. I started in this location 9 yrs. ago with the new neighbor saying, "Don't waste your money on candy cause we don't have kids come here". Well here's what happens when the school buses drive by your home & everyday they would watch us put up more stuff. That first yr. brought 147. Now we usually run over 600 every season except 2012 when the full page article came out in the local paper.....we had over 1000 that year. I should mention that I live in a rural community.

The houses around here put up a few decorations and honestly I don't have a clue where all these people come from. They just come. I always had more decorations for the inside, so year 3 I invited them in. They freaked...kids were scared so I said bring your Mom with you. That year the door opened and has never closed again, we have lines and they have brought everyone along including Grandma & Grandpa.

We kept building more and buying all year long and the crowds just kept growing. Nobody so far has come close to what we usually do. We decorate all the rooms in our home and they come through, out the back door into a garage scene and this year there's pop-up tents and a back deck scene.( most likely the pop ups and deck scene will not get put up this year)

Mentioned in stage 4 there in the end>>>>Health....BINGO......that's where we are sitting right now. We're in serious trouble. Last year when I went to the local high school for help & the short story is ....7 of them, all that were coming, did not show. The man that helped us every year died. I had flyers up for help, I asked the crowds for help, ( previous Halloween) I even went to the senior citizens ctr.. This year I am so sick I offered money for help>>>>>No One.

Last year we handed candy out in the driveway and answered 100's of questions about why the house was closed. It killed me. I have stuff that was shipped to me as far back as 3 yrs. ago that is still in the box. I have materials that were bought to make props that have been sitting here. Really it all seemed to end when I could not get on the ladder any more and things are much worse now. Right now the house is 1/3 of the way done cause everyone here just can't do it anymore. I'm not giving this up, my illness has forced me to give everything up but its not getting Halloween.

I'm opening Sat. with whatever is done and I'm doing something I've never done before.....I'm putting a message up on poster board at the front door explaining how seriously we need help. With help I can continue to make this bigger and better but I need the communities help. So we'll see what happens. They all tell me our kids only want to come here on Halloween so lets see if we can get some help.

I think home haunts are simply wonderful.....I think if you have a pumpkin on your porch ...its wonderful. Inflatables...gore...whatever>>>>bring it...its all great!

My impossible dream? Trying to get a group performance of thriller done in my driveway>>>>>>Just like my idols>>>Davis Graveyard!

May the Force Be With You
the Muffster
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
990 Posts
I got interviewed last night by a national newspaper (one of the top 2) who came to view our yard display as part of a feature article he is writing on yard haunts. During the interview I described this forum and and he was intrigued about the larger haunt community. I was asked to post on the forum and ask if anyone wanted to comment on certain aspects of yard displays. (Mods: if this is not allowed sorry-PM me with potential solution?)

1. Are there are any rivalries between yard displays that are say principally lights (think LOR style Christmas show) vs. animatronic/traditional graveyard displays?

FYI: My personal opinion is not really. I see more of a break between home haunt vs. commercial (why pay $$ when some guy
is doing it almost as well for free!!) However, he has my $.02 what are your thoughts?

2. He didn't ask this as a followup, however my impression is the bigger debate here is between gore/ no gore. Any other rivalries topics of debate?

3. If anyone else is interested in commenting or talking to the reporter please send me a PM with your email/digits that I can forward. This will need to be done within the next 24 hours to enable the deadline.

Thanks Rich.
I tried to bold what people were responding to.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,287 Posts
My bad. I glossed over the OP since the reporter had already posted a thread wanting to talk to people. I guess I am just not the jealous type. I learned my lesson last year with a 600 sq ft. haunted pallet maze.

It was just simply too much work for just me and my wife. It felt like a second job and the stress of finishing dampened my enjoyment. I was more relieved that it was over and not enjoying the moment.

I am happy with what I do, and I am happy when I see others do their thing whether it is less or more. I only see those who do "more" here on the forum, and I respect, appreciate and sometimes copy their efforts. :D
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top