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Discussion Starter #1
So I have been apartment bound these last 8 years... However, we will be moving into a nice house this ides of August.

The difficulty I face is two fold - I have zero props and the house is GREAT for Halloween (end of a short cul-de-sac with a raised above the road yard), but its porch is a non-existent concrete pathway to a two step 3x3' slab. The yard is about 4' higher than the road, a skinny triangular shape (with the narrow point toward the road, 15' by the drivveway x 20' along the house x a solid hedge along the property line), with good cover from the hedge.

Normally, I would scarecrow myself and haunt the front porch (I'm not a minimalist, I'm a pragmatist). But with such a non-existent porch to work off of, my instinct is to pull away from the house and haunt the yard... It has good cover from the street as it is raised and planted so ToTs wouldn't be able to see much until they were on the driveway. My first thought is a cemetery with a cauldron witch or coffin jumper or some such focal point...

But a decade of apartment living has left me prop-less and without a garage of raw materials to draw from. To make matters worse time is at a premium, as the domestic move comes with a move of my office.

Yet still, I have been off prop building for almost 10 years - damn it this is my first Halloween with an actual yard in almost a decade! Someone is going to scream on my front lawn this year if it gets me arrested! This is a MORAL IMPERATIVE! :p


So, what I am hoping to crowd source from the ever inventive and somberly scary bunch that you are, is a few ideas that are simple to build, work in an open environment, wont bankrupt me as I have no backstock, and (heaven help me) realizing that I don't have the time needed to build multiple projects.

Thus far the ideas are:
  • cauldron witch, likely with a live actor stirring the brew
  • spider on the roof that drops down when the Tots hit the door, the legs will have to move or it might as well be a falling rock
  • cable witch from a tree, over the driveway, to the porch
  • coffin jumper, complete with dug grave and candy hand out seated next to
:eek: I would vastly appreciate your input and ideas.
 

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Look around your area for a demolition/surplus business that hauls stuff away from buildings that are being demolished. These places have tons of stuff that make for great props and it sells for pennies.
 

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Honestly, I went small our first year here in a similar situation. Just the biggest dang candy bowl ever.



If I were doing it again, as I've mentioned in another thread already, focus on lighting and a sound system your first year. These, more than any kind of props you can do, will serve you in the years to come. Just a well lit house with some music and a guy in costume can be AMAZING. This also gives you a chance to get to know what kinds of numbers and age groups will be coming to your house this year, so you know where to gear your props for next.

Also, as you may have noticed...with no porch, I simply moved the candy out to the yard. This simple fact makes a LOT of kids nervous. The change of routine away from the doorbell...
 

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Creepin' It Real
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Gods, I love being around people who understand that late July is short notice for a holiday held at the end of October. :D

I recommend keeping your eyes peeled for that most versatile of props, a good skeleton.

I would keep a loose eye on CL for any haunters giving up the hobby and selling out. You can get some tremendous deals that way and accumulate a lot in a short amount of time. Don't bother with CL postings that just say décor or costumes; those rarely yield much and it sounds like you don't have the time to hit up a lot of them looking for a hidden gem. Look for the person who clearly has a lot of stuff to sell, preferably in large lots.

That said, avoid the trap I fell into: that of buying a bunch of cheap stuff, and then getting into a state of perpetual upgrades. Buy what you truly like, that's the best quality you can afford, the *first* time. A little sticker shock now might save you a lot of hassle and wasted money down the road.

It might also be worth hitting up Goodwill on the first day/weekend they put out their Halloween items, typically September 1 or 15th. At that time, they've been accumulating goodies since the previous year and tend to put out the best items that first weekend. As far as time expenditure, it's another "best bang for your buck" situation, compared to the "normal" course of going week after week year round.

If you search my thread history, you'll see I've rung in on a lot of "how to haunt at low cost" threads (and I'm assuming budget is a factor, because otherwise you could just go online and buy up an entire yard's worth of haunt supplies). I've written at length as to how to throw a crime scene haunt using almost exclusively supplies found around the house. Might be worth checking out to see if that's the way you want to go this year.
 

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I was in that situation last year. When I lived at home years ago, I had a HUGE display but when I moved out I had to sell everything. After renting for many years, I finally bought my first home last year, in July, so I know what you're going through.

In addition to not having a lot of money to spend on at least something for my yard, I have no place to store it (long story for another day). What I ended up doing was getting a couple of sheets of pink foam and made some tombstones. Then I bought an AtmosFearFX dvd and borrowed a projector from work to run that in my front window. That was it. It killed me because I once had a haunt that brought people by the car load and went on for 18 years and now I had just a few tombstones. BUT people loved it because no one else on my street decorated and what little I had was a big hit and made me feel better. Given that you're new to the neighborhood, I'm sure you'll find the same and it's a great way to meet your neighbors!

This year I'm building only a few more custom pieces but still can't go crazy until I buy a brand new and massive shed to store it in. Just need to win the lottery first. :D

Congrats on your new place! Do what you can and don't worry about it if it's not a lot of stuff. You'll get there!
 

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There is some really great advice on here so far. What about the alleyways of local businesses? I've found a lot of pallets that way. UnOrthodOx has a great point about lighting and sound. Fog machines also help if you can find a good deal on one.

BlueFrog- good call on quality. I cannot tell you how many times I've tried to cut corners and ended up wasting money.
 

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His name is Roger Clyne
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Gods, I love being around people who understand that late July is short notice for a holiday held at the end of October. :D
I KNOW RIGHT!?!

We settle on our house Halloween night many years ago so I KNEW I couldn't do it that year!!

But I went from house, to apartment, to house again so I had some stuff but after 8 years or so I STILL do not have enough to fill our side yard and our front is overtaken by a streetlight from hell that glows with the light of a thousand suns at night.

That said, I still do stuff & since it's me & the hubby doing it, we go small. A graveyard, some figures, blow molds, stuff to line the perimeter of the yard where it's darker.

My best year was when we got some straw bales & I put out all the fake pumpkins I'd carved over the years all together on them. All those pumpkins all together like that really left an impression on many.

I've also learned that doing ANYTHING, SOMETHING, whether it be a projection or inflatables is appreciated & better than nothing. Check craigslist, Goodwill/Salvation Army, etc. for leftovers or anything that can be made into something else.
 

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His name is Roger Clyne
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On the pallet tip, check with any HVAC/plumbing company. I work for one & we throw away more than anyone could ever store unless they owned a stadium in which to put it all!! We also toss & recycle a ton of cardboard from giant to small so hit them up for that stuff too if you need it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
See, I knew this was the place to ask around! Thank you everyone, for you ideas and input.

I was never quite into the latex statues and multicolored props myself - but the last time I was starting from scratch... I think I was 12!


Did some checking over the weekend. Turns out I still have two UV lights and a fogger tucked away in a plastic tub at the back of my closet (some things just can not be left behind). And thanks to the pallet suggestion, my thought is to build a fence from the pallet scrounge and carve far too many JackO'Lanterns for the yard/visibility.

Ambient mixer has some pre-made scary soundscapes (built one myself over the weekend: http://horror.ambient-mixer.com/porch-haunting-2014-01), so I think audio is covered. And I know a few SCA friends of whom I could whip up a holocaust cloak.

And I will keep a weather eye out for Goodwill and Craigslist - Thank you all again!
 

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Halloween Nut
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cheap and easy, a toe pincher coffin made from fence boards. You might even be able to find old fence boards for free.

Here is the link top scarefx's directions for the $25 toe pincher I and many other here have made.
http://www.scarefx.com/project_coffin_2.html
 
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