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Discussion Starter #1
Most of us go over the top with our halloween decorations but what are some very simple things that make your house or someone elses look creepy?
For me a single jackolantern glowing in a darkened upstairs room is very eerie.
 

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Replacing the chandelier lights in the dining room with those flicker lights does it for me. ...or I run some orange/purple string lights in places and that looks friggin cool.
 

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sasquatch
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I agree. There are so meny things that are simple but very effective. The glow of a jack-o-lantern in dark place, fog in just the right place, a few sound effects, and spider webs are just a few of the very7 simple things that go a long way to create a haunt. Some things light just simple lighting, fog, and sound create illusions to the viewer that go a lot farther than so more complex and expensive props.
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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To me, the scary houses are the ones that look abandoned and neglected... the houses that have peeling paint, boards loose and shutters hanging by a single hinge. Overgrown like nature is slowly swallowing the house...

I wouldn't decorate that way, but that's creepy to me. ;)
 

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Personally, I feel the single easiest, most effective thing is boarding up the windows. Oh! And taking my wifes pretty flower pots down from everywhere!!!! Ooooooo....she gets soooo mad!...lol
 

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Caretaker of Eerie Manor
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Replacing the chandelier lights in the dining room with those flicker lights does it for me. .
We do the same thing

Atmosphere can be the biggest creep factor. If someone darkened their entire house, with the exception of some dim lighting coming from one room, played an eerie soundtrack out of a window (wind blowing, some creaking, low moans) it would freak most people out. Darkness is unsettling and disorienting. Some displays rival Christmas in their presentation but those with the right lighting, sound and even just a couple of well placed props can be the most effective.
 

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We don't have a haunt becuase our Apartment owners won't allow it. I do try to do as much as I can with what we're allowed. That is the one thing we do is turn off all the lights in the front, and I have a spooky soundtrack I made myself that I play out the front bedroom window. Then we have a lighted Jack 'O Lantern in the front window. We have a lighted skull doorbell that is the only light that is in our foyer. We have a few candles inside the front door for us to see with. We don't get many TOT'ers unfortuately, but the ones we do say they love our creepy soundtrack.
 

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the most effective I find is to cover your walls with those brick halloween wallpapers...changes the atmosphere of your home completely.

never forget the 3 most important aspects to a good haunt; lighting, calculated positioning for your props and sound (a bit of smoke doesn't hurt either)
 

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We switch all the lights off and just have the television going - it gives a blue glow to the outside world and people just don't know whether to come up the path for trick or treat - or not!

Works every time!
 

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AKA - S.M. Barrett
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Darkness and candlelight are most evocative indoors, but outside?

A yard and porch may have nothing more than a lit Jack O' Lantern and a colored lightbulb in the porch, but it will be memorable with one addition - the singular call of a Great Horned Owl. It has an immense effect. TOTs look for the bird if you play the sound from an upper window or above a porch, thinking the real thing may be in the area.
One reason the hooting call of an owl works is that no one else uses it. It grabs the attention.
 

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We switch all the lights off and just have the television going - it gives a blue glow to the outside world and people just don't know whether to come up the path for trick or treat - or not!

Works every time!
Often my kids don't usually go up to those houses as they think the people aren't handing out candy when someone just has a TV light on :p
 

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lies dead but dreaming
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I'm with Frankies Girl on the "Abandoned and unmaintained look" If you find fake ivy at garage sales or on massive sale at your local craft store it is great to use to make things look old and overgrown.
 

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Spats;720862...memorable..addition - the singular call of a Great Horned Owl. It has an immense effect. TOTs look for the bird if you play the sound from an upper window or above a porch said:
Hey! I use hooting owls too. It really scared some of the adults. I also use several different wolf calls and yips from real wolves. It's super creepy, when a wolf cry breaks the silence. :)
 

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AKA - S.M. Barrett
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Hey! I use hooting owls too. It really scared some of the adults. I also use several different wolf calls and yips from real wolves. It's super creepy, when a wolf cry breaks the silence. :)
No one else uses it in the neighborhood, I mean - or at least chances are slim that anyone else will use that. Same as the wolf cries. I'll bet you're one of the few if not the only person in twelve blocks using only a wolf's cry as sound.

Both owls and wolves are commonly heard as infrequent additions to 'soundscapes' with tolling bells, evil laughter, screams, creaking doors, shrieking cats and unearthly wails.

Playing an owl or a wolf alone has more impact in my experience, though here in the southern Plains, I couldn't use wolves.
I would need either wild dogs or coyotes.
 

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I've been looking for a owl prop and I have never seen one? Does anyone know a website or store or something? I saw one on this forum that I liked but it never said where it was from and I cant remember which thread it was to go back and ask?!?!
 

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AKA - S.M. Barrett
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Plastic Great Horned Owls can be found at garden and farm supply locations. They are sold as 'scarecrows'.

For cuter, more crafty looking owls, Michael's and Garden Ridge have the kind covered with feathers and with posable feet.

I never use one. It's difficult to spot an owl, even if you can locate the area the calls are coming from. I know, I go owl-watching all the time.
I prefer just the sound.
 

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Finding things to use as part of a prop works for me. I made a skull on a stake prop by just impaling a cheap Target skull on a long stick I found in my yard. Keep in mind, I carved out the holes in the eye sockets to allow the stick to go through one of them.

Also, a blacklight seems to make the area a bit spookier, since if you're wearing white, it'll cast an eerie glow.
 

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No one else uses it in the neighborhood.. Same as the wolf cries. I'll bet you're one of the few if not the only person in twelve blocks using only a wolf's cry as sound....Both owls and wolves are commonly heard as infrequent additions to 'soundscapes' with tolling bells, evil laughter, screams, creaking doors, shrieking cats and unearthly wails....Playing an owl or a wolf alone has more impact in my experience, though here in the southern Plains, I couldn't use wolves...I would need either wild dogs or coyotes.
Yes, you are correct. I am the only house that does yard haunt in my neighborhood, or uses sound FX of any kind. And I agree, playing the owl and the wolves alone has far more impact, when it's inbetween moments of silence. I guess we think alike when it comes to scary sound effects.:)
 

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The Goddess of Screams
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We have a real wolf pack in our neighborhood (I live kinda out of town) - and let me tell you, around 10 at night, usually as I start to lay down and read a little before bed, they start yipping and howling and it absolutely scares the crap outta me!!! I don't know why!! I can tell they are out in the pasture, a good ways away, and I know I'm safe inside, etc...- but it makes the hair stand up on my neck and I get all freaked out!

So, I can see how that sound would be scary!! But I might not need a recording to get it! LOL :D
 
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