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Halloween Bad Girl
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My theme this year is Classic Spooky Graveyard. I would like to ask your opinions on what you feel I could do to make my cemetery more Spooky. I am not looking at adding any scares, this will be a static display.

I have 3 acres of land to work with and over 30+ stones, adding more as time and money permits.
 

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Fog rising up from under the leaves between the stones!!
 

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Caretaker of Eerie Manor
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Are you using the whole three acres? That's a lot of graveyard to spook up. Is any of it fenced in? Flat terrain? any hills? Will it be a walk through or something you stand and look at? Give some more info on what exactly you plan to set it up like.
I agree with partsman that fog is essential. Lighting is also a key factor, but again, you have a lot of land to work with. My suggestion would be to scale back and use only a portion of the acreage to make it simpler and more effective. Static props like pvc frame zombies, ground breakers, skulls on stakes, skeletons, a coffin, gravedigger. I place liut jack o lanterns in mine for added atmosphere. Lots of things you can do but I think trying to haunt 3 acres is going to be a lot of work. You can always start smaller and add some each year.
 

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Having stones that have crumbled or partially crumbled I think would help. A freshly dug grave, maybe some dirt piled on to one area (not suggesting you dig up your yard). A gate with a sign that is rotted and possibly hanging from just one hinge.
 

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Zombie Hunter
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Gotta have fog.Gotta have zombies(ground breakers perhaps) A couple of ghosts and creepy old trees is always helpful too.
 

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Have a bunch of subtle, yet suggestive static scares. Along the lines of what Bubbels suggested... have one grave with a hole in front of it made as if someone (or something) has dug themselves out of the grave and have visible footprints leading through the dug out dirt and awy from the grave. Stuff like that which suggests that they may meet the grave's former occupant just around the corner or behind the next tree!

Mr. Grimsley had to do some similar digging once... but I'm feeling MUCH BETTER now!!! Muahahahahahahaha! >:O)
 

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jester girl
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can you post a picture of what you have done in the past. also, have you checked out the thread monster mash started? it was called graveyards or cemetaries. people have really posted some awesome cemetaries there. you would get all kinds of ideas. one thing i learned from that thread was how much lighting really enhances your work of art. at goodwill i found some cheap bells. i am going to rig them up by graves like they had in the old days for someone to ring incase they had been burried alive. i want to have a recorder planted ringing a bell every now and then. since you have so much room, besides your cemetary, you can have the cemetary that is off to the side where rogues and paupers are burried.
 

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Sound effects! Not only ambient noises, but some 'pop-up' sound effects, too. If people will be walking through, embed scream mats on the paths. Add extra SFX, or even low-tech answering machine endless loop tapes with a motion detector. I like to hide baby monitors along the path to my house and hiss a warning to unsuspecting TOTs. I also use baby monitors (cheap at thrift stores) to listen to the comments of Halloween visitors.
 

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My graveyard isn't any where near 3 acres but last year I found a grim reaper that is about 6ft tall and I thought he was a nice touch. Also I picked up some tiki torches that have skulls around the top....the light they produce makes a cool setting.
 

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Halloween Bad Girl
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Discussion Starter #13
Sorry just now getting back to you guys, thanks for the advice, keep it coming.

Lets see year before last was the first time, I used the side of my yard and a cemetery. We took pallets apart to make a fence. I had about 20 various size stones, we used 2 canister lights to shine down onto the cemetery. Had a wheelbarrow, set of kicking legs, fresh earth at graves, bones at some of the graves. I do have a few pics I can post later.

I will take a picture tomorrow in the daytime and post here for you to see what I have to work with. Hubby says that it is really 1.5-2 acres. Either way it is a lot of room. I really want to use this side of the house because every thing else is, broken up into sections that wouldn't look right as a cemetery.

I am thinking about several different cemeteries in one. Here in MS we have a cemetery that I am thinking of immolating. One section is for pets, one for children graves, then another for confederates, etc... I am also thinking about having all the stones roughly in the same color range.

Last year I purchased several red, green and blue spotlights. I spent some time working with the lights and feel the blue worked the best on the stones when they were in my front yard. So I might try that again this year.

I have a ton of spiderweb, and have access to spanish moss, so that will be incorporated into the design. Thinking about taking a lot of dead tree branches as filler, maybe even let the grass grow up and little to give it the unused look. I also have so many leaves that time of the year, thinking about moving them to the side yard where the cemetery will be located and spreading them there to cover the ground, again to give it the look of an unlooked after appearance.

I like the idea of the fresh dug grave, and the footprints walking out.

I have access to a lot of different sound effects, so the children's crying, laughing would be a spooky effect to have. I also have a huge shop fan, wonder if there is a way to create the cold wind blowing on the back of your neck, (heeby jeebies).

I have a very large wooden children's playhouse, that my daughter no longer uses (or never has) that will be turned into a mausoleum. Only problem it is going to be a bugger to move.. Hubby is ok with it, now just have to wait until summer and a few projects later to transform it for the cemetery.
 

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Hauntingly Addicting
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Crypt!!! You need a really good and large crypt!!! That would be a great addition to your cemetery.
 

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Don't Drink and Fly!!
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Last year was the first time I used irrigation pipe ( I don't know what the real name is, but it is corrugated plastic pipe with holes in it to water flower beds and such) and a chiller to make fog come out low to the ground over a large area and it worked great. I just covered it with greenish creepy cloth to blend it into the grass, and the fog came right through the cloth. It was a great addition to our little cemetery, maybe it could work for yours.
 

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Last year was the first time I used irrigation pipe ( I don't know what the real name is, but it is corrugated plastic pipe with holes in it to water flower beds and such) and a chiller to make fog come out low to the ground over a large area and it worked great. I just covered it with greenish creepy cloth to blend it into the grass, and the fog came right through the cloth. It was a great addition to our little cemetery, maybe it could work for yours.
That's just what I was talking about, except I'm in New England, and somewhat frugal (that's a New England word for cheap,) so I used foam pipe insulation, onlt a dollar for an 8' piece!! Then I covered with leave after punching the holes in it, the fog just rises up right out of the ground!! Spookie:D
 

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Reaper
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Fence... some kind of sign over the gate entrance... flowers. fresh grave. fog. dead leaves piled around. maybe cobwebs... if you're feeling extra ambitious you could build the graveyard's shed, a lot of the small town cememteries have them out this way to store mowers and such... or a mausoleum.
 

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Well, if you want some ideas out of left field (I get no other kinds)...

First of all, you need more stones for that large of an area. Yes, money, time...but consider some simple wooden crosses...LOTS of them, and replace them as you get the time to build more 'proper' tombstones.

Second. An idea that struck me last year, that goes with local ghost stories, and, while I can't pull it off in my smaller yard, 2 acres should do nicely.

Let's call it 'reverse lighting'.

Most lighting setups are designed to have the fill lights from BEHIND the patrons, casting long shadows up towards the house, then your little spotlights to make the stones pop.

Yeah, fine and dandy.

Just what about reversing that, though. Especially with some good fog. Have those lights at the house, pointed towards the advancing patrons. They are left seeing shadowy outlines of the stones as they approach.

PERSONALLY, I like the look better.

Here's a view from the 'front' of our, uh, burial ground.



But I sure liked the look of things from the 'back', looking back towards the lighting better, myself.



With some proper stones, the shadows would be tremendous.

 

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UnOrthodOx, awsome idea with the lighting! It's actually a technique used in photography sometimes where you let the main light (sun, sky etc) almost silliouette your subject but hen fill it or them in with a smaller amount of fill light! Can be super effective!
 
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