Halloween Forum banner

1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
We are (knock-on-wood) moving at the end of September. It will be my very, very first experience living in a neighborhood where we might get trick-or-treaters that might, you know, actually be trick-or-treating rather than just out to get free candy without caring about Halloween.

Short background: my current home is in the city and we get MOSTLY teenagers without costumes... we actually don't stay home for Halloween for this reason; it kills my spirit when they knock on my door. Prior to this I lived in the country where the houses weren't close enough together to get trick-or-treaters.

So basically, I am REALLY excited and don't know what to expect. This is the first time in my life where I want to start planning outdoor haunts (HOA puts limits on how long decorations can be up and I intend to take it slow the first year until I know the community a little better and my 'don't care, doing what I want' attitude kicks in full force, but the possibilities are exciting!). I'm ecstatic and nervous all at once.

Does anyone really trick or treat in neighborhoods any more? What should I expect? How do I estimate how much candy I should buy? Does anyone have any advice on home-haunting in the south should my neighbors turn out to be crazy, anti-Halloween Baptists? ... Am I setting myself up for disappointment by getting so giddy? THIS *IS* MY AMERICAN DREAM, DANG IT!

:D
 

·
Creepy Homeschool Mom
Joined
·
778 Posts
Yep, there is definitely trick or treating going on, still. We've had decent numbers in each of the last four states we've lived. As for how much to get...Honestly, you'll have to talk to your neighbors. Try to pin down an actual number, though. Our neighbors in Cleveland said, "A lot," which turned out to be about 40. :) Also, check the weather, if it's really nice out, you may want to grab some extra. Last year, for us, it was miserably cold, so numbers were down.

That being said, I've only lived up north, so I can't speak for general attitudes in the South. Maybe just keep your eyes open, and only ask those that have some sort of decoration up.
 

·
Insert Witty Comment Here
Joined
·
4,484 Posts
People drive more than when my kids were growing up, so you need to have something that makes them want to stop the car. The emergence of the smart phone has people taking pictures and sending out your location to their friends so they can come by on Halloween. I also give out full size candy bars, which may be why people show up....with the price going up every year, I may switch to a different (cheaper) treat and see if the people are coming for the candy or the haunt
 

·
Monster Collector
Joined
·
3,385 Posts
I have lived in the suburbs my whole life. Trick or treated as a kid then moved on to haunting as I got older. My wife and I have lived in our current house for 14 years, and though the number of TOTers has decreased over the years, we still do get them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
I've lived in the Northeast my entire life. I definitely agree with the suggestion of talking to (friendly) neighbors if you're curious and keep an eye on the weather.

The Boyfriend and I live on the street behind an elementary school. It's a fantastic neighborhood with a young population and a great reputation in the state. Families with small children/newlyweds are constantly moving in. The past few years we've had about 200 kids before I stopped counting, and that's with iffy weather (last year it downpoured the last forty-five minutes of the official ToT time frame). We live on a dead end, and a lot of people skip our road because of that, but we *still* got that many and I love/d it. For me, that's a lot, because of where I came from...

My old home in another state had lots of kids, but we saw 5-10. Our street was really long and the driveways are like roads themselves. Can't even see the houses in some spots. Everyone basically went to shorter driveways on busier, lit streets where you could get the better haul, unless you were friends with someone on my street. My dad still lives there, but the street has aged up to retirees and college students, so he basically buys the candy he likes to eat.

Which is what I do, too, lol. I figure out how many pieces I want to give to each kid and use that (and weather and the past) to figure out how much to purchase. Target is a two minute drive away if we run out, but we tend to have excess because the Boyfriend thinks we'll get 400 without fail. There could be a blizzard, and he'd still be expecting that many!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
380 Posts
I live in a very small city. When I moved in about 10 years ago we had about 75 TOT's. As I started decorating that number has went up every year. Also when I moved in there were no real people decorating other than a few pumpkins and a few standard decorations. Now 10 years later I had almost 600 TOT's last year and expect more since the big day is a Saturday this year. Now most of my street has stepped up on decorating as well. about 10 houses have some descent displays and most do something now...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
I live in an area where they actually trick or treat. Its better than what you decribed in the city, by far, although its still very much candy first, yard second. I also never understood living in a hoa. What's the point in paying someone to tell you what you can do with your own property? Anyway, i hope its a better experience fir you, i say just go nuts. Tell the hoa to take a hike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
161 Posts
I live in a bigger city too, but not many people on my street have their lights on for trick or treat, which is a huge bummer. We always put stuff out in the yard in September, which makes kids always pretty anxious for Halloween. My numbers have grown every year that I've been here too. My first year I had 9, then 20, 34, and last year 56. So, I think the decorations are making kids want to come!

My parents live in a neighborhood that does LOTS of decorating. They usually get between 125-175 kids, but the house on the street over that really goes all out for trick or treat has over 1,000. Good luck!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,787 Posts
People drive more than when my kids were growing up, so you need to have something that makes them want to stop the car. The emergence of the smart phone has people taking pictures and sending out your location to their friends so they can come by on Halloween. I also give out full size candy bars, which may be why people show up....with the price going up every year, I may switch to a different (cheaper) treat and see if the people are coming for the candy or the haunt
Size matters more than quality. I've learned that.

The 4ft pixie sticks at $.25 go quicker than the full size candy bars at $.40.

Just sayin'
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
This all makes me happy. I am unbelievably excited; once I got it into my head that we might, possibly, get to really have trick or treaters, suddenly moving to "Stepford" seemed kind of exciting.

@Lukewa - what you are describing is exactly my current situation. The first Halloween in the house we saw that almost everyone went dark--even neighbors who just typically are home at night and have their exterior lights on. It was weird, like a blackout had happened. We quickly saw that there were only a handful of kids out, and of those most did not wear costumes. After awhile I got totally bummed and move to the basement to watch horror movies to try and save the spirit.

The next year we got married (YES, I had a HALLOWEDDING), so I wasn't even around to see if the situation was better on a weekend Halloween. Since then we pretty much gave it up in favor of hosting spooky dinner parties, going out to Halloween parties, or celebrating our anniversary with scary movies and pumpkin-flavored foods. I still go crazy with my indoor decor, but it's sad because I want to share with people who might care at least a little.

Anyway, I'm looking at this as a fresh start. Totally can't wait!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
I live in a pretty progressive area of Alabama, and when we lived in our rental house, we would get a good number of ToTs. We've since moved houses, but stayed in the same general area, and last year we got ONE ToT despite being in a well-populated suburban area. This is probably only because our new house is off by itself, away from the road, surrounded by woods, with a loooong steep drive that no one ever wants to walk up (deters missionaries... most of the time). The best advice I can give you is to become that awesome house with lots of decor that gives out full sized candy bars. You'll build up a reputation soon enough.

That's what we plan to do at least - make it worth their effort to go up the driveway!
 

·
Seer of All
Joined
·
2,939 Posts
I live in a small working class town in Texas with a church on every corner and I still get somewhere in the neighborhood of 600 trick-or-treaters on Halloween night. During the months leading up to October, I get quite a few religious pamphlets left on my door by the fundies that apparently fear for my soul, but once my yard is decked out they steer clear. Another reason lo love October.
Anyway, once you're moved in just start decorating, within your HOA guidelines of course. If the kids don't come you can still enjoy it for yourself. Just have fun with it!
 
  • Like
Reactions: scareme

·
Registered
Joined
·
569 Posts
If you build it they will come! Here is how to get around the HOA. Do you have any windows facing the street? If so decorate those rooms by 10/1. I promise drive bys will tell prople about your house and they will make an effort to TOT there. Use great lights, scary mannequins etc. Let them see inside the Haunted Mansion! Invite neighbors over with kids for a
Halloween party a couple of weeks prior to Halloween. Get a projector and show a scary movie for the kiddos. Trust me, I have been doing this for years.
 

·
Here to burgle your turts
Joined
·
2,305 Posts
Target is a two minute drive away if we run out, but we tend to have excess because the Boyfriend thinks we'll get 400 without fail. There could be a blizzard, and he'd still be expecting that many!
Haha! I think that disease might be going around. I live in fear of the year we have too few treats but it's never come close.

Hey Carrie! Welcome to the forum - I can feel the excitement from here - kinda contagious. ;)

Some great advice above. I agree that if you can get SOMETHING up early to let people know that you're a Halloween destination, that'll help. Plus from being on here forever I've learned that there's a LOT of neighbourhood conversations that go...

Spouse 1: Let's start decorating
Spouse 2: Not until the guy across the street does. He's nuts. We can't be earlier than him.

...so be that guy. ;) I believe a lot of people wait for permission to start decorating, or even decorate at all, and when you start you're getting the ball rolling.

There's also been a few threads on here about whether the day of the week matters. I've always thought we'd be busier on Fridays and Saturdays because there's no school the next day. But we seem to get fewer on the weekend - I guess because we're competing with other events. So could be a good year to test the waters - I'd guess whatever you get this year you should be able to double next year.

Congratulations on the new house. Hope you're Halloween is awesome for you and the new neighbourhood.
 

·
Seer of All
Joined
·
2,939 Posts
Spouse 1: Let's start decorating
Spouse 2: Not until the guy across the street does. He's nuts. We can't be earlier than him.

...so be that guy.
;) I believe a lot of people wait for permission to start decorating, or even decorate at all, and when you start you're getting the ball rolling.

.
Love it! Best advice yet!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,326 Posts
I usually get about thirty TOTs in my neighborhood. Not everyone decorates but everyone gives out candy, I took a friends daughter around my neighborhood last year and it was a great experience. I think there's more than 30 kids in the neighborhood but I live on a dark cul de sac and sometimes the kids walk right by the street. Since last year I installed more outdoor lighting to entice them.

Something you might want to think about depending on the weather is sitting outside on Halloween night. A lot of my neighbors do it too and its really fun to see the kids go from house to house with their bags. Plus you get to see reactions to your haunt. Good luck!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
I feel so reinvigorated reading through all of this!

If all the house stuff goes through, we'll be moving in (officially) the start of October and (realistically) be in the house the week before Halloween. I am not going to set my goals too high for this first year, but the fact that I get to unpack every single spooky piece of decor I own and put it out at move-in is thrilling. I'm already thinking about my new front porch and whether I want to hang witches' curtains and make some spooky candelabras that can sit outside. I don't have anywhere to properly prop during the move, but in the new house I'll have a room to myself to do my crafts. It's time to invest in some full-sized skeletons!

FUN or SPOOKY or SCARY ... that's the next relevant question!

Gosh I'm feeling giddy. :) :) :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
I absolutely agree that the best way to get a bunch of kids is just to go big and early with your display. I've only started going all out for Halloween in the last few years, and every year the number of ToTs coming to my door has just about doubled.
 

·
Creepy Homeschool Mom
Joined
·
778 Posts
Madame Leota was right: GobbyGruesome definitely gave the best advice-especially since you'd be in the week before. If people haven't shown any signs of decorating by then, someone's definitely got to be the one to kick start it all!
I also love the idea of decorating in the windows from mamadada.
Definitely plan to have your counts double each year. It's definitely been the case with us, and we don't even go crazy. Just a simple cemetery, indoor decorations that can be seen from outside, and full size candy bars. We move so often, I can really only account for up to 3 years at a time, and we've never had any article written about us that may increase traffic. (I will admit...I do chuckle when we leave, as the people moving into our house have no idea of the expectations that await them)

As for how to decorate, that is up to you! Do what you want. I'm not big into scary decor, and fun can be a little too tame for me-but only because it equates to childlike. I've got a good sense of humor, so I should probably rethink that. :) Anyway, my preference is spooky. It's universal, and I"m lazy. I prefer people to fall victims to their minds than to go all out freaky and gory. Again, though, that's me. Decorate in the way that makes you happiest. :)

One week is a tight timeline, but I wish you the best!
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top