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Oak Lane Cemetery
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Can't remember who it was that posted a while back about just starting out and wanting to go big, but being on a budget. I had replied that a small budget just means add a little each year, make as much as you can from whatever you can get cheap or free, hit the clearance sales, and grow it slowly. As an example I have made a video showing how our display has grown and changed. My budget is also pretty much non existent so we've had to grow ours little by little over the course of the past 11 years (still growing) I hope this will help and inspire anyone who feels they aren't doing as much or going as big as they want.

 

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GREAT...
And in my opinion very true time line.
I just challenge if prior to the 1st year of pictures, WHAT was before?
Pumpkin at front door????

I was waiting and waiting and the FENCE appeared!
I've long thought that is one of the ALL in.
You want/need to keep the TOTers and parents from running across the yard and tripping or breaking items.

The reuse of favorite items and the repurposing items year to year.

thanks,

Jerseyscare
 

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Oak Lane Cemetery
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Discussion Starter #3
GREAT...
And in my opinion very true time line.
I just challenge if prior to the 1st year of pictures, WHAT was before?
Pumpkin at front door????

I was waiting and waiting and the FENCE appeared!
I've long thought that is one of the ALL in.
You want/need to keep the TOTers and parents from running across the yard and tripping or breaking items.

The reuse of favorite items and the repurposing items year to year.

thanks,

Jerseyscare
I have always LOVED Halloween, but never thought about going crazy with it till I had kids. Before 2007ish we carved a pumpkin and did a few very small decorations for my oldest son (born in 2000) and went to a bigger, more kid-populated neighborhood for trick or treating. We moved into the house we are in now in 2004 and for the first few years stuck with our old routine because there still weren't many kids around and our son was still fairly young and it was easier to hit some streets where everyone was doing Halloween than walk all over ours trying to find a few houses for him. When he got a little older he got more into wanting to decorate our house so we started staying home putting up a few decorations and giving out candy. First year I think we might have had 10 kids come by. Still, it was fun and we wound up purchasing a few more decorations each year on clearance. The switch that flipped was discovering other home haunts on forums and websites and seeing the cool things people were MAKING instead of buying. That was the point I started tinkering with things like the goofy monster peeking around the corner of the house and setting up a little graveyard scene. Still was buying clearance items every year. 2009 son #2 was born (on son #1's birthday!) By now there were a few more families that had moved into our neighborhood and we would get 50 or so visiting each Halloween. I was also putting more of my artistic and creative talents into our Halloween display. I've always been able to draw well and grew up drawing monsters, aliens, and other fantasy type art. Everything seemed to just take on a life of it's own around 2012 and we have expanded every year since. My oldest is now 18 and works Halloween night helping me scare the kids. My youngest is 9 now and since doing a yard haunt is something he grew up with he is a Halloween maniac. Even elaborately decorates his own room with his own totes full of old decorations from the early years I've passed on to him.
 

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Seems like a good way to go, add a little veery year. I started with a couple light us ghosts and every year added a little more. I’m. Not incredibly elaborate but I add more each year( buy a lot on sale after Halloween) and rearrange every year a little to keep it interesting and it works. The neighborhood has taken notice and looks forward to it and I enjoy it.
 

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"the goofy monster peeking around the corner of the house "
I didn't think it was goofy, but was waiting to see it reappear with motion.
As the yard haunt expands, lighting is added, height of decorations are added to, a fence is added, fog, sound and motion are all added
But in no set order.
Jerseyscare
 

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Can't remember who it was that posted a while back about just starting out and wanting to go big, but being on a budget. I had replied that a small budget just means add a little each year, make as much as you can from whatever you can get cheap or free, hit the clearance sales, and grow it slowly. As an example I have made a video showing how our display has grown and changed. My budget is also pretty much non existent so we've had to grow ours little by little over the course of the past 11 years (still growing) I hope this will help and inspire anyone who feels they aren't doing as much or going as big as they want.
I am glad to see this post, mostly because I love the Oak Lane Cemetery posts on all manner of wonderfully creepy stuff they make. This gives me hope that slow and steady will see our little home haunt on a budget grow into what we see in our mind. We just have to be patient. Thanks for a wonderful view at how growing into a haunt can provide excellent results.
 

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Completely relate to this.

2004-2010 I was on a similar trajectory in growth. Then everything got destroyed in August 2010.

Start up again, lose job in 2014, sell everything worth money

Remodel house in 2016, no time/money, give away more.
Redo yard 2018, scrap the rest.

I'm ready to start again, nearly from 0.
 

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What happened 2010? A bad storm? Hurricane?
Yeah, the storage shed we had everything stored in got destroyed by a freak storm. Hurricane force winds. Something put a hole in our roof, the garage door buckled and blew in on our house. Insurance covered most the damages, but as I sculpt most my stuff, there's no replacing years of work.
 

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His name is Roger Clyne
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I equate this with someone who's a master at their craft, whether that craft is being a Superbowl winner, a top tennis player, the top poker player, an award winning actor, filmmaker, etc. anyone who is at the top of their game.

They didn't start there. They started small, they missed the target, they dropped the ball, they painted garbage, they started in Roger Corman movies, etc. They had to work, practice, do a lot of crap jobs to get to the top & win awards.

You start with a few JOLs, add a few next year, change a theme, start small again, buy a few things, make a few things & then one day you've got a full blown yard haunt or maybe you go pro.

But no one starts out that way. At least no one I know that isn't filthy rich with endless amounts of time, energy, & a staff.:D
 

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As the yard haunt expands, lighting is added, height of decorations are added to, a fence is added, fog, sound and motion are all added. But in no set order.
Jerseyscare
That has been our experience. We've found that our tombstones are getting a bit bigger, a bit more involved, and more often than not, animated in some fashion. (Mostly, it's happening because we have a furniture store that's saving all their big Styrofoam for us, so we can finally build what we always wanted to. hahaha.) We're also creating some rather large mausoleums to hide the front of our house. We have fog machines that one day we swear we're going to use. The one constant is that we're having a great deal of fun creating a haunt that we would have loved to have seen as kids. We're trying to keep the spirit alive that we remember. We just have the ability to do a few things we never could as kids. But like UnOrthodOx, when we hit a snag in our trajectory, we fall back for a bit and regroup, knowing that we'll start again. Some things in our mind are just too good to lose. Halloween is one of those things.
 

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Imitation Imagineer
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Man, this is so totally relatable and was a lot of fun to watch.

I really hope that new haunters can take something from this evolution video; the benefits of really working to bring a vision to life over time were on full display!

Two decades ago, I had not one clue what I was doing, but I had a red floodlight, a 3' foot obelisk that I made from foamcore, a strobe light, and a thunder track on a CD player hidden in the bushes. Thanks to visitors offering a lot of encouragement, and places like this forum, we started learning and kept growing.

I remember feeling that I wanted it all to be so much bigger, and so much better, and wanted it right now! Of course, in retrospect, I also know that I wouldn't have enjoyed it all nearly as much if we hadn't grown it organically over such a long period.

It's a marathon, not a sprint! :)
 

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A marathon not a sprint. That's the thing of it. 7 years ago I lived in a rented house on a highway. I hung plastic bats in my windows and orange and purple lights from the eves, but no one came to my house on a highway. Then we moved into town. I had a new baby, was on maternity leave, but we put a couple of fake tombstones on the lawn, the orange and purple lights went up, a witch silhouette in the window and a small handful of jacks by the front door. Every year more stones. A new spot light. Better lights. A fog machine. Sound effects. More jacks. A scary face in the window above the door. Glowing eyes in the fir tree. Little things, but they all add up, and slowly it goes from "hey cool, they've decorated for halloween," to "Woah, look at that house!"
 

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Started out as pumpkins and a few decorations when the kids where small and now 8 years later were planning our first walk through haunted house this year. It just grows and grows, and now the kids are involved in making props as well.
 
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