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Caretaker of Eerie Manor
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Hard to imagine that three weeks from tonight, around this time (8:30 p.m. EST) we'll be wrapping up Halloween 2014. The trick or treaters will be dwindling due to the 6-8 p.m. TOT hours set by our city. We'll likely have some stragglers and of course the friends/co-workers/family, that stop by to see the haunt and have a glass of cider. We'll head outdoors to take some pics, share stories of the best scares, and then reluctantly start dismantling things and taking them to the basement or garage for the night. We'll hang around for awhile and have some left over pizza and then call it a night (or a year).
We wait so long for Hallowen to get here and put so much time and effort into preparation, prop building, detailing etc, that it doesn't seem right it is over with in just a couple of short hours, but it is. The next morning we'll start the long process of taking down the haunt, packing away props and decor, wrapping up a mile of extension cords, hauling things off site for storage, all the while thinking about the night before and planning for what we'll do next year.
This season has come quickly and right now, we're just sitting here waiting. The house is decorated, all of our Halloween shopping is done except for candy and a couple nice pumpkins to carve. There didn't seem to be anything amazing this year as far as retail offerings. We worry about the weather but know the show will go one regardless. Mother nature taught us that over the past two years. I've spent less time on the forum this year, and I've noticed several other names who are noticeably absent or who have not been very active. A sign of the times I suppose, however I hope these long time haunters haven't lost the spark. Many of them were a wealth of information and inspiration! I think those of us who have done this for many years are fairly well settled and don't get as "jazzed" about things as we used to, but we still enjoy seeing new stuff others come up with. There are always some fresh ideas that are pretty amazing. There did seem to be an abundance of threads that had a negative tone this year and I hope those folks have been able to reconcile their problems and can find reason to enjoy Halloween in some capacity.Over the next three weeks, we'll take in some of the local Halloween attractions, finish our outdoor decor and build the haunt structure in our driveway. On the eve of the 31st we'll gear up and put on another good show and love every minute of it. Part of me can't wait but another part of me hopes the next three weeks takes it's time so we can enjoy the rest of this very short but enjoyable season. Hope everyone is ready, not too stressed and that you all have a great night three weeks from now! My own time here will be limited due to preparations but it will be fun to pop in and see pics and video of everyone's celebration. Scare on!
 

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never ready have been setting up the last two weeks just when I think im done theres something more,
and I think im ready till Halloween week when I finalyh put out the animated store bought props, need to work on that
make some of my own
 

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Are you serious your town sets the hours to trick or treat ? Wow what a shame with all the hard work I know you would put into your haunt that there only a short window to have people come by. It's not right, hopefully many early TOT's will show and it will be a great night, again WOW !:p
 

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The Big Kahuna of Fright
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Nice post, J-Dub, we have lost a lot of old timers I notice...
Once your own kids have left the nest, it's never the same, especially on holidays, and TRIPLE especially on Halloween. To tell the truth, if I didn't have a second set of kids, all I'd do is hand out Treats. Why? Because it's true; we do it for the kids.
 

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Halloween Elitist
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Nice read Jdubbya, I share your sentiments, we prepare all year and when it gets here its gone in a few but enjoyable and memorable hours, I wouldn't trade those moments for anything
 

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Headless Hessian
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Your post has me really reflecting on my feelings earlier in the year when I was planning the date for our annual party. The road I live on is the busiest street in the neighborhood for traffic and it's not well lit - which means we don't get many TOTs, so my highlight is the party for our adult friends. I never have the party on the actual holiday itself so that all our friends with children can spend that time with their family. I struggled with holiday the party the weekend before or the Saturday after Halloween. Based on the calendars of several key participants, I went with 11/1 but really contemplated how it would feel knowing that the "day" was actually over the night before.

There's no turning back now as the save the dates were mailed almost 2 months ago and the invites have been out for a week now. Everyone is still planning to come and I hope the magic will still be lingering for at least one day afterwards as we squeeze the most fun and chills out of Halloween 2014.
 

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A Wee Bit Wicked
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:)Hey Jerry, I loved what you said and I do share some of your same concerns. I hate when I find a forum member has been absent for a while. It makes me sad...and I worry that they may be lost for good. But then, I think the bottom line is...Halloween people are Halloween people...and though sometimes we veer off the path...we will always find the scary road once again. I have lots of friends who do not share my love of Halloween. They shake their heads at me for all the time, energy, money that I put into...as you said...basically ONE NIGHT... Hhhmmm...I think about it like this....you know how when there is something so delicious, that you can only get for a VERY short time? Usually people think of it as some special treat at Christmas, or maybe Grandma's secret recipe of Easter Ham, something like that. The tiny window that you can get this "treat" makes it invaluable, much sought after, and cherished. Well for us Halloween people it is Halloween night. Brief and fleeting though it may be, it is superb in every way. The wonderful aspect of Halloween is that it is one magic night of the year. And we Halloween people plan and plot all year for the joy of the night. I, for one, think it is time well spent. There is not a greater time of year than the month of October and all that it entails.:D We are the very spirit of Halloween, all of us wonderful, russet brown, crisp, apple tart, Halloween people. Yay for us!
 

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Insert Witty Comment Here
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I still don't know what to make of this coming Halloween. I spent a few hours today tilling flower beds and planting. I have a 1/2 marathon in the morning and another in two weeks. I might be out of town a few days for work and if you drive by, the only thing you'll see that indicates I haunt is that I got the lights on the roof tonight. I still have three horses to chicken wire and monster mud and if candy hadn't been mentioned earlier I'm sure I would forget to buy it...after I hit send on this, I will go write "buy candy" on the white board in the kitchen
 

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Caretaker of Eerie Manor
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Discussion Starter #10
Are you serious your town sets the hours to trick or treat ? Wow what a shame with all the hard work I know you would put into your haunt that there only a short window to have people come by. It's not right, hopefully many early TOT's will show and it will be a great night, again WOW !:p
It's really not uncommon. A lot of municipalities in several parts of the country have set TOT hours. I'd at least like to see it extended to 9 p.m. but likely not going to happen. It's been this way for years

Nice post, J-Dub, we have lost a lot of old timers I notice...
Once your own kids have left the nest, it's never the same, especially on holidays, and TRIPLE especially on Halloween. To tell the truth, if I didn't have a second set of kids, all I'd do is hand out Treats. Why? Because it's true; we do it for the kids.
Absolutely!

Thank you for sharing your thoughts jdubbya.
We wish you a very Merry and Happy Halloween!

~ Angel and Fred Grant
and to you and yours Angel! thanks!

Nice read Jdubbya, I share your sentiments, we prepare all year and when it gets here its gone in a few but enjoyable and memorable hours, I wouldn't trade those moments for anything
nor would I. The two hours flies by and when it's done you're both relieved and saddened, but yes, always worthwhile!

:Well for us Halloween people it is Halloween night. Brief and fleeting though it may be, it is superb in every way. The wonderful aspect of Halloween is that is one magic night of the year. And we Halloween people plan and plot all year for the joy of the night. I, for one, think it is time well spent. There is not a greater time of year than the month of October and all that it entails.:D We are the very spirit of Halloween, all of us wonderful, russet brown, crisp, apple tart, Halloween people. Yay for us!
Yes! Yay for us! I think of how many people tell all of us each year that we make so many good Halloween memories for them and their kids. To think that we, as a bunch of crazy haunters can have that kind of impact on someone is really awesome! We ARE the spirit of Halloween to a lot of other folks!
 

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The Squirrel Whisperer
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Nice post, jdubbya. I always enjoy coming to the site here every year and reading about your adventures. I don't make it around very much during the "off season", but it's a great place to catch up with old friends and see what new props and ideas are out. Happy Halloween to you!
 

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Caretaker of Eerie Manor
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Discussion Starter #12
Nice post, jdubbya. I always enjoy coming to the site here every year and reading about your adventures. I don't make it around very much during the "off season", but it's a great place to catch up with old friends and see what new props and ideas are out. Happy Halloween to you!
Thanks buddy! You too! We've both been members here for over ten years and have compared notes on many occassions! Im always glad to see one of your posts, knowing you're still around,
 

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Imitation Imagineer
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There is a lot to chew on there....some fairly poignant topics to explore; effort to value comparisons, potential disenchantment, and of course, inevitable endings.

Thoughtful assessment of our collective obsession is one of the reasons I enjoy being here so much. :)

Like most, I've questioned the 'all this work for a few short hours' thing so many times, and each time, I ultimately find a few things to be true.

It seems that as long as we enjoy the journey, then the destination is only part of the fun, and not the sole source of enjoyment. I truly enjoy the process of creation; even the guaranteed-to-happen-annually frustrating bits where a motor, or light won't do exactly what I want. And that enjoyment extends to seeing/watching what others come up with here. So, in reality, I literally get months of enjoyment out of Halloween each year!

Also, I know that even though it is only a few short hours for us on the actual night, we have photos to share with our friends here, stories to swap, and a lifetime of memories provided to the ToTs that visit each humble haunt. I know this to be true, because I still carry those memories with me more than three decades after my last trick-or-treating excursion. Long after many other childhood memories have faded to a jumble of disjointed and vague images, I still remember the first zip-line ghost I ever saw. The images of the neighbor's yard with the strobe light, and hangman's gallows, are still vivid, and clear.

In the face of all of the cost, effort, and planning, it seems worth recognizing that ALL of the effort that each person puts into their display, posting their efforts here, and capturing the elements with photos and video, is contributing to a wonderful Halloween archive that will not only carry on the traditions, but help them grow. I guarantee that each of us is in some way contributing to the next generation of dedicated haunters.

In the end, I guess that I try not to focus on the individual elements of my own little corner of the cemetery, but rather in the epic mausoleum we're collectively constructing, brick by creepy brick...

Happy Haunting! :)

 

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Monster Collector
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Well said, Jdubbya. :)
 
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Well said. I do believe that haunters experience Halloween like a child often anticipates Christmas. There's lots of preparation and hoopla all for that very special day where relatives often try to kill each other and someone always gets that tacky sweater. Afterwards there are funny memories to share and decorations to pack away until the next year of anticipation starts once more. I pray that I am still up for the haunting like some of the others on here once I've been doing this for 10 years. We're only on year 4 here and getting into full swing.
 

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October always seems to fly by so quick, and the rest of the holidays, for that matter. We just closed our pool today, and that signals the end of the summer (and swimming season) for me. Years ago we started decorating in early September, and it helps to lengthen the holiday. It's not just one day, but the fall season. Just ask the haunted attraction owners for one...same as Christmas, where there are so many activities, parties, and TV programming that goes on leading up to and beyond the day itself. It gives us plenty of time to take it all in stride, and try to fill it with as much fun as possible. The spooky side of Halloween can be year round; whether you work on props, watch scary movies, read (or write) spooky tales, or have some Halloween decorations up in your house somewhere. I like to keep the Christmas spirit all year long as well, and although much different, there is a fun and exciting spirit about Halloween which makes you keep it close.
 

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When you talked about, "part of me can't wait,but part of me hopes the next 3 weeks don't pass too quickly," and sorry if that's not word for word, you said it all for me. Thanks! I guess we'll all get through another year of waiting together,and that will really help.
 
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