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We just moved to a new state and new neighborhood. Was a really nice night in AZ. We had 49 ToT's which I thought was rather a small number compared to the number of homes in our complex, but I ham hoping a Thursday night and first time people saw the set up will make next year even better.
Got lots of compliments on the decorations and everyone said we had the best house in the neighborhood. Just doing my job to raise the bar!
2020......Just wait!
 

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I have to begin by empathizing with Lilibat over the one hapless kid who darkened her door; we were in that exact situation two years ago, after assembling a huge undertaking of a skeleton pirate display outdoors. We could see dozens of ToTrs passing the entrance to our cul de sac lane without even looking at the rolling fog and lights we had put on ( we were just far enough down the street that it was apparently too much trouble for them to walk down!)! There were maybe five people who bothered to come by, and none seemed impressed with our efforts. I was absolutely devastated and only put out the barest minimal decorations for 2018. The dozen or so kids who came by last year all asked where the pirate stuff was from the prior year; first of all, how did they even KNOW we had a pirate display? The five kids went and told their friends, I guess! That gave me a renewed sense of hope that word was actually getting around.
Okay, I'll give you pirates in 2019, by thunder!
Fast forward to last night:
We had a personal best of at least 100 kids and parents (there were many groups at a time)!!! Thanks to the combination of advertising on our local "nextdoor" app, Facebook community pages, and word-of-mouth from prior years gave us an exponential addition to last year's roughly 12-15. My son stood at the end of our lane (it's a long cul de sac) in my favorite Grim Reaper costume to direct folks to our house, but many of them told him they were intending to come down to "The Haunted House" even without his added direction! Many recognized the costume, too! The many accolades were real, and the grim reaper wandered back to the house to startle more than a few adults as well as kids!
This was a very rewarding and validating experience, as our whole family was involved in the success of the night. And finally being referred to and known as the neighborhood "Haunted House" is a badge I will wear with great humility and honor!
So, on to next year's planning: I am absolutely and unashamedly "stealing" Haunted Wyo's stockade photo op idea for next year!
I'm so glad things worked out for you, Wyo!
Although the temps were in the low 30's with pretty brisk wind gusts, everyone was glad to have made the trip to our "Morbid Manor" and visit with the pirate skeleton crew! It's on for 2020!
 

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So, on to next year's planning: I am absolutely and unashamedly "stealing" Haunted Wyo's stockade photo op idea for next year!
I'm so glad things worked out for you, Wyo!
Although the temps were in the low 30's with pretty brisk wind gusts, everyone was glad to have made the trip to our "Morbid Manor" and visit with the pirate skeleton crew! It's on for 2020!
Steal away friend. Make sure to make a couple of them though. I wish I had made more than one. Make one for TOTs about age 10-12 and younger and one for the older kids and adults. I made some stair steps for mine that could be moved to allow the shorter TOTs a way to reach even though I made the stockade a little on the shorter side to begin with, which was almost too short for some of the bigger kids and adults. I will take some pics of the stair steps if you would like and share. The holes in my stocks were perfect for most of the 12-13 yo. and under crowd, but were almost too small for some of the adults or bigger kids. I used my wrists and neck for size of the holes and then added a couple of inches to the measurements to make the holes a bit bigger than what I measured for mine. I didn't want the holes super tight, but didn't want them super big either. So I will make another stockade that is taller and have bigger holes.
 

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Steal away friend. Make sure to make a couple of them though. I wish I had made more than one. Make one for TOTs about age 10-12 and younger and one for the older kids and adults. I made some stair steps for mine that could be moved to allow the shorter TOTs a way to reach even though I made the stockade a little on the shorter side to begin with, which was almost too short for some of the bigger kids and adults. I will take some pics of the stair steps if you would like and share. The holes in my stocks were perfect for most of the 12-13 yo. and under crowd, but were almost too small for some of the adults or bigger kids. I used my wrists and neck for size of the holes and then added a couple of inches to the measurements to make the holes a bit bigger than what I measured for mine. I didn't want the holes super tight, but didn't want them super big either. So I will make another stockade that is taller and have bigger holes.
Thank you for the insights, and any pics or tutorials are always welcome! Two it shall be, with some steps for the diminutive offenders!
 

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I have to begin by empathizing with Lilibat over the one hapless kid who darkened her door; we were in that exact situation two years ago, after assembling a huge undertaking of a skeleton pirate display outdoors. We could see dozens of ToTrs passing the entrance to our cul de sac lane without even looking at the rolling fog and lights we had put on ( we were just far enough down the street that it was apparently too much trouble for them to walk down!)! There were maybe five people who bothered to come by, and none seemed impressed with our efforts. I was absolutely devastated and only put out the barest minimal decorations for 2018. The dozen or so kids who came by last year all asked where the pirate stuff was from the prior year; first of all, how did they even KNOW we had a pirate display? The five kids went and told their friends, I guess! That gave me a renewed sense of hope that word was actually getting around.
Okay, I'll give you pirates in 2019, by thunder!
Fast forward to last night:
We had a personal best of at least 100 kids and parents (there were many groups at a time)!!! Thanks to the combination of advertising on our local "nextdoor" app, Facebook community pages, and word-of-mouth from prior years gave us an exponential addition to last year's roughly 12-15. My son stood at the end of our lane (it's a long cul de sac) in my favorite Grim Reaper costume to direct folks to our house, but many of them told him they were intending to come down to "The Haunted House" even without his added direction! Many recognized the costume, too! The many accolades were real, and the grim reaper wandered back to the house to startle more than a few adults as well as kids!
This was a very rewarding and validating experience, as our whole family was involved in the success of the night. And finally being referred to and known as the neighborhood "Haunted House" is a badge I will wear with great humility and honor!
So, on to next year's planning: I am absolutely and unashamedly "stealing" Haunted Wyo's stockade photo op idea for next year!
I'm so glad things worked out for you, Wyo!
Although the temps were in the low 30's with pretty brisk wind gusts, everyone was glad to have made the trip to our "Morbid Manor" and visit with the pirate skeleton crew! It's on for 2020!
Isn't that funny that some kids are really observant and recall what you displayed in years past? This has happened to us as well. One year I had a kid say, "I like your NEW decorations!" I was surprised he actually knew what was added to our display. This year we could only put out a few things because of poor weather and last night a kid said to me, " Your house isn't as impressive as last year." with a disappointed face. I said, "I know, it's just too nasty out this year to put out everything."
 

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My daughter gave out 82 treat bags. Even though last year it was raining cats & dogs we actually had a few more tots. It was about 50° which is freezing cold for us. I noticed a lot more dark houses & undecorated houses this year compared to last. Kind of disappointed. Feels like people are just killing Halloween.
 

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9 tots and gave up at 7pm.Had an electrical outage and could not turn my porch light on.It was a sparking wire lose on the utility pole.The 3 props shown are being sold I spend the whole hour stomping just to keep them moving.None have constant on View attachment 725615
I’m sorry, that comment about stomping on them all night to make them work had me laughing. I had to stand at my front window like a creep to get the remote controlled fog machine to go on all night, and whenever I was around other nights to get the full effect of the decor. Definitely need to invest in a proper fog machine.
 

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We had about 210, which is a great turnout. Our highest ever was around 400, but the last few years has been disappointing for low turnout and bad weather. This was just enough to stay busy, but not get crowded. I'm kinda shocked, seeing as how it was cold. I think it not raining made all the difference.

We still have a bunch of candy leftover though. Can't help it, I like a variety.
 

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35 ...all very enthusiastic. I was pleased there were that many considering only three other houses on the street even had their porch lights on, bunch of party poopers anyway. After one group walked out of the gate one little girl turned around and yelled "Hey thanks witch, Happy Halloween"!!!!!! (I always wear my velvet witches hat to hand out candy) Then later a bunch of TOTs and their parents were walking back down the street and I heard one kid say "Look its HER" 🤣 Good to know I leave a lasting impression, some really little kids told me "I love your house it's really scary" It really wasn't this year, considering all the power shut downs, I wasn't really sure it was even going to happen. 🎃🎃🎃
 

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Definitely down year. VERY cold (20s) 300-400 range in terms of numbers.

Almost entirely families this year too, as opposed to past years where kid groups were 50% ish.

But then, I've been on a steady down trend for the last 2 years. Maybe the teens in the area are 'too old' and I'm going through a phase with a new generation.
 
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