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Discussion Starter #1
I thought I would pass along this technique we're using for planning our 2015 haunt. We usually set up in the front and side yards, but next year the kids want to do a walkthrough that goes all around the house and incorporate the backyard, swimming pool, etc. To get an idea of what they could do, I went on Google Maps, selected Satellite view, and did a screen capture of our house and yard as seen below.



Then, I sent my son out to measure the width of the driveway. Using that measurement I could determine how long eight feet was in the picture. I brought the picture into PowerPoint and created some 8ft x 8ft and 8ft x 4ft boxes that I used to create a trail around the house. The pic below is a shot of just the initial placement of the boxes, and we can slide, move, and rotate them as we develop the game plan for the haunt. We figure when we have the design finished we'll know right where to set things up at. We'll also have a great estimate of what we need to budget for in terms of props, tarps, support poles, etc.



I think this technique is really going to help with our planning and enable us to be able to budget for the build throughout the year.
 

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Insert Witty Comment Here
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I went to a house a couple of years ago and they had a pond in their back yard....now instead of a trash can trauma, they had a Loch Ness trauma. It was awesome.....something for you to think about.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
We have several ideas for the pool. I was thinking of building a suspension bridge across it, place a red filter over the pool light, then dump blocks of dry ice in for a smoky lava effect. I also saw someone who did a replica of the sinking Orca from Jaws with the shark on the transom that looked awesome, but I doubt I could make a boat that big that would be 11/1 compliant and storing it would be a PITA. One other idea would be to make a large shark or gator head that would be anchored to the bottom and released to rush to the surface.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Manpower we have. Once our kids got too old for ToT, they wanted something else to do on Halloween, so we got them interested in the distribution side of the effort. :) My sons did most all the heavy lifting to get the yard done, and they brought their friends and girlfriends in, and they brought their brothers and sisters in, and the labor pool has grown from there over the years. There are a couple of kids who I don't see hide nor hair of all year until October 1 comes around and POOF, there they are wanting to know if they can help out again. They get such a thrill out of setting up, coming up with new ideas, and scaring people on Halloween, and I'm hoping that stays with them when they get their own houses.
 

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Undaunted Haunter
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Bruzilla, great idea. That helped me a lot several years ago as well as my home design computer program. You have a great layout for a full yard haunt. I love your pool ideas. We have used red pool dye before which was a super big hit with our guests. It is hard to find in local pool stores sometimes so if you want it look online early. Be prepared......you are going to have some people come on here and give you lectures about pool safety and law suits, etc. You may as well tell them now how you will keep the idiots of the world from falling in your pool and drowning so you don't have to listen to it. Just lie right up front and tell them you are building a large prison fence around it with electrical barbed wire and dogs. We had ours temp fenced off with our candy distributors as watchmen.

It is great your kids and their friends still love to help.
 

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That's fantastic that you have kids wanting to help. We have had great scares set up in years past that we weren't able to execute because we needed a live person who never showed up.
 

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Human Candy Shovel
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I use Google Earth to help plan routes for outdoor haunts. Big help in drawing and saving paths,since it tracks the length of each path.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Bruzilla, great idea. That helped me a lot several years ago as well as my home design computer program. You have a great layout for a full yard haunt. I love your pool ideas. We have used red pool dye before which was a super big hit with our guests. It is hard to find in local pool stores sometimes so if you want it look online early. Be prepared......you are going to have some people come on here and give you lectures about pool safety and law suits, etc. You may as well tell them now how you will keep the idiots of the world from falling in your pool and drowning so you don't have to listen to it. Just lie right up front and tell them you are building a large prison fence around it with electrical barbed wire and dogs. We had ours temp fenced off with our candy distributors as watchmen.

It is great your kids and their friends still love to help.
Yeah, I'm not worried about anyone drowning. Nice thing is down here we swim in our pools until December so we can have people in the pool to protect the idiots of the world. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
google maps has a scale
View attachment 230971
its in 20 ft intervals you can map your hole yard or just part
View attachment 230967
Yeah, I saw that but it doesn't give you the width dimensions we needed to have. We're looking at trying to stay at eight foot-wide halls through most of the haunt and halls that wide can cause interference if you aren't tracking width.
 

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Human Candy Shovel
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Yeah, I'm not worried about anyone drowning. Nice thing is down here we swim in our pools until December so we can have people in the pool to protect the idiots of the world. :)
There is only one thing to say to that - Creature of the Black Lagoon haunt! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #14
There is only one thing to say to that - Creature of the Black Lagoon haunt! :D
We used to keep our Creature From The Black Lagoon figure out by the pool, and it looked awesome out there but the humidity was causing the edges of the skin to unbond so we gave him a corner of the man cave to stay in off season. But I think our pool is too big to be supported by a figure that size. That's why we were looking at a huge gator or shark.

The other thing we need to look at is Saturday Halloweens are a unique experience down here because they happen while one of the biggest college football games of the year, Florida-Georgia, is being played so most folks put their TVs out in the front yard so parents can follow that game as they take the kids around. So we're looking at having two 60" and one 72" big screen worked in there somewhere to show the game.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
how do you get the aerial view? are you using Google Earth?
You just go to Google. type in your address, and when it comes up select MAPS from the top of the results. Once the map is displayed select SATELLITE and zoom in to the view you want.
 

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I assume everyone around you is a Florida fan, so how about this for a scare: show the game on the TVs, but have a fake news bulletin break in saying that Florida has been disqualified or has decided to forfeit the game. That might scare some of the adults.
 
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