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Wisp in the Mist
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have a wheelchair ramp attached to the porch right now. Initially, I intended to block it, because I was afraid of kids tripping or falling down it. It's pretty steep...not professionally "graded". I cannot take my son down it when it's wet, because there's no stopping.

However, I want to enclose our porch temporarily, and make a haunted parlor out of it. I was thinking that I could turn the ramp into a tunnel. Certainly, I would keep it blocked on both ends if it were wet.

Should we not use it at all? I'll snap a photo of it, too.
 

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You didn't say which direction your traffic is going. I've found with ramps/steps they are safer if your visitors are going up it towards the scary stuff rather than running down it from the scary stuff. Even if they have to come down a couple of porch steps it is probably safer than running down a rather steep ramp. I think your answer also depends on your scary factor.
However if the ramp is the entrance then you are left with the problem of rain, then if it's wet what do you do with your entrance?? oh the trouble of being a haunter!
Now I'm flip flopping, :)
 

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Wisp in the Mist
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm thinking that they'd go up it, which is easier, unless they are wearing tricky shoes. (Heels they're not accustomed to). I do wonder, if some would start up, change their minds, and go back down. The exit would be our stairs, which I would be seated next to.

Alternatively, I could block both entrances, and put our ghost lady in the tunnel. I feel like I need to make some use of it. We didn't have the ramp in previous years. ToTs have always used both sets of steps, we open the arbor gates, so they won't walk into the surrounding cemetery.
 

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What a charming front porch and entry you have! I would definitely be brainstorming for using that ramp as a cave.

I assume the ramp is still in use? Have you considered a weekend paint job of the ramp with marine non-skid paint? https://www.nonskidpaint.com Might help make it safer for both uses. I assume it's something like the garage floor epoxy kit from Rustoleum we bought when we first moved into our house, the top coat had kind of a gritty texture to it and was a good investment in the long run. We don't have to deal with snow or much rain here but when our nice epoxy gray floor would get water on it, now that was an accident waiting to happen. I love the textured "paint" treatment because it's part of the floor now and not some non-skid runner that you could trip on. If you decide to go that route, make sure the wood surface is properly primed.
 

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Lair Mistress, are these the hand/arm stakes that you were talking about on the other thread? I took this photo at At Home. I don't know the price of them but they are pretty cool looking. Maybe someone else knows the price. I will be back in the area of the store next week as I go back for an appt and will check them out.
Metal
 

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Wisp in the Mist
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
We haven't treated or painted the ramp. It's really sort of a loaner. We were on a waiting list to get one, and a daily passerby saw me carrying Nick up the stairs every day. Her father owns properties here in town, and happened to have one come open, that he'd built the ramp for. The new tenants didn't need the ramp, so she asked her father if we could have it. I explained that we were supposed to be getting one, and he said he'd go ahead and put this one up in the meantime. Which turned out to be great, because we're still waiting, several months later!

I can ask if he minds if we treat or paint it. I kept his number, in order to give this ramp back, once the waitlist organization comes through. They actually plan on putting in a lift, because of the steep incline.

I'm not sure if those are the same hands. I only saw photos of them last year. I'm hoping to go to At Home sometime next week, but I'm not sure. It's 2 hours from us!
 

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Wisp in the Mist
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks everyone for the porch compliments! :D

We do still use the ramp, but my son won't use it on Halloween. He's 14 and hasn't enjoyed Halloween for several years now. In addition to CP, he's autistic, and just doesn't like dressing up and dealing with the crowds, so he stays indoors and watches movies. He gets candy anyway, because he does enjoy that part, haha!
 

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Hmmm...see I kind of have an opposite opinion. I would make the steps your entrance and the ramp your exit.
I'm looking and i'm seeing you have several steps they'll have to go up...and it's concrete. So if going "up" is
a safer option, wouldn't entering on the steps be the safer option? And if you're doing a haunted parlor I think
it would be cool if you hid the exit behind like a rolling bookcase if you had somebody to move it for the ToT's.
And maybe something like a strip of carpet could be put down to help with traction?

Just my thoughts! And it is a nice porch!
 

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The biggest safety factor in a Haunt (In my opinion) is ... "No RUNNING!" Or even quicker than normal walking.
We must use our over active imaginations and apply them to "What If?" Thinking. Seeing what could happen" if."..and then taking steps to make that "thing" Not happen, if at all possible.
Part of this is and will always be communicating,and even repeating warnings and concerns to those we are trying to entertain and any helpers we may have.
No Running!
"You (them) don't have to run,because we won't be chasing you!"
Here, tonight,a young woman kept telling me she didn't want to be scared... but she was screaming about things that nobody ever gets scared from?
I did scare , and "get" her boyfriend several times and he made very loud noises as I scared him.
When we were up in the cupola she looked out a window , there was a truck out there in the parking lot. We finally figured out it was her Parents,who had followed them for almost three hours here to make sure she was OK. ?
The boyfriend said a couple of times that he was already planning to come back and see the house another time (without her?)
It was kind of a "different" time here tonight.
 

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Lighthearted Halloween
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First of all. Great big HUGS to one of the world's most fantastic mothers. I love your family.

I think the tunnel sounds like a fantastic idea. You might have little ones who don't want to walk through it. So would it be OK for them to go the other route up the steps? I have little ones come here that balk at the simplest of things. You want to be prepared for that.

I have very uneven topography in my front walk through display and am ALWAYS anxious about people tripping. My gut feeling is that walking UP the ramp is the best way to go. If someone turns around and walks back down, that will create an awkward moment, but I don't think it should be too bad. This kind of stuff happens all over on Halloween night. It's kind of expected... those awkward squeezing by other people up and down front porches all across the land. LOL

So they come up through the tunnel to get their candy, you point your elegant arm and send them away down the stairs past the cemetery. Sounds like fun. Utilizing the ramp as a tunnel really doubles the fun!

Have you even seen how the Roses of DarkRose Manor created tunnels on their front porch? The tunnel is such an AHMAZING effect in a small space.
 

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hilda, i did a 6 room, 7 hallway very very decorated maze, each part was a transition to the next area and i did halls that you had to duck under, or had noodles hanging down to get through things like that..........heres what i see....have them go up it not down it, cause kids tend to run leaving, going up they wont and will go slower waiting for the scare so will be safer..oh yes you can make your cave with pvc, yes yes yes...i can draw you a pattern right now for that...you do not have to glue it either.........use the thicker pipe, try not to make your spans more than 6 feet if you go 7 feet high, (my maze walls i did with pvc in 3//6/9 feet x7 ft high sections and then i coverd each every year and broke it back down to a pick of sticks..lol) duck tape your joints so you can undo them when you take it down, when you do the top also do the bottom for support....you can zip tie them or wire the together buy electric fence wire...........you can set this up alittle bit away from your ramp and decorate the ground as a scenes, make part a transition like pitch dark, into lights, your scene, to the porch as your finish. just that little walk can tell a big story however you want to decorate it....over the top (i would enclose that also) you can hang curtains or things they have to walk through etc etc etc....maybe refresh your safety treads on the ramp so they are new and rougher so someone wont slip, put a warning sign at the beginning with your "rules" ex, High grade, walk with caution, use hand rails, beware of the cave dwellers etc.. ............if it rains and thats the problem with outdoor set ups have a plan b in place, only way to avoid that is have a tent to cover all this to keep it dry...i dealt with weather anxiety every year till i bought a big *** tent to cover the whole maze i did. this sounds great fun!!
 

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For me, it would all depend on how your walkthrough is set up. If the come up they steps, and they "chicken out", then it will still be fresh in their mind that they have steps to go down to leave. Running up steps is easier than down. If your walkthrough ends with a startle scare, the ramp is the safer of the two to rush people down. Anytime you invite anyone into your property, there will be a risk of injury. All you can do is try to avoid it. I would recommend no matter which flow patten you choose, to walk it a few times yourself. More important is do NOT use zip ties to hold a structer together that will be around guests. Make it secure.

On a side note, to cover the grade of the ramp aspect, I would think a sign indicating "steep grade ahead" would be good, with the added car lights and horn about halfway down the ramp. One final startle scare as they are leaving.
 

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I think if you can use some marine paint like GOS suggested, or even google mixing other paints with sand to help create more of a grip, that would be a great solution so that you could do the tunnel for Halloween.

Another option if you get the okay from the owner - looks like there are a variety of outdoor specific grip strips you could put down between the spaces and along the sides of the strips that are already on the ramp.

http://www.amazon.com/3M-Safety-Wal...TF8&qid=1438536325&sr=8-3&keywords=grip+strip

Also, you might consider putting a line of rope lights along each side of the floor of the ramp to make sure people can easily see what they are walking on. That would likely cut down on any issues too, especially if you direct the traffic "IN" the tunnel and "OUT" the arbor. Definitely plan how you want to do that early - we tried to direct people in & out different areas of our yard haunt for a few years but people never picked up on it well, so now we have the same entrance & exit to keep it simple. Good luck! :cool:

 

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Wisp in the Mist
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hilda--thank you, and hugs back! :D

I love all of these ideas! I am a worry wart about going down the ramp. I have a four year old son too, and he loves to run down it. I get a dozen new grey hairs each time, because he's not the most graceful child!

I worried about the concrete and steps each year, too. I was so used to living in Las Vegas, where everything is too new to not be cookie-cutter safe, ya know? Then, kids just walked up the slightly inclined driveway, and there we were, no steps at all. Did I mention that I'm a worry wart? haha!

I don't think that anything that I have is very "scary". I work alone out there, and I prefer the eerie atmosphere of what miiiiight happen, over actually jumping at them, etc. I have added some animated speaking characters, though, that I didn't have before (clearance HD and CVS items). I do have full size creatures that never moved at all, and didn't have any sort of soundtrack (mostly home-made with masks), and the some kids were pretty scared of being close to them. I try to keep the creatures away from the steps, so there's no real need to run...although a kid may think differently than I do.

Last year, weather ruined pretty much everything for the cemetery, and I didn't have a lot planned for the porch that year, because it's open. That's why I thought that maybe I'd make enclosure panels, so I could still decorate if it was too windy for the yard creatures and smaller, lighter tombstones, like it was last year.
 

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Wisp in the Mist
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I forgot to answer one of your questions, Hilda! I wouldn't mind if some didn't want to go up the tunnel. There have been a few over the years who don't want to come up to the house at all, and I go down to the sidewalk to give them candy anyway.

I haven't even mentioned it to Michael last night. Generally he grumbles about Halloween, period. He may not want to have kids use the ramp at all, which would kinda bum me out now that so many good ideas have been thrown around!

If he says no, I will just put up a tunnel, block it with a PVC gate at the bottom, and put the seance table at the top tunnel entrance, but put the ghost lady in the center of it anyway. I think it would be a good place for her, if I can make the tunnel dark enough that she glows well. She's like an FCG, but static.

All this time I just thought that the ramp was going to ruin the cemetery, so I've been trying to come up with ways to incorporate it in a positive way.
 

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Moonlighter
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LairMistress, I love the idea of doing a tunnel with your ramp. I'd go with the entrance up the ramp idea as well. If you want to take the cheap and easy way out, you could always use tree branches scavenged from the yard and twist/zip tie them along the sides of the ramp so they arch up over the top and form a tunnel. Then you could add lots of creepy spiderwebs and dangling spiders hanging down. If you have access, a black light shining on the spiderwebs would make it glow purple in the dark. Pop in a big arrow sign pointing toward the tunnel with "Enter at your own risk" and you're good to go! Let us see the final product, whatever you come up, with when you're done. :)
 

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Wisp in the Mist
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I wish that we had good trees! We only have one on the property, and all we ever get from it is thin sticks. I'd better knock on wood now, because if we did get branches from it, they'd hit the garage, or our grouchy neighbor's wood fence! ;) I do like that idea though!

I have a couple of blacklights that I usually use for our ghost lady. If I had her in the tunnel, I planned on putting one underneath the tunnel, below her. If I don't use her in the tunnel, I could just get a couple more of those lights, and still put at least one there, or one near the bottom, and one near the top underneath it.
 
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