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LOL, happy to see some survivors on that island! My best prop assists are those green metal fence post things. I have learned quickly how to rig up many kinds of standing props, my raggedy pallet junk fence, my “ode to Pumkinrot” scarecrows and even the flying witch atop a 15 ft pole is secured with the mean green metal fence posts.
Great idea with the green fence posts! We change our scene every week and I need to re-use that stand and a tarp for the next wedding scene. The mean green posts will definitely help stabilize things. Thanks for the tip!
 

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Thank you for the kind words and sharing your personal horror stories. Like I said, this was my first year with something that COULD possibly be damaged by wind. It was just nice to see that in my time of personal misery (very small, but still miserable) that others have had similar and in a lot of cases worse damage.
 

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I've never had any major damage from the weather. Years ago I used to buy those hanging ghosts, reapers etc and would use gutter clips and just have em hanging from the gutters and the rain and wind would just tear the cloth apart and so many times the wind would blow them over the gutters and they'd be on the roof. I'd have to get the ladder to get em back off the roof 😂 So needless to say, haven't bought those since. But for those who use those props, I wish you good luck with their survival.
 

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This is my first year of setting up things that could actually be damaged by the weather. I wasn't fully aware of how much damamge the wind could do. Well, the wind whipped through Michigan last night and managed to topple my gazebo/mausoleum. I saw that it was toppled this morning before work and wasn't able to assess the damage until this afternoon. It wasn't a total loss (I wanted to file a Homeowners' claim for property damage to my Halloween project but was denied). I will be able to reassemble everything but now I have to wait for a nicer day and find a better way to secure it to the ground.

Would anyone like to share any weather related Halloween horror stories so I don't feel like I'm on an island?
 

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This is my first year of setting up things that could actually be damaged by the weather. I wasn't fully aware of how much damamge the wind could do. Well, the wind whipped through Michigan last night and managed to topple my gazebo/mausoleum. I saw that it was toppled this morning before work and wasn't able to assess the damage until this afternoon. It wasn't a total loss (I wanted to file a Homeowners' claim for property damage to my Halloween project but was denied). I will be able to reassemble everything but now I have to wait for a nicer day and find a better way to secure it to the ground.

Would anyone like to share any weather related Halloween horror stories so I don't feel like I'm on an island?
We had the same problem several years ago, solved it by doing a display in the garage. Turned out better than lawn based displays. Made a backdrop that can be put up in minutes.
 

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Totally agree on the learning part. We View attachment 723972 View attachment 723973 View attachment 723975 View attachment 723976 View attachment 723977 View attachment 723978 didn't fair so well with the Nor'Easter this week. Third year decorating and assumed that 30 lbs of patio blocks on my display would be enough to hold the tarp backdrop in place. It was not!! And the large stand I was using to hold the tarp up toppled on to our poor unsuspecting skeletons... It was mayhem under that tarp the next day. Cracked ribs, missing limbs, it was chaos! I had to stage a rescue attempt just to look for survivors... Here are a few before and after pics of the destruction. View attachment 723972 View attachment 723973 View attachment 723975 View attachment 723976 View attachment 723977 View attachment 723978
This has got to be the best definition of "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade" I've ever seen! Thank you for posting these pictures and more importantly, keeping your sense of humor through an obviously stressful experience!
 

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This is my first year of setting up things that could actually be damaged by the weather. I wasn't fully aware of how much damamge the wind could do. Well, the wind whipped through Michigan last night and managed to topple my gazebo/mausoleum. I saw that it was toppled this morning before work and wasn't able to assess the damage until this afternoon. It wasn't a total loss (I wanted to file a Homeowners' claim for property damage to my Halloween project but was denied). I will be able to reassemble everything but now I have to wait for a nicer day and find a better way to secure it to the ground.

Would anyone like to share any weather related Halloween horror stories so I don't feel like I'm on an island?
I live in Michigan too and experienced the same winds. Not sure how your Mausoleum is constructed but to secure the front I drive four 8 ft long stakes 1' at least in the backside of the front facade and screw with 4" drywall screws the stake to the facade. Space the stakes out evenly along the front of the facade.I have side walls on my Mausoleum and I screw the side walls to the front facade with the 4" long screws and then also use two 8" stakes on each side and drive those 1' into the ground and screw the side walls to the stakes. Because my mausoleum is 12' high I also drive a huge metal stake into the ground about 8 feet behind the facade and I four use four chains, attach one to each side wall stake and one chain the the left middle part of the facade and one chain the the right middle part of the front facade. Make sure the chains are the same length so when the wind blows the chains don't pull on one side. That keeps the facade from going forward. Long screws are the key and staking it into the ground so it holds the facade down. Hope this helps!
 

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It seems every single October we get one or two big rain/wind storms that do a number on my decorations. This year it happened last week on Wednesday (so 8 days ago now). Luckily I've been building more and more of my own decorations and keeping weather in mind when I design them. So I had a few things blown over or pulled loose from the now-wet soil, but only two things damaged. One was a big scarecrow guy I'd bought a number of years ago that the metal snapped right at the waist. I used 6' long garden stakes and zip ties to get it back up for the season. Will deal with it afterwards. The other item was a huge pumpkin man that I made myself but the waist happens to be a fulcrum point and it was already problematic so when it got wet and windy it managed to pull some of the screws out of the wood. I added some more supports and used bolts instead of screws and so far so good.

There definitely is a need for building out each Halloween display with bad weather in mind.

Another issue is water getting into electronics. First issue is the outlets everywhere. We had rain here two days ago and water must have gotten into one of the electrical outlets on one of the extension cords because it popped the GFCI a number of times. This despite the fact that I wrapped all of them with electrical tape to try to avoid this issue. I narrowed it down to half of my display and disconnected it to allow the rest to stay lit but there were too many outlets for me to be pulling tape off and testing each one individually in the rain so I gave up and things came back online last night without any further issues. I've ordered shrink wrap and a heat gun and I'm going to heat wrap all of the outlet connections. Obviously the electrical tape didn't suffice. Second issue is the animatronics. I simply cannot understand how all of these companies (I'm talking especially to you, Spirit Halloween and Halloween Express!) make these animatronic products and then place a warning in small letters that they are only good for use under covered porches if used outdoors. WTH!?!?! So I can't use my lawn, which is the vast majority of my workable space, with your props? What about just making them better designed so they can withstand the rain? At $200 or more for a given animatronic you'd think they could build it better so it doesn't short out the first time a decent rain rolls through. I end up covering all of my animatronic items with plastic contractor bags if it's going to rain any time in the next 12-16 hours just to be safe. I intend to deal with each one individually when I finally have some spare time and make them semi-waterproof, but why should I be the one having to do this? It's hard enough rolling out all of the decorations I put out. Last year I wasn't done until literally the day before Halloween. At least this year I'm mostly rolled out with a few exceptions. But it simply shouldn't be this hard, to have the added issues that shouldn't need to be issues.

Ok, so end rant. I'm sure everyone else is dealing with these weather-related issues as well. Hope everyone's stuff is holding up.
 

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I live in Michigan too and experienced the same winds. Not sure how your Mausoleum is constructed but to secure the front I drive four 8 ft long stakes 1' at least in the backside of the front facade and screw with 4" drywall screws the stake to the facade. Space the stakes out evenly along the front of the facade.I have side walls on my Mausoleum and I screw the side walls to the front facade with the 4" long screws and then also use two 8" stakes on each side and drive those 1' into the ground and screw the side walls to the stakes. Because my mausoleum is 12' high I also drive a huge metal stake into the ground about 8 feet behind the facade and I four use four chains, attach one to each side wall stake and one chain the the left middle part of the facade and one chain the the right middle part of the front facade. Make sure the chains are the same length so when the wind blows the chains don't pull on one side. That keeps the facade from going forward. Long screws are the key and staking it into the ground so it holds the facade down. Hope this helps!
Those pictures are absolutely unbelievable. That is the most fabulous post I have seen so far. Did you make it all yourself? Do you add to it every year?
 

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@fsanders AWESOME JOB!!! Thanks especially for the behind the scenes shot! I have to ask if you are willing to share any advice to using foam? I have pretty much abandoned it but it appears you have been successful. I imagine physical joints like wood and screws for support all of it. I would expect those would still fail and Mother Nature wreaking havoc.
 

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Do you have pics of your Mausoleum before the wind took it down? Would love to see what it looked like. I am so sorry that Mother Nature decided to do a number on your haunt. One of these days we will out smart her, or at least be able to stand up to her when she tries to knock us around.
 
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