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My other ride is a Ninja
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what did you learn this year you will change for next year on your haunt ?

I have learned that i know longer want to go all out decorating on the outside it rains here for Halloween most of the time and i decorate in back yard only for my party but from now on i am going to just do inside of house and patio and inside garage at most :)

what things do you want to change for next year.
 

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I learned I really need more lighting, front yard and back. I'm going to get some landscape lighting for the backyard and next I'm going to put my flood lights in the trees and roof to shine down on the haunt. I saw a tutorial I think on the prop thread about how to aim the lights for optimal effect.

I did the pvc and rebar thing on my tombstones this year and it worked perfectly.
 

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I normally do a haunted crawl space. It's filled with props that jump out at you and lots of motion sensor stuff and in the far corner is a cooler full of beer. If you can make it to this area you can have a beer. This is a bad idea for an adults party. This year I found lots of beer cans half full with holes in the side of the can. I think they call that shot gunning? Anyway, I told my husband to remind me about this next year when I start decorating because I don't want to ever do it again.
 

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Far Away Eyes
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Good idea for a thread, Saki. I usually make a list of things that went right/wrong after every Halloween. I will get back to this after the big day, and try to learn from everyone's entries on here too.
 

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Next year I would like to make things more interactive. Right now the kids have to make it down the driveway past the cemetery and all the teen monsters to get their candy from our resident witch "my mom". I would love to offer a walk through area where the really brave kids can "earn" a full size candy bar. Also would like to have a little section where maybe the not so brave can do a little game to get their candy.
 

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Absolutely the biggest and most crucial lesson I learned this year, related to haunt building, is to construct everything twice as sturdy as you think it needs to be. If you find yourself thinking "this will be fine as long as...", you need to reinforce it, period. A freak thunderstorm nearly destroyed some major components because I built them only to withstand moderate winds. And human behavior is tough to account for. People WILL touch things, bump into things, trip, and otherwise fail in so many ways to move through a haunt the way you intend. You must never let anything rely on ideal circumstances.
 

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Well my real life nightmare came through. I finally experienced 1st hand of going through Halloween without my haunt done. We were so behind this year that we could not pull it off on Halloween night. No matter how sick I get with this crap I have I will never go through an experience like this again. It was like a death in the family. I knew it would be bad feelings but after the 3rd family came, as we did hand out candy & some decorations were out in the yard, Jerry gave the candy out & I went in the house & burst into tears. All through the night people inquired why we did not have the haunt this year. I mean we had crowds of 600 last year & 2012 when the article was in the paper we had over 800. Never , never ,never again will I go through that feeling. Never. I love Halloween too much.

To me my halloween & xmas decorations are something I visit once a year, like old friends. I look forward to seeing all my stuff every year. So advice for you younger folks that are die hards. Easy to say..... I'm gonna take this year off, but when that 1st kid rings that bell.....you are gonna feel it right then. Enjoy your passion & share it with other people that come because they enjoy what you do, the kids come cause they can't see this anywhere else. Just remember one day it all starts, for me???? I couldn't get on the ladder anymore that was the start of it. Now its taken a lot more away. Very hard to look at all my stuff that never came out of the totes this year. Won't happen again.
 

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Oak Lane Cemetery
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I learned that due to my mother and stepfather getting older and not wanting to tend a big garden next summer I will not have an abundance of free corn stalks next year. That means I'll have to make huge changes in order to fill the 1/3 of the yard that that scene took up. I've already started with replacing my scarecrow with a new "Pumpkin King" styled one that I can set up surrounded by lit pumpkins. Also in the works is a full sized Slenderman that may or may not be some sort of giant puppet or marionette.
 

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I learned that I have absolutely no outdoor outlets, which puts a damper on my desires to use lighting with cords. I had assumed after years of apartments that I would finally be able to have something outside.

So I guess I just have to buckle down and acquire some kind of light generator, or go with items that collect solar power. This should be fun.
 

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Ohh Saki, glad you were ok !!!

I learned this year never rely on people who say they are coming to your party !!! GRRRR
(we don't do a haunt we just hold a party and decorate through the house and a bit of the outside)

Also STOP looking on Pinterest when you are still building/making props that you have had planned making from the start of the year !!!
 

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Blue Pill? or Red Pill?
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Write down somewhere the games you are going to play. I forgot the last one!

Really think thru the games you are going to play and the quantity of guests you have. While walk the plank was still fun, everyone was laughing and kidding around, it was still chaotic. I lost my voice!!
 

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I learned that I have absolutely no outdoor outlets, which puts a damper on my desires to use lighting with cords. I had assumed after years of apartments that I would finally be able to have something outside.

So I guess I just have to buckle down and acquire some kind of light generator, or go with items that collect solar power. This should be fun.
We don't have outlets on the outside of our house either. Do you have a garage? We run long extension cords under the garage door and out into our yard. Although I do think switching to solar would be a lot less work, I'd like to do it someday.
 

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Well my real life nightmare came through. I finally experienced 1st hand of going through Halloween without my haunt done. We were so behind this year that we could not pull it off on Halloween night. No matter how sick I get with this crap I have I will never go through an experience like this again. It was like a death in the family. I knew it would be bad feelings but after the 3rd family came, as we did hand out candy & some decorations were out in the yard, Jerry gave the candy out & I went in the house & burst into tears. All through the night people inquired why we did not have the haunt this year. I mean we had crowds of 600 last year & 2012 when the article was in the paper we had over 800. Never , never ,never again will I go through that feeling. Never. I love Halloween too much.

To me my halloween & xmas decorations are something I visit once a year, like old friends. I look forward to seeing all my stuff every year. So advice for you younger folks that are die hards. Easy to say..... I'm gonna take this year off, but when that 1st kid rings that bell.....you are gonna feel it right then. Enjoy your passion & share it with other people that come because they enjoy what you do, the kids come cause they can't see this anywhere else. Just remember one day it all starts, for me???? I couldn't get on the ladder anymore that was the start of it. Now its taken a lot more away. Very hard to look at all my stuff that never came out of the totes this year. Won't happen again.
After Halloween I commented to a couple of neighbors that I might not have the Halloween Party next year because we just could not carry the tables and chairs for set up and tear down. Just that got such an outcry, I can only imagine how bad the reactions was without all the haunt.
 

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you can have outside outlets installed. I had one put it on the front of my house, and one on the back. it is wonderful!!
 
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After Halloween I commented to a couple of neighbors that I might not have the Halloween Party next year because we just could not long carry the tables and chairs for set up and tear down. Just that got such an outcry, I can only imagine how bad the reactions was without all the haunt.
After all the outcry I hope someone offered to help with the set up of the tables and chairs.
 

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We don't have outlets on the outside of our house either. Do you have a garage? We run long extension cords under the garage door and out into our yard. Although I do think switching to solar would be a lot less work, I'd like to do it someday.
I have the same problem. I tried to light the cemetery this year but I could only put out a couple of floodlights. The outlet is on the opposite side of the house from the cemetery and I need to double up on the extension cords to reach that far.

Marie
 

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After all the outcry I hope someone offered to help with the set up of the tables and chairs.
They said that if I ask them before the party they will come and set up for us and stay after the party to tear down. I'm glad because I really enjoy getting all the neighbors together and have dinner.
 
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I think I'll not try to be a hero by bringing something fancy or healthy to eat. I bought Rumpel Minz and ice cream to the one house party I attended and only one other person had one of my shakes. I also brought broccoli and hummus which hardly got eaten. Several years ago I learned to just bring some pistachios. They are usually a hit and I don't mind taking them home.
 

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Ohh Saki, glad you were ok !!!

I learned this year never rely on people who say they are coming to your party !!! GRRRR
(we don't do a haunt we just hold a party and decorate through the house and a bit of the outside)

Also STOP looking on Pinterest when you are still building/making props that you have had planned making from the start of the year !!!
That's so funny, I had the same problem with my Pinterest addiction. But I do appreciate seeing so many great ideas there.

I decided we need to have some type of game(s) set up or a photo booth to make the experience more interactive. I have also promised to have everything set up and tested before the big night, so I can spend more time talking with the TOTs. I need to be more realistic about how much I can really accomplish. Chatting with the kids was my favorite part last year, but this year I was caught up managing set up issues. Luckily, we had great friends at the ready to help - and they had a blast with the kids. They've already signed up to help again next year.
 
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