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Discussion Starter #1
I learned that no matter how cool your yard and inside of the house looks durning the day that without the proper lighting at night you're doomed. I got tons of compliments, but a lot was lost due to bad lighting.

I learned no matter how much time you set aside it's not enough. I had so many things planned in my head that I wanted to do and get done and I only got about half of them done.

I learned that most props you buy are cheap junk and will break or don't work to begin with so buy it all on sale, make your own or go without lol.

And last but not least I learned that even if it doesn't turn out exactly how I wanted it or don't get everything done to just relax and have fun because that's what it's all about and people enjoy it anyway.
 

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I reaffrimed that remote controls rock. Having complete control over when a prop turns on and off is the single biggest key to captivating young TOT's

I learned that I need a much better fog distribution system. Here in the cool damp Pacifiic north-west, keeping fog low is difficult.
 

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The Grated Pumpkin
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I came here to start this thread, because I have a lot to say on topic, but I'll bogart this one...

- Since switching over to a full-front lawn, display-style haunt that I thought would bring in more foot traffic thanks to high-visibilty, I got a lot of disappointed folks looking for the old backyard walk-thru I did three years back

- Early frost and freezing rain are the enemy of homemade mechanical props... joints should be well-greased and maintained to prolong the life of said props.

- OVERBUILD EVERYTHING! Skimp nowhere... even if PVC will work, use metal instead.

- Donations were much, much greater with the backyard walk-thru... directing the attention of TOTS and their parents through a static entrance meant more folks recognizing the donation bucket at the door... browsing thru a graveyard meant skipping the thing entirely if you felt like it

- DON'T pay much heed to unsubstantiated rumors from well-meaning passers-by. I was alarmed by several patrons early on that two haunts in the area were closed by the police for traffic issues, both of which turned out to be 100% untrue... one was still open as usual, the other had found a home in a bigger venue not far away for profit

- Give and you shall receive... treat everyone with respect and courtesy, even the kid that's yanking on the fence or pulling on the floating skeleton's leg, and they'll be back. Scold kids for touching things and the rumors will start, and pretty soon, their parents will be telling other parents about the mean guy who yelled at their kids... or worse. Continued success means being the nice guy, and everything broken can be fixed

- Make sure you have a comfort area with chairs available for older patrons who want to relax while their kids and grandkids run around... it costs you nothing to grab the picnic furniture and put it somewhere accessible, but they'll appreciate it more than you'll know

- Listen, listen, listen... your patrons will inevitably tell you what they remembered from last time around, or from years ago, that you may have forgotten to put up. Those are the things they've been talking about all year, and may have brought others by with the intention of seeing it. If you can, promise to accommodate them next time. This is the stuff that legends are born of

- I've personally seen this happen at other places we've visited... no matter how much work you've put in, don't assume that this is enough Halloween entertainment for TOTs... BUY MUCH CANDY and give it out! The haunt is the icing, the candy is the cake, and they must coexist in the minds of the young. Again, you will be remembered by the kids who didn't get candy, and they grow up. Make your patrons as happy as you possibly can

- Fog juice is not the same product from store to store... buy the good stuff.
 

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Bog Body
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i learned that...

~if a switch/button breaks, rip out the wires, give them to your brother and yell GO, STOP for him to manually touch them together and then apart!

~that if you build it, they will get scared and run through it.

~tough guys don't exist in front of a chainsaw!

~that i was right that if people follow my plan and direction things turn out GREAT!

it was my first year where everyone (new group of friends) met up EARLY, talked, ran through the thing, made suggestions, ran a couple kids through, discussed, then came out with the ultimate scare tactic. and STUCK TO IT! was wonderful!
 

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~I learned that not everyone will appreciate Halloween themed music and will want to listen to other kinds instead...
~I learned that even if my display was small compared to what I'd have wanted...it was the best around here cos people don't seem to bother anymore...
~I learned that a lot of people who go through the motions of putting up decorations will pretend not to be home when TOTs call...meanies...
~But most of all I learned that I still love Halloween!!!
 

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Have extra speakers .I lost two set last night had to bring out my old set and I lost one from that set .Next year bigger and loader.
 

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I learned to have a back up CD player, and GET REMOTES for our foggers. DH got exhausted going out and manually doing them. Although he had fun at the same time chatting it up with parents.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I forgot one. I learned that not all AA batteries or props work the same. I have a ton of Energizer rechargable batteries for my nintendo wii so i thought they would be fine to put in everything and they worked in most, but after putting them in my new Batch 12x I turned him on and nothing happened. I was running way behind so I figured I would worry about it later. This morning I opened him up. All batteries were in properly but when I removed them I saw at the bottom battery pack in batch it said 1.5v so I curiously looked at my rechargables and they were 1.2v so I popped in 4 non-rechargable batteries that said 1.5v on them and sure enough he worked :confused:. I haven't tried the rechargables i took out in something else yet though duh me, but i'm 99% sure they were charged so there may be an edit coming up later :D
 

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Dionicia: to much power to them from my old pioneer receiver,had them up all the way, sounded good and that's how they found us,was by the halloween movie sounds we had playing. Burned them up:(
 

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Wind no matter how let doesn't help foggers. Large props will not always stand up to the wind(Jason had a shoulder injury). Try lighting out before the big day, don't assume it enough.:eek:. Not all MP3 players work the same and charge them fully before use.Don't set any thing down that you will need later except in a area you set aside just for Halloween. Went a different way this year and used old tree branches as spooky trees worked great. Spread a little fake webs and hang cleaned Spanish moss on them. Bamboo stalks work well also. Free and cheap trees and moss and $1.00 worth of webbing works very well in deed. Another thing is to keep some kind record of what you as far as props and what nots. 1 last thing remember that kids believe that monster are real! Scaring is fun terrorizing isn't.:eek:
 

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-I learned that I need to start preparing for Halloween much, much earlier.
-I learned that hard drives do crash at the most inopportune times.
-I learned it takes just that one Tot'er who says, "Lady, your cemetary is great! You have great Halloween spirit, very cool!"--makes it all worth while!
-I learned I am addicted to being a home haunter because I'm already planning next year!
 

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Horror off the Highway
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I learned that no matter how small the number of TOT'S I had, there is always one that will be in total awe over your set up.

I learned not to assume a great turnout the first year of your haunt at your new home.

I learned that I need new ways to draw more attention to my haunt next year.

I learned that taking pics with red lighting is hard, they come out blurry most of the time.

I learned that I need more lighting and speakers for the haunt next year.

I also learned.................that I am a kid at heart and look foward to it every year!
 

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I learned the look of awe on a ToTs face makes everything worth it.

I learned that my Jack-o-Lantern was a huge hit this year.(He had green glow lights inside and I cut a hole in the back side to put a hose from a ground fogger. The fogger was on a timer so from the street he was glowing green with low fog oozing out his eyes and mouth. VERY COOL.

I learned that we inspire the next set of yard haunters.
 
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