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Discussion Starter #1
I hope everyone had a very happy and safe Halloween.

Last night I sat down to watch some horror movies and traditionally every year I watch Ernest Scared Stupid. It made me realise that it was this movie that made me want to start my own haunted house as a kid.

For those of you that haven't seen the film (WHY?), the children in the movie create a haunted house out in the woods for Halloween, which is demolished by the local bullies. The haunt, briefly seen in the film just sounded like such a cool idea and I always wanted to make my own and years later I have. I'll be running my yearly haunted house tonight in fact for local kids in my area.

I was wondering, what inspired/inspires Halloween Forum members - not just year to year but what kick started your addiction to haunts and Halloween itself?!

Screen Shot 2013-11-01 at 08.17.44.jpg
(the kids from Ernest Scared Stupid and their rickety shack of a 'haunt' in the background)
 

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I forgot all about that movie. Will have to get it for my kids to watch. I have to admit that growing up my little brother was the one that wanted to decorate the yard. I liked trick or treating and going to haunted houses but the yard was always left to my brother. Of course that was pre-internet. It wasn't until we moved into a neighborhood (Just a few years ago) that the idea for decorating or creating a yard haunt was born. At our old house we lived on a main road and NEVER got trick or treaters. Our new neighborhood is a goldmine.

I've always loved scary things-more ghosts and witches than blood and gore- so I think this is my way of sharing that love with my kids. I've had a facination with ghosts, sceances, real haunted houses, possessions, etc.

Hubby is on board too. He is all about watching the people get scared or taking photos of our yard. We had at least a dozen people stop and take pictures BEFORE Halloween even started. He was proud of that. I love scaring the crap out of people.

It's awesome to hear kids say "Oh I remember this house from last year. It scared me to death."
 

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Ray Bradbury. He is my greatest inspiration. I love his descriptions of Halloween and Autumn. There is a feeling in his that trump my own memories of Halloween. I don't remember most of them and the ones I remember are ones of trick 'r treating dying and being replaced. I want more than that for my kids. I want memories of the magic that is Halloween to last. I also want them to see Ernest Scared Stupid, that I may have to sneak around my wife. She basically hates Ernest for reasons I do not understand and can't fathom.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Nice stories guys! Such an array of different things. Would love to hear from some of the other users about their inspirations :D

Annnnnd, who could hate Ernest! He's awesome, knowwutimean?!
 

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What Hump?
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My Dad.

Once or twice in my childhood, my dad and one of his friends set up a little "spook alley" in our basement. He also had several books about Hollywood special effects that I read over and over.

Saw Star Wars when I was 11, and loved the special effects. I built a paper mache storm trooper costume, a poster board R2-D2, and made a latex Yoda mask all by the time I was 13.

Now days, it's watching Ed and Marcia Edmunds and Jordu Schell having a great time "Making Monsters".
 

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I guess it's my love for horror that inspires me. I remember staying up late with my dad on Saturday nights watching old horror movies and going to bed terrified that something was hiding beneath it. I was probably eight or nine when I discovered my Dad's old horror comics and not long after that I discovered horror fiction. So I guess it's been nearly a lifelong passion for me.
 

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Childhood memories of Halloween are a great inspiration.... I have so many fond ones! The crunch of leaves under foot, the slight chill in the air, my breath underneath a cheap plastic mask, friends running to and from doors.... and THAT ONE DAMN HOUSE that you'd just be a little too scared to ever make it up to the door. :)

Lots of artists out there inspire me --- especially PUMPKINROT --- who I simply consider the KING of Halloween. Our Pumpkin King yard haunt character is named after him in fact. :) Yes... I'm a fangirl. LOLOL
 

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Master of Screamyard
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I was inspired by our neighbors from my childhood.

Each year, they would outfit their living room as an elaborate witch's den, and the mom would dress up in the spitting image of the Wicked Witch of the West. It was a rite of passage for all of the pre-teens in the subdivision to FINALLY get up the nerve to go in and get candy from her. (Especially since in the early to mid-60's, The Wizard of Oz was on every year around Thanksgiving, so the WWotW was a frequently reinforced scary image for kids)

My goal was to pass that experience on to another generation. My PROUDEST moment since starting to outfit our yard as a cemetery was when one of the neighborhood kids came up to me and said "I'm not afraid to come up to your house this year...."
 

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When my daughters were growing up not so many people celebrated Halloween here in the U.K. so when they went trick or treating many would open the door and tell them to shove off or considerably worse and all except maybe a few of the houses whose kids went to my daughters school etc would have sweets , but very few , so i decided to decorate our house up at Halloween , at first it backfired as i put a Chuckie doll in the bedroom window and when the girls came back from trick or treating they would not come back in till he was gone , but this was the start of my decorating for Halloween , if i remember correctly my eldest was about 5 and the original purpose was to make sure all her friends from school would be guaranteed some sweets and their parents some home made cookies when they at least came to our house ...... now here i am my eldest is 18 and my youngest 14 so it has been a few years , of course now everyone tells me i cannot stop decorating now as all the local kids look forward to my house and i have been told that people come from the other side of our town to see what i do each year , that should be enough inspiration , but nothing beats the raw excitement , horror and amazement and joy that the kids give totally honestly when they come trick or treating , no amount of money can buy that sort of enjoyment and to know that maybe i have given them some fun and hopefully some fond memories that's the real driving force for me now , and as i said before if just one grows up and says remember that nutcase who used to decorate his house at Halloween and then they decide to do the same , then it will all have been worthwhile .
 

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My mom, really. We never got along very well, but she went CRAZY on the holidays and she indulged my spooky side by making everything more mysterious and mythical around Halloween. She'd tell me about how jack-o-lanterns were lit to keep away the evil spirits in old times and all that. She'd paint amazing "murals" on the pane glass in our living room facing the street of tombstones, witches flying across the moon and eerie ghosts. She hand-made all our Halloween costumes and we'd start shopping as early as August for Butterick or Simplicity patterns that she could modify into costumes for us.I remember the crunch-crunch of her shears cutting out the patterns on the floor and the excitement of coming home from school and hearing her sewing machine whir and knowing she was working on our costumes, a little each day. She remarked on the beautiful leaves and she loved the whole season. When it got closer to Halloween we'd all sit cross-legged on the living room floor and we'd go in a circle, each of us putting a different candy in her special treat bags. She made it all fantastic. It meant a lot to me.
 

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Ray Bradbury. He is my greatest inspiration. I love his descriptions of Halloween and Autumn. There is a feeling in his that trump my own memories of Halloween. I don't remember most of them and the ones I remember are ones of trick 'r treating dying and being replaced. I want more than that for my kids. I want memories of the magic that is Halloween to last. I also want them to see Ernest Scared Stupid, that I may have to sneak around my wife. She basically hates Ernest for reasons I do not understand and can't fathom.
IIRC, Ray Bradbury was born in the midwest but at the age of 13, his family moved to Southern California. I believe Bradbury's heightened recollections of the sensory aspects of autumn (the smells...the feel of the wind...the sights...ruddy faces, breath on the air...the general internal feeling) came from that change. They were pure nostalgia times ten and were, and are, pure gold. I know how Bradbury must have felt, having moved from the northeast to SoCal eight years ago. My senses of autumn are heightened tremendously at this time of year in the form of memories and I strain to catch a lonely moan of wind, smell the smell of a fallen leaf and catch once again that sense that all was about to die...for a while.
 

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There used to be a house a block down the street who did a haunted yard setup when I was a kid, and I guess that's the biggest inspiration or what made us think we could do a yard haunt of our own. I grew up with Halloween traditions, TOT and class parties at school and a family history, not so long ago historically speaking, of wild Halloween nights. So, general love for the Holiday is a big driving factor along with nostalgia and a sense that it would just be wrong NOT to do what I can to celebrate.


Plus, I am an introvert/don't like people, so being powerful and scary and mysterious/unknown is very appealing. :D
 

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old Universal horror films. loved them as a kid. Began setting up basement haunts as a kid, church basement as a preteen, early teen. Fred Krueger as a teenager. Much later, youngest son suggested that "we should do this" at a particularly scary haunt one year when we spent the holiday at my Moms, his older brother offered "dad is too boring, he can't do this", Dad replied "boys...we would BURY this". First couple years were pretty graphic blood and guts things but they've gotten more traditional and static in recent years. Discovered ROT and became determined to get that sort of feel. Ready to take what we've learned and adapt it to more "out there" scenarios. So...Universal Horror, Freddy Krueger and Pumpkinrot. Next year may possibly be derived from all three.
 

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My little town with it's hills and valleys with those old houses all made it seem as if I was living in a movie set of the 1880s.
Many trees in every block, some abandoned houses, a creepy big barn just a block away with rumors of a open well in there where you could quickly drown and no one would know.......and for these last 26 years I have owned one of those old, spooky houses and I have done with it as I pleased making numerous features within and beneath it and throughout it as a ghostly horror movie would have had, except they build theirs on a sound stage not down a dead-end street on the edge of a cliff, on top of a landfill ("Rich" in hidden "treasures" and mystery....)
And my Father-in-law gave us a Vincent Price "Life-Mask", now gracing the front room from within a glass covered box.. "Vincent LIVES!"
 

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Psychic or Psychotic?
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Childhood memories of Halloween are a great inspiration.... I have so many fond ones! The crunch of leaves under foot, the slight chill in the air, my breath underneath a cheap plastic mask, friends running to and from doors.... and THAT ONE DAMN HOUSE that you'd just be a little too scared to ever make it up to the door. :)

Lots of artists out there inspire me --- especially PUMPKINROT --- who I simply consider the KING of Halloween. Our Pumpkin King yard haunt character is named after him in fact. :) Yes... I'm a fangirl. LOLOL
Yes it started in my childhood with all of those Halloween memories and Trick or Treating with my friends. I have always loved the month of October and all of it's sights, smells and sounds.

My first trip to Disneyworld in Orlando in 1977 and my visit to the Haunted Mansion was just fascinating. I wanted to be able to do things like they could. LOL!

I really got into the decorating for Halloween from watching Roseanne and Home Improvement and their Halloween episodes. I know they're just TV shows but the decorating for the parties just blew me away and I knew that I wanted to do something like that. So it began with our first Halloween Party and grew from that.

This forum and all you Halloween nuts have been my continued inspiration, artists and amateurs alike. I try to be the best haunter I can.
 
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