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I have most of my props out, but I see people with projectors and music synced lighting. What is the simplest thing that you made or bought that ended up being the scariest and biggest kid pleaser?
 

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My £15 used projector and some Atmosfx clips I have a feeling will really hit the spot this year. Cheap, simple but more importantly, not really seen in the UK, so the element of surprise to get the Toters. Other than that, I hook a prop up on a peice of string that I control above the door. I can hold the bowl of treats in one hand and drop a bat/spider/zombie head on the toters as they choose their sweets. Gets them screaming every year.
 

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This thing! It is an 8 foot tallbehllhop greeter that we bought laat summer for 5 bucks. Last year it got reimagined into a clown on one side. This year, the other side got a witch makeover. Nothing spectacular, but one of a kind so it got a lot of comments last year! People like things aside from what they see at the halloween stores!
 

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The Big Kahuna of Fright
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A Dot Room.
Many years back, we had a 30' x 12' entry room that we used to pass out treats before going through the walk-thru. All walls covered in flat black fabric, hundreds of neon dots glued at random over the entire surface. It had a disco look under black lighting. We had two tall kids wearing full body suits of the same black fabric, also covered in dots. At a prearranged signal, they emerged from the corners, herding the group of TOT's into the first room of the Haunt. NOBODY saw it coming, lots of shrieks, it was really creepy.
 

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I would say my 40 foot spiderweb I built. I made it last year on a nice warm sunny Sept day. It looks cool and
fits my theme perfect. I have so many people comment on it. Building props is fun and I have a great time
working on them.
 

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"They" are outdoors. they find themselves looking at a Caddy Hearse.
"Go for a ride in the Hearse!"
They climb in.
They are now in a narrow hallway shaped like a Coffin.
It twists and tuns, maintaining the toe-pincher shape all the while. The walls are flat-white for a Dreamy feeling. (Not a good "Dream"? )
Tension is building as this odd passageway seems to go on and on and.. on.
The floor is dark, they are still walking (maybe feeling more relaxed?)
Shots ring out! ("Were they "Shots?" ) People jump, scream, then laugh realizing their feet came down on top of numerous small "Bombs" also known as;


Bubble wrap! Laughter follows.
 

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Windowkin. I have an octagonal window over my front door. I measured and cut out a peice of foamboard and cut a scary jack o'lantern face in it, and lined the back with red tissue. Took me maybe an hour? The hardest part is getting the damned thing in the window and making it stay, I can't quite reach it from the ladder, but the position in the house makes it stand out.
 

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Tying a skeleton to my gutter, making it look like he's climbing up the side of my house.

That seems to be everyone's favorite prop this year, and not much thought went into it.
 

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I am always amazed at how scared kids are of the cheezy jumping spider sold by Spirit and HD. It is a $45 animatronic with a relatively quick reset time. But, I am amazed at how kids just love to stand in front of it and activate it. I have never had anything else that delivered more bang for the buck.
 

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Bubble fogger -- nearly everyone wants to touch the bubbles.
How can you not want to touch the bubbles?!

I used one of those plastic cauldrons that you can get almost anywhere this time of year, set it up so it was on its side, like it had been tipped over. Then I stuck the bubble fogger inside it so it looked like it was bubbling over. Such a hit.
 

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Static dummy in a Jason costume (hockey mask, dark shirt, machete) standing by the second-story window of our garage, lit by a green strobe light. Every year I am amazed at how many people are wigged out by it!
 

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Great question.

I wouldn't call it my best prop, but certainly the one that not only elicits a disproportionate amount of attention relative to the effort required to make it but, as well, genuinely frightens a lot of people when they first catch a glimpse of it.

Without exaggerating, it took me less than ten minutes to make; i.e., a princess costume my youngest wore when she was maybe four years old and a wig - both items from a Halloween storage box - affixed to a length of thin PVC tubing that was quickly shaped with a heat gun, three lawn staples to hold the dress in place, and two short pieces of rebar.

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Night shot from 2013.

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I took an automobile power antenna and attached a small puppet dog head and a motion activated barking dog bone on the end. Hid it in the bushes next to the door and when the kids came up activated it with a remote. This literally had kids running away (and some parents). Twenty years later I have these same "kids" as parents still asking were the dog went. The motor smoked after 3 hours and the barking dog bone stopped working but it is probably my favorite original project.
 

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Not sure if it qualifies as a prop, but at least pretending to be one: Dress in sweats and hoody and garden gloves and pretend to be a stuffed dummy. You get so much mileage out of folks who can't decide if you are alive or a prop before startling them. The payoff is huge, and the setup time is instantaneous.
 
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