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I know this may be an odd question but how does one afford to change themes each season. I would love to...but our scenes are so prop heavy with even the smallest of details...how can you change it all out?
I usually do one new Big Prop each year, and most things can be re-used or changed up a bit - sometimes things don't get used for a couple years. One of the main reasons I have a Theme is to give people a goal in their costumes.
 

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I know this may be an odd question but how does one afford to change themes each season. I would love to...but our scenes are so prop heavy with even the smallest of details...how can you change it all out?

We change themes every year. Some of the bigger props we sell. That help with the expense. It's also a help to manage storage. The fun is presenting a new fresh theme to get inspired and gives the guests something to get excited about. If you plan the next theme as soon as halloween is over, it gives you 11 months to shop for bargains.
 

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yeah I am with celipops there. I just keep adding to my same theme, starting with my dungeon and working outwards. eventually I want to have a whole medieval castle. If I were insanely rich I might explore changing themes though. :D
 

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The Black Unicorn
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I have been doing parties for 15 years and I just recently started using themes,
Haunted hotel, 2013
Insane asylum, 2014
Gypsy werewolf funeral 2012
7 deadly sins 2011

Not sure what I want to do next, either voodoo in the swamp, or carnival
 

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2014: Freaky Tiki
2013: Infestation
2012: Nightmare Before Christmas
2011: The Mad Lab
2010: Carnival/Freakshow
2009: Generic Halloween (we had a family wedding in early October, so no time)
2008: Pirates
 

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The Ghost Host
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2009 + 2010: Feast of Fright (small gathering, your basic "Halloween Party")
2011: A Night In Hell House (Masquerade theme, party guests came dressed to impress and survive the night)
2012: The HallowBall (The Hallow King and Queen invite the subjects of the land of Halloween to a ball)
2013: The Macabre Menagerie (Animal/zoo inspired, the idea was to have demons and creatures from all across the world showcased to our guests)
2014: Cirque Du Inferno (Hellish circus, this was our last party before we took a break so we marketed it as our last "show")

We're taking a break next year to hopefully make our pilgrimage to Salem for Halloween!
 

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Yes I agree that with a new theme each season people get really excited. We have always just kept building the scenes we already have & in the last 3 seasons we added the Egyptian, which has been in a small section but now has enough props & such it can turn into a full scene with the adding of some large scenery. Also the gypsy room which also started as a small scene but now has enough props to become a full room, and then last year was the 1st appearance of the witches tea room which we set up on a big deck we have behind the house. It was just full of props I did not have any other room for anywhere else. It came out just great.

Now we are working to get more things to add to some of these rooms and the funeral parlor in the living room in the house is still a work in progress. We are now tossing around a few more ideas, hubby was a surgical nurse so he's taking on the design of the mad scientist lab/surgical room (gonna talk to froggyfathoms, we went out to see his halloween display & it was fantastic, he has a full sized pirate ship, really something but his lab was really something to see, hope he can give me some ideas. The lighting was so good.) and I finally decided to add an adult scene. We have mostly small kids so I keep it light but we want something to scare the hell out of the adults. Jerry was a meat cutter for 40 years he is taking on the design of a Butchers Room. We are gonna try & start working on a new cemetery, ours is in pitiful shape. Gonna turn the old one into a pet semetery type scene. Luckily we have a huge amount of space to work with so even with all these pop-ups going outside there is still plenty of room around them so they are not cramped. So hey I guess I am changing things a bit.
 

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Muffy, our themes are expressed by our custumes, invitation, additions and details added to existing items. For example, for "The Birds"' my wife dressed as Tipi Hedron, I dressed as Hitch. The food was Bird-themed, i dressed out one of my Buckys as Mrs. Bates (complete with swinging, dangling bulb hanging overhead) and put her in the downstairs family room. We purchased and printed out movie posters and lobby cards ans decorated with them. And we bought 2dozen dollar store black birds, and I cut out over 100 black flying bird silhouettes and placed them on the living and dining room ceiling. Oh, and played the bird sounds from the movie for effect and the movie was playing in the family room. But we still put out many of our other Halloween props and decorations. Afterwards I sold the posters, costumes (including a cage with love birds) and black birds on ebay.

Our haunt is another matter. As much as I'd like to change the theme, it stays essentially the same with some tweaks and additions...enough to make it interesting and add a new jump or two for the initiated.
 

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ChrisW.........Yes we do keep ours the same but then we do add a little & I'm forever buying more. Last year I came across a lady who was selling all her stuff from those gals that wear the purple/ red things. The senior women. She was on the side of the road selling stuff & Jer saw a grass catcher he was interested in. I stayed in the car looking at her other stuff. The more I sat there the more I thought about what I could do with her stuff. Then it came to me to put those things on skeletons & stick them in the cadaver cafe. She gave me a really good deal on them when I told her I put on a haunt for the community kids.

Also I have so much small stuff, things you would want to look at, so I figure they only see it once a year. altho we do a different scene in the garage every year.
Gonna try real hard to change things 2015, I have so many unfinished projects & stuff I bought that has never made it out of the boxes.

Absolutely loved your birds!
 

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Far Away Eyes
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2014 - Tombstone, Pop. 0 (Western theme)
2013 - The Midnight Carnival
2012 - Shipwreck Cove (Pirates)
2011 - Medieval Nights
2010 - Skeleton Luau
2009 - Skeleton Wedding
2008 - Dead End Cemetery
2007 - Dead End Cemetery
2006 - Community Kids' Halloween Party

Going to try to re-use most everything for future themes. This year, for instance, we will reuse a lot of the pirate and luau stuff for our Forbidden Tiki Island theme. But we are also making a few new props just for this year. Except for the huge community kids party we held, our parties are small - just for our kids, grandkids, and some friends.
 

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2009 Kids Halloween Haunt and Games ( kids only party)
2010 Murder at Haven Manor - Murder Mystery
2011 Carnevil of Horrors - Murder Mystery
2012 Slashback to the 80s
2014 Universal Monster Mash Family Reunion
2016 - will be ... Live from NY It's Saturday Night Dead
 

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Any suggestions for SNL Halloween Party? Would you mind telling me what you did? I know it was a while back, but I would love your input
 

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Sure, I would love to share some things that we did for the SNL party.
We live in Las Vegas so this is the invitation that was mailed to our guests.
SNL invite.JPG

Our guests were very excited with this theme. We have different generations and the SNL theme was perfect for everyone.
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As I think of more things, I will post then.

Any suggestions for SNL Halloween Party? Would you mind telling me what you did? I know it was a while back, but I would love your input
 
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