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If any of you had some sort of aspect of your haunt that went wrong, please share so we don't end up making the same mistake. For example, some kind of meal you made that looked just too disgusting for people to eat.
 

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We the mistake of letting the tots reach in and grab the candy instead of handing each one or two pieces. Of course the older tots grabbed huge hand fulls and because we were trying to stay in character and at our "posts" we didn't have good control of the cancy. We had approx 70 tots and ran out. But other than that it was awsome. We got some great responses to our first attempt of a yard haunt and even though it was very small (scaled down due to the fact I lost use of my garage, long story) we had some really good responses and had a blast scaring people. Lots of folks were taking pictures of us and our yard. That was pretty cool.
 

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The Evil Spectre
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My FCG crapped out twice. I had 2 motors fail at least 3 days before Halloween, so she just hung there with her red eyes and blue glow.

My housing for my FCG came down twice.

Forgot to waterproof my columns of my fence. The top started peeling, but I can fix it this year.

My Monster Mud reaper was too unstable. Kept falling over.

Need better lighting and music...

other than that it was great!! 0 TOT'ers again this year!
 

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Need to start the set up earlier in the month. I was scrambling in the last few days putting up the details.

My MIAB motor (scroll saw) motor died after about an hour of use. Need a dedicated motor and crank next time.

Convince the wife not to host a Kids Party on Halloween Day. My family was busy supporting that and not helping me set up the haunt.

Be careful on the path laid for ToT's. A particular turn was next to the driveway, and had uneven footing.

6 mil black plastic is strong enough to prevent a terrified mother and child from busting through it. muahahaha...

Next year I plan on moving the whole operation, which was in my front yard, to the much larger back yard.

warrant2000/Horror House 2008 - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
 

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I put cemetary fencing around three sides, so it was possible to walk around the back. All the kids did--to frolic in the fog! Next time I'll probably make a rectangle.

Also, I had a rocking chair "rock" by tying fishing line to a fan that rotated. Burned the motor out pretty quickly.
 

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I really didn't have anything go wrong but I did notice that the selected areas where I put fences (on front and sides of props) may need to be expanded since a few teenagers felt the need to ignore them and cut through them to save a few seconds to the next house.
 

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Need a punch list for our entire setup and one for both the last hour of set up and the final turn on. We discovered props on Saturday that we didn't get set out and I also didn't turn on one of the sound systems that had been set up until about 90 min into the night. Thought it was too peaceful in my lab! We also need to control the crowd better to protect the haunt from punks looking for attention. Next year we will upgrade our glow sticks to longer versions (should of listened to that advice this year). The line into our yard haunt was really long and took 15-30 min to get to the lab to get candy and we need to care for that or risk damage to props from kids waiting in line. Gota add video to watch and listen haunt b/c we're too busy making the haunt run be able to get to enjoy seeing the kids that are too afraid to finish the walk to the door that run away crying in fear! Also learned this year that stuff will get stolen no matter how much we protect it or wait to set up on Halloween so I need to accept it and remember the good time we have with it and not sweat the small stuff.
 

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Never make anything out of cardboard and expect it to make it through the season. I made a pillar out of a cb box to put my very cool gargoyle on. Little did I know, that the innocent morning dew would "do" my pillar and my very cool (now very broken) gargoyle in. In short, the box softened little by little the gargoyle sunk into the box and a big gust of wind caused him to topple down, crushing his head =( I got the phone call on my last day before I came home from my vacation to celebrate Halloween... what a BUMMER!

Also, I had lit tiki torches in my yard and kids decided to run around inbetween them... YIKES! So, either don't do the fire thing, or have a fence that will prevent TOT's from catching a blaze =)

One more thing, this was actually something that worked... if you live on a street that doesn't get a lot of attention (mine is the last street at the back of our neighborhood) put a strobe light on the corner to attract TOT, or save some fireworks from the 4th or new years. We used both, since this is the first Halloween that our street has been in existance and it worked beautifully! Not only did the strobe lights let people know that we were there, the fireworks were really the icing on the cake, making people wonder what the heck was going on =)
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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My witch's cauldron motor shifted the night of my party and unscrewed itself from the stir rod, so she stopped stirring. I noticed just in time for our first party guests' arrival. :mad:

I didn't feel like standing out in the middle of my yard with pliers and a flashlight trying to get the nut back on, (I tried one time, but couldn't get the balance right and hold the flashlight too) so I just unplugged it and she was a static display. :(

Next year, EXTENSIVE testing before the big night and I won't rely on the "but it was fine the last time" mentality. :rolleyes:

I will not open ALL of the candy in anticipation of lots of TOTs... we could have returned at least two bags... and I really don't need all that candy! ;)
 

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Hauntless
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That kids are so fascinated by a pneumatic slamming coffin lid that they will dare it by sticking their fingers into it while it opens.

Sooo, any slamming props will be barricaded or not used at all.

Luckily, no one got hurt but I feel like I dodged a bullet there.
 

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Going bump in the night..
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Never underestimate the ability of even the slightest of breezes to push over the item you least want to fall...I think this is a corollary to Murphy's Law.

So, remember to brace up your props and sets!

(said old Ugly Joe, after having picked up and repaired his wonderful, handmade arches that took a dive from 6 foot high columns...nudged over to their doom by said innocuous breezes)
 
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