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All of us on the forum love the Day of Days- what motivates you? My hope is to help bring back Halloween as big and fun as it was when I was a kid. I remember the sidewalks and streets maggoty with kids, with line ups at the doors- not so now. I love to design, build and modify props- turn cheap crap into something cool. I do it for the kids I see, who, even when at the neighbours doors have their attention arrested by my haunt, that magical look of wonder on their faces that tells me I've engaged their minds.

I do it for my kids, and you know you have cool kids when they ask you, "When are we going to start the tombstones Daddy?" I want my haunt to be the one tots talk about in years to come, "...remember that one guy with the scary yard?" Like many of you, I'm hoping this catches on with the neighbours- creating a little community, making good memories and bringing a little joy...and yeah, I like to dress up. It's become a bit of an obsession...I may be in need of an intervention. :eek:
 

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You have captured many of the reasons I love Halloween and why I do a haunt every year.

Nostalgia - I also remember the fun and excitement on the street at Halloween when I was a kid. There were four of us and each of us would dress up and head out with a big pillowcase for treats. We didn't shout Trick or Treat at the door. It was "Halloween Apples!" (Not sure where that came from but I don't hear it anymore.) We'd stop back in at home when it got too heavy and our parents would empty and sort the candy. My mom would take all the apples (people gave apples then) and use them for apple pies.

Creativity - Halloween is a fantastic and satisfying creative outlet from the planning to the shopping, prop making and installation.

Fun - Yes, Halloween is just plain old fun. Dressing up, playing a role and having friends who enjoy doing the same. Gathering at the after party every year for food, wine and great conversation. It's also a marker for the long months of winter that lay ahead. Sort of a last hurrah before settling in for a cold season.

Kids - It is a challenge to scare kids nowadays - they are so desensitized. It's also great to see them enjoy playing the games at the haunt. Simple, old fashioned games that don't have an electronic component but engage their imagination and skill. Although the prizes are simple - it's winning the prize that makes it fun.

I remember a woman coming up to me one Halloween after we'd done a haunt for a few years. She said, "I just wanted to thank you all for doing this for the kids every year." I just stopped myself from saying, "Kids? What kids?" LOL!!!! I'm all grown up but I enjoy it so much sometimes I forget about the kids. Ha! Ha!
 

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Growing up dirt poor, Halloween was the holiday that was the same for me as for the rest of the kids. I could throw together a costume and participate just as equally.

Santa and the Easter bunny only like the rich kids, fireworks cost money. Halloween is for everyone.

That latter sentiment is what drove me to eliminate all strobes when I learned of some kids nearby who have epilepsy, and we have over a school of kids with similar issues so severe they normally can't go trick or treating for fear of the random strobe in someones window. So by damn, EVERYONE gets Halloween as long as I'm around.
 

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Growing up dirt poor, Halloween was the holiday that was the same for me as for the rest of the kids. I could throw together a costume and participate just as equally.

Santa and the Easter bunny only like the rich kids, fireworks cost money. Halloween is for everyone.

That latter sentiment is what drove me to eliminate all strobes when I learned of some kids nearby who have epilepsy, and we have over a school of kids with similar issues so severe they normally can't go trick or treating for fear of the random strobe in someones window. So by damn, EVERYONE gets Halloween as long as I'm around.
I couldn't have said it better. I know some kids are probably looking for that "scare" that I do not do, while still delivering that "wow" factor. I want everyone that does come by cause they enjoy the holiday, to be able to be able to walk away with that little smile on their face.
 

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Some of my childhood memories of Halloween are pretty solid - although I'd as soon as not forget the memory of the last time me and my buds went trick or treating and realized we were getting too old and that WAS the last time.(Although it really wasn't since two years ago me and Rose and her brother went around the neighborhood in full costume trick or treating, and I'm a helluva lot older than 13 now). With me, I'm hoping to re-create for others the feelings I got when I went to my first Knott's Scary Farm Halloween Haunt way back in 1980. Today's home haunt - at least mine, anyway - incorporates neighborhood trick or treating with elaborate decorating, but also takes it a step further with props, mazes and actual "scareactors." So you can do - and give everyone a taste of - that big time haunt in the comfort and safety of your own front yard. It's on a smaller scale, of course. But if you do it right, like we try to with Rose's Haunted Graveyard, you just might give some kid out there a memory or two they'll cherish for life.
 

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Human Candy Shovel
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I just like scaring people, always have. But I won't truly master the craft until I can make someone leave a huge, squirty, gurgly, brown lump in their shorts. I haven't gotten there yet, but I am getting close. I have made grown men pee their pants. :D
 

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Unorthodox nailed it. My TOTing days were in the 70s, the perfect decade of Halloween...Ben Cooper costumes or homemade. Apples, popcorn balls, pennies were well received treats. Decorations could be as simple as a colored porch light, but it seemed the most neighbors participated. The few houses that were dark just added to the spooky atmosphere of the night. I grew up in Ohio and I fondly remember the sights and smells of those Halloween nights.

I have haunted for over 30 years now and hope I am doing my small part to keep up with the tradition. I think we all need the spirit of Halloween even more today.
 

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Rutherford Manor Haunt
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Lots of reasons, I love the season, always have! It is my creative outlet. I love watching the kids, they get so excited to see the house...well mostly excited, some are pretty scared. Which brings me to another reason, I love scaring people. We also love knowing we are creating great memories for our kids, their friends, and the community.
 

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I haunt to:
1) give children that scary thrill feeling that everyone hates to love
2) to express my creative side
3) kids now expect it in my neighborhood
4) brings out the child in me
5) reminds me of when I was a kid
6) its really really fun.
7) I LOVE HALLOWEEN. when i lived in canada it was a much better season. here in florida its like summer all the time.
 

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It is totally a way to recreate the feeling of being a kid. That ability to engage in something that exists for no other purpose than to be fun and entertaining.

I remember trick or treating as a kid and, especially as my friends and I started to get older, finding a house that did a real haunt was like the holy grail. Even if it was a lame one, it was still so exciting. I vowed to be "that" house when I grew up and here I am. There's something about hearing strangers scream and laugh at something you created that's indescribably intoxicating.
 

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I love reading these! Thanks for starting this post!

Unlike a lot of you, I actually DON'T like to be scared! I don't go in haunted houses and I've put a ban on The Hubster deliberately startling me at home because he'd do it all the time, I'd be so jumpy! I know, what kind of a haunter am I?!? Ha! I enjoyed going Trick or Treating as a kid, but my main love was thinking about my costume and deciding what I wanted to be. The candy was just a bonus.

When I was single, I'd decorate or go to a friend's house (I lived in an apartment), or I'd do a pub crawl or something. I always enjoyed the holiday as an adult, but didn't start to HAUNT until The Hubster and I started dating, and he casually mentioned one Halloween, early in our dating life, that he wished he had more decorations. Well, a trip out to a few stores, and that's how our yard haunt started! So we do it as a team and a big part of it is loving working together on it. :)

The Hubster is more about the scares and the cool props - I'm more about the overall look & small details. I like to pull it all together and work up a layout, and I take notes on what worked or what didn't, and what we should change for the next year. I tend to think up more projects than DH, but he's more hands-on with the tools than I am. I'm more hands-on with the painting or details. I love the creativity!

Also, I think we both love the neighborhood interaction. So many of our neighbors are caught up in raising kids, running around, work, etc and we rarely see each other. It's nice on Halloween to actually be friendly & pause for a few moments to really connect. We love hearing the kind words & compliments from people who appreciate our hard work, and seeing so many happy and excited kids is just fantastic!

Now that we have our own kids, it makes us want to go even bigger - last year seeing our 2 year old DD spinning around our cemetery while holding hands with a full-sized skeleton that she dragged behind her just made our year! She kept saying, "This is my new best friend. I love him." She's (and now her brother too) going to have a love of Halloween her whole life and that's an awesome gift we can give them!
 

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Imitation Imagineer
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My reasons are all, similar to, and validated by what others saying here; so many have already expressed exactly what I think/feel, I guess I'm not nuts after all. :)

There are sooo many reasons, and many have been articulated here so well already, there is very little point in my poor echo.

What I will say is that, on top of all of the general seasonal reasons, creative expression, and my inherent love of things eerie, and spooky, two other specific things come to mind:

  • Someone did it for me when I was young, and I can return the favor for another generation. I can remember so clearly being fascinated by a simple ghost on a zip line that was running from an upstairs window. If I can have that effect on even one ToT annually, it's all worth it.
  • I also spent half of my life with easy access to the Haunted Mansion at Disney World. There are kids that come by the house each year that will NEVER get close to experiencing it even once. If I can help them with an experience that is even 5% of that, then I'll always have fuel to do it again each year.
In the end, I suppose that it is basically just good fun for all, and in my experience, things that are really pure fun are very, very rare, and are worth celebrating.
 

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Because I love it. There's something just plain fun about Halloween. There's no requirement of romantic entanglements like Valentines day, there's no church obligations or religious connotations like Easter and Christmas, or family obligations like Thanksgiving. I like those holidays, but Halloween just seemed like it was just designed for having fun without strings. It's about putting on a show, becoming something you aren't and having permission to be scared and creeped out or scare and creep someone else out. I've always loved halloween for those reasons. And I want to share that love of the season with my children, with my neighbors, and help foster that love in others.
 

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Halloween Elitist
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It's hard coming up with anything else because, so far, all the reasons have been mentioned, nostalgia, pay it forward, for the kids and everyone in between, the fun, creative oulet, the satisfaction of seeing people enjoy your work, being remembered as the Halloween guy, and the yearlong hunt for stuff for halloween and halloween props
 

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Monster Collector
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I think everyone has pretty much hit all the points.
 
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