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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, here's where I get to rant a little about TOTs and displays. :-/

On Halloween, I took my 2 year old son trick or treating along our block...

While I had a great time spending an evening with my son, it ticked me off that only about one house out of every ten were home giving out treats!

Out of those, only three houses were decorated!!!

When I asked the givers how many trick or treaters came that night, the standard answer was only three or four TOTs!

Guys, in my town the trick or treating hours are 2-7pm. That's bad enough, but only 3 or 4 TOTS?!?

Ready for worse news? We didn't get ONE TOT this year at our house!!!!!!

Now, I understand that some TOTs are very rude and misbehaved. While I was walking my son, a group of teens cussed out a house that didn't open their door. (sigh) That doesn't help my plea to others.

Needless to say, I got very ticked off. Hastilly I say I didn't get ticked off with anybody in particular, just all the situations.

So, I am determined to make our house next year a place that people will WANT to stop at!!!

Now, my wife doesn't want anything that will scare little kids in the front yard, and I love the scary stuff. So after my ticked off-ness this year, I finally figured out a compromise...

After watching Extreme Halloween on cable TV, I saw a lunch lady who became a witch for halloween. The way she handled younger children was brilliant and gave me some ideas- especially about refreshments!

2007-
Front Yard will contain the mild stuff and even some silly stuff.

The Car Port will turn into a refreshment area with witches brew, treats, and who knows what else?

The backyard will turn into the SCARY Zone! Haunted scenes or whatever.

Thankfully she was fine with this!

MY HOUSE WILL BE THE PLACE TO STOP AT!

[grumble] When I was growing up we had over 100 TOTS every Halloween! [grumble]
 

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After watching Extreme Halloween on cable TV, I saw a lunch lady who became a witch for halloween. The way she handled younger children was brilliant and gave me some ideas- especially about refreshments!
That was our very own WORMYT!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the tip! :)

Man if there's any help to be found, it's on this list. I loved that wormyt invited the local school class to come see her yard and TOT before they had to go home. That is definately something I want to incorporate next year. I also want to try the living dots. My wife thinks it won't work at all, but I'd be willing to give it a try due to the reactions I saw.

Maybe if I'm lucky WormyT will see this post and give some advice.

Tips from anybody else is welcome too! I'm not picky...just low on money. :)
 

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Thats funny that you saw Wormy...

I sympathize with your situation. My sister said they had 10 at their house.

Can I ask what Illinois town?
 

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It's a good way to go, Sickie Ickie. Only thing I would suggest is make sure that the setup of the front makes it absolutely clear that the big show in the back exists and welcomes visitors. This was my first year doing a backyard haunt, and my signage in the front left something to be desired. At least at first, the people in my neighborhood did not know what to do with the idea that they could go into my backyard. They kept asking, "are you sure it's okay?" They finally got the idea, and started phoning their friends to come see (I got a kick out of that), but it took them awhile to get used to the idea. Probably all the safety speeches about "never go into a stranger's house, et cetera" had them thinking that was just breaking the rules.

You might want to arrange the layout such that people go through the backyard before arriving at the refreshment station in the carport. Otherwise, they will get to the treats, think they're done, and miss the good stuff.
 

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We're lucky and get quite a few TOTs on our street but some of them are older teens and not in costume. I hand out candy to everyone though, you're just asking for trouble if you get in an argument with them and who knows, maybe their parents don't approve of Halloween but they are sneaking out anyways?
 

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Hi Sickie. Don't be discouraged. When we moved into our block, there was almost zero TOTing activity also. Now 14 years later, we've about maxed out on the number of people we can put through the haunt each year. And the best news, is that people in the area have caught on to decorating as well. There's another actual haunt a few blocks down, and a newly married couple across the street and a few houses along, put up a very respectable display. It's the old story, build it, and they will come. There's nothing you can do about other peoples spirit in the Holiday, just keep it alive in your own part of the world.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi Long Tom,

In order to get to the backyard, they have to go through the car port. The car port is where the refreshments will be held, so they'll have to see the backyard. ying/yang - Nice, huh?

Thanks for the tip on the signage!
 

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we didn't really have any issues except one of my "actors" had some friends show up in plainclothes and were hanging out on my doorstep, I gave them a hard enough time about not having costumes that they decided to move on. (these kids were about 10-11 yrs old)
 

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Okay, here's where I get to rant a little about TOTs and displays. :-/

On Halloween, I took my 2 year old son trick or treating along our block...

While I had a great time spending an evening with my son, it ticked me off that only about one house out of every ten were home giving out treats!

Out of those, only three houses were decorated!!!

When I asked the givers how many trick or treaters came that night, the standard answer was only three or four TOTs!

Guys, in my town the trick or treating hours are 2-7pm. That's bad enough, but only 3 or 4 TOTS?!?

Ready for worse news? We didn't get ONE TOT this year at our house!!!!!!

Now, I understand that some TOTs are very rude and misbehaved. While I was walking my son, a group of teens cussed out a house that didn't open their door. (sigh) That doesn't help my plea to others.

Needless to say, I got very ticked off. Hastilly I say I didn't get ticked off with anybody in particular, just all the situations.

So, I am determined to make our house next year a place that people will WANT to stop at!!!

Now, my wife doesn't want anything that will scare little kids in the front yard, and I love the scary stuff. So after my ticked off-ness this year, I finally figured out a compromise...

After watching Extreme Halloween on cable TV, I saw a lunch lady who became a witch for halloween. The way she handled younger children was brilliant and gave me some ideas- especially about refreshments!

2007-
Front Yard will contain the mild stuff and even some silly stuff.

The Car Port will turn into a refreshment area with witches brew, treats, and who knows what else?

The backyard will turn into the SCARY Zone! Haunted scenes or whatever.

Thankfully she was fine with this!

MY HOUSE WILL BE THE PLACE TO STOP AT!

[grumble] When I was growing up we had over 100 TOTS every Halloween! [grumble]
Just for my own intrest. How are thing's now?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, my eyes were bigger than what I could do. I've always been that way, but I did do something!

Last year was our first display out front. I did a graveyard with fence. People were driving by, honking their horn and giving the thumbs up sign! It was great!

We actually got a handful of trick or treaters, too! Wanna make a bet when I do it this year, I'll have repeat TOTs from last year, and new ones from word of mouth?

I'll be interested in seeing how many other people put up displays this year, too. If no one, I'm still okay with me being the only one displaying for a while. As long as somebody is!
 

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When I lived in a rural neighborhood I had 3 ToTs...only 1 said "thank you"

Glad things are looking up for you. Weird how that type of neighborhood doesn't do much TOT unless they are all going to the TOT out of the trunk at church or something.

Maybe put out some flyers to let people know to stop by or a couple Burma-Shave type signs with sayings on them.
 

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Thank You, Sickie Ickie.
I must admit that you are not the only Haunted Home Owner that has faced this. I too have wanted to make my haunt Bigger, Better, Stronger, Faster. The thing's I have done and changes I have made over the years have attracted repeat TOTs and Parent's. Some like it and some don't.
It's Okay at least we are trying to keep the traditions and by doing so we are bringing our nieghbors and community a little closer together again, one Halloween at a time.
 

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Man...all this makes me want to move back to Michigan! We had well over 300 last year, and apparently that is standard for the neighborhood. People were warning us months ahead of time that we WOULD run out of candy. And we did...3 times! I don't know if it was because it was the "nice" neighborhood close to an "inner city" area and everyone bused their kids in, but it was great!

Now we've moved to Kansas, and I'm not sure what to expect, but I have been warned about the "trunk-or-treating" at local churches...My hope is to make enough friends ahead of time to have them spread the word to families they know and since Halloween is on a Friday, maybe make it a whole big family party sort of thing...I don't know yet...
 

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Eric- This was a very old thread... I was wanting to know what might had changed in the nieghborhood for Sickie since the start of this thread in 2007. Eric, Don't pack up the monsters yet, Trust me, You are going to have a Great Holloween! From what I have seen on your site you are going to turn the Bible Belt inside out, lol just kidding about the bible belt. It's going to be Great!
 

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I only get 10-15 TOTers, varies year to year, while freinds of mine in a different section of town get a hundred, I guess it is my neighborhood. I get my TOTing fix in two campground weekends, then I get 700 or so between the two. But I have been adding more props to my yard, and hopefully the traffic will increase, did have one dad comment.. My hubby doesn't want me to put too much of my better stuff out, thinks vandels will wreck it. But have been doing it gradually anyway. This year halloween being on a Friday, it will help all of the TOTing numbers.
In my area, alot of churches have halloween night activities, and the mall has TOTing too (who wants to TOT at a mall??!) I don't think that helps matters any.
 

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Bloodhound, Thanks for the vote of confidence! And don't worry about the Bible Belt thing...If we can turn it inside out, then score one for the fun side of life! ;) We intend on inspiring, at least, curiosity with the fact that we're working on HUGE Halloween props in May out in the driveway! From what I've heard, the old addage of "if you build it, they will come" holds true for Haunters after a few years in most places. I think maybe many people out there have a "hidden" passion for Halloween and our displays give them a way to share that passion with kids and family who would not otherwise get it.

BTW...I went to Harbor freight and got a temporary little compressor, since my monster compressor is still in Michigan, and tested the arm movement on my Nosferatu prop...I am pleased!... :D

I can't wait, even if we have 3 TOTs!
 
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