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So for the first time, I'm thinking of setting some stuff out for longer than the day of Halloween itself. I've always been one of those ‘everything out in the morning and back in at night’ folks (with the exception of the countdown sign). I’ve read with yearning of other people’s gradual set-ups, longer periods of appreciation and anticipate that I’d be less dead and more able to relax and enjoy the night of the 31st. And of course, drive-by lookiloo traffic has got to stand a chance of increasing turn-out.

I don’t have a fence, (though I’m considering a temp. graveyard one), and my haunt is front yard only. I have some props that will have to go out Halloween only, because they are too fragile to handle any weather and easy to walk off with. But I think the tombstones and bigger props would be good…and anything tied down…:)

Do you longer-time decorators have any tips and suggestions for me? I am a bit nervous about the whole matter…
 

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I have never had a problem in the 5 years I have been doing my setups. I have just started get heavy the past couple/few years (you know larger props.) Not to mention I had to start over couple years ago because of a shed fire. The areas I have lived in though has played a big part also. I have always lived in small towns with virually no crime. Also the neighbors out here look out for each other so that itself is a major plus. You may want to play around with the cheaper easily replaced props to get a feel of your location. If something is stolen then you know you need to up the security and possible do the one day thing.
 

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I also have a front yard haunt and it is not fenced in. The kids go by my house every morning and afternoon for school. I start out with cornstalks and straw and other things that if it got stolen, I wouldn't be tooo upset. My town still has "Mischief Night" so I am careful not to put out real pumpkins and any of my cherished and/or expensive props until Halloween morning.

I remember my first Halloween at my house, I made a huge spider web and make a spider that cost me about $25 when I finished it because I wanted it to be the correct size for the web. Only one night had it up and someone came and cut it down. I was pissed!!!! It wasn't even Halloween yet and I just left the web up.

That was ten years ago and haven't had a problem yet because I'm a little careful with my prized possessions. Also, because of doing the frontyard haunt this long and getting a reputation for having the most decorated house, a lot of the kids (including punk teenagers) respect my stuff and enjoy seeing it.
 

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I begin set up at the beginning of October and since I've been in this house, nothing has been stolen at all. EVERYTHING is out there for the month and the foggers, lights, GOOD masks and props are out there for at least 2 weeks. I may be too trusting, but I don't feel like rushing around at the last minute to do it all and I enjoy seeing it set up. It's also nice to be at the local store and hear people talking about your yard.
 

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Ive only had a sickle stolen to date and the funny thing is, that was ON halloween night, right under my nose!!!

I put some stuff out Oct 1 and then Halloween night I put out the loose stuff.... Gives em something to look at before and then something to look forward to the day of. I think I will put stuff out at the front Oct 1 and move it to the back on Halloween to do my Haunted walk. I havnt actually figured everything out yet....
 

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i usually start sometime in september so everything is out before october 1st. i leave all of my things out except for the foggers. last year i had 42 feet of pvc fence to go around my cemetery and i made it so if you wanted to get in you had to either go through the gate, or go right up to the house to go around the fence. for the rest of the yard my dad has these white stakes (i think they are used for electric fences) they are fiberglass and have 2 black hooks on the top and in the middle. we have those outline the yard and we have purple and orange lights on the 2 hooks. that way we have some sort of fence to help keep people from walking into our yard and taking off with our stuff. we have only had 1 of our things "disapper". but we found it up at the local college and everything was good. we have been her for 4 years and i think that's pretty good!
this year i plan on maybe getting some montion detectors with lights so if anybody get's too close they will hopefully think twice when the lights come on.
 

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I start mine the end of Sept setting out my things. Now i also had this tombstone outfront one year..
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also i have like four video survalience cameras on my home all hooked to cheap tvs with video that i do record when Im not home. That way if someone were to mess with things I would play back the video and hopefully see who did what. But I do post that they are being watched. Its certainly helped me out over the years.
 

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I might have to try that because Mischief Night is popular in my neighborhood. Luckily, I'm friends with the top mischiefers and they look out for my house and everyone in the whole neighborhood loves our decorations. I work hard by myself and people know and respect that. If however things start disappearing know that two strobes will be shined in your eyes
 

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Our front yard haunt is out for two weeks. While I don't sleep much we have, keeping fingers crossed, not had a problem. We don't have a real fence. However, most of our props are customized with the name of our haunt or names of the characters in our radio play. That makes them a little impractical to take. I understand your nerves. Motion detector lights are a good idea.
 
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