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Discussion Starter #1
My wife and I moved from town to a nice home just beyond city limits. While in town we lived on a very busy street for ToT, but now we have no neighbors much less ToT.

When we moved my wife convinced me, that since we would not have ant ToT at our new home, I should downsize my outdoor props and decor. I only kept a few items I had purchased from Spirit that year and a single fog machine.

The year we moved, a local community group had their first annual Halloween ToT event in the old city park. Local businesses had been asked to participate by creating haunted scenes along a crooked trail throughout the old park and hand out candy to the kids.

I was completely blown away by not only the number of area businesses that participated but by the huge attendance. Starting at dusk, parents and children formed a seemingly endless line across the old park.

I find this quote to be the most honest interpretation of what Halloween means to me

Back in the good ol' days it was me, Dad, a thermos of dad's "coffee", and my bag of candy. Trick-O-Treating was our opportunity to see all of our neighbors and friends. As I walked the tot, Dad stood at the gate with other fathers drinking "coffee" and telling us to " go.. go.. ".

Sadly, the days when your neighbors were your friends are starting to fade. How many of us can say we know our neighbors names? Mom and Dad both work and commute. When the long day is done, and the family is finally together, nobody has time or the energy to be a truly good neighbor. 'Trick-O-Treating' has turned from a 'walk around the neighborhood visiting friends', to 'getting candy before bedtime'.

It's our time to step in. We haunters give our passion and love to the forgotten art of being a good neighbor. Come to our house Halloween night. Meet your neighbors. Make new friends. Send your kids to the door for candy, and hang out with the adults sipping my "coffee". Take your time, because in that brief moment of magic you are the hero and the protector to your lil'un. As they timidly walk up to the spooky house and look back for your reassurance, you truly get to say, "it's okay, your safe.. go.. go..".

~ Skull And Bone
skullandbone.com
Instead of home haunting, I now help haunt the old city park for an awesome cause; the kids.
 

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Thats cool Mortician..
Do you make things for the displays for them?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
To date, I have helped promote and worked with various businesses to get their displays and scenes together

I am looking to raise the bar this year but haven't decided how

If you could add one new scare, startle, prop, scene, etc. to your haunt this year; what would it be?
 

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Hillbilly Wrangler
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Well me personally i would love to learn how to make something animated. Maybe just turn its head or nod or something. I am just doing my first outside display with the hopes of doing a walk through soon in the future. Id like to have some great scares. So ill keep coming on here and trying to steal ideas off you people :D
 

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Trick Or Treating is amazing in this area, and I don't mean my block or my development, I mean all of the townsa round here. We are very friendly with almost every single neighbor on the block and most of the peope in the development, so it's really really great.
 

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i see how you feel. I'm the only one who decorates but in the past 2 years my neighbors put out a few things. I'm just asking for pumpkins, a flag, and a fricken airblown thing or skeleton! That quote was awesome. I barley even see my neighbors.

Turtle, try a fanimatronic!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
What are you planning on doing to raise the bar this year?
I am open to any ideas you might have. At this point, I am more or less starting from square one.

The entire event (including parking) is completely free to the community; being funded solely by area businesses like myself. I still plan to help those who ask but want to concentrate on more builds and purchases for my own use.
 

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How much of a budget do you have? Is there a particular theme to this trail? How scary can you make it for the ToTs? Do you want to do something that is completely automated, that basically runs on auto pilot? Or would you be involved as a scareactor in the scene?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Like most haunters, my budget has a ceiling.
This year, a percentage is getting spent on lighting.
I have also been looking at purchasing one of the i-Zombie lightning controllers.

Due to a number of variables, there is not a fluid theme throughout the event.
More than likely, I will be undertaking the cemetery this year.
This will become my build project and where my budget will get spent.

Just like ToT, the kids can go to whichever houses (displays) they choose.
Some will visit each and every one while others choose to skip the more ominous looking setups.
How scary is up to the individual. I prefer adrenaline and suspense vs. shock and awe (if that makes any sense).

Completely automated would be over budget.
However I do want to incorporate some automation (semi-auto pilot I guess you could call it).
I noticed that DC Props has several props on sale through month end.
 

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Ideas for first animation

Well me personally i would love to learn how to make something animated. Maybe just turn its head or nod or something. I am just doing my first outside display with the hopes of doing a walk through soon in the future. Id like to have some great scares. So ill keep coming on here and trying to steal ideas off you people :D
If you make your own props, you could use an osilating fan it will move things in a variety of ways depending on how it is mounted. I have used 2 so far this year with more to come, I have 1 turning the ships wheel and 1 turning the skelly in the crows nest.

I would love to be able to do pneumatics but it is cost restrictive for me.

I have allso used electric can openers, and record players, and BBQ rotiseries.

If you want movement it does not mean that it has to be fancy.
 

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I too use oscillating fans for movment, including an FCG-type prop I built for about $10 total. This year I'm building several props using wiper motors triggered by PIR sensors.

Cost - old computer power supply (12 volt) - free, wiper motor $5 at junkyard, PIR (Passive InfraRed) motion sensor light for trigger - $9 at Wal-mart. My site has info on how to do this.

Hit the yard sales. You can find all kinds of good stuff for practically nothing.
 

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Mortician, every time my wife asks me why I love Halloween so much, I never know what to say. I have copied and printed your quote and will let her read it. It sums up exactly how I feel about the whole thing. All the way down to the coffee my dad carried around the neighborhood. And it seemed like every neighbor had to talk to my dad for at least ten minutes while we waited impatiently behind him to move on down the road. I vividly remember the people who went all out on their haunts and I guess I would love to make those memories for the kids around here. This year will be my first haunt, and before I read that quote, I couldn't explain why I'm getting all worked up over it. Now I have a great response for the wife. Thanks a million.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Mortician, every time my wife asks me why I love Halloween so much, I never know what to say. I have copied and printed your quote and will let her read it. It sums up exactly how I feel about the whole thing.
Just for the record, this quote is from the skullandbone.com homepage; a very professional home haunt

Hopefully, you are able to give the kids a Halloween to remember this year
 

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Discussion Starter #16
A flying crank ghost is a great and affordable effect
I have thought about building a FCG every year but never get around to doing so

Just curious, if used in an outdoor scene; at what viewing angle and distance would you guess an onlooker could see the mechanics of the FCG?



There are at least two (possibly three) of these structures available to use as well as an old gazebo



I think a FCG could be done very effectively in the old gazebo; providing one could keep the mechanics hidden without having to enclose the structure

 

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That gazebo would be great for an FCG. You could hang the rig right from the cross beams, along with a blacklight. Nobody would probably see the crank unless they were pretty close (like standing at the edge of the gazebo). Run extra long line from the crank to the ghost's hands and head so it can hang low enough to be seen. If you want to go a step further, spray paint the FCG rig flat black. That should be more than enough to camouflage it.
 
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