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New guy questions

1803 Views 19 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  Darkside
I wanted to get into the halloween spirit, but I have no ideas as to what half of the stuff out there is about. I kind of wanted moving things to scare people with, but they seem to be the hardest to build. Can someone give me advice.
Note: I have no prior experiance.
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Welcome to the forum! Glad to see more and more people getting into the spirit. :)

Checkout www.halloweenmonsterlist.info and checkout some of the projects posted there. :)
What's your setup going to be Catbert? Do you want to create a yard haunt or a walk through? What would you like to create?
What's your setup going to be Catbert? Do you want to create a yard haunt or a walk through? What would you like to create?
Probably a yard haunt. Don't think I have the cash or the space to do a walkthrough.
You can start out simply. Just go shopping either on-line or retail and purchase what you can't live without, then make or build the rest. Start out small and add to your haunt each year. If you hang out here you'll find some great, and I mean great props to build for next to nothing.
I always recommend starting with a graveyard scene. You'll almost always want tombstones and such. It's easy to start small and build it up over the years.
If you're looking for a quick scare with a yard haunt and you have paved driveway, dress in an appropriate costume and keep a flat edged shovel nearby. Scape the shovel along the drive behind the ToT's as they exit. It's a huge unexpected noise. I guarantee you will send them running down the drive. Cheap...effective ...and memorable.
I'm no expert, but you can check out my website to read about how my haunt has progressed the past few years. (I'm adding the 05 thumbnails atm, so be patient on those) - clicking on my banner or the www button should get you there.

start small, have focus and go from there. its easy to get overwhelmed if you try to do too much at once. the halloween monster list really got me going on the more complicated stuff which really isn't as hard as it seems.
I agree. None of us started with everything in our yards. We build year by year. A graveyard is a good suggestion. Tombstones are cheap and easy to make, and there's isn't a more popular scene associated with Halloween than a graveyard. There's a lot of good things on the Monster List. Don't be overwhelmed. Just browse through and get some ideas. Not all animated props are tough to build, so don't be intimidated by that. If you have a question about how to make something, you're at the right place to ask. This forum is one of the best; everybody here is helpful and truly sincere. We're more than happy to lend a hand.
You would be surprised at how much people appreciate the simplest of efforts. Pass out the candy outside from a simple graveyard. Have something or someone ready to jump out at the kids. Find a simple project for fun and build it (try http://www.halloweenmonsterlist.info/). Then, save the stuff and go on Nov 1 to the party stores and buy more stuff for next year at 50%-70% off. Worked for me. One word of caution, this can be addictive.
LMAO ADDICTIVE????? NOOOO NOT HALLOWEEN!!! LOL. If your anything like me you want it all NOW. I have a hard time decideing what i want to do and then finishing it cuz im always onto the next big thing. I love seeing other peoples ideas, but then i cant stop thinking about htem and then i want them too. See how it becomes addictive.



Here are three links to check out. Remember, everybody started small and simple, added props each year, you will find that each year you get better and your talents will grow. There is a ton of stuff to look at. So do your homework, make notes as you go. A graveyard is a good starting place, tombstones are easy to make. A simple fence, and maybe a static figure ( Reaper, Ghost, ect) Make a list of what you are going to make so you dont over whelm yourself. Start looking at junk as a new source of material for props. Don't forget to check out the after halloween sales for materials for the next years props, wigs, masks, foggers, ect.
I have a project file that I use to store pictures of things i have seen in here or catalogs to use as a idea base for new props.
And last, but not least, if you get stuck on something there are people here that you can ask questions. Hope you have as much fun as the rest of us do.
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You have taken a great step to an addiction. Enjoy. The monster list and haunt project are great resources. Try some of the links people on here have to their own pages. I started small last year. Graveyard with reaper and pirate skeleton in a cage. The cage is gone(pvc went to make bodies) reaper transformed into hillbilly. Going to steal Zombie-F's human bbq (link from here) for him to be cooking on. Graveyard will stay with upgrades. Unfortantly for me I didn't find this place sooner. I have 4 million ideas and twelve things started. Just go slow and enjoy yourself or go fast. Who cares as long as you have fun. Post any time you have a question. Everyone is super helpful. I have ask my fair share of "new guy" questions and received only help and support. I getting ready to post a question that is probably obvious to everyone else, but i don't know the answer. So hey no worries. GOOD LUCK :devil:
Hi Catbert. My first suggestion would be to stay within your limitations as far as ability and finances go for the first year. Only you know what your skill levels are as far as building and artistic ability. Pick a theme, so that your yard doesn't look like a jumble, pick props that you'd like to make, and get started. You'll find all the help that you need here in the forum.
My first "animated" prop was with a ocelating fan it looks cool and is basicaly idiot proof
Yeah, I might not have time next year. so I wanted to do a lot this year because I have lots of time right now. But I really want to scare the kids that have their parents drive them around, and throw candy wrappers all over my street. That pretty much encompasses all the trick or treaters though.
Always works to have two full sized costumed dummy props and yourself in costume standing next to them. People don't know you are alive, then jump and scare. :D
We started out with two masks, and a sound effects CD. We draped blankets over our shoulders and I had twisted my foot a couple days before so I had a real limp. We chased the kids around the yard. The laughed and had a good time. It was only a little scary, because you don't know who's behind the masks. We just kept buying and building things as we went along.
We're no professionals by any means, but everyone enjoys our walkthru. We began with yard haunt, then made a walkthru on subsequent halloweens. So many good ideas on the internet and in this place especially. Gotta begin on November 1st this time, for next Halloween.
It's not an obsession, it's a..um..a hobby, yeah that's it, a hobby. Beware, it's extremely addictive.
I am planning on making a shed to store my stuff, no more room in the basement. But with proper planning, I can flip the walls around for halloween and make it be a crypt. I plan on using my back yard as a big graveyard. We have a great tree to tie a hanged man to.
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As family and friends if they'd like to help out and get dressed to scare people. Building stuff with a group is fun and many people have great ideas once they start.

Wiper motors are extremely useful for building animated props around. If you have a compressor and tank, haunting with compressed air is popular too.
My first moving prop was a PVC frame wrapped in Chicken wire with clothes over that and a moter from a Xmas reindeer to turn the head side to side. Pretty easy and a nice end result.
I got the how to from http://www.scarefx.com/project_witch.html
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