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I remember when Haunt Forum was the place to be. Had posts non stop year round. What happened? I know iv been away for a while living life (still making props for my yard) but damn. Looks like a zombie apocalypse. Anyone left from the good Ole days?
Still here also, and definately like the old look better.
 

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I been around here for a few years, but usually only during the months leading up to Halloween.
Couldn’t retrieve my password this year, so I made a new acct :(
No biggie.
I’m is sad to see that it’s gone so quiet around here.
 

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No offense to anyone, but let's be honest, most people are just lazy anymore. They'd rather go out and buy stuff rather than make stuff.
Sad but true.

I've been here off and on for several years and honestly lost the Halloween mojo for a bit. My first foray into both forums was one of awe as I was amazed at the DIY creations, especially paper mache. My budget has always been tight and due to some career changes brought on by the pandemic, it's still tight. I love repurposing/reusing as many materials as possible and the constant discussions on who's racing out to get the newest $500 prop leaves me shaking my head. Yes that prop is cool, but what are you planning to do to it to make it stand out from all the others?

I miss the prop building contest. I entered a few times and was lucky enough to win once. That's what I'd like to see return as it challenges the mind.
 

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Sad but true.

I've been here off and on for several years and honestly lost the Halloween mojo for a bit. My first foray into both forums was one of awe as I was amazed at the DIY creations, especially paper mache. My budget has always been tight and due to some career changes brought on by the pandemic, it's still tight. I love repurposing/reusing as many materials as possible and the constant discussions on who's racing out to get the newest $500 prop leaves me shaking my head. Yes that prop is cool, but what are you planning to do to it to make it stand out from all the others?

I miss the prop building contest. I entered a few times and was lucky enough to win once. That's what I'd like to see return as it challenges the mind.
I don't even think the props are cool. Last weekend, we took a run to the local stores, Spirit, Halloween City, Home Depot and Lowes and walked out of every single one of them shaking our heads. It's all crap. Everything, regardless of cost, looks like it was painted by kids in a sweat shop and even if I wanted any of it, which I don't, I'd have to completely rebuild it all so it wasn't cheap, plastic gears, terrible paint work, jittering because it doesn't move well, etc. That's why making your own is so much better. You get exactly what you want without all of the mark up that these stores slap on it.
 

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I don't even think the props are cool. Last weekend, we took a run to the local stores, Spirit, Halloween City, Home Depot and Lowes and walked out of every single one of them shaking our heads. It's all crap. Everything, regardless of cost, looks like it was painted by kids in a sweat shop and even if I wanted any of it, which I don't, I'd have to completely rebuild it all so it wasn't cheap, plastic gears, terrible paint work, jittering because it doesn't move well, etc. That's why making your own is so much better. You get exactly what you want without all of the mark up that these stores slap on it.
Well you have an advantage over me as I'm in the sticks and totally rely on seeing the props online versus in-person. I do have to agree about the paint schemes on most stuff I do find locally though. Why should I shell out hard-earned cash (and when you're self-employed it's definitely hard-earned) on something that will need rebuilt and repainted.

My last venture to Spirit was several years ago as they felt they'd outgrown the mall space and set up the store under a large canvas tent in the parking lot (yep, probably only in WV) and on my visit I was greatly disappointed in the animated props. It was also raining heavily and running under the tent and I kept wondering if I'd meet my end being electrocuted among inferior props.
 

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I don't want to come off the wrong way for saying this, but posts like some of the recent ones seem to put some blame on shoulders of people who purchase rather than build. Was that the original intent of this forum in general at some point in the past, being a DIY haven for haunters? Not everyone has the skill, or the space, or time, to do so much of the wonderful DIY projects that have been shown. I for one, am very envious of a lot of what so many of you can and have accomplished and shown off. But I fall into the category of not having nearly enough time to do much, and in the off-season, I don't have space or a workshop to build or store projects in-progress. But to use the statement that most people are lazy and don't want to build stuff, within a thread just asking about forum activity seems to imply that it's because people are lazy and not DIY'ers and therefore don't frequent a forum for any other reason than for prop building help. There's so much more in this forum as a whole than that, at least as much as I've found, so I can't really agree with the implication that it's a big reason there aren't people on here as often.

Times change, other forums pop up, facebook groups grow in popularity, the pandemic shut down so many in-person things and might have taken the wind out of some sails, and those together would be more along my thoughts as to why there might just be less activity.
 

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I don't want to come off the wrong way for saying this, but posts like some of the recent ones seem to put some blame on shoulders of people who purchase rather than build. Was that the original intent of this forum in general at some point in the past, being a DIY haven for haunters? Not everyone has the skill, or the space, or time, to do so much of the wonderful DIY projects that have been shown. I for one, am very envious of a lot of what so many of you can and have accomplished and shown off. But I fall into the category of not having nearly enough time to do much, and in the off-season, I don't have space or a workshop to build or store projects in-progress. But to use the statement that most people are lazy and don't want to build stuff, within a thread just asking about forum activity seems to imply that it's because people are lazy and not DIY'ers and therefore don't frequent a forum for any other reason than for prop building help. There's so much more in this forum as a whole than that, at least as much as I've found, so I can't really agree with the implication that it's a big reason there aren't people on here as often.

Times change, other forums pop up, facebook groups grow in popularity, the pandemic shut down so many in-person things and might have taken the wind out of some sails, and those together would be more along my thoughts as to why there might just be less activity.
Sorry if you took my post the wrong way. Way back before Facebook, these forums were the place to go for inspiration. I have built several static props for only a few dollars because I don't have the budget to spend on a lot of store bought props and I end up with a one-of-a-kind creation.

I did much of this while either working full-time, being self-employed with a few hours here and there and during a remodel. Currently my "free time" is whenever my daughter goes to bed 'til midnight or later. I start my day at 5 am, get my kid on the bus at seven, do my "for pay" work and maybe some household chores if time permits before the bus arrives in the evening. I choose to use my free time to create while I do laundry. Most of my creations are on permanent display in my home but I know that's not everyone's cup of tea.

In a way I envy those with the budget to buy the latest and greatest props every year, but even if I had the means, would I? I seriously doubt it. I could justify a new table saw because I can use it other than for Halloween props, a hot-wire foam cutter because it takes hours to cut detail on a tombstone with an X-Acto or I could get started on petitioning off a workspace in the garage. Maybe I'd support another artist and buy a unique creation.

Do I think most people are lazy when it comes to Halloween? Not really. I understand the time issue and I understand the feeling of not feeling worthy enough to create something spectacular as I felt that way in the beginning. I do however see an increase in the amount of people buying the latest and greatest just to keep up with the Joneses. YouTube videos showcasing the latest haul from (insert store here), and the ever increasing issue of people reselling for two or three times the price. Actually being a business owner I do understand making a profit, but I guess I have higher morals than that. Unfortunately in a retail view, Halloween seems to be heading the the same direction as that over-commercialized, gimme-gimme December holiday.

As for forums, yes they're not as popular as Facebook, but I really prefer them. I'm not a Facebook fan and will just leave it at that. Forums to me are more personal and more specialized. Yes it may take a few hours or a few days to get an answer to a question versus Facebook, but I know that answer is most likely from someone with experience and insight related to prop building. I've made several friends on these forums over the years and on YouTube as well.

So while I may appear to be judgemental towards those who purchase mass-produced props, I'm really not. However as an enthusiast of Halloween, I'd rather see posts about how you used the prop, whether you altered it to make it unique and in general why you chose to purchase it in the first place. Also keep in mind that when these forums were created there wasn't many props easily available as today and the veterans of these forums were truly the influence for many of us who choose to make our own props.
 

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I don't want to come off the wrong way for saying this, but posts like some of the recent ones seem to put some blame on shoulders of people who purchase rather than build. Was that the original intent of this forum in general at some point in the past, being a DIY haven for haunters? Not everyone has the skill, or the space, or time, to do so much of the wonderful DIY projects that have been shown. I for one, am very envious of a lot of what so many of you can and have accomplished and shown off. But I fall into the category of not having nearly enough time to do much, and in the off-season, I don't have space or a workshop to build or store projects in-progress. But to use the statement that most people are lazy and don't want to build stuff, within a thread just asking about forum activity seems to imply that it's because people are lazy and not DIY'ers and therefore don't frequent a forum for any other reason than for prop building help. There's so much more in this forum as a whole than that, at least as much as I've found, so I can't really agree with the implication that it's a big reason there aren't people on here as often.

Times change, other forums pop up, facebook groups grow in popularity, the pandemic shut down so many in-person things and might have taken the wind out of some sails, and those together would be more along my thoughts as to why there might just be less activity.
I feel this is a fitting topic for me to use for my post on these forums. I'm not a new "haunter", but I just joined this forum today. I've lurked for many years, and I was an avid contributor to that other forum for a long, long time. I'm actually really sad to see the slow down in posts here recently. It's actually delayed my joining by years.

Anyway, there is a lot of truth in your post, CharlzO, but I personally have mixed feelings. I really don't like that DIY haunters look down on those who purchase their props. Those folks have their reasons. They're either not talented enough to make their own stuff, don't have the time, etc. as has been mentioned. I suffer from a little of both. I just appreciate that Halloween is getting more love by the general public which is being proven out by the big box stores focusing on providing more options, although I miss the demise of Gemmy life-sized props. I long for a day when every other house is decorated, regardless of how. I'm tired being one of 2 people in the subdivision who do more than a pumpkin on the front step. I appreciate any and all efforts at decorating for our spooky holiday. Sure, the houses with more customized and homemade stuff will get more of my attention when I stop by in mid-October to appreciate the work of others, but I do stop at homes with store-bought stuff to see how they've decided to arrange things in their yard and appreciate the details. The only ones I won't stop for are the inflatables because you pretty much get the gist by just driving by.

That said, I have to agree with those who comment that almost everything in stores nowadays is crap. Most of it absolutely is. The 12' skellies are cool, but they make no sense to me. I like my yard and decor to have a sense of realism, and to me the 12 ft'ers don't do that. Giants aren't really a part of Halloween lore, so I don't see the logic. Aside from that tho, I found maybe one or two items this year that I wanted. I got the 8ft pumpkin stack from HD despite the cost. It was the only thing this year that I thought would add to my haunt. Aside from things I make myself, instead of the cheap crap at a high price in big box stores, I've been focusing more on Distortions' offerings because I can't build the kind of cool stuff they offer. That doesn't mean I don't add stuff I made myself. I made my cemetery fence, columns, customized lighting, and several props in and out of the house. Here a sample of some props I've made...
Green Window Tints and shades Street light Plant
Blue Purple Violet Electric blue Event


I just think it's poor practice and poor manners to look down on others who don't have your specific skill set. It's also a lonely way to live. I personally have the ability to build stuff like columns, and have an artistic ability too, but I can't make a lot of the unique stuff I've seen on forums over the years. I'm also not good with moving props other than maybe adding a wiper or deer motor to something. I won't touch servos, pneumatic, etc. I just don't have the knowledge, but I don't think it takes away from the couple of static props I posted above. Most of my props are static unless I buy something that moves. I have purchased a few deer and wiper motors to try my hand at a few moving props, but haven't had the motivation yet.

Back on topic. I really hope folks start posting here again. I look forward to getting to know the community and enjoying the creations of others.
 

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I love building my own stuff, but I am also always drooling over the stuff that is commercially available. No shame from me if someone buys their props versus building them. It's all about sharing our love for Halloween and haunting!
 

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People can do what they want, of course, it's their time and their money, but when every house has a 12" skeleton or the same props and the same inflatables, what's the point? If nothing you do stands out, why bother?
In my neighborhood, there are only a few houses that even bother to put up the most basic stuff. I'm the only one in a few blocks who does anything and the only custom prop guy anywhere near me. There's one big house a half mile or so from me that puts out a huge display of commercial stuff. It's pretty well done I might add. I guess if I had the money, I'd probably pay for some stuff to be custom made, but I would still build my own. I love this stuff!
 

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People can do what they want, of course, it's their time and their money, but when every house has a 12" skeleton or the same props and the same inflatables, what's the point? If nothing you do stands out, why bother?
I don't disagree with your sentiment in general. My point is that I'd rather have 2 or 3 more houses in my neighborhood completely decked out with commercial type stuff including the 12 ft skeletons than to be one of only 2 houses that decorate at all.

I could say the same about the other house in my neighborhood regarding how he decorates. I find his stuff barely Halloween. He decorates completely Nightmare Before Christmas. I know the movie is pretty popular, but I never did like it and I find it more Christmas than Halloween. But that's all he does, plus 6 or 7 tombstones. This year I guess he's doing an electronic light display of some kind. He just told me about it, but it's not ready yet. Again, not my taste, but at least he decorates for the holiday. I appreciate that more than anything.

If folks like the holiday, but don't have the talent to build their own stuff, I say go ahead and spend your money on those commercial products and have fun. Hopefully they do a good enough job with common decorations to make it interesting.
 

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The saddest part for me is the lack of ToTs. I am aware of the "trunk or treat" things that have become so prevalent and popular. I'm thinking of buying a hearse and doing a whole display in the back. Have a real casket and a corpse prop where the kids have to reach inside for their treat.
 

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Yeah, I agree. I understand the desire for trunk or treat from a safety standpoint, but it makes me sad. The most ToTs I've gotten was about 200, and the least was 45 the year it snowed Halloween morning. Not sure why that kept kids away, but it made for some really cool pics though and a TON of leftover candy 🤣...
Window Plant Purple Building Tree
 

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The saddest part for me is the lack of ToTs. I am aware of the "trunk or treat" things that have become so prevalent and popular. I'm thinking of buying a hearse and doing a whole display in the back. Have a real casket and a corpse prop where the kids have to reach inside for their treat.
Agreed, that's really why I'm not decorating anymore. Last year was my last year. We get less than 20 ToTs and they're getting older and ruder and I see no reason to go through the expense and effort for people who are only after candy. They have tunnel vision. It used to be, for weeks before, people would come by and look at the display and take pictures and they'd catch me in the yard and ask if I was putting things up again this year and on Halloween, people would come back a couple of times with friends so they'd get scared. Today... nothing. Nobody cares, most houses have stopped making an effort and most aren't giving out candy regardless. It's a bunch of cars driving around looking for lights, a bunch of kids jump out, grab candy as fast as they can and drive away again.

It's just not worth my time anymore so I'm not doing it. It was fun while it lasted.
 

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Agreed, that's really why I'm not decorating anymore. Last year was my last year. We get less than 20 ToTs and they're getting older and ruder and I see no reason to go through the expense and effort for people who are only after candy. They have tunnel vision. It used to be, for weeks before, people would come by and look at the display and take pictures and they'd catch me in the yard and ask if I was putting things up again this year and on Halloween, people would come back a couple of times with friends so they'd get scared. Today... nothing. Nobody cares, most houses have stopped making an effort and most aren't giving out candy regardless. It's a bunch of cars driving around looking for lights, a bunch of kids jump out, grab candy as fast as they can and drive away again.

It's just not worth my time anymore so I'm not doing it. It was fun while it lasted.
I really do understand.

Two years ago I had a lady stop her car in front of my house and yelling from her car asking, "You givin' away free candy!?" Ten minutes later she returned with a car load of kids, who at least were wearing some semblance of costume.

Last year I had four kids come to my house. My roommate's girlfriend's two kids and their two friends. They were really impressed with my display, but still jacked my candy bowl when my back was turned.

One year, I had one sole ToT. Well, technically there were three, but his parents brought him over because he was less than a year old.

Anywho... I understand.

But...

I don't do it for anyone but myself. I'd really miss it, should I not put out something.

I hope you reconsider, and do something just for you.

Happy Haunting!
 
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