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I'm posting this question here as it seems to be the place to discuss the actual place we haunt.

2007 will mark the 30th straight year of my decorating for, and now running my small walk-through on Halloween. I can't ever imagine myself doing anything other than running a free home haunt for local kids on Halloween day. TOTing was where the love of it all started for me, and I want nothing more than giving it back to the kids today. Where do you all see yourselves in the future? Amateur, Pro, charity?
 

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Ghost Maker
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We live in a small town with a very active community, and the annual Halloween party is growing! Last year I helped set up for the party, which includes building fair size walk through haunted house / graveyard. Now I am in charge of building it again this year (wait until they get of a load of it this year hehehehe) and I can see myself living in this community and doing the haunted house for years to come. Now, if Disney ever decided to upgrade the haunted mansion I might try to get an engineering job there!
 

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I like that idea FE.....sounds like something I always wanted to do. However, hubby and I have always talked about opening a bed and breakfast when he retires in about 6 years. I want to make it a haunt themed B&B so that as all our Halloween friends are traveling around the country, they will have a place to stay that will make them feel right at home.
 

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In Remembrance
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Unlike most of you I really don't do a public haunt,just a over done privite party. But since my heart problem I had lots of time with little to do. Prop building, even at my limited scale, has helped to fill the void between one day and the next. Having something creative to do has been a great help. It would be so easy to set and stare at the tv all day. But now my garage has stacks of tombstones, odd bits of costums, a homemade skeleton, and a giant spider or two. Not to say anything about the latex on my kitchen table.
I don't see a public haunt in the future, but there may come a time when all the props don't come down but linger all year long.
And perhaps even more important are all the new people I have meet here and reguard as friends.
 

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my yard haunt and halloween party are purely for fun and to entertain my friends and the neighborhood. I think it will just get bigger and more elaborate in the setting. maybe with a walk thru around the yard for the TOT's but that may be a few years away before it gets to that point. I have plans to add a couple of larger things each year and just re-fine the existing displays. I just want my house to be remembered at the coolest one to visit on halloween..lol
though I have now been kicking around the idea of a "teaching" haunted house, I can't remember where I saw something similar to the idea, but it struck me as one that would be one heck of a course to take from a school or even a rec center. mostly I am thinking of those kids that need a creative outlet and something kinda off the wall to do that in. but I haven't really fleshed out the idea all the much yet.
 

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I have been doing a "yard haunt" off and on since I was a teenager.
I come from a long line of oddly crafty folk. Multiple members of my fathers family all were obssessed with building automata and mechanical toys/things. I always wanted to build some of this for halloween. 4 years ago I built the FCG, 3 years ago I built a MIB following Zombie-F's plans and put a few cob webs on the porch. Last year I kicked it up a bit by building the scarefx witch and a few tombstones and groundbreakers. This year has yet to be determined, but gauging by my prop building madness I will need a larger yard.

I dont think going pro interests me, although I wouldnt mind selling a few props on commision maybe. I dont have a desire to do a walkthrough yet. But im sure someday I will. I put up my display for the parents and kids. So many of the parents are soo greatful that I put up a display. I also put up the display for myself, I really enjoy seeing it all staged and setup with lighting and sound. I put up the display on Halloween night only and take it down before retiring for the night.

I think my eventual plan is to do something a bit more, I have some great friends that are quite talented in their chosen professions: Lighting, Sound, theatre stage design etc.. we are meeting this July to discuss making a slightly more elaborate display in my yard and do a charity driven type thing. It wouldnt be a walk thru but just a display, and people could donate food to the local food bank.

4 years ago I think I had 3 TOT'rs, this last year I think between parents and kids we passed the hundred mark.

The best comment I heard last year was from a parent that stated "this is better than Disneyland". That made me smile.
 

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Wow... this is interesting and some haunt related goals are cool to see... but I don't really do haunts... I'm just leatching off you all so when the summer comes around I have simpal cheap ways to make great props for the movies...:D
 

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I'd like to work up to a more elaborate yard haunt, possibly a walk-through in the future. It'd be fun to go pro, but I think I can make a better impact on people by sticking to my yard and making great trick or treating memories for all the neighborhood kids.
 

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Until the last couple years, I had been away from really haunting since my teenage years, when I used to do a small and cheap walk-through haunt. I probably won't do a walkthrough haunt of my own again any time soon, though I may participate in ones in the area. Someday I hope to build a walkthrough again, but it's in the "someday" category. For now, I'm satisfied with building a scene on the front of the house, and doing stalk-about at other events. :)
 

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Home/Pro Haunt

Interesting topic/question. I have said many times it's all leading up to something, but I'm not sure what...

Vlad, I am with you on this one, but for no where near as long 30yrs - Wow!!! That's really great! I also had a blast trick-or-treating (as a kid, a long time ago) and I can't help but think how much kids today are being cheated. That's why I started decorating, which lead to an automated walk through, which led to stuff all over the place year round. A couple things made me believe pro was my ultimate goal: 1) Larger venue/audience and 2) Funding -let patrons help pay for production instead of me carrying the full burden.

This year, I have an opportunity to go pro, but after dealing with red tape and all other sorts of restraints -I am not so sure it's the "ultimate" anymore. In fact, I have decided that it will not happen this year because there's not enough time to put it all together. Even while I was still considering a pro attraction, I found myself thinking about how I was going to run the home haunt and not disappoint the people who have visited my home haunt over the past six years.

So, bottom line - I always hope to have a home haunt, even if I do venture into a professional endeavor. After all, I enjoy seeing peoples Home Halloween displays as much (if not more) than professional houses. And the reward of running a Home Haunt is far greater than cash.

Johnny - you better get moving! Work is already underway on the Haunted Mansion upgrade.
 

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Like Krough, I don't do a haunt, all I have is a display along the road, about 200 feet from my house. Of course, people stop and go through it, but it's all static. I like to mix humor in with the scary stuff (more for the adults), but it's scary enough (at night) for parents to bring their kids during the daytime so they can see it's not real.
Where is this leading to? More of the same. I put it up at the end of September, and add to it throughout the month of October. Since I've recently found out I have severe degenerative disc disease, in the future I fully expect to have my husband pushing me in a wheelchair while I carry the props down to the road to put up the display. The visitors to this area expect it, and who am I to disappoint? :D

Oh...one thing I'd love to do is have a haunted trail. We have an old snowmobile trail running through our property, but I'd need major help to clear it out. By October it's pretty much overgrown. It would also take like minded individuals to help me with it, and sadly, they are few and far between around here. Heck, TOT-ing is pretty dead around here.
 

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I'm with Hella and Vlad. My love of Halloween came from the total change into the fall season in Indiana. Trick or Treating gave me many great memories. Tho people didn't decorate to the extent that we on the forum do, the neighbors had jack o lanterns on their door steps and cardboard skellies on their doors with an occasional black cat. I want to recreate that memory for the neighborhood kids today and like Hella I want to have the coolest house in the neighborhood. So no, I probably will never do a walk through haunt since I do 100 per cent of the building and 95 percent of the setting up but my yard displays get more complicated and expensive to produce each year. The kids in this neck of the woods expect it and they know when I work in the garage during the very hot days of summer that it is Halloween I'm creating. Kind of like a mad scientist in the lab.
 

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Personally I enjoy meeting all kinds of people through haunting. Both the haunt makers and the visitors. I have loved all the comments of appreciation and astonishment at all we do (only going on our third year). I've already got some kids (and adults) who say they can't wait to see what I do the next time.

For me it's all about learning new techniques and putting out a display that folks enjoy. I did entertain notions of having a "pro" haunt at some point but after finding out about all the additional costs and headaches just to make enough - it's amazing how any pro haunt survives until they are "big time".

I will eventually get to pneumatics but am quite happy with my small motorized props and building static scenes. I have found that I am surprised at the progression in my prop making. Starting out with stuffed dummies with a mask to painting latex and making things move.

I have no plans on making a walk-through haunt for my home - just not enough space. Eventually I'd like to have several acres where I can have a dedicated structure as a workshop/haunt with space on the outside to entertain the TOTs.

As for the personal outlay for the expenses - I try to build up gradually. This year I have picked up a few new items and will build a few more so I can add to the cemetery in pieces.
 

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My haunt has evolved from just yard decorations to include a walk thru under the carport. This year the walk thru will be expanded to include a newly added garage area. I build and set up everything while hubby puts up lighting. The display grows larger each year but I have no plans for anything pro. I do it because I enjoy it as much or more than the kids and parents who come every year.
 

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Goodness,

this is something that I really hadn't thought about. I mean, my haunting destiny has always taken it's own course and I have followed it.
I've been haunting for over 30 years, myself. After 2004, I knew it was time for me to make a move and I did. I went Pro Charity in 2005. I currently have a 2000+ square foot haunt that's build with plywood outdoors (No roof) and mega sq. footage of Haunted Trail that follows. All of this is on the huge grounds surrounding my home.
I guess I'm leading to a bigger and better Haunt. That would include leaving where we are now and finding a building for us to inhabitat. But again, this is something that my haunting destiny itself is making me do since I've outgrown this place.

Where will I be in 2 - 5 years? To be honest, I can't tell you. But, I do have hopes....I DO hope my Nonprofit will flourish and our program will be a huge success due to the funds brought in from the haunt. I DO hope that others will enjoy our Ole school style of haunting that existed before the oodles of pnuematics and appreciate our straight up use of psychology to work on their fears. I DO hope that when people want to come for a good haunted experience, they think of The Scream Extreme first.

What do I see for 2006? Loooooong lines.....:D
 

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It is always like Vlad to ask the good questions. Of course, I may not have a good answer. I think once I get pass this Halloween slump I am on, that I should be fine. I guess I am kind of like Dr. M in a way. I would rather the wind of Halloween carry me to where it wants me to be. (Hopefully not Alaska) I do rather like it when everyone stops by to take pictures or movies of my display, so I think that is the path. I don’t want to do Halloween stuff for money or be known as Uncle Nightmare. I just want to bring Halloween back where it used to be; like in the good old days. Like bring the trust back into Halloween. When kids could go trick or treating and not worry about razor blades in their candy. Even thought I found out that statistics show that the kids that were getting razor blades in their candy were from their own family. Can you beat that? But I know I still have not answered your question. Someone once called me the Wizard of Halloween, and they may be on to something. I would like to be able to display a Halloween show in my yard. Controlling everything by computer. Even when giving out the candy. It could happen. I want Halloween to surpass Christmas’ popularity by a factor of 10. It could happen.
 
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