NCHaunts FrightSeekers

The Haunted => General Discussion => Topic started by: jhc36 on September 13, 2010, 06:35:25 PM



Title: Yard Haunts
Post by: jhc36 on September 13, 2010, 06:35:25 PM
I've looked through here and couldn't find any topic about yard haunts.  I don't know about the rest of you, but being so into Halloween and the various haunted attractions I've always wanted my house to be the scariest.   Because we all know when we were trick 'r' treatin back in the day we sought out the scariest yards...even if all it had was spider webs and a tombstone we were pumped.  We would even scout out the neighborhood and keep track of what yard was doing what and which place we would seek out...even if it was in some back part of the neighborhood.   Well..it being only two weeks till Haunt Season...it's time for preparing my yard with blame_elvis to be the scariest place in all of Bradfield Farms  ;) .  So, anybody else doing the same?


Title: Re: Yard Haunts
Post by: handfulofrubies82 on September 13, 2010, 07:47:11 PM
We used to have thread on yard haunts, but I think some old threads might have been deleted to make room for new ones.
My sister and I have been doing yard haunts for awhile, this year will be our 7th year.
Does anyone really theme their yard?  We always pick a theme and plan around that. We usually have a graveyard scene.
We've done a creepy wedding, and then the next year we did the reception.
We've done witches, vampires and skeletons.
Last year we did werewolves
This year we're going to try and do creepy scarecrows.
Do you have any past pics of your yards? I'll find a few and post some pics.


Title: Re: Yard Haunts
Post by: Cousin Levi Slaughter on September 13, 2010, 08:53:33 PM
You guys better watch out, you might just really catch the haunt fever & end up with a full blown haunted attraction on your property, it happens .... Trust me!


Title: Re: Yard Haunts
Post by: packbacker on September 13, 2010, 09:41:25 PM
Hell yes!

This year will be a clown theme.  My "yard" is a bit limited and last year I had two, yes count em......two, trick or treaters but it won't stop me from rocking out a helluva fun Halloween time. 

Fog machine, lights, tombstones, lots of things hanging in the trees, strobe light, several pumpkins, a freaky Halloween soundtrack, etc. etc.  Just wish I had more foot traffic!


Title: Re: Yard Haunts
Post by: jhc36 on September 13, 2010, 10:09:52 PM
I"ve been in my house for 6 years now.  We live in a cul-de-sac in practically the middle of  a big neighborhood.  The first five years I've gone all out and only had about 20 total kids in that span.  Last year...I decided to get my brother and eddie (blame-elvis) to join up and go big.  We put signs up leading the way to our haunt this time...gave it a name (spookstock)...and it poured.  Yep it downpoured last year...and we got over a hundred kids.  In the pouring down rain we had parents drop their kids off in front of the haunt.  By about 9:30-10pm we tripped the breaker because of the rain and had to call it a night...with kids still in line.  I'll dig up some pics and post em...we've been planning Spookstock II for about a year now and on Oct. 1st the decorations start going up. 


Title: Re: Yard Haunts
Post by: Karmakrazy13 on September 14, 2010, 04:07:01 PM
Each year we go all out at my house, we decorate the house, and the yard, and on Halloween night we put out the strobe lights, fog machines, and we make sure we have tons of dry ice for the best effects!

Last year we had a group of 3 teenage kids fall of the porch because they were so scared...

We are never satisfied with the amount of people get, I feel like every year we get less and less people come. Last year we put up a few signs leading to our street, I do not think it helped very much, and this year Halloween is on a Sunday night...Any ideas how to attract people to our place for some great trick or treating??


Title: Re: Yard Haunts
Post by: packbacker on September 14, 2010, 05:56:04 PM
Any ideas how to attract people to our place for some great trick or treating??



I think you're seeing less kids trick or treat traditionally each year.  They're going to malls or other places for lit mass candy grabs.  No clue how to get more folks to come to your (or my!) house. 


Title: Re: Yard Haunts
Post by: handfulofrubies82 on September 14, 2010, 11:15:08 PM
What kind of signs did you put up and how visible were they?
We have the same problem. We're on a back street, and the street doesn't have a lot of kids, so it doesn't get much exposure to TOT's. We've put signs up before at the top of the street that runs by our "Main St", and one of us usually stands, in costume, up at Main St., trying to direct traffic down towards our house. The central houses on Main get hundreds of TOT's but its hard to get them to venture out beyond the main area, and ours is by far, the coolest yard in town. I'm thinking about asking our local paper to run a story on yard decorating or something of the sort, or maybe a TOT trail  (a listing of off-main houses) that want TOT's. Maybe if people saw the house and the address, or saw a pic of the a yard, it would then entice them to come out there. 

I think we have to reach those parents before they head out for the night. Pilot is kind of a small town. One year we put up fliers. I always thought it might lead people to vandalize/steal if they saw the address and opportunity, but knock on wood, we've never had any trouble. I have a friend who runs a daycare. I may have her tell all her parents this year to come by. That would give us a lot more kids.


Title: Re: Yard Haunts
Post by: Blame Elvis on September 15, 2010, 04:16:06 AM
I think what helped Spookstock fix Jonathan's problem with the lack of TOTs were the signs and the fact that his neighborhood's HOA did a TOT trail for parents to look at. His neighborhood is big and full of kids, and I think these days parents like to plan ahead of time where they want to walk to, who is safe, etc.

One thing I've always been a big believer in is word of mouth between kids. If a TOT sees a big, awesome yard haunt, they are bound to tell others.

It may sound cheesy, but I love yard haunts because it's kind of my way of giving back to the community in a small way that I enjoy. When me and Jonathan were little there was nothing like the suspense of TOTing, knowing that there were going to be yard haunts along the way.


Title: Re: Yard Haunts
Post by: jhc36 on September 15, 2010, 11:05:50 AM
Yeah Eddie is right.  Word of mouth is your strongest ally...but the problem with that is when you only get 10 kids...just 10 kids to spread the word wont work.  We hung signs with arrows pointing to where the haunting was going down and gave it a catchy name (that goes to eddie).  I think a catchy/cheesy name on a sign hung up the day or two before Halloween would help some of you good bit...perhaps double the amount of TOTs. 

But, yeah our HOA did help a little last year...no idea if they'll do the same for this haunt season.  Either way...the signs will once again be hung and Spookstock II will be a go...rain or shine. 


Title: Re: Yard Haunts
Post by: Karmakrazy13 on September 15, 2010, 02:02:34 PM
What kind of signs did you put up and how visible were they?

I live in a CuldeSac, so I put a sign up at the top of the street, I put on up at the entrance of the neighborhood, and another one on the other end of the main street that runs in front of my street.

I also let anyone and everyone know that we do Halloween really big at my house and it is a must see.

I am thinking about getting some glow in the dark paint, and painting arrows on the street leading to my house.


Title: Re: Yard Haunts
Post by: Blame Elvis on September 15, 2010, 03:47:45 PM
The arrows on the street is actually a pretty neat idea. I've never heard of that before.

I read on a website a few years ago about a yard haunt trick that a couple uses every Halloween for their haunt. They buy a bunch of balloons, fill them with helium (A couple of hours before) and then attach a glowstick on the balloon string.

Allegedly this is supposed to create a "light in the sky" illusion. Although I must qualify that story with the fact that I've tried it, and the glowstick was way too heavy for each set of balloon clusters I had configured.

It's a novel concept though!

Another thing you can do is good old fashioned tomfoolery. Have you ever heard of a Boo bag? Basically you set up a brown paper lunch bag with treats and a cute little ghost or something on the front. Drive around to a few houses, and basically "ring and run" their house, leaving the Boo bag as a gift at each house you decide to "ring and run" (Do a few houses to plant the seed of Halloween!). There is usually a little poem that also goes inside the bag, instructing the recipient to return the favor to someone else. It's a lot of fun. Maybe you could incorporate some free marketing into your Boo bag, advertising the fact that your address is the place to be for Halloween!



Title: Re: Yard Haunts
Post by: Karmakrazy13 on September 15, 2010, 05:21:55 PM
I might try the glowstick on the balloon string


Title: Re: Yard Haunts
Post by: Blame Elvis on September 15, 2010, 06:45:48 PM
http://www.halloween-online.com/sfx/halloween-projects-goblin-lights.html


Title: Re: Yard Haunts
Post by: Slappy on September 16, 2010, 07:48:18 AM
Hey Karma, you might want to check with the DOT on painting anything on the road.  I definitely wouldn't want the cops showing up at your house on Halloween.  You know how picky they can be about certain things.   ::)  I like the idea though...

You might also want to make some flyers and put them up around the city.  But then again, you might attract the wrong kind of attention, especially if you have some expensive decorations outside, if you know what I mean.

I think I had 6 kids last year, and it was pouring the whole time.  I had around 20 the year before.  At my last house, we used to get 100+, easily.  I still decorate, but nothing too extravagant.  A graveyard, some ghosts and other creatures, some blacklights, a cauldron, some cobwebs, some torches, but the neighbors love it.  I try to add something every year.  Last year I added a 7 foot tall inflatable Frankenstein.  Corny, but still fun.  This year I might turn it up a notch if I have time.


Title: Re: Yard Haunts
Post by: Karmakrazy13 on September 16, 2010, 10:22:29 AM
http://www.halloween-online.com/sfx/halloween-projects-goblin-lights.html

Thanks for the link!


Title: Re: Yard Haunts
Post by: NCHadmin on September 16, 2010, 02:26:23 PM
....This year I might turn it up a notch if I have time.

So you're wearing the chicken suit?
;-)



Title: Re: Yard Haunts
Post by: Slappy on September 16, 2010, 02:54:47 PM
Wow, I had never even thought of that!  That could be very interesting.   ;D


Title: Re: Yard Haunts
Post by: ~honey~ on September 16, 2010, 03:16:03 PM
No.


For real, no chicken.   ::)



On another note, I used to love helping my parents decorate our old house when we lived in Buffalo.  It was a small house, but we lived on a street full of families with kids.  In Buffalo, there are a lot of old-style block neighborhoods, and all the roads are flat, complete with sidewalks.  And I mean this is everywhere.  You could go from one end of town to another if you wanted.  This meant trick-r-treating was the best I have ever seen.  All the houses were decorated, everyone had pumpkins and lights, it made the night so magical.  My parents made cardboard cut-outs for the windows and yard (we didn't have money to buy stuff) and we covered the porch with spider webs.  My dad made these ghost cut-outs for each member of our family, including our dog, that were decorated to look like us, and we still have them.   :)   My mom made my costumes (and my brother's) every single year.  I would pick out what I wanted, and she would buy fabric and hand sew EVERYTHING.  We still have some of them!  We used to run around in groups up and down the streets visiting everyone's house, getting scared by people hiding in the bushes, comparing costumes, it was great.  I miss that a lot here in NC because the neighborhoods just aren't the same as what I grew up with.  But because of all that, I grew to look forward to Halloween as one of my favorite times of year, and yard haunts hold a special place in my heart, no matter how small and home-made or big and fantastic a family can manage.


Title: Re: Yard Haunts
Post by: Blame Elvis on September 16, 2010, 04:07:51 PM
http://www.halloween-online.com/sfx/halloween-projects-goblin-lights.html

Thanks for the link!

No worries dude. If you do a test before Halloween and you can make it work let me know, I'd love to have some insider tips on how to make that effect.


Title: Re: Yard Haunts
Post by: k2quiere on September 17, 2010, 07:44:53 AM
 In Buffalo, there are a lot of old-style block neighborhoods, and all the roads are flat, complete with sidewalks.  And I mean this is everywhere.  You could go from one end of town to another if you wanted.  This meant trick-r-treating was the best I have ever seen.  All the houses were decorated, everyone had pumpkins and lights, it made the night so magical.  

We were actually talking about this last year when my girls (at 16) were planning on trick-or-treating with their friends.  The reality is that we don't get many kids because there is no a safe walking environment, AKA sidewalks everywhere.  We went to one of the few housing developments that have full sidewalks throughout the development and people were driving in from all parts of Winston to bring the kids trick-or-treating there.  I bet that if the infrastructure was a little better and there were sidewalks in all areas, like there are in NY and NJ (where I'm from), then we would have a lot more kids every year.


Title: Re: Yard Haunts
Post by: Karmakrazy13 on September 17, 2010, 08:25:48 AM
Plenty of sidewalks n my hood, actually every street has a sidewalk, I do know a lot of people do not turn on the porch light though, maybe I can start a campaign to get people to hand out candy, even if its for like an hour on Halloween...


Title: Re: Yard Haunts
Post by: Slappy on September 17, 2010, 08:49:53 AM
That sounds kind of like my neighborhood, Karma, minus the sidewalks.  We don't have the sidewalks, but it's a very safe neighborhood, but there are a lot of older folks around here, and they don't turn their lights on.  They all say how much they like my decorations, but they still don't get into Halloween.


Title: Re: Yard Haunts
Post by: Cousin Levi Slaughter on September 18, 2010, 07:05:11 PM
I found a dvd we bought a couple years ago, from party city I think... but anyway it's called X-treme haunted house make-over. It mainly is focused on yard haunts & how to take household items, or items you could find at wally world or S-lowes to make you house the spot in your hood for Halloween. Some of you guys should check it out. The $1.00 painters plastic & leafblower is my favorite gimmick. If any of you find it let me know what you think.
 Slaughter.


Title: Re: Yard Haunts
Post by: Julie on September 19, 2010, 09:05:49 AM
We decorate the yard and our garage every year. Luckily we live in a neighborhood with sidewalks, so we get plenty of foot traffic. I usually invite a friend over to help me pack Halloween goody bags...last year we made 300 and ran out! It helps me know the numbers coming through. We are probably the most decorated house, but there are at least 2 or 3 others who decorate on a pretty big scale. Does anyone else have a problem with storage of props? :)


Title: Re: Yard Haunts
Post by: Badger on September 19, 2010, 09:27:01 AM
There is a magazine dedicated to home haunts and haunters.  I've seen some good things in it...

http://www.homehauntnews.com/



Title: Re: Yard Haunts
Post by: jhc36 on September 22, 2010, 11:53:21 AM
Ah that's pretty cool thanks!


Title: Re: Yard Haunts
Post by: handfulofrubies82 on October 12, 2011, 07:46:04 PM
I'm reviving the topic

Anyone seen any decorated yards yet?? I've seen one on the back-roads, in the King area, but that is all. I know of a few in Winston that I try to hit before Halloween, but its a shame you don't see more.


Title: Re: Yard Haunts
Post by: packbacker on October 12, 2011, 08:37:54 PM
My yard is about 1/4 to 1/3 done.....that rain SUCKED.  I've got prolly 750 lights up, some hanging props, and 1 tombstone out.  When things dry out a half dozen more tombstones, a fogger, two animatronics and some other battery powered things have to go out.  I love putting things together but hate that I get 2-6 trick or treaters total. 

Feel free to share where you see decorated houses / lawns.  I went to see one last week (neighbor of a work associate).  Very impressive!  There's usually a house on Hawthorne in W-S that goes all out....I feel honored when the pizza guy tells me mine is the second best he's seen !


Title: Re: Yard Haunts
Post by: jhc36 on October 13, 2011, 07:42:12 AM
ours is a quarter the way there.  i typically wait till mid october to finalize a lot of the props and then the day before and day of we go all out preparing for our home haunt.