Saturday, March 7, 2009

Theme…. argh.

So, last year was our first year to REALLY get into our yard haunt hard core.  It was simple… kicked out a bunch of tombstones, a couple of ground breakers, pumpkins, assorted spooky dudes, etc… and threw them all out in the yard.  Scared some kiddies.  Looked forward to the next year.

We called it Nickols Manor.  We boarded up the windows of our house, and tried to make it look old and run down.  I wore a historic period dress, as if I were the ghost of the Manor.  Jayson was a haunted pumpkin, straight from the pumpkin patch.

Looking back on it, I wondered – who would expect an entire front yard of an old house to be taken up with a cemetery?  And why is there crate in the front yard with a monster (MIB) trying to jump out at people?  Oh, yes, a Grim Reaper pumpkin man ALWAYS stands at the front door of abandoned houses, waiting to scare people that happen to walk upon it.

So this year, I’m already over complicating it.  I want realism.  I want to try and recreate the feeling of walking up to an abandoned house, the anticipation of what will jump out at you… rather than having it all *out there*… in your face, so to speak.

Darkness frightens me when I don’t know what’s coming, so we are considering keeping part of the yard without lights, and then using LED spots to light up a motion detected prop as it “jumps out”…  try to make the HOUSE an actual character in the haunt, and make better use of the windows, roof, etc.  Just trying to be real, and see if we can get the same scare.  I don’t know if it can be done, because we can’t even make it work out on paper – but thats what we are working on tonight.

Til then, here’s the props we are working on….

1st Of March 036Well, here’s my cauldron so far…. which will most likely be cut from the plan this year… haha, figures.  I will still finish it for next year, maybe.  Depends on how it looks, it might just end up in the trash!

1st Of March 037I’m making paper mache forms for the candles that most people make with PVC… will see how this works too – total experiment, and an effort to not have to buy anything from Lowe’s (pvc) right now

And of course more pumpkins… always need pumpkins. 

Hope everyone is having a good weekend, will talk to you soon! 


Diane said...

i love that you guys do all this together. i'm excited to see how the cauldron turns out. do you guys use smoke/fog in the yard?

Unknown said...

Yes, we have one fog machine and a chiller made out of dryer vent tubing and a trashcan. We didn't seem to have the most ideal weather for fog last year. Just couldn't seem to get the fog to hug the ground. We are trying some different fog juice this year to see if it makes a difference.

suzanne said...

It's like you're living inside my head!

I repeatedly tell myself I'm going to come up with a creepy haunt theme and stick with it and then I get distracted by other ideas and props and . . . well, it's quite an assortment by the end. No one seems to mind though. But maybe this year . . .

Good luck with your experiments.

Anonymous said...

I hope your neighborhood is more into halloween than mine (up in Frisco, Tx).

I've tried to be consistent with the graveyard theme, but threw in a skeleton pirate day (using my Pirate's Day costume).

I also tried to leave the yard dark last year. Unfortunately, my street did not really participate...only four or five houses had their lights on.

We had VERY low traffic.

Also, the really dark nature of the yard scared away the really young kids.

For me...more lighting this year, better lightning light and sound, and hopefully some motion activited props.


Unknown said...

We are located in Rowlett, so not too far from you. Our neighborhood is usually a ghost town on Halloween. All the kids head to the neighborhood just north of us for better candy! We are slowly changing that for our neighborhood. Our house is easily seen from one of the more busy streets in town, so everyone can see our haunt as we start adding things to the yard. Last year all of our neighbors had to turn their lights off and close up early because we ran them all out of candy. They weren't prepared! We are planning to go bigger this year, and hopefully earlier, to build up more traffic.


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