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Calling Creative Minds

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Halloween is just over 3 months away... but we've decided to do a neighborhood committee sponsored haunted yard. I want to do it BIG, and COOL... to rival those who charge for entry... which does require months of preparation. But I need construction ideas... so anybody who's creative, put on your thinking skull and help me out! If you love Halloween like I do, this could be a really fun project for us all!

This will be in a yard, not sure who's yet but since most lots & houses here are very similar to ours, I'll describe ours. There's a privacy fence around the backyard with a gate on the right side of the house. To keep kids from seeing the behind the scenes stuff, I thought this would be a great place to either start-or end- the tour. Hubby thought that since it's almost a straight shot from our front door through to the patio door, that we could start it at the front door and end it through the gate.

Hubby found vapor seal black-plastic type material that comes in rolls of 10' X 100', for about $25. Two of those would make a 100 foot corridor, arranged in a winding maze would be plenty big enough. We could have three or four "doors" cut out of the plastic looking into scary scenes in various places along the corridor, and stash people in various places inside the corridor to scare patrons along the tour.

Hanging & Supporting the "walls" inside from the front door straight through to the back wouldn't be hard. Once you take it from the back door outside, support is a different story.

We need something cheap that we could buy enough of to hang this stuff in a 10 foot tall maze. Hubby thought we could make a grid of clothes line attached and pulled taught from the privacy fence, but it's a wide yard and it would sag. Tall plant stakes would work well, but that would get expensive since we'd need several dozen and they're at least $2 a piece. HELP!!!

Has anyone done your own backyard haunted house like this? Are there any better ideas for pulling it off outdoors cheaply? It'll be so much fun if we could just figure that part out!!!
post #2 of 4
What about renting something? Like the arches for weddings. You might be able to get them cheaper since Halloween isn't a particularly popular wedding date. From there you could use the clothes line idea of your husband's.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
I went to look up your idea... and the idea of using PVC pipes in concrete-filled 5 gallon buckets... both get expensive (buckets are also hard to store!).

Then it dawned on me... if we would have to spend that much anyway, we might as well just buy the garden stakes. The tall ones we'd need are $4 a piece, but it would still be easiest & cheapest of the solutions we've come up with so far. And reusable! Maybe we could buy them in bulk somewhere. The only problem is you have to tell visitors "don't touch the walls" or someone might pull the whole thing down! AAAAACKK!

Anyone have a cheaper solution?

How about props? I want to find a video of a skeleton saying "Welcome", and put our tv outside by the door. We'll need to stay cheap, so lots of cardboard will be retrieved from paper boxes from work. Any ideas for inexpensive but great looking props will be appreciated!
post #4 of 4
First off, it doesn't really need to be 10' tall. 8' would probably do, even 7.5. Trying to work with anything 10' tall is going to be a pain, I can tell you! There's a couple of things you can do with PVC depending on how much time/money you want to put into it. You can actuall build frames out of the stuff that can be knocked down and stored; you can also just whack stakes into the ground that are either of a proper diameter to slide the PVC uprights over, or zip tie them to. Bear in mind that this will have to be pretty sturdy as any good wind is going to treat that stuff like a sail (here's hoping for good weather on Hallowe'en!) Another thought is to see about getting some mulch hay (hay not usable for feed) and build "pillars" with perhaps pvc pipe resting on top and the plastic draped over that ... of course this predisposes that you know somebody with a truck ... and hay ain't light! On second thought this probably isn't a good idea for your situation as it would take a huge number of bales, on the order of a hundred or more for sturdy columns.

Just a couple of thoughts; can't give you too many as I've never actually been to a haunted house/field/hayride/etc!

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