Halloween's Haunted Yards
Like many others, our love for Halloween is rooted in our childhood. We had these indelible memories of trick-or-treating in the neighborhood, of going door-to-door in our costumes, and of course seeing and admiring all the Halloween decorations and displays.
When the trick-or-treating days ended with our teenage years, our attention turned to creating a "scary" scene or display for the younger children. Simple props like a chair that rocked on it's own or a witch that slid down a line were big hits back in those days.
That spirit from those earlier times was rekindled a few years ago. We had been doing basic decorating and pumpkin carving. But with children of our own in a neighborhood filled with kids, we decided to search for new ideas to decorate our home. What we discovered was a whole new world of prop builders on the web.
The first "real" prop we built was a flying crank ghost. We found the Phantasmechanics web site three days before Halloween in 2001. We went to Grainger's the next day and bought a Dayton gear motor. The rest of the materials were purchased at Lowes and Walmart and the ghost was put together hours before the big night. The kids and neighbors were blown away by that simple prop and we've tried to up the ante each year since.
That flying crank ghost created a passion (some would call it an obsession) with learning more and more about this incredibly fun hobby of building props and creating scenes. The online haunt community has done nothing but add fuel to this fire. It's really great that so many others are also so passionate about this holiday.
In 2004, we added a witch stirring a hanging cauldron to our front porch. We tried to document the project as it was being created so others might benefit from our building experience. We're proud to say that project has been been an inspiration to many others. It's been the starting point for many great variations of this classic prop.
In the years since, we've added more animatronic and static props to the point were our storage space has been exhausted. But it's worth the time, effort and expense every time we hear a young trick-or-treater say something like, "That's the scariest house I've ever seen!"
About This Site
So this site is our little contribution back to the community. We hope it helps someone else out there with ideas to continue these Halloween traditions.