Halloween ideas!

OK, we’ve got two weeks until Halloween. I’ve always wanted to do a big display at the front door for the trick-or-treaters, and this may be the year. My son is interested too, so it may make for a good father-son project.

Now, in addition to the jack o’lanterns, spooky lights, and other stuff, I’m considering the following props:
[ul]A skeleton or other scary mannequin in the window next to the door,
Hidden colored lights on dimmers that fade up when people come up to the door,
A mannequin in the drivers seat of the truck on the street,
A ghost that rises and runs on a cable towards the trick-or-treaters.[/ul]I don’t think I’m completely nuts to consider any or all of this. Several friends saw similar things when they were kids and other people in the neighborhood have gone all-out on Halloween in previous years.
That said:

First off, what do you think the minimum age should be for scary props? I think the dummies would be too much for younger children. The ghost especially worries me. I saw something like this when I was about five, and while I’m still here, I think kids below eight or ten should be spared this sort of thing.

Second, what stuff like this do you remember from Halloweens when you were young?

I think you should dress up like Britney Spears and start undulating to “Baby one more time.” That would be terrifying to a very young child.

I always go with the candidates as scarecrows in election years. The cheaper masks are in the larger Halloween-only stores that pop up around now.

I’m considering making several jack-o-lanterns, but leaving the seeds/glop inside them; I’ll rig a small explosive charge in them, leave one on the porch, and wire it to the doorbell, so that when a trick-or-treater rings the bell, the pumpkin explodes. As soon as the kid runs off, I’ll replace the pumpkin with a fresh one, and repeat.

Some friends go all out for halloween.
They have a big front porch which makes it easier. They have done a coffin with a live corpse.He just moans and sits up.
A scarecrow sitting in a chair next to the door. He grabs legs.Usually good for a blood curdling scream or two.
They are a riot at halloween parties.
One year he dressed in old coveralls and a pumpkin head. Straw stuffed in the sleeves and legs. He cut ditchweed and dragged black baloons. All he said was "I brung you some flowers"Nobody recognized him.

All right, I’m giving away a big secret here:

Two years in a row, my friend Sam and I (admittedly, mostly Sam) won our residence hall’s decorating contest. How’d we do it, you ask? Well, besides the hockey-masked dummy that raised his bloody hatchet every time the elevator doors opened, we painted the most kick-ass murals you’ve ever seen.

Mural Year One: centerpiece was a graveyard, ghosts rising from the graves toward the moon. Other items on the mural included a castle (painstakingly drawn brick by brick), a large cat’s face, and a large Freddy-claw.

Mural Year Two: centerpiece was much better planned. Featured a large crystal ball, screaming face within, framed by giant hands and evil eyes above.

The murals were painted on large sheets of black plastic and illuminated by a fluorescent black light, which showed them off to great effect, due to our choice in painting materials. And here I’m going to give away the big secret:

fluorescent hairspray and glow-in-the-dark fish attractant.

The combination was outstanding. The green and orange hairsprays accented and filled the body of the artwork, giving everything a misty, spooky look. The fish attractant (which we bought in tubes that looked like toothpaste pumps) glowed like you wouldn’t believe under the blacklight. The fishbait was applied with our fingers, though we used toothpicks for fine work and to trim excess.

Warnings: if you make a mural, you’ll need to work in a well-ventilated area. We didn’t. The best we could do was wearing painter’s masks, which I highly recommend. And, the fish attractant smells like, well, fish, so you’ll either have to seal it somehow or air your mural out for a good while before you put your work on display. Our hall pretty much smelled like bass until the work was finished, but we didn’t really care, since it won us pizza.

We used to have such fun at Halloween! We had a Victorian farm house-look home with a huge front porch w/railing (built in 1992). There was no street light near our yard. By placing black lights in the proper places around the yard and porch it could give the image of being an old Victorian house right there in the middle of this modern subdivision. We would put a grave in the yard. I’d cover bushes with sheets so they appeared to be ghostly. Light blue sheets though so they didn’t shine so bright in the black light. We have one of those severed legs which we would stick in the best place depending on the situation. One year it looked like it was sticking out from under the garage. Sometimes from under the porch stairs. Sometimes it would look as if we could fit the whole dead body in the trash can. Well, you get the idea. We had other props too. I would dress up as a witch complete with fake hooked nose with wart (really it’s just a costume) and sit in our rocking chair on the front porch. We put that spider webbing stuff stretched all over the front porch so that you couldn’t see clearly to the porch without coming on it. There was a screaming door mat which we placed at the bottom of the steps. Then when they would come up the steps, I’d reach down and pick up my candy cauldron. I’d say at least half of the people would think I was just a dummy in the rocking chair until moved. That was so much fun because I would get to see the reaction to the screaming door mat. Since they didn’t notice anyone was there, it was a true reaction. I never understood the people that would come by and look up at our house and the kids would be screaming, “Can we go? Can we go?” “No, I don’t like the looks of that house.” Duh, it only looks like that on Halloween night. Sorry, but this was a very small town. I heard one family talking to my neighbors across the street. She asked them if they came over to our house. I could here the mother saying that it was too scary. My oldest who was two when we moved in and five when we moved from there always loved our decorations. They didn’t scare her. She got the joke! The little ones were never scared as long as mom and dad came with them. It was the bigger kids that would let themselves be scared with their imaginations.

Now we have a street light right outside our front door practically. Safer, sure, but not as much fun. No big front porch. I haven’t had near the fun decorating here. And plus our first Halloween here our pumpkins were stolen, even the uncarved ones that were supposed to be around until I made pie and pumpkin soup with them. I just feel like my efforts are not appreciated anymore. We never stoled whole pumpkins from the cool scary houses when I was a kid, so they must not like our efforts. I no longer have the spirit of Halloween. I’m trying to get it back. :frowning:

I LOVE Halloween! It’s been especially fun since my neice was born. This year I’m going to be a Candy Queen, since that’s something she’ll like (since she’s two I don’t want to do anything scary). I’m going to have a dress trimmed with cellophane wrapped candies, a scepter made from a giant lollipop, and a crown made from small lollipops. I’ll probably wear a bunch of those candy necklaces and bracelets, too.

I love to carve pumpkins. Two years ago, I made some templates (kind of like what you see sold at the store) with different ideas for pumpkin-carving. I was just messing around with ideas, but my mom’s kept the pages and each year since then she’s insisted on picking one or two from those pages to do on our pumpkins. One year, when we were living in an apartment with only one oblong window beside the door, my mom went nuts and bought 12 pumpkins, all different sizes. On the day before Halloween, we sat out on the front steps and carved them all with the neighbors. Then we made a display out of our encyclopedia set and put a sheet over it, and displayed them all in this narrow little window. It was awesome!

My mom has always been really creative with the costumes. One year my sister was a “Blue-eyed Susan,” (instead of a Black-eyed Susan). My mom made her a flower costume, green body with leaves on it, and a yellow headpiece with petals that stood up all around her face, and painted little eyes all over her face, and filled them in blue to match her eyes. It was adorable. The year I was Princess Leia she made me a brown wig out of yarn and the little hooded white dress to go with it. Another year I decided to be a fairy, and she stayed up all night and made me wings, a crown, and a wand all covered in tin-foil and glitter. I can count on one hand the number of times that we had to “make do” with store-bought costumes.

I love this whole time of year.

In trying to plan our own Hallowe’en party, I ran across this guy’s site. He’s my new hero.

Feel Free to Overdo It, Allen

Dress like GOTHIC Brittney Spears…I did that last year and it was a huge hit…scared some, turned some on…I got a response either way! :smiley: