Monday, November 1, 2021

Halloween 2021 Postmortem

Another Halloween is in the books. We had 111 Trick-Or-Treaters last night. It would have been closer to 115, but some were too scared of the haunt to make it beyond our driveway before turning away despite their parents' assurances. C'est la vie!
Things were also back to the way they were before the pandemic: Kids went with groups of friends, teenagers who were mostly absent last year, were out trick-or-treating again, and the only masks worn were Halloween masks.
We started getting TOTs before it was even dark out, around 20 little ones with their parents between 5:30 and 6:00 PM. We were in the middle of trying to turn on all the battery powered light effects and lighting jack-o-lanterns when we got hit with that wave. We quickly realized that the porch "self serve" treat table/barricade wasn't going to work like it did last year when kids were coming up the walkway socially distanced to get their treats, so we spent the entire night handing out treats from behind the porch barricade. The porch barricade is still a great addition because it allowed us to fully use our porch for decoration and we didn't have kids bunched up in front of our entry door, but there were some "lessons learned" too regarding the haunt this year:

1) Plastic security chains are awesome and affordable "en masse" Halloween decorations and help keep the creepy cloth hanging on your house from blowing all over the place in the wind. Verdict: KEEPER

2) Having numerous effects that all come with their own infrared and radio type remotes is problematic. We were using around 8 different remotes for our various LED flood lights, LED candle lights, LED puck lights, LED ripple effect light, and new fog machine. Turned out there was lots of frequency/command "cross talk" between the remotes. Had to be very close to the designated prop to turn a light on without accidentally changing colors or turning off another light. Worst instance was just before it got dark when we were turning everything on for the haunt, including operating the new remote controlled fog machine, we thought the LED ripple effect light in the mini mausoleum had broken. Mr. Haunted Eve ran back into the house and got the remote for it and it turned back on, so he set it to the red-blue ripple color and thought he must have turned it off by accident with the remote being in his pocket earlier. But on another walk through making sure everything was on, we noticed the LED ripple effect light was off again. Turned out when we used the fog machine remote to turn on the fog machine, it turned off the LED ripple effect light, even when triggering the fog machine from inside the house, some 25 feet away from the mini-mausoleum. We had to scrap the fog machine last night for trick-or-treating and will try again tonight to get the photos we had intended to capture with the fog. Verdict: TEST REMOTES FOR CROSS TALK WITH OTHER PROPS AHEAD OF TIME!

3) Haunt background music. Last night after about 2 hours sitting inside the roof eave of the mini-mausoleum, our rechargeable portable mini speaker that we've been using since 2014, ran out of juice. That's never happened before, we own two and used them randomly from haunt to haunt, but always had both charged up the night before Halloween and the speakers always lasted the night without incident. While we could have swapped in the other speaker, we felt like the background music had diminishing returns. We may need new portable speakers for the future, but not sure if the music even mattered to the TOTs. Verdict: UNSURE

4) Treats being given out. We had switched from full sized candy bars to stuffed treat bags a few years ago. The reasoning was that when we bought the mixed boxes of full sized bars some kids weren't happy with the kind of bar they got versus perhaps a different bar their friend got. So we thought we could eliminate that issue by just making a "surprise bag" of many different little treats. And in addition to the full sized bars, we always bought some bags of snack/fun sized treats just in case we ran out of full sized bars. So we thought just make up the treat bags instead. Well last year we thought because of the pandemic, kids would be out in droves for Halloween since it was such a boring year being stuck inside at home. We made 150 treat bags but only had 53 TOTs. So this year we went with the average number of TOTs from the prior years and made up only 80 bags ahead of time, but had supplies to make more should they be needed. We got so swamped with TOTs between 7 and 8 PM that Mr. Haunted Eve was missing out on the fun because he was hurriedly trying to make up more treat bags as Mrs. Haunted Eve would dash back in to the house telling him to hurry up because she's down only to a handful of treat bags and groups of 6 or 8 TOTs are coming up the street. Even though we still had unused treat bags and snack/fun sized treats, for the last group of 8 TOTS we got around 8:30 PM, we decided to just break into the one box of full sized bars we bought as a backup-backup, because it was so much easier to just hand out the full sized bars. We also think it's probably cheaper to just buy enough boxes of full sized bars to total 126 to 144 bars, because we easily spent over $150 on the bags of snack/fun sized treats this year. Plus once again, the older kids really seemed to appreciate getting the full sized bars. VERDICT: GIVE OUT FULL SIZED CANDY BARS

5) Our custom scented order of The Smell Of Fear Candle Company's 4 oz jar candles were the best candles we've ever used for Halloween. We used them in 12 of our 14 jack-o-lanterns (we use tri wick candles in the ultra large jack-o-lanterns at the front of the porch). And some of the med-large jack-o-lanterns had two of the 4 oz candles in them, and not a single candle needed relighting last night with over 4 hours of burn time and breezy conditions. Plus we can easily get another year or two out of these 4 oz candles versus the "one and done" smaller votive candles! And people loved the smell of all the candles burning last night. VERDICT: The Smell Of Fear Candle Company Candles are the BEST!

We have 100's of photos to go through, plus plan on getting a few more tonight with the fog machine in use, so it's going to be a bit before we get the "official" 2021 haunt photos up on Flickr, so please be on the look out for our next blog post for when they're available.

No comments :

Post a Comment