I get asked a lot of Halloween/Haunt related questions, especially around Halloween.
I have compiled a FAQ of some of the more common questions I get asked every Halloween season. These have been actual questions that have been posed to me via social media, email, or in person. Some may not like the answers…..
THE WICKED WOODS CEMETERY FAQ
1. How long does it take you to put all this out?
a. For the basic set up of lighting, tombstones, ghosts, zombies, skeletons, and silhouettes, it usually takes me a day…never longer than 2. We start the last weekend of September and we put something new out almost daily or at least tweak what is already there. We decorate the inside for a big party so we never stop decorating the entire month of October. On Halloween night, we bring out about 20 other props (most animatronics) and boost some lighting effects as well as 6 sound effect sources. It only takes me one day to take the outside stuff down and store it.
2. Isn’t Halloween a kid’s holiday?
a. This was once asked to me by a gentleman in his late 40’s who was wearing a Lego Batman t-shirt….A Holiday is what you make of it. Halloween is for every age! People who truly decide they are too old for something have officially became too old. I like to think people like me and my wife make this Holiday so much better for the kids, and I hope we inspire other adults to celebrate it more.
3. Do you decorate the inside of your house for Halloween year round?
a. No, we love all Holidays and on November 1st, it’s turkeys and acorns, leaf garland, Indian corn and pumpkins. Our house is pretty normal unless a holiday is around (we truly try to go all out for any holiday). That is not to say there isn't a few of my favorite things lurking in my upstairs office or in the bar in the basement year round.
4. Where do you store all this stuff?
a. Truthfully EVERYWHERE! We have an outbuilding that is 50% Halloween Storage. I have a below ground utility room that is 50% Halloween storage or materials for projects. Our upstairs attic crawl space is 80% Halloween 20% Christmas. I also have a closet in my office dedicated to Halloween and all the electronic equipment is stored together under our wifi server table. My wife cannot wait for me to purchase a larger out building so we can free some attic space up for more Christmas!
5. Can we walk through your yard and see everything?
a. No. Not that I am a Grinch, but there are good reasons. This is a static display that has been painstakingly designed to be viewed from the road as you drive by or as you walk the parameter of the yard. The super bright lighting is aimed to give maximum coverage from these vantage points. Once you come into the yard, the magic is gone! The lights blind you and the cords trip you while you are blinded. You can see the rebar that holds the zombies and tombstones in place. You can see the string that holds the ghosts in place. The illusion is gone. Not to mention it is dangerous as all heck ! Do yourself a favor and enjoy it as it was designed.
6. Can we come inside and see?
a. The answer is usually no if you are not family or friends. We still have to live there and up until the Halloween party, it usually looks like a Tornado hit a Halloween store inside. If we have things in order we may be obliged to let somebody unknown in but not usually. I take a bajillion pictures and put them on my blog and on The Wicked Woods Cemetery Facebook page of the haunt so you can enjoy it regardless.
7. Aren’t you afraid somebody will steal or vandalize your stuff?
a. Absolutely. We live in a good part of town and really nobody is out to get black market Halloween items so I worry a little less. I am not stupid, however, and we have 6 HD infrared cameras operating through the haunt at all times We have motion sensors throughout the yard so if you are in our yard, we know it! Some of our bigger props also have motion or break away alarms so if you move them, the alarm system for the house goes off. There are signs posted everywhere stating this fact so if somebody does something stupid, hope you have a great lawyer.
8. Can we take pictures/videos of your house?
a. Absolutely! That is why I put it up for over a month. Take all you want as long as you do it from the road or from your car (to avoid tripping and hurting yourself as well as avoid destroying the displays). Tag us in them so we can see as well! I see a few people taking photos in the day, which is ok but you really need to hit it at Night when it really shines. If you want to take pictures at night, you need to understand how to take pictures or video at night and I have a post *HERE* you can view to see what I am talking about. Basically if you are using a flash to video or take a picture, you are not going to get a good photo. Contact me through my various websites if you need help…I give free low light photography lessons anytime.
9. I hear you have a party every year, what is that like?
a. Yes, we always have a party. Award winning parties at that! It has to be seen to be truly appreciated the scope of the party. You can find links to some of our past parties *HERE*. I would go so far as to say you will not experience a party like this anywhere else.
10. Do your neighbors hate you at Halloween?
a. We love our neighbor’s and they love us, (with the exception of one drug head down the street). The only complaint I have heard was one neighbor, down the street, was not prepared for a few hundred more kids than expected because they came to our neighborhood to see The Wicked Woods.
11. So is your haunt display called Wicked Woods Cemetery? Wicked Woods? Or Meade Manor?
a. This comes up a lot. The property our house sits on has been affectionately labeled "The Wicked Woods”. During Halloween, the display is called “The Wicked Woods Cemetery”. Our house has been lovingly dubbed “Meade Manor” year round. So Meade Manor sits in the middle of the Wicked Woods and during October, The Wicked Woods Cemetery is out.
12. Is your electric bill through the roof with all the lights and projectors going in October?
a. Actually it is not much at all. All our projectors are LED and 90% of our lighting is LED. What is not LED is fluorescents so our bill might spike 15 bucks due to the Halloween.
13. Don’t you ever get sick of Halloween?
a. No. Next Question.
14. Why are you so obsessed with Halloween?
a. I take a little offence at this one. I only decorate for Halloween 1 month out of the year. Some people I know leave Christmas lights up from November to June or even have a “Year round Christmas tree”. Maybe we should ask Walmart why they are obsessed with Christmas when it comes out in July? Usually when somebody asks me this question I will return a question like, “Why are you obsessed with food? You eat 2 or 3 times a day, every day” or “Why are you obsessed with clothes? You put clothes on every single day of your life?”. My Great Grandmother was born on Halloween so we always threw huge costume parties for her. My mom always carried on the tradition after she was gone so I came to love Halloween early on. At the end of the day, I love Halloween because it is fun, nothing more. To call it an obsession is bordering on ignorance.
15. How many Trick or Treaters do you all get?
a. Last year we had way over 1000 kids (most likely 1300 or more). This year we are expecting 1500 to 2000. We have them lined up around the block…all the way!
16. How much do you spend on Candy?
a. Usually around $500. This year maybe more. Our neighbors and friends/family have been bringing us coupons and candy for weeks to help cut some of that sting.
17. How much do you spend on Halloween stuff each year?
a. I could not tell you as we buy things all year round if we find a good deal. I stockpile lights and cords and other items for the haunt any time I can get a deal. We set a budget every year of 2000 bucks on Halloween supplies (not related to the party) but we blow it out of the water every time!
18. How much do you spend on the Halloween Party?
a. For food, drinks, supplies, prizes, etc I budget $500 to $800 depending on how many RSVP. We usually blow that up too.
19. Isn’t Halloween Celebrating the Devils’ Birthday?
a. Why don’t you go to hell and ask the devil yourself? Go away stupid person. Get the Bible and read it before you ask me such a ridiculous questions!
20. Can I have one of your skulls, pumpkin, skeletons, etc?
a. No. Sorry, I am not a charity. I will help you make stuff or tell you where you can get one for yourself. I work for a living and this is one of my passion.
21. Will you decorate my (home, office, shop) for me?
a. Absolutely we will. You will need to provide the materials for the most part but we will do all the labor for free! We love Halloween!
22. Will you cater a Halloween party for us?
a. Maybe. As long as it does not run into our party or other obligations (which are MANY in October). We love to give advice and help with ideas and how to’s. There is a How to Party Guide with recipes on my website *HERE* that tells you everything you will ever need to know about throwing a Halloween party. If you look around the blog, there are lighting, fog chiller, and decoration guides all over.
23. Are any of your props or skeleton/skulls real?
a. One of them is….don’t ask which one or there will be two real ones next year.
24. Do you believe in God?
a. Religion has nothing at all to do with Halloween or my celebration of it. My beliefs are my own(but yes I do believe in God and attend church occasionally).
25. How do you sleep in your house with all that Halloween stuff out?
a. Usually on my side with two pillows. I’m a spooner. Not sure why people ask me this! Not Halloween related at all and personal!
There you have it. If I missed any just shoot them my way and I will try and get you an answer!