Sometimes being a Home Haunter you miss out on a lot of the Fall season. Of course, as with all haunters and Halloween lovers, Fall is my favorite time of the year. But I get so focused on that one day or one week when my haunt is up and running, I miss out on what Fall has to offer. Yes, I know, you never seem to have enough time to finish that last corpse or get that garbage can to pop open ONLY when someone walks by it (f**king motion sensors) but you still need to stop and have some fun. So as I write this in the beginning of summer and I'm getting ready to hit the beach, I'm going to make a Fun Fall Things-To-Do list. And why not, we plan our haunts out months or even a year in advance, why not set some goals to get out of the basement or garage and into the clean crisp Fall air.
1) Carve a pumpkin. This should be an easy one, and every year I say to Nichole "We got to get pumpkins to carve." and every year we get those pumpkins but never find time to carve them. So this year we will get the "perfect" pumpkin and stab the shit out of it with a non child safe kitchen knife till it looks something like a jack-o-lantern.
2) Take a drive to see the Autumn colors. Load up the family, in my case that's Nichole and my dog Max, and take a drive to the closes wooded area. Now, if you live in a city or surrounded by palm trees, you might have to drive a little further. But let me tell you, it is well worth it. No other time a year can you see how beautiful mother nature can be.
3) Go on a hay ride. Hey rides are great. Slowly moving down that dirt path on our way to the pumpkin patch, sitting on wet bails of hey,(why are they always wet) is the perfect way to help you forget that your pneumatic piston just blew through your coffins lid right after you just finished all the detail work.
4) Go to a farm. Now maybe this should be first on the list because you can get your pumpkins to carve, see autumn colors on the way there, and get to ride on a hay ride. But I like to go to different places for different things. I know this great farm just for pumpkins and little Halloween shit. Then I go to a different place for the best pumpkin ice cream here in NJ. Then another place for their hay ride and yet another place for a corn maze.
5) Do a corn maze. Corn mazes can be a lot of fun. Try to find one that only takes about a ½ hour to get through. Any longer and it starts to get boring and any shorter makes you think you paid to much. Also, some mazes give prizes if you find different objects throughout the maze. Prizes always make it extra fun, even if your only winning a pencil eraser.
6) Eat pumpkin everything. Pumpkin Donuts, Pumpkin Muffins, Pumpkin Ice Cream, Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Coffee, Pumpkin Cookies....The great part about this step is you can do this as your working on your haunt. Theirs nothing like sipping on a pumpkin coffee, and eating pumpkin donuts while gluing your fingers together with Right Stuff Triple Expanding Foam.
7) Go to every Party City, Halloween Express, Spirit Halloween or any other Halloween store around your town. Do I even need to explain this one?
8) Go to a big Amusement Park Halloween Night. Every Amusement park does something for Halloween and most are very good at it. Nichole and I always try to make it to Great Adventures Fright Fest each year. The big parks always cost a lot but to be surrounded by Halloween and horror, like "big money haunts" can do, it's worth it. Everyone knows Universal Studios Horror Nights and how big there displays are. Then of course you got Disney's Not So Scary Halloween, which is just great all around. With hundreds of parks around you should be able to hit at least one.
9) Go to your local Pro Haunts. Another no brainier for a haunter, but sometimes in the time crunch to get things done, we can't get to a pro haunt. When I'm burnt out and don't feel like unclogging another fog machine, going to a pro haunt is a good re-energizer. We know most pro haunt owners started out as home haunters, so to see there haunts in action gives me the drive to keep pushing on.
10) Drive around and see other home haunts. Home Haunters have a special bond, so its easy to approach a fellow haunter and talk about there haunt. Don't go there comparing whose haunt is better or whose Bucky skeleton looks more dead. (Even though you know yours would rock theirs) Show them some love, they've been working just as hard as you. Home Haunters come up with some of the greatest ways to make props on the cheap. Spreading that knowledge is great way to incorporate new ideas into your own haunt and give someone an idea for theirs.