In 2006 we broke down and started using offsite storage with a 10’x10’ rental unit. In 2009 we upgraded to a 10’x30′ rental unit. In 2012 we added a second 10’x20’ rental unit. 2017 we purchased a 40’ storage container and now store a bunch in the container, but we still pay for one 10’x30’ unit for the remainder of the items. We also still use parts of the basement, shed, garage and 2nd floor attics, and even parts of the guest room and master bedroom’s closet. Many of the items can be broken down for easier storage. We spend over $2000/year just storing the display. Consider a small donation to help cover this expense.
No. We do not do anything related to this in our jobs, but I would LOVE too. IF you have a job opportunity, please let me know!!! We have started building props for the Goebbert’s Pumpkin Farm in Hampshire, IL. They LOVE our props!!
It takes easily 250+ man hours to setup, and then daily maintenance and tweaking throughout the rest of the season. Set-up starts Labor Day weekend through the first week in October to get it all up and working. We always need painting, wiring and set up help! Please let us know if you can spare some time in September!!
We make almost all the props displayed including all animations (except for the witch, and two vampires), fence, many of the tombstones, buildings, and other items. Retail cost of the display is in excess of $90,000, however as noted, we make many of the props. Each year we average $1500-$6000 on new props and repair. Add storage, repair cost, candy, transportation, shipping charges, food for volunteers, etc. and we easily spend $3000-$8000+/year to entertain the community. Haunt31 takes donations and collects scrap metal to help pay for storage of the display so please keep us in mind before bringing your metal items to the curb. We can p/u any time (October is hard) or you can drop-off.
There is a substantial amount of material available on the internet. Also, we attend various Halloween shows throughout the year for ideas. As the founder of Chicago Haunt Builders’, as well as a member of Halloween-L, Hauntforum, Halloweenforum, Garage of Evil, Creepcrafters, and a few others, there is quite a bit of Halloween ideas floating around. Many of our ideas come from the Halloween and Attractions show each spring in St. Louis.
In 2007 we came in second place nation-wide in the www.fearnet.com best home haunts contest, and had our display shown on the Today show. Almost every year we are featured in one of the local papers such as the Daily Herald, Northwest Herald, and other publications, and have been seen on WGN-9, NBC-5, and ABC-7 Chicago. Please feel free to report us to the news-stations or papers!!!
No, our budget, and energy level is shot by then, but we do usually put out 7-skeleton reindeer, and a skeleton Santa display (Nightmare Before X-mas type theme) , along with a bunch of lights, and a few skeleton elves.
There are a few things that honestly would help. Please ask, we probably have more!!!
• Top of the list is to help to clean up the lawn damage in November and in the spring (cutting, raking, seeding, etc.) This may sound simple, but in 2013 I spent over 12-hours in November to clean up; filling dozens of lawn bags. Spring brought additional hours of work cutting out dead spots and re-seeding, spreading hay, watering. Come help a few hours.
• Touch up painting and repair of props, set up, tear down, help with storage (we need a cheaper alternative for storage).
• Donations of scrap metal or tossing a few bucks in the donation box. (Gift cards to Menards or Home Depot for supplies)
• Hanging out to help with crowds and security on the busy weekend nights.
• Help with photography, and creation of an annual Haunt 31 video.
• Have a pizza delivered on the busy weekend nights to help feed the actors.