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Ready for Halloween?


by stormrider1331

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Halloween is fast approaching, and many Neopians are beginning to think about decorating their homes for the spooky holiday. While those who inhabit the Haunted Woods have been set up and ready for months already, how does the average Neopian get ready for this event? There are many ways to decorate a yard, or house, for Halloween, but how do you know which will be right for your Neohome? With so many products available for the Neopian public to choose from, it can be difficult to stay on budget while shopping for everything you want. The tips I am going to give you in this decorating guide will help you get the most out of your budget, and ensure a real scare when the kids come trick-or-treating!

The first thing you need to do is sit down and figure out exactly how much you want to spend on your Halloween display. The items you buy are going to vary depending on your willingness to spend hundreds of thousands of Neopoints, or if you only have a couple thousand. The reason it is very important to budget is twofold. First, having an exact amount eliminates the temptation to buy the really expensive items you may want. The second reason is it makes you feel a lot less guilty. The first year I did a display, I failed to set a budget for myself. I ended up spending much more than I wanted to, and really felt bad about it. The next year I wasn't able to get as much stuff because of my reckless spending the year before. If you don't know how much you are willing to spend, go out and take a look in the shops. Get an idea of what things cost, and then make a decision. Not only will this help you set a budget, it will also give you an idea of what you want to buy.

The second step in setting up your spooky yard display is to come up with a theme. You can have the scariest items in Neopia, but if they don't fit together in a theme, they may confuse your visitors more than scare them. The most obvious theme for a yard display is a graveyard. This is also one of the simpler themes, but there are definitely lots to go with it. Another idea would be the front of a haunted house. This will let you be a little more creative with your decorations. If you really don't know where to start for a theme, I would suggest going to check out some of the homes in the Haunted Woods. These houses usually leave their decorations up all year (if they even are decorations).

Now that you have your theme selected, it's time to decide on the most important items you need to bring this theme to life. You have to base this on your budget. If you decided on a haunted house theme, and want to spook up your windows, but have a small budget, it might be better to go for a Boarded Up Window than some Eliv Thade Curtains. If your budget is bigger, you might want to go for the curtains. One thing I did when I was starting was I would select one big item for purchase that year, and surround it with smaller, decorative items. Each year I would do this, and before long, I had lots of different items, but never broke my bank because I spread it out over many years.

One thing you have to remember is to not limit yourself to just spooky items in the shops or garden centers. You have to be able to improvise. This will help you to expand your display and not necessarily cost a whole lot more. Seasonal items like Halloween things can cost a lot more than other items, so it's a good idea to look everywhere. The Decrepit Stone Wall is a great Halloween item to surround your graveyard, but due to its rarity, might get quite expensive. An Iron Fence looks just as good, and is much more available to most people.

Another thing you have to remember is to properly illuminate your display. Many people think that because it's Halloween, darker is better. This is not the case. If it's too dark around your display, no one will be able to see it. On the other side of the coin, if it's too light, no one will be scared. Your lighting will change based on the size of your haunt, but pumpkins are a great place to start. Every house has them, there is a wide variety to choose from, and there is one for every budget. The light given off from a pumpkin is small, so you will want to have more than just pumpkins. Another great choice is candles, torches or fires. The flickering of the flames provides a very spooky atmosphere. One thing to be aware of when open flames are involved is the safety of your guests. You want to make sure that the flames are not in a location for someone to knock them over, or run into them. Lamps or lanterns are better alternatives for lighting near walking paths.

The final thing you need to do to improve your haunt is to have some sort of spooky music playing. Music will be the first thing to set the mood for guests as they approach your house. If it's loud enough, they should be able to hear it a few houses down, causing their anticipation to grow. This should make them a little afraid before they even come up to your house. I suggest getting the sounds of the Haunted Woods on tape. It has some great sounds of Werelupes howling, thunder crashing and zombies groaning.

Well, there you have it, my tips for making a yard haunt. I hope this helps you make a spooky yard display as Halloween approaches. One final piece of advice I have is to get involved in the display yourself. Objects sitting on the ground can be scary, but its even scarier if something jumps out at your guests. Put on your costume and give them a real scare as they try to get your candy. Happy haunting, everyone!

 
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