Our house has two windows that face the front yard: the kitchen window and the sewing room window. The sewing room window is not really a problem, but the kitchen lights are on a lot, and that can interfere with the uneasy feeling you want your ToTs to experience.
This year, we're having a costume party on Fri. night, with the inside of the house being loosely done as The Masque of the Red Death--After the Party. In Poe's story, the rooms are lit from without, not within. The orange room, blue room, etc. have lights shining through colored panes of glass. I can accomplish some of that with colored spotlights in the yard shining through the windows, but my
victims guests will want to see my yard, so I need to leave some mood lighting out there. Also, the window treatments must be changed on Saturday morning before the ToTs come around.
Enter the cheater treatment:
I bought this 2-paneled window cling from Fright Catalog a few years back and it's remarkably effective. Here it's shown in the sewing room windows, but Saturday morning, I'll be putting this up in the kitchen window. Mood and time problems solved.
Wally World has cheap black sheets in their bedding department. Take out a few stitches at the hem on either side and you have quick curtains. It takes 4 twin-sized sheets on our wide windows to be an effective light-blocker, but station a black light below window sill level, add some old white gloves, white tulle or netting, and a couple of cheap white plastic masks, and another quick mood-setter is born:
In past years, I've also taken a spring-loaded shower curtain rod and mounted it just inside the front door, with another pair of twin sheet/curtains hung on it. This blocks out the television and computer screens and light spilling from the kitchen. One year, I strategically placed another black light to the side of the front door, put on another set of old white gloves, poked my hands through the curtains and beckoned the ToTs up onto the porch. Some refused to come. Hehehe.
It's really pretty spooky here at night, since our street is a dark one. We live on a corner, and there are no houses across from us or beside us for about three lots--and the next ones are just around a curve. The house on the opposite corner faces 90 degrees away from us, and he either leaves home or keeps the lights out. I'm sure these techniques wouldn't be as effective if we had lots of neighbors or street lights.
My dream is to someday have enough to fill the entire front and side yards. I think I'm going to have to live a long time....