Since I’ve started this site I’ve received several emails from people who have broken Halloween props and are looking for help with getting them fixed. It’s frustrating when you pay $200 for a really cool animatronic Halloween prop only to have it break a year after you get it and need it repaired. Once you use it and put it up until the next Halloween something can go wrong and you can’t return it. A Halloween prop isn’t like a used car and you can’t necessarily take it somewhere to get fixed.
Typically when you get a prop from Home Depot or Spirit Halloween chances are the animatronic isn’t made from high quality materials and it will quit working eventually. Props have a lot of moving parts and unless you are an engineer or have some experience working with machines they can be pretty difficult to fix.
So what do you do when your favorite Halloween prop stops working? If a bracket breaks you can fix it with duck tape or a zip tie. But when it’s a gear inside the animatronic it gets a little more difficult to repair. There’s help out there but you have to know where to look.
I always check out Google and Youtube. Generally if you have a problem, someone else has also had the problem. That person may have posted something online or a video on Youtube about it. Not every Halloween prop is the same but a lot of them have the same gears, brackets and other parts inside them that make them work. If you can find a similar prop online that someone has fixed chances are they can give you some tips on fixing it.
Another option is to look on Craigslist and look for someone who has experience fixing machines. You can also create a gig and offer a little money to someone who has the qualifications to fix your prop.
Another option is to find a highly reputable Halloween store and talk to them about your problem. With Spirit Halloween and Halloween Express stores popping up for a month or two then disappearing until the next year it’s hard to find a place that has experience with animatronic Halloween props. When driving through Kentucky this summer I stopped into Caufields in Louisville. I spoke to an employee who told me they have someone locally who fixes their props. There are stores all over the country like Performance Studios in Nashville, TN, Scare Pros in Levittown, Pennsylvania and Traditions in Canoga Park, California who carry Halloween props year ’round and may be able to help you in your part of the country.
If you have an old Spirit Halloween prop and want to go straight to the source, you are in luck. Spirit Halloween actually has someone on staff who repairs props and is an expert. You can contact Dr. Zombie directly on Spirit’s site. There is also a very helpful FAQs on the page that helps troubleshoot most known problems with different kinds of Halloween props. Even if you don’t have a Spirit Halloween prop they still may be able to help you with your problem.
Having a broken Halloween prop is very frustrating but there is help out there for you if you know where to look and the funds to get it fixed.