Just to be clear, I put up some decorations, window stuff, lights, maybe some outdoor spiderwebs, but I would save the big stuff (and the battery-powered motion-activated things) for Halloween day. I took off Halloween and would set about setting up my set-up. Everything focused around the mechanical man, but I was always on the out-look for a good decoration. I had a floor mat that screamed when you stepped on it. The "Beware" sign was an early find. My favorite thing is the raven (Beware, the end it near! Ha-ha-ha-ha). I found that in a store in Manhattan. This was back before you had entire stores devoted to Halloween. Or the internet. Different department stores would make a Halloween department and it was it and miss. One card store by me could be counted on to have unique and unusual Halloween decorations-my favorite was a boxed display, a face stared out and seemed to follow you. Also, a suction cup creature and you would stick to the bottom of a window and it looked like it was peering out at you.
But Hurricane Sandy made it a quiet year.