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Ask Slashdot: How Are You Haunting Your House This Hallowe'en?

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the ok-ok-it's-slashdot-asks dept.

Hardware Hacking 249

Hallowe'en is just around the corner. I've spent hours this month poring over masks, fog machines, automated monsters, and sound-activated dancing skeletons (mostly too rich for my blood), and worked with my brother and sister to haunt my mom's house with scary pictures, mounds of spider-webbing, sound effects, strobe lights, stage blood, candles, and rusty knives. Like every year, though, the best laid plans are the ones you come up with after the fact (why do I always plan to build a coffin with Bible-repelling magnetic lid and matching Bible, but never do?), and while our effort was fun and satisfying, it definitely didn't push the envelope. (There's plenty of good inspiration out there, though, for people who do want to go a little crazy.) So I ask: What are you doing to celebrate the spirit of Hallowe'en? In particular, are you using any good stagecraft-style tech to make your dwelling, yard, or neighborhood just a little bit scarier than usual? Any good advice based on previous haunting experiences, either as haunter or hauntee? What effects do you wish you could create, given enough time and money? Do you control any aspect of your display by computer? Think broadly: Links to inspiring commercial haunts, sources of interesting gear, and your favorite house-haunting projects at Instructables are all welcome, as well as relevant advice from the parts of the world where Hallowe'en isn't the major event that it is in the U.S.

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249 comments

Noose (1, Offtopic)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 2 years ago | (#37857868)

After three years of trying I've finally given up. I hope her new boyfriend treats her better than the last one--he was an asshole. I'll just hang myself, then I can haunt my place myself!

Re:Noose (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37858182)

After three years of trying I've finally given up. I hope her new boyfriend treats her better than the last one--he was an asshole. I'll just hang myself, then I can haunt my place myself!

Hint: if you have to spend "three years of trying" on a woman ... you got the wrong woman. There are lots of women who are beautiful people inside and out who more or less have their shit together and are ready to relate in a healthy way like mature adults.

Let that other bitch get fat and date a thug knee grow.

And don't fuckin' hang yourself, you idiot. You think that will end anything? No, it will prolong it. Get some professional therapy. I'm serious.

Re:Noose (1)

pburghdoom (1892490) | more than 2 years ago | (#37858262)

And don't fuckin' hang yourself, you idiot. You think that will end anything?

I am pretty sure it will end your life...

Re:Noose (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37858574)

And don't fuckin' hang yourself, you idiot. You think that will end anything?

I am pretty sure it will end your life...

The biochemical machinery that we recognize as clinical vital signs, yes. The abstract nature that is a human being ... not so much. Suicide means that gets stuck in a really awful place to be, plus the clarity to recognize how foolish it was to waste one's life on a relationship like that. Some would call it hell but it doesn't need little red guys with pitchforks, that's just religious fantasy designed to scare you into obedience, as if anything enlightened was done from a place of fear.

Considering that every seven years or so, each individual molecule in the human body is replaced by another, that means we're not really so material. We're as material as a wave that is waving through water. Only we're waving through water and solid matter. There is an abstract nature to this. Not only could you not escape it, I have no idea why you would want to. It's a beautiful thing.

Even if you are so steeped in logical positivism that you simply cannot bring yourself to entertain this notion, namely because you have a tool (logic) that is quite useful for some things but now you think everything is a nail because you only have a hammer ... even if that is who you are and you think death is nothing more than a dirt-nap, a "lights out" with no consciousness remaining ... consider it from the angle of those he leaves behind. How selfish one must be to not care about the pain and heartache and long-lasting emotional scars that suicide would put his friends and family through.

So yes, come up with some little trivial one-liner in response to a serious issue. You are uncomfortable with this theme and that's your way of smoothing it over. I get it. Just understand what you are trivializing.

Re:Noose (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 2 years ago | (#37858538)

Or he's trying to add to the spookiness.. slashdot is the last place for a for real suicide contemplation lol.

Re:Noose (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37858260)

I hope her new boyfriend treats her better than the last one--he was an asshole.

But - you were her last boyfriend. Why were you an asshole?

Re:Noose (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37858484)

Should have explained the problem with your fists. Bitch has it coming.

Re:Noose (2)

babywhiz (781786) | more than 2 years ago | (#37858992)

That sounds funny and all, but back when my kids were in grade school, I went with them out to the school bus stop 2 days before Halloween. Down the street from us was a guy that always decorated for all holidays. As we stood at the bus stop, we thought, hey, he added a new decoration: a guy hanging from a noose. About an hour later, we saw cops and ambulances in his yard. Yes, indeed, he had hung himself in the yard among his other Halloween decorations.

My "relevant advice" (0)

godrik (1287354) | more than 2 years ago | (#37857892)

grab some pop corn and look at people going crazy on halloween!

Re:My "relevant advice" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37858490)

Cheers to that! I'm going as Oakland PD so I can throw flashbangs at kids.

Geek Halloween Decorations (3, Funny)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#37857916)

I was thinking I would print up some advertisements for Windows ME and put them on the door along with the regular ghosts and pumpkins.

I'm not (1)

cshark (673578) | more than 2 years ago | (#37857924)

I'm occupying my halloween, and not spending money on corporate nonsense.

Re:I'm not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37858242)

I'm occupying halloween too. Rather than throw money at the fat cats in Wal-mart's head office by falling for another commercial holiday I'm going to spend a few days incognito as a poor person in New York and then retire to my parents' yacht for some well deserved rest and relaxation. It's a tough life being an activist.

Re:I'm not (0)

travdaddy (527149) | more than 2 years ago | (#37858268)

Why? Halloween means free hand-outs, which we all know is what you Occupiers truly want.

just kidding please don't mod me down :)

Re:I'm not (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#37858738)

Which is why I am dressing is SWAT gear and beating random passers by and throwing CS gas grenades at the groups.

Trying to be as patriotic as possible by violating their rights!

Re:I'm not (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 2 years ago | (#37858794)

gives me an idea to dress as a TSA inspector... oh wait I'd get beaten to death walking around on Halloween in uniform.

Re:I'm not (0)

causality (777677) | more than 2 years ago | (#37858856)

I'm occupying my halloween, and not spending money on corporate nonsense.

The one they would really notice is Christmas.

Yeah, maybe getting up at 5am to get stuck in traffic and elbow your way past crowds to spend a lot of money on mostly frivolous tokens of participation that you don't really need appeals to some of you...but the way I see it, Black Friday and the mindless hysteria surrounding it is someone else's plan for my life. It isn't mine. As a self-aware thinking being I can tell the fucking difference and I'm sorry if the majority just go along because they can't. Those who make the profits by exploiting this hysteria are self-serving egotists; those who enable them by participating are insane. It deserves to fail.

What really amuses me is those Christians who like to display how pious they are. You know, the ones who insist you stop and pray before each meal, who frequently say "God bless you", etc. The ones who don't view their spiritual life as a personal decision and want it to operate in group-mode as much as possible. That's how they feel secure and that's how they justify telling other adults how they should live their lives.

When they participate in the corporate-sponsored mass materialism hysteria called "Chrismas" in the name of Jesus Christ, they don't seem aware of what that word "idolatry" means. I guess they thought it ended at that Golden Calf fiasco back in the Old Testament. They also seem to miss that part about taking their Lord's name in vain. Or maybe, being so narrow-minded and having such tunnel-vision, they think that means "don't say 'god dammit'" and can't find anything wrong with all the wars and the consumerism and the idiocy perpetrated in the name of "God". That's without getting into Saturnalia and why Chrismas is celebrated in late December (a month Jesus almost certainly wasn't born in), who Ishtar was, etc.

Idiots will accept nearly anything if you present it as "just the way things are". It's like the root password to their psyche. They just haven't the fortitude to look past that and question its foundation. Otherwise they'd understand what horseshit it really is and they'd reject the programming.

Trollin' Hipsters on tumblr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37857926)

*Darth Vader*

WE'RE A CULTURE, NOT A COSTUME

Oh white liberal guilt how I love you.

I'm not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37857934)

I'm not. Simple as that.

And just funny enough, here's the captcha: heretics

Wearing my birthday suit (1)

mayberry42 (1604077) | more than 2 years ago | (#37857938)

...that's guaranteed to give the kids - and their parents - a good scare.

Re:Wearing my birthday suit (2)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 2 years ago | (#37858172)

...that's guaranteed to give the kids - and their parents - a good scare.

To give yourself a better chance of not being arrested and getting your name on a nasty list, try wearing something like this [bizarrebytes.com] or this [bizarrebytes.com] , or even this [bizarrebytes.com] . In some ways, it's even more grotesque than the far-below-average naked body, but probably more legal.

Re:Wearing my birthday suit (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37859056)

NSFW! NSFW! NSFW!

Same as every year... (1)

6Yankee (597075) | more than 2 years ago | (#37857944)

...hunkered down in the darkness so the little scrotes don't know I'm here, wishing I had a shotgun to poke through the letterbox.

Halloween seems to give every little thug in the neighbourhood carte blanche to terrorise it, and the ready availability of fireworks thanks to Guy Fawkes' only makes it even more "fun".

Re:Same as every year... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37858154)

Ah so your the 'jerk who lives in that house'.

That is the way your neighbors see you. Is it *really* that bad to hand out a few bits of candy? Oh I know you can make up your own injustices in the world and solve them from the comfort of your basement.

Want people to stop coming to your house? Its easy give out popcorn balls for 10 years straight. *NO* one will show up.

Re:Same as every year... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37858870)

Is it *really* that bad to hand out a few bits of candy?

I used to shove the candy up my ass first.

Re:Same as every year... (1)

causality (777677) | more than 2 years ago | (#37859086)

Ah so your the 'jerk who lives in that house'.

That is the way your neighbors see you. Is it *really* that bad to hand out a few bits of candy? Oh I know you can make up your own injustices in the world and solve them from the comfort of your basement.

Want people to stop coming to your house? Its easy give out popcorn balls for 10 years straight. *NO* one will show up.

So ... choosing not to participate in something, without trying to stop anyone who wants to from participating in it ... and wanting basic property rights to be respected in the form of being left alone by vandals, trespassers, and other criminals ... that makes someone a jerk?

What a freedom-loving people we have become.

Re:Same as every year... (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 2 years ago | (#37858394)

While I too will be hunkering down, I'll have my bags of chocolate to keep me happy while my cat will sit in my lap keeping me warm.

Ahh, this is living!

Re:Same as every year... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37858892)

Wow, only the killjoys and a-holes decided to comment on this post, eh?

Death by Powerpoint (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37857954)

I was thinking of setting up a nice Powerpoint presentation with too many cheese transitions, sound effects and generally bad design. Shouldn't be too hard. I'm just concerned it would be sufficiently unique.

As every year... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37857970)

...sign from the local police saying "NO TRICK OR TREATERS HERE" will be going up in the window.

Speaking as a Brit, I feel Hallowe'en here is talked about far more than it is actually celebrated.

Willing to be proven wrong!

Re:As every year... (2)

clamhan (314806) | more than 2 years ago | (#37858422)

...sign from the local police saying "NO TRICK OR TREATERS HERE" will be going up in the window.

Speaking as a Brit, I feel Hallowe'en here is talked about far more than it is actually celebrated.

Willing to be proven wrong!

No, you're speaking as an Englishman. We've always celebrated Halloween in Scotland.

The U.S. got their Halloween customs from us.

Police Tape (2)

Jethro (14165) | more than 2 years ago | (#37857994)

I have some POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS tape. It's awesome. Draw some chalk outlines with loooots of "blood". Anyone actually walks through that, they deserve candy.

This year I kinda want to put up a BEWARE OF GORILLA sign, wear gorilla suit and scare the crap out of the kids.

Also I want to give out some chocolate covered espresso beans... but I've been advised not to do that.

Re:Police Tape (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37858136)

I know nothing about coffee but the stench, but Wikipedia says there's no such thing as "espresso beans".

Re:Police Tape (1)

Jethro (14165) | more than 2 years ago | (#37858290)

Eh. That's what the label the package says. Probably to help hipsters buy them. They're the ones I've found in fun-size packs that'd be ideal for trick-or-treaters... /don't know much about coffee either.

Re:Police Tape (2)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#37858564)

How could there not be?

I put roasted "beans" into my coffee machine, I push a button, it makes some grinding and pumping noises , and soon I have 1 oz of espresso.

Sure they can make other things, and if you coat them in chocolate you aren't going to be making espresso with them. But given they are seeds not beansto start with, picking the espresso part of the name to argue over seems silly.

halloween spookies (1)

swschrad (312009) | more than 2 years ago | (#37858124)

carving a pumpkin, putting a flicker-LED light in it... and then just before dusk, raising the dead with a mad, cackling incantation to swoop upon the innocents. very little tech involved.

Re:halloween spookies (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#37858530)

carving a pumpkin, putting a flicker-LED light in it... and then just before dusk, raising the dead with a mad, cackling incantation to swoop upon the innocents. very little tech involved.

Couldn't get Westboro Baptist Church people, either, huh?

I'll be celebrating Halloween instead. (2, Insightful)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#37858126)

I'm not doing anything. My family celebrates Halloween instead.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halloween [wikipedia.org]

Please use the preferred spelling.

Re:I'll be celebrating Halloween instead. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37858192)

yeah seriously, "hallowe'en"? i really, REALLY cannot stand nerds who like being hypercorrect. it's not cool, it's not clever; you just look like a douchebag.

fucking annoying.

Re:I'll be celebrating Halloween instead. (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#37858250)

The worst part is it's not even correct, much less hypercorrect.

Re:I'll be celebrating Halloween instead. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37858480)

that's what "hypercorrection" means, in linguistic terms -- the speaker takes a rule they know and overapplies it, resulting in something incorrect.

so actually, saying hallowe'en instead of halloween isn't exactly hypercorrection -- a better example would be saying "keep this between you and I" (instead of the correct "between you and me") -- but it's close enough.

Re:I'll be celebrating Halloween instead. (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#37858582)

Ah, I interpreted it this way:
hypercorrect: correct to a degree that makes you an ass
as opposed to
hypercorrect: correct to a degree that makes you wrong

I would have expected to use 'overcorrect' for the second. Like when you overcorrect a turn, you wind up going the wrong direction.

Re:I'll be celebrating Halloween instead. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37859102)

yeah, linguists are weird like that i guess: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypercorrection

Haunted Singing Halloween House (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37858150)

Although this has nothing to do with me I think it's a great example and an awesome achievement!

http://hackaday.com/2011/10/25/singing-house-lights-up-halloween-again-this-year/

The same thing I do every year... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37858196)

Play World of Warcraft and lament the fact that I have no social life. I did buy a package of mellocreme pumpkins, though. They don't mix so good with Mountain Dew but it's important to at least make an effort.

Porch light and a bowl of candy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37858204)

If I had the time and the money I'd cover the walkway to my front door in hanging cobwebs, probably hang a (fake) body from the tree in my front yard, add a couple humorous gravestones... Can't forget the fog machine. Maybe a SFX generator with howling wolves, flapping and screeching bats, a Bela Lugosi laugh...

I'd probably do a CSI-style blacklight setup on my front porch--splatter reactive something everywhere to look like blood. As for me, I'd personally answer the door dressed as Death, with a black face-mask so it would look like the hood of the black robe doesn't have anything inside. Serving bowl would be something cool, too, like a hollow skull or a cupped pair of skeletal hands.

My simple decoration (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37858212)

Every year I put up a sign that says "Registered Sex Offender." I figure Halloween is supposed to be scary so this works for me. Also, it keeps away the kids begging for candy.

Won't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37858216)

Instead, getting dressed up and heading to the local zombie bar [donnydirks.com] with my wife and some buds and watch some horror flicks.

Video projection etc. (3, Interesting)

Mononoke (88668) | more than 2 years ago | (#37858254)

Once again I'll be using video from these guys: http://hallowindow.com/ [hallowindow.com]

This year I'm likely to rear-project their lightning loop near my front door, and run 2 LCD TVs with the eyeball loop in the windows of two separate rooms facing the street. (yes, the house is alive!)

Audio is important too, and once again I'll be running this track through speakers and extra subwoofers (real ones, not home ones) hidden on my property: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/halloween/id289650473 [apple.com] There is no better sound effects package than one made by Hollywood Foley Effects artists. It's fun to watch the parents freaking out even more than their kids are.

Low Tech (2)

ittybad (896498) | more than 2 years ago | (#37858278)

Bury a mattress in the ground -- "Quick Sand." Chainsaw sans chain. Pretend to be a decoration, {move|jump|scare} at people that happen by (note: may get punched in the face). Hang fishing line from the trees/eves (feels like cobwebs) Get a ghillie suit, pop out of bushes (again, may get punched) .... Meh.... Google is your friend.

A giant child-sized bug zapper at the front door (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37858280)

. . . with lighted neon candy as bait. Dead trick-or-treaters hanging in the wire. Loud, flashing strobe zaps . . . mesquite liquid smoke barbecue aroma . . .

. . . and a big sign stating to fully read the EULA before using . . .

Giant Floating Head (4, Interesting)

K-Sparticus (662733) | more than 2 years ago | (#37858284)

I have had a lot of fun with this set-up.

Get a web-cam, a video projector, and something translucent to use as a rear-projection screen (fake spiderwebs work well). Aim the camera at your face (try lighting it from below with a flashlight) and shine the projector at the screen and you have a giant, floating, glowing, talking head.

Of course, you can add more effects like a sound system, but it is an easy and cheap (if you can borrow a projector) set-up.

Halloween what is that (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37858294)

Halloween is illegal in this country, thanks to the Catholic church. I guess that pedophile union didn't want any competition.

Re:Halloween what is that (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#37858404)

Share share: what country?

Re:Halloween what is that (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37858676)

Costa Rica [naturelandings.com] . Private parties are ok, but you won't find anyone "trick or treating" out in the streets. I've been here 20 years. In the late 80's it was starting to catch on, when some bishop or other objected and it was "banned" (although no actual law was put on the books). So during the 90's you couldn't find Halloween merchandise anywhere. But consumerism will creep up on every generation and bit by bit it's coming back - especially in areas filled with foreigners - hotels, bars and the like. Nowadays you can find Halloween masks and stuff in any party supply store, and some foreign telephone companies who just got here (we opened up the telecommunication market this year) from Mexico and South America are trying to market it - without having researched first that it's not really celebrated here except by foreigners.

Halloween... (1)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#37858316)

I'm going to change my name to Oswald McHalloWeany for the day.

- On a more serious note- November 5th (Guy Fawkes night) is only a few days later and is more fun for the pyromanaic.

Build big fires- set off fireworks- build models of Guy Fawkes and the pope and throw them onto the fire... ... Good time for all. Just make sure it really is a Guy Fawkes model you're throwing on the fire- not a member of Anonymous wearing a Vendetta mask... we need those anonymous folks to help overthrow wall street.

Hallow'een activities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37858324)

1) Set up a Bobbing for French Fries tank
2) Kids love ice cream, so each kid gets a big scoop in their bag

-it's all about the kids ...

Crank Ghost (1)

Jabrwock (985861) | more than 2 years ago | (#37858354)

Found many examples online. Basically a low-rpm motor turns an arm that pulls three wires attached to a foam head and wire arms draped in cheesecloth that has been soaked in detergent, suspended under a black light. Looks wild, slowly drifting up and down in the window.

I'm doing nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37858386)

There won't be any trick or treaters in my neighborhood. So no need to get candy.

My yard is currently full of construction materials. So no room there for anything even if I wanted to bother.

Which I don't. See first sentence.

I wouldn't celebrate any holiday to be honest, none of them are worth the bother.

The end of slashdot? (0)

molo (94384) | more than 2 years ago | (#37858514)

Okay, I think this may be it. I'm ready to turn in my slashdot ID. No story has EVER been this lame. Not the dupes, not the slashvertisements, not Taco's marriage proposal. Nothing. This is it. So terrible. I think I'm done. Bye, all.

-molo

Taco's marriage proposal wasn't lame... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37858642)

... you're just jealous that you don't have a world famous personal geekdom to propose on.

Re:The end of slashdot? (1)

DahGhostfacedFiddlah (470393) | more than 2 years ago | (#37858984)

I was going to say the same thing, but then I happened on your well-written, on-topic, informative message. You've certainly improved the dialogue with this comment.

I think I speak for everyone when I say that you'll be sorely missed.

Don't let the door hit ya where Rover just bit ya (1)

xmark (177899) | more than 2 years ago | (#37859148)

JK - Sounds like you have low blood sugar this morning. Have a Captain 'n Coke or two while you steal something from your nephew's candy bag, and you'll feel the love again. :)

Re:The end of slashdot? (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#37859164)

Hate to break it to you, but there has been tons of shit on slashdot lamer than this. Constantly for the past 10 years or so that I have been coming here there has been shit.

Thing is if shit doesn't appeal to me, I don't bother myself with shit. You don't have to be in every topic.

Great holiday for DIY electronics (5, Interesting)

sid_vicious (157798) | more than 2 years ago | (#37858524)

Before the kids came along, I built a number of fun electronics projects for Halloween. I built a flicker circuit I got off of Wolfstone [horrorfind.com] (a great site for would-be haunters).

Along with a couple of friends, I built a coffin-leaper one year, too. I built the electronics (a pressure sensitive mat that activated a solenoid valve). Another fellow built the pneumatics and another built the actual coffin and dummy. When you'd step on the mat, the dummy would spring up and a loop tape with sounds effect and a strobe would go off.

I also built a lightning/thunder machine using a "color organ" (basically a device that causes different flood lights to flash in time to various sound frequencies) that came from a Velleman kit. I set up an old pair of PC speakers playing a loop CD of some thunder and use that to drive the color organ. I usually get a few good jumps from kids who aren't expecting it.

I have a commercial fog machine that I use with a timer to give my house a nice cloud of low-hanging fog. I built a fog-chiller out of a cheapo foam beer cooler by cutting two holes in either side and running a flexible piece of aluminum ducting through it (with a twist in the middle and holes punched in it to increase surface area). This keeps the fog hanging low. Another tip is to spray down the area with the fog using a garden hose.

I started working on animating a Bucky skull a while back, too. I added eyes attached to a servo and wrote a program in Windows that let you move them with sliders. I intended to animate the mouth, too, but my kids came along shortly after that. I still pull out my decorations every year, but my own little goblins have taken priority over my projects - so it goes.

I'd love to finish the Bucky skull and maybe build a bookshelf where the books pop out on their own (driven by a motor and series of cams). Maybe one day when I have some time to myself again ...

Hope this gave everyone a few good ideas for projects to scare the neighborhood kids -- happy haunting!!

meh.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37858548)

meh....happy to say I sold my house....in this economy :P

Great Idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37858578)

Invite all of the kids down to your mom's basement. If your neighbors didn't already think you were a pedophile, they will, now!

Minimal, if anything (3, Funny)

kent_eh (543303) | more than 2 years ago | (#37858608)

My wife "found god" in the last year, and has decided that we won't be "glorifying Satan" this year.
So the kids miss out, and I don't have to dig out the decorations this year.

Re:Minimal, if anything (4, Interesting)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#37858750)

Awesome she found him.

Where has he been hiding all these years then?

Re:Minimal, if anything (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37858946)

In a sealed tomb.

"Thank fuck you've found me, I rose from the dead, but this damn boulder was in the way. I've been sitting here for 2000 years."

Re:Minimal, if anything (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37858890)

Tell here that Halloween is simply the eve of All Saints' day, a Christian holiday.

For Halloween, I'm going to put on a costume, go to a party, get drunk, and have casual group sex. Then, in the morning, I'm going to church for the Holy Day of Obligation.

Re:Minimal, if anything (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37859036)

What's amusing, to me at least, is that modern Halloween developed around the celebration of 'All Saints Day' commisioned by a Pope way back when. Yes Halloween is the day before, as in 'all hallows eve', but to suggest that it is somehow 'glorifying Satan' is preposterous.

Perhaps if people new more about 'the Church' and it's history, fear wouldn't replace intelligence. as it is in this case. I have a sister-in-law that is the same way, and Halloween is 'verboten' in their house as well. ...... My poor brother. Their kids are missing out on so much fun!

I won't go on about the historical roots of Christmas. As I'm American, I could be burned at the stake around these parts.

Re:Minimal, if anything (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37859132)

As someone that was the kid in that situation I encourage you to tell her to back off and do something with the kids anyway. I really missed it.

Miyako Yoshika (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37858690)

I want to dress up as Miyako Yoshika, but I have no costume. ;_;

pop-up monsters (4, Interesting)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 2 years ago | (#37858704)

What I'm working on was inspired by the sculptures Joshua Harris has been building/leaving in NYC [laughingsquid.com] that suddenly explode into full size when a subway goes by and then collapse again to look like a pile of debris. What I've finished: electret microphone amplifier, that tells an arduino when someone's within two meters, the arduino then closes a big monster relay, and I've built a couple of monsters using the instructions on destructables.org for inflating sculptures. (Basically cut up a stuffed animal and blow up the pattern design.) Mine are humanoid shapes about 2 meters tall with arms that stick out and a bunch of tentacle-like things sticking out of their faces.

What I'm working on is the inflation system. My original thought was to use a piece of 6" PVC tubing, about a meter and change long, with about 5 atmospheres of pressure in it, and a lawn sprinkler valve that the arduino triggered, so I have a high pressure lowish volume inflation system. I'm finding that's really loud and not fast enough to get the movement I want, which is to have the monster go from a pile of invisible black rubbish to 2 meters tall in under a second -- really, jumping out at people. So I'm playing with high volume low pressure: having the arduino turn on a shopvac with its exhaust inflating the humanocthulhuoid figure.

Unfortunately I've only got a couple days left to get it all working, and I also have a wedding ring to make before I get married in two weeks, and guess which one is being given higher priority by other involved people? So maybe I'll get lucky and get it done, but most likely it'll be next year. Then I'll have time to add strobe lights on the ground pointing at it.

I've also made most of a soliton gun, using a piece of 15" diameter, 2 meter long cardboard concrete form with a constricted front, the intent being that I can blast big puffs of air from a significant distance and hit people with them: just walking along and suddenly wham a big blast of air from nowhere. It might be interesting, especially if I can time it so it hits people at the same moment as the jumpy monster jumps.

I'm all set! (5, Funny)

quietlikeachurch (984657) | more than 2 years ago | (#37858730)

My front yard has three years' worth of overgrowth (one of the bushes has an old saw stuck in it), the lamppost
bulbs flicker, and there are real spiders and crickets and spider-crickets everywhere. Plus, I have a derelict car in
the driveway and the front porch is littered with beer cans and errant cigarette butts. Perfect.

Who wants some candy?

Haunted house... of sorts (1)

orphiuchus (1146483) | more than 2 years ago | (#37858734)

I stopped doing basic yard maintenance and I've just been throwing garbage out of the window. It creates a really neat, scary haunted house effect.

Of course, I won't be putting out candy and I don't have any kids, so its really just for the benefit of the community.

Where's my screwdriver? (2)

spaceyhackerlady (462530) | more than 2 years ago | (#37858752)

I will sometimes wander around with a screwdriver, because everybody knows there is nothing more terrifying than a software engineer with a screwdriver.

Just being myself is usually enough to scare the crap out of people.

...laura

TSA-themed (1)

btalbot (2427646) | more than 2 years ago | (#37858834)

I haunting my house with a TSA agent at the door, an IRS agent at the dinner table, and an FCC agent in the family room for TV time.

simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37858934)

Monday Night Football

Light the thing! (4, Interesting)

halcyon1234 (834388) | more than 2 years ago | (#37859146)

If you are looking to visit a haunt, or connect with other haunters for building tips, check your local listings:

Canada: Canadian Haunter's Association [canadianha...iation.com] US: hauntworld.com/haunted_houses, hauntedhouse.com
My wife and I run a free haunt every year. If you're in Newmarket, Ontario, stop on by: houghtonhaunt.com

Forget jump scares or loud music-- the key to any good haunt is the lighting. You can make any prop, scene, actor, etc look amazing with a standard garden flood light from the local hardware store. I've been to professional haunts that used little to no lighting, and it was a shame. You couldn't see any of the detail work that went into their sets, and usually it was so dark you couldn't even see the jump scares. Just a few extra lumens would have made a world of difference.

I've added a few smoke-and-mirror tricks this year, but what I've learned the most from doing this is carpentry. The first year was drapes held up by duct tape. Since then I've learned about blocking, wall building, power tools, and why duct-tape doesn't hold up walls. =)
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