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Allen here, operator of Des Moines Haunted Houses. I run the index site for all the haunted house in my area, started in 2010 after several years of never finding an accurate or complete list of them.

I grew up near Houston, Texas in the 1970s. My elementary school had a yearly October event with a spook house, as we called them back then. In six grade, I worked in my school‘s haunt in Mesquite, Texas, hiding behind a wall and running an air hose.

In junior high, I designed and helped run the haunt at my cousin’s elementary school. I created my own “changing portrait” like Disney’s Haunted Mansion by drawing color on one side, and a skeleton on the backside, and using a blinking light outlet. I used fans to move flying paper bats around the ceiling, and to create fake “flames” (ala Pirates of the Caribbean) while an answering machine loop tape played Grim Grinning Ghosts.

In high school, I volunteered at a commercial haunt in East Texas, and provided some special light effects. I took one of the four blinking bulb “disco boxes” I had, and put in red and orange lights (some solid, some blinking) to light up the witch’s cauldron. I also made tombstones.

Also in high school, I designed and ran a haunt at my church (no, not a “Hell House”).

Then, around 2005, I got involved with a commercial haunt here in Iowa, originally brought in to do custom sound effects loops and design control systems for pneumatic props (EFX-TEK). That expanded over the years into learning DMX (thanks, Nathaniel!), and creating many custom video/projection effects. We created multiple attractions that used as many as 14 channels of synchronized sound. This is also where I began using Ardunio.

I have also provided effects design work for a half dozen other haunts in the area.

I have also done radio and TV ads for various haunts, and have a video podcast series (currently just on YouTube) interviewing area haunts.

Cheers.
 

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Hi Iowa! I'm from Dubuque. After 33 years of following my Air Force husband around we've settled in Oklahoma City. Halloween is usually warmer down here, although there have been some cold enough to rival Iowa. I think you'll enjoy the forum. A lot of people to help you out with any questions you might have. Welcome.
 
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