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Halloween 2014 - Mind is perculating for ideas. Theme is Electricity

Hello all,

It is Memorial Day weekend and I know even for me it is very early to start thinking of Halloween. However, this is going to be the last year at my current location. Since 2009, I have been doing an interactive display based around a Magic Mirror as a central attraction. This display I have been doing at my parent's home. This year will mark my mom turning 80 years old and as such we have all agreed that this will be the last year I am doing a Halloween event at their house. Given that it is a Halloween that falls on a Friday night this year, that means kids kids will becoming out later due to school, BUT also staying out later because then next day is Saturday, which means NO school.

For my final year at this location I wanted to do something different. I am thinking of retiring the Magic Mirror and coming up with another interactive 'thing' for this year.

Since I no longer have the original pictures, I am liking to another thread that shows the area I have to work with:

http://www.halloweenforum.com/halloween-props/104733-haunt-2011-first-year-scares-my-canvas.html?highlight=canvas

Please disregard the posts after the first post as that was all old news and the information there is also incorrect. But the descriptions of the areas in the first post still holds true.

Now this is what I had planned so far. The walkway will pretty much remain the same as I had done last year (2013) with the two post lamps. One lamp I had a flickering circuit. The singing pumpkin display I am going to move into the vestibule. The lead pumpkin is also going to double as my greeter in between musical numbers. I will have signs directing people into the backyard. I am going to reinstate Hallowindows again which will run on the window next to the vestibule.

Now once people get to the backyard is where I still have to iron things out. Most of the display I would like to put under the awning as I am tired of dealing with the horrible weather that plagues our Halloweens for nearly all the years I put a display on. The vestibule will protect my singing pumpkins, and if gets too windy or if there is rain, I can just close the door. Now, under the patio I have a large glass double pane sliding door that I could do something with. There is a stoop in front of this glass door. Next to this area is a slightly larger area under the living room window and this is the area I had in mind of putting on my main display. Past this area I would have a double walkway back to the front of the yard. On this walkway I intended to put scares on one side of the walkway. The half of the return walkway would be the 'safe' route.

As it stands I want as little as possible of anything outside that could be damaged by wind or rain.

I am hoping that I could enlist the aid of either my wife or my one of son in sending TOTs through the back gate.

Now in terms of any kind of semblance of a theme, I have been thinking of some sort of mad lab.

EDIT: I have since posting of this thread widened the scope to the theme of "Electricity" as the items I have can be used on any thing that uses electricity as the main component in the theme. (I.E. Electric chairs, Haunted power station.)

I have tons of electrical items and pieces of test equipment mainly of which I was saving for such a display. The thing is I still have to get it all together. Another problem is that I really do not have a set plan of execution for this. I have thought that this should be the interactive area in which I would hand out candy in this area and also interact with the TOTs. As such this area cannot be too scary.

I was thinking about a good scare to put in the glass door that could be lit up from behind at a key moment, but having a scare that close to the main lab area would be a problem. The other thought was to also make the lab area a scare as well, but I would have to make this area considerably smaller and put some kind of wall up to separate the scare area from the area where I will be. The thing is I have to be situated under the patio someplace...mainly to hand out candy, but to also keep an eye on things. As it is I predominately run the display myself with no outside help. (Sometimes I have my wife watch over things, but only if it isn't cold out. She doesn't like being in the cold for very long).

The remainder of the yard is out in the open and I had in mind in putting my scares there. This would be the walkway around to the side of the house and people would exit towards the front yard and out by the driveway. The nice thing about this is that I can facilitate one way traffic. In this area I would put my jumping spider and perhaps another scare.

Well, it is very early the season and I still have some time to plan things out. But I am curious if any of you might have some cool ideas. I would like to have a working plan in action by the end of June, so I could use most of the summer to work on any of the larger builds (if necessary).

One thing I will add is that I don't necessarily have to do the singing pumpkins this year, but that is only if I could put something cool in the vestibule. This would also be the spot where I would direct people to the backyard, so that has to be kept in mind too.

Should I decide to put a scare in the glass door and also in the mad lab area, those that do not want to be scared could walk around the patio area entirely.

Overall the whole thing just seems to be muddled and I want to get some order as to what it is that I would or rather should be doing. Since I am going to loose my main attraction of the Magic Mirror this year, I need something decent to replace it.

Again, any ideas would be appreciated.

Thank You,
Diaval
 

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How about instead of a "scare" in the glass door, you could have a sort of light show. It could include a sign flashing a warning for what's to come ... whether it be radiation risk, xray radiation, electrical hazards, zombie testing in progress - whatever would be related to the type of Lab you are planning.
 

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How about instead of a "scare" in the glass door, you could have a sort of light show. It could include a sign flashing a warning for what's to come ... whether it be radiation risk, xray radiation, electrical hazards, zombie testing in progress - whatever would be related to the type of Lab you are planning.
Just to fill you (and others in) . The sliding glass door (as shown in the pictures of the thread I linked to), leads to the living room of the house. The good thing is that it is set out from a beam in the living room and I can put a black curtain over the back so this way any light in the living room would be kept out. So this would give me sort of a box with a double pane glass door. Naturally I can then put whatever I want inside. Initially I was thinking of a scare...a projection even. I do have a video projector, however, I usually use that for Hallowindows. But if something better comes up that requires the projector, then I will go that route instead.

In terms of the lab what I have are mostly pieces of electrical and electronic equipment. I do have a box of old test tubes too. But I have several of those huge Frankenstein knife switches and many many old meters. I know how to set up light chasers using micro-controllers. So all in all this does scream (pun intended) some kind of electrical lab.

Now another thing is that I do want to add some interactive element like what I had with the Magic Mirror. One fellow suggested (in another forum) that I build a fake electric chair and have TOTs sit in it. When I would "Throw The Switch, an entire light show would present itself and a vibrator under the chair would activate. I also could have a fan blow the TOT's hair up too. After the TOT has been 'electrocuted' then I would give them their candy and so on and so forth. While this does seem like an excellent idea, I am worried about the slow throughput. Getting someone to sit in the chair and strapping them in, doing the spiel, unstrapping them, etc. Granted I can take liberties by not having straps and just have two metal handles for the TOT's to hold on to. Also with with groups I wouldn't do everyone, just a select couple. Even so, if I got a line, it could take a long time. Another scenario is what if I get a group and NO ONE wants to go into the chair.

When I did the Magic Mirror, it was very easy to gauge the line. If I had a big line, I just didn't talk with TOT's as long, where as if there was time, I would joke around with them more, etc.

Finally I can't have the interactive part of my display too scary as many TOTs I get are small children. In this regard (and since it is a Friday night) I had thought of doing a non-scary show early on, but after dinner time, then I would do a mildly scary show. I was also thinking about keeping the show mildly scary on the Friday night, but also inviting people back the next day (Saturday) for a non-scary show. This way I could run two days. The thing here is that I never ran a show outside of Halloween day. It was ONLY Halloween night since 2009. But this year with Halloween falling on a Friday night and kids don't have school the next day, this had me thinking of running a second day.

I just want to do something memorable since it is going to be my last time at that location. While I want to go out with a bang, I also have to watch the pocketbook too. While most of the stuff I would like to use I already have, I know I have to spend money on some things.


Now, another interactive idea I had churning in my head for a while is to build a panel with knobs and push buttons on it and this would connect to a computer and such TOT's could interact with the display. The buttons could have favorable (candy) or non favorable (a mild scare) results. Kind of my take on what would be referred to as a 'Creep Machine'. Naturally I would have my meters and light chasers and other gadgets all over the thing.

Again, I am just looking for some ideas.

Thank You,

Diaval
 

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Hello All,

I feel the need for a shameless bump here. But also some updating.

Since this is an active thread, I will start by saying that I changed my name here on the forums and I am no longer jukingeo here and I am running under the name Diaval. I basically taken on the persona of Maleficent's pet raven.

That said, in other threads there were some suggestions as to what I could do based on the lab equipment that I have. I now feel that a mad scientist lab would be far too complex of a display to set up and yet I don't really have an idea of how to put it to use. As it is, it can't be too scary as this would be the area I have in mind of handing candy out. So for now and unless something better comes up, this will be a no scare or mild scare area.

The best idea that I have come across was perhaps to stage an electrocution with an electric chair. I know that most of you are thinking this is something very scary but hear me out. If I were to do this, I was going to make the electric chair interactive and have an electric motor under the chair to create a vibration so for people who sit in the chair, they would get a 'buzz', but it would be a safe vibration. Of course I would have an elaborate control panel with many lights and sounds to put on a light show as I give the order to "Throw The Switch". (And yes, I have a huge Frankenstein's Lab type knife switch). Naturally after TOT's have been 'electrocuted', they would be given candy and then would be returned out back into the yard.

So that is what I have now. The thing is that this project would be expensive and time consuming to pull off, yet I don't really know how people would react to it. Being that I am discussing the details on this idea in another thread, I am not going to repeat it here.

What I am looking for is perhaps some other ideas of what I could do with the equipment I have on hand. As I recap, I have the following:

1) A few large old meters from the 1930's
2) A box full of old beakers, vials and test tubes
3) Several small knife switches, but one is very large with three poles and 3 main fuse holders. These are also from the 1930's
4) I have a panel with 16 different colored light bulbs on it arranged in a 4x4 square pattern.
5) I have many industrial Allen Bradley type buttons that could arrange into some kind of control panel
6) I have a neon transformer which I could build a Jacobs Ladder with.
7) I have the Spirit 'High Voltage' scare panel that I bought last year, but thusfar, I have not used it. Given the theme, I would like to incorporate it somewhere in the display.

So as you can see, I am leaning towards something interactive as I intend not to do the Magic Mirror this year. So without that I need something that will take center stage where I will hand out candy.

Another thought I had was to build some kind of 'creep machine' in which a TOT would be presented with a choice of a trick or treat. Pushing the 'treat' button would have the machine just make some noises and flash some colorful lights and then I would be inside giving out treats through an opening in the panel. Pushing the 'trick' button would initiate some kind of scare, but he end result of giving a treat would still be the same.

While a 'creep machine' would certainly be an easier build, it also seems like a less interesting of an idea, particularly for those that choose not to be scared. This kind of would seem a step backward from the Magic Mirror. Unless, of course, someone has a better idea on the implementation.

All in all, whatever I do, I do want something interactive and I would like to use the items I mentioned above. So, again, this is the criteria:

1) TOT interactive display or prop.
2) Either has to be non-scary or can give TOTs a choice.
3) The theme is electricity.
4) Not too difficult or expensive of a build.

Any ideas would be much appreciated.

Thank You,
Diaval
 
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