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As I say in the video, this is truly the "poor man's solution" to having an elevator prop in your 1920's-haunted-hotel-themed haunted house. All I needed is some cheap way of lighting up the floor numbers upon command. I also didn't want to spend too much money because we change our theme every year.

My solution was to use an old fashioned elevator control lever as a prop and to modify the guts of a D-battery flashlight (batteries, switch, wires, lightbulbs) so that the bellhop elevator operator (who rides along with the guests) can light up each floor upon command with that lever while acting in synch with a audio effects soundtrack. This soundtrack (which I don't play in the video) has mechanical noises and has "dings" at each floor (along with a funny bit where the elevator breaks down momentarily). The bellhop walks into the elevator with the guests, hits "play" on a hidden CD or MP3 player, and then activates the lights along with the soundtrack. Pretty simple.


This is a really cheap elevator setup. We aren't even going to have real elevator doors, just black plastic drapes behind you and in front of you. The "elevator" is just a stop in the hallway -- you walk in one doorway from the "lobby" and out of the other on another "floor". The guests really have to use their imaginations -- but with a soundtrack that is loud and entertaining enough, along with some really hammy elevator operator acting, I think it will be a memorable effect for the kids.

The toughest part in building this, believe it or not, was making the "sockets" for the flashlight bulbs. They don't seem to sell these (not that there is much of a demand for incandescent flashlight bulbs anymore), I wanted something that I could disassemble and I didnt want to have to solder anything. Unfortunately you can't see those sockets because they are inside the taped-shut brass-painted floor indicator unit, and that was so hard to assemble and paint that I didnt want to take it apart again. That unit is almost entirely made of paper so that it can be easily attached to the wall. The "windows" for the floor numbers are wax paper, with the numbers on black paper that is stapled to the wax paper.
 
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