Halloween Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
352 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've come across one or two haunted mailbox props, but they seemed more complicated than I want to try (e.g. pneumatic or complex circuits). I'm wondering if anyone here has a simple design. I just want the door to slam open and closed a few times, maybe put a bright light in and set it off with a motion detector. I might be able to come up with something on my own but figured I'd ask here before reinventing the wheel. Any suggestions?
 

·
Funeral Crasher
Joined
·
7,449 Posts
I would use a high RPM motor and add a rotating crank to its shaft. Add a long rod to attach to the door and make it open and shut every time it rotates. Might have to add a stiff spring between the rod and the door so the shaft can slam it shut and still have some leeway to still rotate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,329 Posts
Motion sensors are fairly cheap, but usually need some sort of circuitry to get them to a more useful state. I've been setting up some for our scares and so far they are working out nicely. Perhaps a windshield wiper motors would do the trick for moving the door. They are strong a all heck and at the high speed setting should give you the speed you are looking for. Plus, the crank part is already built in!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
231 Posts
Gryphon you might be on to something with the sawzall. I have a variable speed jigsaw on my coffin to rock the lid back an fourth. Easy to adjust the speed and cheap at Harbor Freight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,686 Posts
Love the concept

Love the concept. Never thought of haunting my mailbox. Anything mechanical is too much for me. Would like something simpler. Maybe a device that fades UV LEDs in and out, shining on some sort of clear adhesive surface on the mailbox painted using clear UV reactive paint with some spooky word(s) like a dripping:

* "HELP ME!"
* "DEAD LETTER OFFICE"
* "LETTERS FROM BEYOND"
* <your creative idea here>

Or easier, maybe one of those UV strobe lights you often see at Big Lots and elsewhere (haven't seen any this year--anyone seen one at a Big Lots, KMart, Walmart, Target, etc?)--and setting it on the slowest strobe setting to "flash reveal" the word.

Any additional suggestions on how to implement a simpler, lighting-based Haunted Mailbox? Hope this isn't hijacking the thread. Again, absolutely love the concept. Setting the mood right at the street. You could call it, um, rather than "curb appeal"... curb *dis*appeal? :)

Or maybe also add some motion triggered sounds coming from the mailbox? Maybe the sound effect from the guy in the coffin in the Haunted Mansion: "knock knock knock! Hey, lemme outta here!" Or just on a loop through a pocket radio using a long range FM transmitter?

UPDATE:

* Put a multicolored, continuously changing LED battery operated unit inside the mailbox for an Indiana Jones Ark of the Covenant type effect. If anyone knows a good Big Box or other retail store source in the U.S. for one of these, please share. Wasn't able to find these last season.
* Add a container with some dry ice, many holes, affixed deep inside the mailbox where no one could remove or grab it or harm themselves for mist/fog
* Through some sort of battery operated Haunted Hedge type shaker motor into the mailbox. One that would be sealed and perfectly safe.
* Would love other ideas for battery operated fog. Dry ice seems maybe too dangerous to leave unattended. Especially inside a mailbox. In fact, forget about the dry ice. How could I get my mail box to mist without running house power out to the mailbox?
* Motorize the Red Flag (Outgoing Mail) to lift slowly up and down in a cycle. Wouldn't take much torque? And could be battery operated?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,686 Posts
No interest?

Wow, surprised there isn't more interest in this type of effect. I've never haunted my mailbox, but it makes perfect sense. Since it's one of the first things people see as they enter a property. That good old curb *dis*-appeal. :) Sets the mood right at the street level. So many creative folks here. Are there past threads where people have haunted their mailboxes? Really, really interested in seeing what others have come up with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,686 Posts
Simpler

I've seen white light strobes that also play spooky sound effect loops. There was one I liked but don't recall if it was at Walgreens or Big Lots. Maybe I could do something as simple as pop one of those in the mailbox and wire the mailbox door half shut? So, nothing animated. But still getting what I call Curb Dis-appeal. :) I could also throw in a Jack-o-Light color changing pumpkin light I got for $2 on clearance. Wish I could find a tiny, battery operated mister. That might complete things nicely.

Another option is the FM Transmitter / battery operated radio placed into a half wired shut mailbox. Used with a voice changer, this could be an interesting, interactive option. Look down the driveway at who's entering and deliver a spooky, age-appropriate sound effect or message.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,686 Posts
These could go in the mailbox

These LED Mini Strobe Lights with sounds effects were marked down from $8 to $4 each at my local Walgreens. I bought two. In a pinch, these might do the trick:

IMG_0210.jpg

Tried an impromptu test early AM before work with another Walgreens score--a $2 color changing LED pumpkin light ($2) and it didn't do the trick. The enemy here is a streetlight. This piece didn't give off enough light:

IMG_0207.jpg

If there's enough room in the mailbox, I may try this $2.50 clearance Walgreens score for broadcasting colored light:

IMG_0208.jpg

Sorry to the OP for hijacking this thread. If I come up with anything non-mechanical that works, maybe I'll start a new thread.

Time to google for battery operated mini fogger / mister. Might be something out there I can use.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top