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Discussion Starter #1
Hello All,

I am curious to know what other Halloween themes use an electricity for the main theme. The main themes that come to mind are an electric chair and a mad scientists lab (this would also include a Frankenstein type theme). But I am curious if there is something else I might have missed.

For this Halloween I would like to do something electricity based since I have numerous pieces of old test equipment, vacuum tubes, meters, buttons dials and some nice heavy duty knife switches. I would like to put this all together to create a central display for Halloween.

So far the best thing that crossed my way is an interactive electric chair, but setting something like this up would certainly take much money and time.

I had in mind that this would be the area I would distribute candy, but depending on what the ideas are I could do that elsewhere. Also I would like to do something interactive.

Any ideas would be much appreciated.

Thank You,
Diaval
 

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This is a tough one. Don't know about a theme per se but here's what came to my mind regarding the use of old test equipment, vacuum tubes, meters, dials and knife switches:

maybe something like a vintage radio station, a wall of equipment in the background, a vintage microphone, a unique looking radio jockey/announcer or maybe several people around the mike. The calendar on the wall says October 31. Maybe this is a halloween broadcast like War of the Worlds, or maybe just a special Halloween related show. If you want to throw a scare with actors, maybe the radio personality/ies are telling a spooky story and as the kids listen some Monster related to the story comes out to scare them. If going the War of the World route, aliens take the place of monsters.

Suppose steam punk might work. Maybe the setting is a Jules Verne-like setting. A large steam engine machine with wheels and gears and Steam coming out the top (fog machine) is used to make electricty. Not sure where to go from there...space ship, submarine, meat processing factory with body parts on a conveyor belt...

really tough challenge and can't wait to see what other people come up with.
 

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His name is Roger Clyne
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A lot of old Sci-Fi movies used O-scopes and other radio and test equipment for spaceship controls.
You could do a 50's sci-fi alien theme.
This is what I was gonna post. Maybe a crashed spaceship or a crashed UFO.
 

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All the above came to my mind as well. How about the "Hostel" then touchier chamber. Or the scene from Lethal weapon where Mel Gibson is getting shocked while standing in water.
But my fav are steam punk and UFO as mentioned above.
 

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How about a Power-plant Control room? It could be themed as a disaster or where one of the workers went berserk.
 

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Soccer and Lacrosse Dad
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As something different I first thought of an abandoned subway station with mythical creatures deep beneth the earths surface. From here you can include toxic slime monsters, creatures of the dark or mole people and incoroporate a fog machine or two easily.
 

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Another idea is to create a miniature set of telephone/high-power wires. Some cold-war horror movies used them to great effect. For example, the WAR OF THE COLOSSAL BEAST, where at the end of the film, the giant grabs the wires to electrocute himself, and the movie goes from black and white to color. You could create some type of monster as well (Godzilla comes to mind), wrecking havoc upon (normally), or being fried (rarely) by the electric current. Plenty of possibilities.
 

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Hmm, maybe a toxic waste theme with a nuclear power meltdown. If you were going for a more gothic/steampunk style, it could be some crazy, Tesla type of lab. Or some kind of scifi contraption where monsters from the 4th dimension are coming through. Any kind of aftermath scene would work. Like people visiting a torn apart room or research lab with sparking wires and stuff. With that equipment, you could make a cool room set up like the movie The Thing.
 

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Spaceship controls (As Abunai suggested) was the first thing that came to mind. You could also use the controls in a bunker style set for a post-apocalyptic theme - Think "abandoned research station"
 

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There is nothing scarier (real life scary) to me than old electrical wiring that's still in use. So, some kind of old wiring, danger of electrocution, fire hazard, home that isn't up to code? Electrical nightmare. Extension cords everywhere, overloaded outlets, crazy homeowner who thinks they can fix anything with chicken wire and duct tape. Exposed wiring, singed outlets, etc. Maybe with some old thrift store stuff, like a blinky light, kitchen stuff like blenders or mixer that randomly starts up, a sewing machine that starts running at random, tv that flickers, radio fading in and out, things like that.
 

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...Electrical nightmare. Extension cords everywhere, overloaded outlets, crazy homeowner who thinks they can fix anything with chicken wire and duct tape. Exposed wiring, singed outlets, etc. Maybe with some old thrift store stuff, ...
Sounds like the average (i.e. "my") home haunt :)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hello All,

Wow! Overall, thanx for the many responses to this thread. I didn't think it was an easy one. However, I guess I should have specified some more details. I will try to answer most of the responses below.

First off, a couple mentioned Frankenstein's lab. I did mention in my original post "outside of a mad scientist lab, which would include a Frankenstein setup". In fact that was the first thing to come to mind, but I just feel it would be a massive undertaking and yet I can't see how to make this interactive. But the type of gear I have does point to this (or an Electric Chair scene).

2nd. I would like the scene to be interactive. Thusfar I am thinking that this display would be the area where I would be handing out candy, so I would be interacting with TOTs here in some manner.

3rd. Since many TOTs in my neighborhood are small children I can't have something too scary. I had thought about perhaps making both a scary (for older kids and adults) and a non scary 'show' of the same interactive scene.

4th. No gore. I never used this in the past and I don't believe it has a place where children are involved. So that is a big no no.

maybe something like a vintage radio station, a wall of equipment in the background, a vintage microphone, a unique looking radio jockey/announcer or maybe several people around the mike. The calendar on the wall says October 31. Maybe this is a halloween broadcast like War of the Worlds, or maybe just a special Halloween related show. If you want to throw a scare with actors, maybe the radio personality/ies are telling a spooky story and as the kids listen some Monster related to the story comes out to scare them. If going the War of the World route, aliens take the place of monsters.
This would be a great idea for a static display, but I can't think of any details on how I could make this into something interactive. While this might go over with kids well, telling a mild scary story, I don't think this will hold the attention of adults or teens for too long.

Suppose steam punk might work. Maybe the setting is a Jules Verne-like setting. A large steam engine machine with wheels and gears and Steam coming out the top (fog machine) is used to make electricity. Not sure where to go from there...space ship, submarine, meat processing factory with body parts on a conveyor belt...
Steampunk usually requires quite a bit of time and money invested in making the props. To pull this off on a 'cool' level would probably require that I start building props right after Halloween and work through the year. I don't think I would have the time or money to go this far. As for the processing factory, that violates rule #4 above.


A lot of old Sci-Fi movies used O-scopes and other radio and test equipment for spaceship controls.
You could do a 50's sci-fi alien theme.
Most of the pieces of equipment I have resemble antique meters and other old pieces of equipment. I don't think what I have would be believable for a theme like this. If anything, I would have to resort to an Area 51 style lab. That certainly could be a possibility and definitely different then doing the ole Frankenstein's lab routine. But again, for an interactive display I am drawing a blank.

All the above came to my mind as well. How about the "Hostel" then touchier chamber. Or the scene from Lethal weapon where Mel Gibson is getting shocked while standing in water.
But my fav are steam punk and UFO as mentioned above.
A torture chamber? Ok that is something interesting and that can certainly be made into something interactive. But what would you suggest as a torture device given that it must be electrical and NOT an electric chair?

Hmm, maybe a toxic waste theme with a nuclear power meltdown. If you were going for a more gothic/steampunk style, it could be some crazy, Tesla type of lab. Or some kind of scifi contraption where monsters from the 4th dimension are coming through. Any kind of aftermath scene would work. Like people visiting a torn apart room or research lab with sparking wires and stuff. With that equipment, you could make a cool room set up like the movie The Thing.

Ok, I do like the idea of a Tesla lab gone wrong type thing and even though I do like the opening up a 'portal to hell' idea. I think it will be a very elaborate setup and I could even expand this into several scenes, but overall I think it will be too expensive for a one time deal and too scary for small kids. But I certainly will keep this in mind for a possible future haunt.

How about a Power-plant Control room? It could be themed as a disaster or where one of the workers went berserk.
This would probably work perfectly and is a very good idea. This certainly would be easy to put together as most of the equipment for a mad lab would follow suit here and it wouldn't be a tremendous expense. BUT it can't be too scary and how would something like this be made interactive?

Once again, thank you for the suggestions. As I indicated above, there were a couple good ones I could go with if I could tone down the scariness and/ore make them interactive. Perhaps we could elaborate on one of those. But if someone else has another good suggestion, please toss it my way.

Thanks again,


Diaval
 

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I remember an episode of Making Monsters where they took a bunch of old machine parts and electronic stuff and made a death machine prop that was part of a haunt. Maybe you could make a machine that flashes, whirls, makes noise, and has smoke (fog) coming out of it, then a door opens and a monster or candy comes out.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I remember an episode of Making Monsters where they took a bunch of old machine parts and electronic stuff and made a death machine prop that was part of a haunt. Maybe you could make a machine that flashes, whirls, makes noise, and has smoke (fog) coming out of it, then a door opens and a monster or candy comes out.
It is funny that you mention this, but back in the day when I was a lad still going to school, they showed a film that had a group of scary vignettes much like that of Creep Show. The vignettes were centered around a scary machine that when certain dials and knobs were activated, a vignette would play. The film was called "The Creep Machine". And yes, this was something I was thinking about as well. I thought of making a 4x4x8 box that would have controls, lights and dials on three of the four sides. (The remaining side would would have a doorway to allow me to go inside of it). Now, when certain buttons were pushed by TOT's, I could either deliver a scare or a treat. Now even though this allows a level of TOT interaction, I am missing being able to speak to people. Yes, I know I could use a voice changer to disguise my voice into a 'computer voice'. But I have not met success with such devices as many I have tried altered the clarity in the voice and I got many requests to repeat what I was saying. So without saying anything, I just don't think the prop would be that effective. I don't know, it MIGHT be depending on what the scares are and how the candy is delivered. But I have not delved too deep into it.

How about something like the organic/mechanical creatures from Virus or Moontrap?
Wow, THAT is certainly a good idea, but it is too involved. It is too large of a theme for my area as well.

Thanx again all!

Diaval
 
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