Instructables
Picture of Making a Motorized Secret Entrance
If you're decorating along the lines of a haunted house or a superhero lair, a secret entrance is just the thing to get Halloween guests into your home. In our case, we threw a Superhero costume party and wanted to build a motorized, moving wall activated by statue - a nod to the Batman series of the 60s.

Goals:
- Surprise guests with an apparently closed room as they walk in
- Give them a riddle to figure out how to open the hidden door/wall
- Keep the area this occupies to a functional minimum so it doesn't take up too much actual entertaining space


 
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Step 1: Planning the Layout

We have a tiled area at our front door which defined a natural boundary for our fake room. The area is large enough for 2-3 guests to comfortably walk in and move around, and small enough that it doesn't occupy too much of the (real) room.

We decided that walking in from the front door, into a tiny room with only walls wouldn't seem very plausible. To help sell the illusion we hung a door in front of you as you walk in, but boarded it up, so the room appeared as a small vestibule which was no longer passable. We left the knob off this door, just to keep guests from trying to go through it (despite the boards). Which leads me to a point about safety...

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MCUman3 years ago
Rig some candle sconces with a switch, that way you can yell, "Put za cendle BECK!" to get the door to open.
I was just thinking something like that when I saw your post.

Coffee+monitor=five stars for you.
Great minds...!
D00M993 years ago
This is AMAZING! Totally creepy.

And the front door squeaks too!
eulaliaaaa!3 years ago
Sweet! Love the riddle!
enagel31 year ago
interesting

I've been trying to think of a way to set up a neat entrance to a dark room & I think that this might be a good idea.
tinker2342 years ago
could this be setup to run all year long under the floor possibly
caarntedd2 years ago
I think I gave this 5 stars last year, have another 5. Awesome.
Nice work!
Mella20132 years ago
Awesomeness
battle3 years ago
What if someone else is in the room with them and they both find out then someone else comes in and people just watch the other people in front of them to find out what to do and it just keeps going on? Because thats not in the instructable!
P.S Know that you shouldn't start a sentence with because
i may have screamed in glee a little, just a little
JermsG3 years ago
Minor typo:
"Two inch masking tape works great to cover seems..." - I think you mean seams.
=8-)
flaming_pele! (author)  JermsG3 years ago
Thx, fixed!
warlock19353 years ago
OK, now we know how the guests OPEN the door. How do you get it closed again? Manually?
flaming_pele! (author)  warlock19353 years ago
There's a switch on the other side (after you walk in) that can open or close the door (see the video in the intro and the pic in step 5. I didn't see a need to close it from the other side, but there are certainly ways to do that if needed.
why not try using a motor that turns either way. and rig it so that when the statue goes down, it automatically closes. and once the wall reaches its end point, just make a strip that it can connect to so that it will tell the motor to shut off. just play around with the wiring and it should work out pretty easily
battle3 years ago
so you have a camera so that you can see when someone makes george say yes and then you pres the button
Instead of asking a question like this (if it was a question - not sure due to lack of punctuation), why not just look at the entire instructable? The answer is in there. As it turns out, your assumption was wrong, and it really makes you look a bit daft.
I think it was more of a suggestion than question.
step 5. there's a switch under the head
goblindust3 years ago
Excellent!! Must keep this one in mind for next years Halloween! Many thanks for sharing the great idea.
Incredibly cool!  What about after Halloween, did you tear it all down :`( or is it now a permanent remodeling.  Again, very cool.
flaming_pele! (author)  janettetsmith3 years ago
Sadly I took it all down a couple nights ago. We got to enjoy it for about 3 weeks, though. All the raw materials are back in the garage for reuse next t Halloween!
rexdino53 years ago
Do you have a video of this or did you already rip it down?
flaming_pele! (author)  rexdino53 years ago
A video is embedded in the Intro.
ghostWolf593 years ago

the strip in the floor gives it away and make it look pretty bad

The extra door doesn't make mush sense either. A secret panel next to a door - sheesh
It's supposed to be a secret door. It doesn't mater if its unpractical or if it looks tacky on the inside: What matters is that it should look like another section of wall on the other side.
Besides, is for amusement. Haven't you ever given a kid a toy that does nothing but make noise?

I guess you must have had a pretty sad childhood...
Charlie133 years ago
i'm definitely incorporating this in the house that i build for myself
mattyh3 years ago
Man thats soo Awesome! that would make cool additional to my nerd cave / smoking room.
bsteines3 years ago
Where does one get a motor with gearbox (servo) that big?
flaming_pele! (author)  bsteines3 years ago
Check ebay listings for 12volt motors, some of them come with gearboxes. My motor is from Johnson Controls, there's always lots of them floating around online.

See if you have any local mechanical/electronics surplus or salvage stores near you. Look for motors you can rip out of old toys, tools, etc. Old cordless drills are great for projects like this!
connor1233 years ago
HOW DO WE NOW ABOUT THE ELECTRICAL BITS
read step 5
Shiftlock3 years ago
Amazing. Seems like s a lot of work for a Halloween party. You basically framed out what could be a permanent wall and door. I always envy people who go overboard with holiday decorating. Awesome job and nice write up.

Couple of questions. Is there anything holding the statue to the base? How long did the whole project take you, and approximately what did it cost in supplies?
flaming_pele! (author)  Shiftlock3 years ago
I added an extra sketch to step 5. The front edge is just taped down. It's enough to keep someone from lifting it off or it getting misaligned to where it'd miss the switches.
gdhenson3 years ago
My wife would beat me purple if I tried to do something like this.
flaming_pele! (author)  gdhenson3 years ago
LOL!
I'm lucky, not only do I *not* get beat purple, but she helps with the crazy.
See. That's what I get for marrying for money.
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