With this Instructable, I'm putting in text that didn't make the cut for a size-constrained magazine article and creating a space to explore the latest options for computer control. The Win98 machine I had previously used to drive my controller can no longer by relied upon and I haven't yet conquerred external (parallel port, serial port, USB, ...) control with WinXP or MacOSX; hopefully we can collect some great pointers and links in the comments.
The original page describing this project is here.
Step 1: Background, or what made me a bad kid
As I grew older, trick-or-treating became more of a search for Haunted Houses than a search for candy and mischief. I was ever-hopeful that around the next corner would be that one weird guy who turned his garage into a haunted maze built from cardboard and bedsheets. I was never satisfied with what I found. “I could do better than that”, I often thought. So, for roughly the last ten years I’ve been perfecting my technique of scaring kids and handing out candy. In this project, I will show you how to build the tool I use most frequently in my haunted creations and give you some ideas for your own Haunted House.