Step 8: Connect all the devices

The devices you use with the controller complete the display. Lights and strobes are easy; just plug them in. To drop the guillotine, I used an automotive seat motor, powered by a 12 VDC wallwart, with a trigger cut from cardboard. My motor, with integral worm gear, came with a matching shaft and flange making an easy connection to the trigger; if you don’t have matching parts you can make them from Friendly Plastic, a modeling material that softens in warm water. Instead of a trigger, a cam on the motor could be used to make a dancing skeleton or fluttering bats. To simulate squirting blood, I used vinyl aquarium tubing to connect an AC water pump to squeezebottle nozzles mounted overhead. The pump drew from a bucket that was periodically refilled with warm water. If you only have a small pump, try raising the bucket and pump to the same level as the nozzles. I captured the scare using a webcam (the strobe light acting in tandem as a flash) with its external, 5 VDC trigger connected to the controller (more pictures of this are here). You can create ghostly apparitions by projecting video onto a thin sheet of painter’s plastic. Place the projector low and aim the light through the plastic up above eye level. It may seem a bit hokey, but under the right lighting works beautifully. Use the video stream from a webcam to turn the trick-or-treaters standing in your door way into ghosts.