Introduction: Fire House Halloween Display

About: My name is Jerry Jodloski and I'm the Event Director for How-To Halloween, an annual event in Lansing Michigan that celebrates everything d-i-y Halloween.

If you are not good at making props for Halloween, try decorating with light.  Here is a simple and relatively inexpensive way to make your house look hot for the holiday.

Step 1: Lights- Martin Mania DC2

After researching many fire lighting effects, the Martin Mania DC2 looked the most realistic.  I purchase two of them used on eBay for $100 each.  It's a testament to how well these lights were designed and built because I've never experienced a problem with any Martin lighting products over the years.  The house's light colored siding was ideal for the projection.  They were set off to the side and one was aimed to the left front and the other towards the right front of the house.

Step 2: Lights- Martin Mania PR1

The lava effect that was on the inside wall of the house was created by a Martin Mania PR1 which was purchased used on eBay for $200.  The orange gobo came free with the new light, and I was lucky that the original owner included it in my sale.  The PR1 has been an invaluable part of many of my displays through the years (such as the bat signal in my Batman Themed Display in 2009).

Step 3: Other Lights and Effects

You can find a lot of silk flame effects.  I purchased two use American DJ Torch Lights on eBay for $20 each.  I liked them because they were big and bright.  They needed a little tlc, but I fixed them up to work fine.

In the upstairs bedroom windows, I shined some standard can floods with red and orange gels on the back walls to light up the room..  The were hooked up to a basic four channel light controller to quickly flash them on and off.  Some small strobe lights also added to the effect.

Of course, a fog machine was set up by the front door so the trick-or treaters would walk through smoke as they approached.

Step 4: Music and Sound Effects

So many people make the mistake of setting up a cool visual display, but then they skimp on the sound.  Be sure to set up a subwoofer (borrow one from a friend if you don't own it) because it makes all the difference.  

Along with the cracking fire and haunted house sound effects, I also pre-mixed a fire themed play list and my driveway turned into an impromptu dance party for all my neighbors.  Here's a list of some of the songs:

"Disco Inferno" by The Trammps
"Great Balls of Fire" by Jerry Lee Lewis
"You Dropped the Bomb on Me" by The Gap Band
"Fire" by The Pointer Sisters
"Hot Hot Hot" by Buster Poindexter
"Burning Down the House" by Talking Heads
"Light My Fire" by the Doors
"Burning Up" by Madonna
"Devil Inside" by INXS
"Fire" by Jimi Hendrix
"Hells Bells" by ACDC
"Beds Are Burning" by Midnight Oil
"The Roof Is On Fire" by Grandmaster Flash