Quick and Easy Zombie House Invasion

Introduction: Quick and Easy Zombie House Invasion

About: I'm a kids' soccer coach, a father and husband, a home craftsman and general tinkerer. I'm an electrical engineer in my day job (surprise!)

Hey everyone! It's been a while since I published an instructable. Got plenty of projects, but I haven't spent much time documenting them lately.

Anyway, Halloween came a few days ago, and I threw this together pretty quickly. It was a very good effect to effort ratio, and so I thought I'd throw up a quick instructable in case anyone else wanted to try!

Step 1: Materials Needed

  1. A big window, preferably facing the street
  2. A projector. Doesn't have to be anything fancy, it just has to work. Hopefully your workplace can loan you one for the evening.
  3. A bedsheet
  4. A computer. Pretty much anything will work, you'll just need a video player that can play full screen on the projector, and loop video.
  5. A zombie Video. More on that later.

Step 2: The Window

In my case, I have this rather large window facing the street. Technically, there's a third window to the left of these two, but it's more or less occluded by a tree on the other side, so I just left the shutters in place on that one.

Step 3: The Projector

This is a big, heavy Hitachi projector that a friend of mine (Thanks Jack!) loaned me for the weekend. There's nothing particularly special about it, it's an XGA and had a VGA input for the computer to connect. I set it up on the inside of the room facing the windows, and far enough away that a projected image took up the entire width of those two windows.

Step 4: A Bedsheet

Pretty straightforward, this is your rear-projection screen. We'll be projecting at night (obviously) and so a bedsheet is a perfect medium to project through. This way we can project the image on the inside of the sheet, and it shines through to the outside. Yeah, you'll lose some fidelity if you're looking for hi def, but it's pretty effective for what we're doing here.

In the pictures above, you can see the sheet completely covers the window. Try to get any big wrinkles out, but it's not critical. I attached my sheet with T-pins, but thumbtacks or probably duct tape would work just as well. Just make sure any opaque tape doesn't occlude the window.

Step 5: The Computer

Again, nothing fancy. I've just hooked up my work computer and the projector. in my case I have it set up to 'Duplicate' so whatever shows up on my laptop's screen shows up on the projector. Quick warning: In this mode you'll be projecting your laptop's screen right out of the house, so be aware of that.

My video player is VLC, which is available HERE. It's free, and it's really easy to set up on 'loop' so your video will continue to play without needing to be restarted.

Sorry the picture is so dark, I took it when everything was set up and the lights were off in the room. At least there's a wonder-woman chalice in the background so, yeah.

Step 6: A Zombie Video

You can make your own zombie video pretty easily by getting a bunch of friends in ragged clothes, and filming them through a sheet of painter's plastic. Since I was setting this up on Halloween day, I didn't have the time (and neither did my friends!) so I took the easy way out and bought a video from Frightprops.com. Bonus: it was full of zombie-type groans which was really only evident when we opened the door for trick-or-treaters.

Step 7: Finishing Up!

All you have to do now is focus your projector as best you can onto the bedsheet. What worked for me is about 12' in between the projector and the window. I had to get it up above the desk in the room, so I used a piano bench and a few crates to get it high enough, then used a book in the back to tilt it forward. Came out pretty good! Most of the kids (and adults)who came to the door wanted to see how we did it.

Step 8: Conclusion

So there you have it! My zombies loved it, and total setup time was under an hour. We may not be as popular as 'The Bacon House' (seriously- 20 lbs of bacon this year!) but we're definitely on the Halloween visit list.



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    5 Discussions

    I really like what you did here. Congrats for getting it all up and running on the day.

    But.........Bacon House???????????? Take me to the bacon house, please!

    1 reply

    Hey thanks! It turned out really cool for not much effort. And tell me about it- this year they actually made (and ran out of) 20 pounds of bacon! Its a neighborhood favorite. Other famous houses on the route include 'The Haunted house' and 'The full Bar House' which gives away full size candy bars.

    I really like what you did here. Congrats for getting it all up and running on the day.

    But.........Bacon House???????????? Take me to the bacon house, please!

    This is great! I love the nice zombie effect, and the fact that it's fairly quick and easy.

    We needed something like this at my house this year.. it was kind of boring! Next year, maybe!

    1 reply

    Glad you liked it! it drew a pretty good crowd, and it became a challenge to keep trick-or-treaters out of the house- they all wanted to sneak in and see how it was done. Just after I filmed the video, little shadow hands appeared at the bottom of the windows as my son and his friends decided to add to the horde.