W e found a skeleton in my mother-in-law‘s storage building. No, not a real skeleton, a plastic yard decoration from the 1970s. It had a sound chip in it, and probably used to talk, but that thing was long dead. It would still when anything made a noise. The mouth movements were quite wonky and looked like a set of thos wind-up chattering teeth. But, if I kept the lights off of the skeleton when he wasn’t supposed to be “talking“, and if the lights were on when he was, it gave the illusion of him being in sync with the music. I bought a small spotlight and turned it on and off when he was supposed to talk. Now the display had a narrator.
One great memory I have of the skeleton is transporting it from Arkansas back to Texas in the car. It sat between two of the kids all the way home. It would have been very awkward if we have been pulled over for speeding.
I bought a 4-channel DMX dimmer and used one of the channels to control the spotlight for the skeleton. The other three channels controlled three Halloween blow molds that we'd had in the yard for years. This was the best Halloween display yet. Now by controlling the blow molds and the location of audio, it would appear that the blow molds were singing the songs.
With the success of the blow mold dimming, I bought another DMX 4-channel dimmer. I dedicated it to control some Walmart foam pumpkins I got on clearance after Halloween. I had 12 of them, so I put three on each of the four channels, and had a choir of singing pumpkins.
I had an old video projector, and I swapped it out for the TV in the upstairs playroom window. The black mesh that I had been using with the TV didn’t really work as projection material, so I draped a white bedsheet in the window with much better results.
I had come across AtmosFX and bought their Tricks and Treats product. Projecting it onto the sheet in the playroom window, gave the appearance that it was the shadow of something actually happening in the playroom. It is a really cool effect. Another funny story: When I was testing the projection I used the "werewolf" section of the video. Pepper, our dog, saw it in the window started barking and darted through the front door, up the stairs, and into the playroom to try to find that thing. So, we knew that the illusion at least fooled dogs.