We put together a little preview right before dark this evening.

The Spooky House of Woodpark Drive


A lot of work has been done over the past few days with still more to come.



The cauldron creep twins have been finished and placed out in the yard. We are lucky to have a small patch of wooded area and they look great in there.  I am really digging the movement.  These use cheap reindeer motors, it will be interesting to see how well/long they hold up!



I had my little minions helping out this afternoon as we worked to setup the pumpkin reapers.  These three guys are foam pumpkin heads covered in liquid latex and cotton balls for texture.  The ribs and hands are spray foam over wire armatures, the bodies are PVC pipe wrapped in plastic hit with a heat gun. Pool noodle sections make up the spine/vertebrae.

My son was scary his little sister earlier in the day, she turned the table on him outside and started chasing him around with monster hands.



My kids helped me move some of the yard zombies outside today.  The zombies are paper mache heads (from techniques taught by STOLLOWEEN) the bodies are just pvc pipe stuffed with plastic bags and some scrap foam that we had laying around. I have always had a thing for angler fish so these guys have the little angler off the top of their heads.  I had wired LEDs into the lure but I must have messed up the resistors as 1/2 of them burned out the first night.  I call them deadlight zombies.

Organic, cage free, brain fed, and free range.  Just don’t get too close, they bite.



Since my order for more Raspberry Pi’s came in for the rest of the projectors, I needed to do a real test!  I had some old left over black shear fabric that we used to have as curtains.  I ran a line, hung the shear, and fired up one of the projectors to see how well it worked.  It worked really well but for the projectors “black” level is still a little too visible.  There may be some settings I can adjust or lighting tricks I can try to blur the edges.  But I Amarillo pretty happy overall.


Last year we made these guys out of sticks, foam skulls, and some burlap.  I left the bodies outside all year and they just seem to look even better.  The most time consuming part was hit gluing the burlap to the foam skulls and cutting/extending one of the skulls to have a gaping maw.  The bodies were really easy and were throw together with some branches that came down after some high winds.  Just a little bit of floral wire holds them all together. 

We put them up this evening as one of the first decorations out for the year.



  Putting our Halloween flag out every October 1st is becoming one of my favorite family traditions. We each carry part of the flag pole outside, we assemble the the pole segments, slide on the flag, drive the rebar and finaly hoist it up.  It only takes a few moments, but means the world to me that we do it together. 



This year one of the new items is a trio (hopefully) of Cauldron Creeps pioneered by the Devil’s Workshop.

Two will be stiring the pot while the third will be raising and lowering ingredients into the pot.

For the motors, I am using reindeer motors (you know those Xmas reindeer that move their heads up and down, you can buy those motors for cheap and they are built to run in the rain/snow/cold). They are very low torque and low speed which is perfect for this build.

I wasn’t able to find the foam bag of bones anywhere, only the hard plastic ones and I didn’t like the look of the hands, so I opted to create my own bones using a heat gun and plastic drop cloth.

Here is a short video of the progress so far.


Two creeps are ready for paint after a little garage time this evening.  I put some creepy cloth on one to se how it handles the weight and to see if the movement is still good.  I dig it!


Paint job! Painted them black at first, then hit with lime green spray paint that was quickly wiped off.



For my Halloween haunt I was lucky enough to score 5 projectors at an amazing price through a surplus site (http://www.publicsurplus.com/) I planned on suing these to display the digital effect created by AtmosFear Fx (http://www.atmosfx.com/).  The problem was, I didn’t want to have to use 5 DVD players or 5 Laptops/computer to provide the video feed for the projectors.  That’s where the Raspberry Pi comes in.  The Raspberry Pi is much like an Arduino, a physically small yet fairly powerful computer.  The beauty is that the pi is fairly cheap ($32 for the B+ 512MB version I used).  What follows is how I was able to get the Pi to loop through a set of videos continuously to allow my projector to run all night in my haunt.

What you need:

  • A projector (I used an Epson Power Lite 84)
  • If you projector doesn’t have speakers, get some speakers
  • A Raspberry Pi (I used a Model B+ 512MB)
  • If your projector doesn’t support HDMI, pick up a HDMI Male to VGA Female converter and a VAG cable.
  • A USB Stick
  • A 4GB micro SD card (class 10 If you can)
  • A cell phone charger
  • An audio cable/headphone jack size (to go to speakers or to projector)

This whole initiative was made possible by the tutorial created by Tony Dicola and may be found here:


Following those instructions will take you 99.999% of the way.  I ran into a few issues that I wanted to call out to help save some frustration, these may be unique to me, but I am including it incase it helps someone else.

  1. I purchased the AtmosFear/FX video’s via digital download as opposed to DVD version, I don’t know how you would go about ripping from a DVD, but I can say the digital downloads worked great.
  2. I had to run the git clone command in the above tutorial by prefacing it with sudo, otherwise I got a strange authentication error, even when entering the username and password. Entering sudo git clone…. Worked fine then.
  3. To flash the raspbian OS image (the tutorial above will point you to the download) to the SD card, I used Win32 Disk Imager found at http://sourceforge.net/projects/win32diskimager/
  4. I had two USB sticks that didn’t work, what I had to do was reformat them as FAT
  5. Videos need to have H264 encoding, I used the tool found at: http://www.h264encoder.com/ it is very fast and worked like a charm

While most of what you need is in the adafruit tutorial, I wanted to give the 30,000 foot view that helped me to get through it.

  1. Flash the SD card
  2. Install adafruit PI Finder on your computer
  3. Install the Video Looper from adafruit on Pi via Pi Finder terminal
  4. Format the USB Stick to FAT
  5. Encode the videos to h264
  6. Hook up to projector

Here is a short video of it in action using AtmosFear/FX’s pumpkin trio.


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