6 months to Halloween — are you ready?

The nice folks at “Monster Guts”:http://monsterguts.com just sent email reminding me it is 6 months to Halloween. I’ve been on hiatus the last couple years but it may work out that I can do a smallish display this year. I may have to tone down my ambitions but we will see.

My recipe for a quality halloween experience:

* Fog. Love fog. You have to have some fog. There are a million options out there. At the minimum, you need a machine that has a duty cycle timer on it so that you can let it run unattended all evening — you don’t really want to have to manually control the fog all night. I have about 4 of these. If you want to go bigger, well the sky is the limit. I have a whole-yard water-based fogger that puts out an impressive amount of fog via a 1/4″ tubing distribution network. What I’d really like is one of these “babies”:http://www.google.com/search?q=Jem+Glaciator+X-Stream+Heavy+Fog+Machine&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a but that seems extreme. Or a liquid nitrogen based system which is really extreme!
* You need to have some quality “bones and skeletons”:http://www.anatomical.com/category.asp_Q_c_E_57_A_HALLOWEEN+ITEMS to spread around. Not the crap sold at the seasonal halloween stores. The 10lb bag of bones at anatomical is pretty nice.
* Thunder and Lightning. You’ve got to have thunder and lightning. If you don’t do any other lighting, do this. I’ve liked the “i-zombie”:http://www.i-zombie.com/ controllers in the past.
* Ambient music. If you want some music playing the background, it is hard to beat Bach organ fugues in a minor key. Almost any of them will do.
* Tombstones. You can buy some nicelooking but pricey foam stones at the Halloween specialty stores. And there are a million guides on the internet to making your own out of foamboard. You can whip thru a lot of them in little time in foamboard, I would make your own. And they store easily and are usable year after year.
* Coffin. Whip one or two up out of plywood, your “basic plans here”:http://www.shallowvalley.com/pincherplans.html.

If that is all you do, well, you will probably have the best place in the neighborhood.

Optional but very very good additions to your project:

* “Hallowindow DVD”:http://www.hallowindow.com/. This thing looks awesome. It does demand a projector and some sound equipment but I love it.
* “Webcasting gun”:http://monsterguts.com/miscellaneous-prop-parts/the-webcaster-gun/prod_202.html. Simple but makes great webbing.
* Another simple webbing idea — get some black thread and dangle a bunch of it from the trees over your driveway, etc. No one can see it and everyone feels like they are walking thru spider webs.

I probably won’t get to my more extreme efforts this year

* Talking animated tree with voice modification box. This has always been a huge hit but it takes some work to set up.
* Pneumatics. A lot of work to set up and maintain.
* My full size mausoleum that I built out of foamboard a few years back.
* Various animated ghosts. Always winners but certainly won’t have time.