Halloween 2012 Prep

Most years we don’t do much of anything for Halloween.  Between work and whatnot we just don’t have the energy and desire to decorate much.  There have been a few exceptions (such as the year I made a young girl nearly wet herself when I popped up behind her) but the last several years have been pretty quiet.

Thanks to a serious illness on my part (ok, not really ‘thanks’) I’ve more time than usual this year getting ready for Halloween.

Susan bought a pumpkin a few days ago and I started carving on it yesterday.  It’s taking a while because I’ve never really carved on a pumpkin before.  More like hacked out some eyes and a mouth and put a candle inside.  Not this time.

I took some time with sculpting tools and carefully carved out eyes

Nose and mouth.

Then followed up by open it up and pulling out its brains.

The opening is nice and large (though I didn’t think to try to make it a single piece) so that I can fit some programmable lights inside.

They’re attached to a bit of milk jug and controlled with an Arduino.  I haven’t set the final programming but will be going for something that’s audio triggered.  If it doesn’t hear anything for a while it will go dark and when a loud noise (me over an amp) is heard it will slowly light up and flicker based on the sound.

Here’s what it looks like lit red.

Should be fairly bright in a dark entryway.

I’ll add pumpkin brains trailing out of its mouth when it comes time to put it outside.

I’ve also set up the wireless camera above the door so I can see the little monsters coming.

The monochrome monitor that the camera is attached to will may display various scary images using a video game shield if I have the time between now and Halloween to get some programmed in.

I’ll also have a wireless microphone and amplifier (the same one we use for calling at ceilis) set up in the bushes so that I can scare the crap out of talk to the monsters through the pumpkin.  Naturally the volume level will be set to 11.

Somewhere there will be a fog machine, red and green lights and maybe some scary music playing through a wireless speaker.  We’ll have to play with various layouts as Wednesday gets closer and see what works best.

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Michael Harrison

Husband, Programmer, Irish dancer, tinkerer, astronomer, layabout (as much as possible)

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