Guest Post: Having a Hi-Tech Halloween

[We are proud to present a guest post by Whitney Adams, staff writer for and]

Halloween is full of ghost stories, candy, costumes, and decorations. Some people celebrate Halloween by simply changing a light bulb to shine down on a bowl of candy, others go all out. There is no reason why you can’t go all out and get to use all of your cool gadgets at the same time. There are some ways you can use your tech toys to decorate your home, create a costume, and even scare your neighbors. Either way, your home or costume will be the only thing anyone can talk about.

One of the most basic ways to scare all of the kids and neighbors on Halloween night is by setting up motion activated decorations. These are pretty common now days and can do a wide variety of things. Some motion activated decorations shake the bushes, have glowing eyes, or even make creepy moaning noises. By using each decoration together, you can create a giant tree monster or a spooky grave yard. It is easy to create your own motion activated decorations as well. All you need to do is hook up a motion detector to a homemade coffin that will open whenever someone walks by. Creating your own motion activated device lets you get as creative and scary as you want.

If you want something more than motion detecting decorations, you can also create your own grave yard night show. People have started doing this more and more over the years for not only Halloween, but also for Christmas. Set up your front yard with decorations and lights. While you are setting everything up, keep each set of lights or decorations in different groups. So, if you have lights at the top of the house, those would be one circuit and then the lights for the graveyard would be on a different circuit. You will also want to pick a song or two so your lights can change according to the music. Once you have those, you will want to use a lighting controller to run all of your lights. These controllers can be found on various websites, or you can create your own. On the websites, you will be able to put in your music, and then design your light show using the program they provided. Of course, if you are more of a technology guru, you can create your own light show program on your PC of Mac.

Decorating isn’t the only way to make your Halloween hi-tech. You can also create costumes that have their own technical components. One of the popular options is creating a hole in your stomach, or any other body part. All you need is two tablets or phones that can video chat with each other. Simply duct tape the devices on your body, one in the front and one in the back, and then set it to video chat. You can add extra gore by using fake blood or guts. This can be done with any device that can do video chat. That means you can mix it up and have a tablet and a phone to create a bullet whole effect, or just to through off people admiring your costume. There are plenty of phones on the market that have front facing cameras, so you can use your Android phone or your iPhone if you want. One problem with this may be that certain devices require an internet connection to conference. If you aren’t sure the place you will be debuting your costume will have internet, you can get T-Mobile broadband services for your phone and will be able to have internet as long as you have your phone with you.

If simply using a phone for your costume isn’t enough, you could create your own iPad or iPhone that actually works. The easiest way to do this is to use LCD TV and hang it on your body. You may want to decorate the TV with different buttons to make it look like your iPhone, iPad, or Android device. Then, you connect your phone like you would to your computer, but use the TV as a dual screen for your phone. While wearing the costume, you can use your iPhone and your friends will be able to see your screen. Of course, this can be a pricey costume.

Another way to keep your Halloween hi-tech is by creating your own maze or haunted house. Your haunted house can use things like motions sensors, programmed Halloween lights, or even create illusions using your tablet, phone or TV. If you set up your own Halloween maze, you could hook up a TV screen that is receiving a video feed from an iPad or phone somewhere else. Then when a person in the maze sees this, they will think it is a way out, until they get closer and see they have duped once again. By using motion activated props you can create crawling zombies, cackling witches, moaning zombies or psychiatric patients. Of course, to show your guests that it was well worth the confusion in your maze, you can show maze goers how others are doing. Set up webcams throughout the maze and direct the feed to a couple TVs or monitors at the end of the maze. That way when people come out of the maze they are rewarded with treats, drinks, and getting to watch others as they go through the maze.


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