Halloween comes only once a year, but you can carry it in your heart all year round. I've always enjoyed the spooky stuff and there are those who really go all out to celebrate that season. As it turns out, people are applying a lot of do-it-yourself technology to make their own spooky effects. Some are just front port surprises. Others are in very professional haunted attractions. Unless you are extremely industrious and don't need sleep it's probably too late for you to do much with these ideas, but it's never too early to start for next year.
I'm actually thinking about doing something with web cams and a laptop. It could be fun!
Mirror, mirror on the wall...
Mirrors have long played a part in horror tales. Here is a genius way to create your own ghostly mirror effect. With LED monitors as cheap as they are now this is actually not too difficult to manage. Here is video and then a link to the instructions.
Link to "Spooky Face in Mirror Special Effect"
One of my most vivid memories from Walt Disney's Haunted Mansion is the singing statues. This enterprising individual has figured out a way to recreate this effect on his porch activated through an arduino circuit!
Instructions for "Arduino-powered Haunted Mansion Singing Busts"
Of course, not all of these things are incredibly high tech. You could probably accomplish this one over the weekend with a few parts from the discount store. It shows how to set up a poor-person's gobo (a light with a shape in it) using a pen light, a cheap compact fromt he makeup department and some clip art. How simple is that? Of course it would be easy enough to make the light something that was not battery operated and even control it through some switching. The mirror technique is handy, though. I'd always seen this done through lensing.
Link to instructions for "Halloween Silhouette Projector"
Projection Mapping with 3D Tracing
Of course, if you have the means to be a more sophisticated projection you can use techniques similar to those used by the Bates Haunt. He talks about Photoshop, but it would be perfectly simple to use open-source GIMP instead.
Link to instructions for "Projection Mapping with 3D Tracing".
Share your finds and projects
That's all I have time to share today. If you know of others, post a link in the comments. Please keep them work appropriate and do-it-yourself.