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Halloween’s nearly here and decorated yards, houses, apartments and even cars are appearing everywhere. People get “into the spirit” in in some cities, with Halloween decorations rivaling the Christmas and holiday extravaganzas that will show up in December.
Halloween 2007’s witches and vampires will be scarier than ever. Thanks to technological gadgets and devices, the effects at Halloween parties and displays get spookier and grosser every year.
As you might guess, the web has much to offer.
First, surf over to Buy Costumes.com. How about an animated candy bowl bound to scare the dickens out of your little trick or treaters? As the little tyke (or the big tyke as the case may be) reaches for a treat, an animated green hand emerges from the bowl and appears to grab for them. With the message “Trick or Treat” written on the outside, the motion-activated bowl assures guests will sample it. Just to be sure, it also speaks aloud the messages, “Trick or Treat”, “Happy Halloween” and “Want some Candy?” $19.95 with batteries included.
The same site also offers a Lighting FX Box h with Spooky Sounds CD included. When connected to a lamp or other lighting devise, the lights will flicker and dim to music. The lighting box with its six foot cord plugs into any AC outlet. The accompanying CD includes thirty minutes of spooky sounds, including thunder, lightening, howling wolves, moaning ghosts and eerie organ music. It’s on sale at the date of this writing for $19.95.
If you’re really planning to go all out, to the tune of $399, you might want the Airblown Archway Tunnel Haunted House with Sound to decorate your lawn. The tunnel can stand alone or serve as the entrance to a haunted house This massive, inflatable haunted house greets visitors with two red-eyed gargoyles at the doorway. Inside, black streamers brush against visitors as they move along the tunnel into the main room. Motion activated strobe lights, sound and flashing light completes the picture.
Other goodies at this site include a bloody butcher heart that beats, thanks to its battery operated mechanism (EEEWWW!), a bloody butcher hand, a cannibal meat brain, a shaking butchered arm and a shaking bag with hand. Prices range from around $10 to $25.
Moving along to the Spirit web site, we find a wonderful, vibrating hanging head with a rattling chain. According to the web site, the head shudders and struggles against the restraints while glaring at you with glowing red eyes. It’s $39.95. Along a similar vein, you might also consider a face lift hanging head, a scarecrow hanging head, a rotten clown hanging head and an easy catch hanging head, all $29.99 each. An interesting skeleton pirate head chatters and mocks passersby, taunting them with the prospects of buried treasure. You can listen to the pirate’s audio recording on site. I also like the animated, nibbling rat. This devise makes the most disgusting sounds as it nibbles on your arm or whatever else you have attached it to. The site has an audio file for your listening enjoyment.
You can also choose from an array of fog machines at Spirit. Use a fog machine with timers ($39.95) in conjunction with Halloween lights for a truly eerie effect. Other fog machines available on site include a Low Flying Fog Machine for indoor use. It generates a non-toxic, water-based fog that hovers close to the ground. $59.95.
Want something truly scary? Check out Spirit’s life sized animatronics Jason Voorhees, who if you recall, is “the hockey-masked, knife wielding impaler of teenagers.” The site provides a video of this guy in motion, and let me tell you, it’s eerie! Jason isn’t exactly cheap, at $249.00, but he’s awesome scary!
Other animatronics include Crypt Keeper on Chopper, a hearse with coffin and several others.
Meanwhile, Artistic Delights has a number of interesting fog and light machines. True, these items aren’t really intended for Halloween, but you can certainly adapt them for that purpose. For example, the Wireless Remote Mister Fogger with LED lights features a 16 mode controller that turns the lights on and off, changes the sequence of various colored lights, and changes the amount of mist and more. Imagine using it with an evil black cauldron! $45.00. The site also offers a mist maker fogger on sale for $18.
Over at the 3d Fear Factory, we find a vibrating coffin for $21.95, a skull fogger, a spooky skull head that creates fog through his mouth ($35.99), plus strobe lights and fog machines.
At Fright Catalogue, one of my favorite offerings is the Spooky Shadows Light. You really have to watch the video to see this in action, but it’s very cool. The site reads, “Frosted rotating dome casts shadowy shapes and figures on surrounding surfaces for a scary optical illusion. Switch-activated light and motion; battery operated. The perfect night light for any Halloween-er.” $22.99
Fright Catalogue also offers a Web Caster Gun, calling it “the latest in cobweb innovation.” Who knew? I had no idea that cobweb creation was an industry. Anyway, the copy reads “The Webcaster Gun will give you the professional spiderwebs you crave, without any of the hassle of traditional cobweb machines. All you need to create totally realistic webbing is this unique, easy to use gun, a few Webcaster sticks, and a simple air compressor (not included). Comes with 6 Clear Webcaster Sticks to get you started. Plugs into any standard outlet.” You can also get various other types of cobweb machines, strobe lights, fog machines and oh my goodness! Optical illusions with price tags in four figures!
The Monster Morph Illusion (at $1450 plus $500 shipping) comes with two boxes, and requires the participation of two humans (not included). One human goes into each box. The image in one box fades back and forth to the second box, where the human can charge out and scare people. You can also get a ghostly window illusion ($1785) in which a ghost appears and disappears. The ghost is included so no need to find your own. The Spill Your Guts Illusion ($4,690.00) requires a human to participate. Mirrors and trim boards create an effect of the person “not being all there.” There’s a video on site showing this inaction. In this case, the picture really is worth a thousand words.
Halloween can be scary in a good way with all of these resources at your disposal.
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write by Ahmed Alatari