Halloween 2018

Here a short video of my 2018 Halloween setup. I use a couple of outdoor z-wave modules to turn the whole thing on and off automatically. Once it turns on, everything is automated and synced to music using a 16 channel Light-O-Rama panel and the Light-O-Rama Showtime Central All in One package.

Halloween lights, fog and music...


Please post yours too, always looking for ideas!


Nice. I've been a home haunter for many years. I don't setup until a day or two before. I'll post something this year. Is it always warm at Halloween where you live? If so I can show you how to make a quick fog chiller so you'll have low lying fog. If not, don't bother. Ambient air has to be at least 65 for it to work. The warmer the ambient air, the better the effect.

Thanks, I'm just north of Boston, MA...it's about 57 deg right now and going down. This time of year we are lucky to hit 65 deg during the day and mid 40's at night. For me Halloween is a primer to make sure my equipment is running on all cylinders. Come Christmas time, I'll break out the 20,000 lights. :grinning:

It's always fun to see people pull over to check it out and the expressions on the kids make it all worth it.


Ah yeah. Kids with coats over their costumes :smile: Not a candidate for the chiller then. Great indoors for parties, but it's only been warm enough in Toronto twice in the 20 years I've lived here to use the chiller.


lol it all looks so sinister, and then I saw the Mickey... Very cool!

Mine just turn on thanks to Hubitat. I've got @ericm 's SmartLife controller driving my H801 RGBW LED controller lighting up the landscaping. The skeletons sit where my big beautiful tree used to be that held up the witches hats. Also an E12 Philips Hue color bulb in the porch light.


Oh man, I'm feeling guilty. I'm still running my stuff off a relay board that needs a parallel port and an old program that only runs on Windows 2000! Every Halloween I just barely get that old laptop running. I should really substitute it for a newer controller.


We don't have a lot of exterior decorations for Halloween. But recently I've gotten the idea of a talking skull. Would be visually simple but I wanted the jaw to mimic the movements of me taking (through some sort of voice mod filter). I think the jaw movement could be an RC servo but I haven't found a solution to the speech to movement in an automatic way.

I guess I could start with a simple manual joystick and hope it doesn't look like an old dubbed movie.

Thanks, just what I needed. A reminder of my 4 LOR controllers I haven't had time to use for the last half decade! I did have an animated 8x4 (full sheet of pegboard) American flag with over 3500 lights on it for the 4th but it feel apart after a decade.

Never done anything for Halloween but that actually looks way easier to setup then full musical synchronization. Do you just have some randomized sequences that you tap into the music?

Wow, that hurt. This IS full music synchronization, nothing random about it.

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Ah, no offense intended! Guess it just seemed more random since it's atmospheric without a Melody. :slight_smile:

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I've built several of these over the years. I now just have two remaining that I've modified. It doesn't have to be really complicated actually. You can often find these talking skulls on sale, typically after Halloween or close to it. They're essentially just a motor that winds a string around a spindle. The other end of the string is connected to a lever to pull it open, against a spring that is holding the jaw loosely closed. This is exactly like one of the skulls I have and very similar to the two other skulls I modified, which are made by Gemmy.

The stock circuits apply pulses of power to the motor and they sync it to the sound (sort of). Usually the effect isn't great. What I do is remove the stock electronic and attach an AC to DC power adapter to the motor. Then I connect the power adapter to the output of one of these simple single channel light organs.

To sync the mouth to the audio, I generate a tone with GarageBand or something that gives me an on-screen piano keyboard, pressing a key longer when I want the jaw to stay open longer. I practice a few times and then finally record it. In Audacity, I put the tones for opening the jaw on one channel and the speech or singing on the other channel. So you'll never hear the tones, as their output simply goes to the light organ circuit, no speaker. The second channel is the sound which comes from a speaker hidden near the talking skull. It's a pretty convincing effect, and you can adjust the sync and the tone of the speech or singing in Audacity to make it match up well and sound more sinister.

The current skulls I have came with a speaker built into the head, but I blew them out the first Halloween I had them, trying to get them loud enough for people to hear. I now use a scarecrow type mount for one of the heads and a stake in the ground for the other. I attach a larger speaker from one of its mounting holes in the speaker frame, just below the neck of the prop with a cable tie and let it hang. Then I put a long-sleeve shirt over it and stuff it with newspaper. You can't tell the sound is coming from the chest. Your brain corrects and it appears to be coming from the skull. One note about this is you have to drive the sound for the jaw through a fairly powerful amplifier or it's not enough to make the light organ react, and thus make the jaw move.

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Thank for the info.

I started to look on the internet after my post and was surprised at all the sites and information.

My plan is to be able to talk and listen "through" the skull so it can greet the youngsters as they arrive. I did this some years ago but only with a hidden speaker in a partially enclosed porch area. The kids loved it.

Its not in the cards for this year so I'll watch the sales after Halloween and see what I can pickup.

We recently bought a house and I've been looking forward to using some of my home automation stuff for Halloween. This year we probably aren't going to get too elaborate with actual outdoor decorations, but I'm playing around with a program that randomly turns all the lights in the front of the house (both indoor and outdoor) on and off in a loop. This is where it's currently at: https://photos.app.goo.gl/9gWXfSsBLnm5qxf29

I also just bought some RGB bulbs, so I'm thinking about making it so that when the door opens after the kids knock, all the lights go out and the lights on either side of the door fade up to a deep red and a Sonos speaker plays a door creaking sound along with some other spooky noises. Still a work in progress :slight_smile:

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What kind of bulbs? I find deep red is hard to achieve. Hue and Lifx do a great job.

Starting cheap with Aeotec. I won't get them until this weekend, so no idea if the red will be satisfactory. Worst case, I can just return them if they suck. My whole house is smart switches, so outside of Halloween and Xmas, I won't really have any use for the RGB.

That's really cool actually!

I use the RGBW lights in Table Lamps and remove the little knob under the shade. Then I set it to a Color for events.. Garage Door open = purple, for example.

What's a table lamp? I love color applications, let's see! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Ok so we dont do big for Halloween in the UK, but I'm learning. :smiley:

This year I've set up a projector that will display a movie I knocked up, in the master bedroom. This is just above the drive (and the front door and 2.5 mtrs wide so a nice size). This will be activated via Ring and IFTTT, and a virtual switch in HE, so when motion is sensed, the whole thing kicks off. The projection will be via VLC, which I've also linked to HE. So Ring to IFTTT, IFTTT to HE, switch on Virtual Switch, webCoRE piston triggers and Plays the movie on VLC.

On the Same laptop which the movie is playing, I have HueDynamics, which is then set up to use a number of lights and trigger the automation of the lights in sequence to the movie, the sound of which will be on some speakers in the porch. Fingers crossed it all goes to plan, tested as much as I can, maybe try to get a video of it. Happy Halloween :smiling_imp::smiling_imp: