Halloween, 1996

This was the second year that I decorated a little for Halloween.

There were three things:

Or skip to the pictures or fun notes.

The Flying Ghost

The ghost comes down on a zip line from the 2nd story dormer to the corner of the fence. There is a flood light at the bottom of the line that lights the whole thing up. This event is 100% manual - someone has to release the ghost from the dormer, and then pull him back up to the top using a small black rope.

The ghost got a lot better in 1997, and I took a few more pictures, so be sure to check out that year.

The Talking Werewolf

The werewolf was new for 1996. It consists of a cheap mask, a newpaper-stuffed body, a microphone in his pocket and a survilance camera between his feet. The audio and video run up to the den (where the ghost originates). The video runs to a TV, and the audio is run to a boombox for simplicity. I also have a microphone that I can use to talk back - a small PC speaker sits behind the werewolf.

The werewolf also got a lot better in 1997, so be sure to check out that year.

Mood Music

The mood music is from a CD I found at a local BlockBuster. I have had no luck in finding it through an online merchant. You might try contracting the distributor, Holborne Distributing, who may have one in stock.


Now that you have the basic setup, here are some pictures from 1996. Please excuse the quality - these are regular prints which I then took pictures of using my new digital camera. The 1997 ones will be better...

The outside of the house
See the ghost on the left-side dormer (the zip line comes down to about the bottom left corner of the picture), the werewolf by the garage, and my wife on the front step.
The werewolf network
The original plan was to use the video conferencing setup on an SGI and route the signal to a computer in the den via an ethernet setup. We got the network going, but the camera for the SGI only likes bright, florescent areas. We're certainly the first house in the neighborhood with CAT5 wiring to the driveway!
Building the werewolf
The werewolf is supported by two microphone stands, which give him a steady base and a frame which supports him all the way up. This is Eric, attaching an old pair of jeans to the mic stands with tape (very cheap suspenders!).
The finished werewolf
The werewolf now stands guard. If you look closely, you can see the mic in his right pocket. The mask and gloves are from a local halloween supply store. His eyes are ping-pong balls, painted bloodshot. Oh, yes -- the sweatshirt is from my mostly-defunct band.
The living room, strewn with newspaper from the werewolf, PA gear from the band (used to feed audio to/from the werewolf) and other miscellaneous stuff.
Oh, yes - lest we forget
Halloween is really for the kids! Here's mine. Three of his four grandparents are/were volunteer firefighters.
Fun Notes

The neighborhood kids remembered the house from the previous year. I heard several kids say "Oh, this is the house with the ghost!" and I got multiple requests to "Send down the ghost!". Even with the celebrity, I still managed to scare a few kids with the ghost.

The werewolf was a big hit - maybe even more so with the parents. Several took pictures! I disturbed a couple of kids by commenting directly on their costumes.

On to 1997 - Back to Index - webmstr.com