My haunt is a yard haunt with sound effects and props. See the pictures from Halloweens past to get an idea. The "command center" is in the kitchen. I have video cameras (7 total) mounted around the yard to allow me to see what is happening - they are all wired back to the "command center". All the props and sound effects are remote controlled from the "command center".
Most of my animatronic props (props that move some how) have built in sound effects and lighting that is triggered remotely. This allows me (or one of the other people running the controls) to time the prop for the best effect. Many of the props have two seperate effects. Set-up - something to get the TOTs attention - sound, motion, light (or a combination). Scare - more sound, light and normally big motion. I have found the double effect approach allows me to tune the display to young and old.
This year I may have bitten off more then I can chew because I am try to allow everything to be control from computers with software and hardware interfaces. Take a look at that section if you would like to know more. Below are the projects and details (and some how-tos) that I will be using this year.
Remote Control (cameras, props control and sounds) 9-Sept-2003 - Detailed information about how set-up, control and monitor Halloween night.
Automation of Haunt (soon)
Mourner 9-Sept-2003 - My attempt at a Mourner. Inspired by "Alice" at Lazarus Maze and the one at Devious Concoctions. Mine is a combination of window motor (to turn the platform) and pneumatic (to make her stand up). When triggered she turns around, stands up to a around 6', reaches out and opens her arms. Attached are pictures of construction. Sorry I did not include a picture from the "back" (will do so soon) and a picture of the "tomb" she is crying over.
Reverse Tombstone Hopper 9-Sept-2003 - My tombstone hopper was too visible in 2002 (see pictures) because of the lay-out of my haunt. This was my solution to the problem. A self contained grave that can be set-up on a cement driveway. The tombstone "rocks" to attract their attention then "Wilson" pops up out of the grave. The grave mound is very convicing and blends in well with the fake grass I put down (covered with the same stuff). I have caught, on more then one occasion, one of my dogs walking across or sitting on the "mound".
Thunder and Lightning