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Animatronic Props

Ghoul Popper

Description: The Bob Popper Ghoul is a box about 8 inches wide, 20 inches long, and 8 inches deep. This box contains a hinged, camouflaged lid, is buried in the ground, and, under proper lighting, becomes invisible. When a TOT walks by, the Bob Popper Ghoul can be triggered, causing a head/mask/creature to suddenly pop up out of the ground. The grave popper, a.k.a. Bob Popper Ghoul, was developed in the summer of 1997.

Air flows in through tubing and comes to a T-Section. On one end of this T-section is a needle (bleeder) valve. From the other part of the T, the air goes into a fitting which is threaded into the exhaust port of a heavy duty screen door closer.

It requires about 60psi to work properly, but this makes it violent. Start off at 15 psi and work up from there until you find the lowest pressure that gives you desired results. Be aware….

In this version, a manual valve triggers the Popper Ghoul. However, it is possible to use a hot/cold washing machine solenoid both to trigger the prop and to replace the bleeder valve, although I did notdo this because of cost. It is HIGHLY recommended to use a soleniod becasue, with the solenoid, the activation time of the prop will go way down. Otherwise, there will be a two or three second delay and a loud HISSING sound before the ghoul flies up out of the box……(More)

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Monster In A Box

Monster In A Box
When looking for ideas for our 2005 haunt I came across a number of versions of a Monster In A Box (MIB) prop and I decided that I needed to build one of my own. I’m very happy with the way it turned out and thought I would show it off, and maybe help others build there own, with this guide to our build process.

About the only thing that sets ours apart from the majority of other motorized MIBs out there is that instead of using a rod from the cam follower to the lid we mounted the follower directly to the lid. Also our MIB is microprocessor controlled by a Prop-1 Control Board from EFX-TEK.

For tools you will need a jig saw (or band saw), circular saw, drill, screw drivers and wrenches, etc.

No complete parts list for our MIB exists but reading through this guide should give you a good idea of the components we used. In very general terms you will need wood, a Prop-1 control board, a Cowlacious audio board, relays, a power supply, amplified speakers, a windshield wiper motor, light sockets, power receptacle, wire, nuts, bolts, washers, wood screws and other hardware.

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Halloween Haunt Show 2012

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Halloween Haunt Show 2011

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DIY Animatronic

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Laughing Talking Skeleton

Talking Skeleton

About The Joking Skeletons:

One of the things that I noticed over the years was that there were always a lot of parents and teenagers hanging around while the kids circled through the haunted house repeatedly. I wanted to give the yard some curb appeal and give the parents something to look at while they were waiting so I came up with the idea of the joking skeletons. They were a massive hit and I was told they were the best part of the whole haunted house!

Two skeletons telling jokes to each other is not an original concept and I’ve seen variations on it in other haunted yards but I was looking for something that was:

1 – easy. This project does not wire anything, build anything or disassemble anything.

2 – cheap. I happened to have all the parts.

3 – animated. It had to look pretty cool.

I had a pair of “Talking Boris” heads and I resolved to use them for the animation. The rest of the gag was fairly simple to create once I had the basic pieces down. Since all I had was the cheap blow-mold skeletons (“Bluckies”) that could not stand up realistically I decided to have the skeletons in lounge chairs.

For the actual jokes I spent some time researching jokes and then created my own mp3 files. The jokes were read into a microphone and then I edited them using a audio program to make the audio come from the left or right channel. I typically left the laughter in both channels as it would make their jaws move while laughing. Its not professionally done but I think that’s part of the charm…or perhaps its just the terrible terrible jokes!

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