Tag Archives: retroreflective sensors

Halloween 2017: Pirates Part Deux

This Halloween was almost in danger of just being yet another talking skeleton. We were short on time, so building-out a new theme didn’t seem achievable. We purchased a couple more skeletons (you can never have enough skeletons) and built a couple new props including a treasure chest. The Jolly Roger and Pirates of the Caribbean samples we had from the last time we did pirates.

It’s difficult to beat a pirate theme. The story elements are universal. If we had put more effort in it we would not have gotten a better response. The goal is to set the mood with props and then hit all the emotional buttons with lighting and music. There’s no big scare which is good and bad. It’s good that people get the theme. It’s bad that there’s no gag to scare them. The gag is a challenge to achieve and not really something we have ever gotten right.

The talking skeleton was run as a stand-alone prop with its own audio and control system based on an Adafruit Audio FX Mini sound board triggered by a retro-reflective light sensor. The rest of the system ran on the VenueMagic show controller triggered by a light beam sensor. As usual, the audio system was pushing enough power to make you think there were real canons being fired.