The props are the main event! Lets at where they came from and how they will work this year under our new automated approach.
The props are really where the Thomas Family Halloween came from. We grew up going to Disney and riding The Haunted Mansion. We wanted something that could pop out at you just like the ride.
So we made a piston out of PVC pipe, put a scary mask on the end and BAM pop-up guy. He still scares people every year even though he has been haunting the front yard for about a decade now. Over the years, we have added an opening coffin, a swinging ghost and a screaming clown. All these are based on pneumatic devices running off of a compressor in the garage. We would bring a hose in from the compressor, then you would manually release air out to all the props making them go off when unsuspecting/ already crying children would approach.
This year the props won't change at all! Exciting right? However, instead of pulling hoses into the house, then out of the house, then having to sit at a table to let air into the props we will be using electric air solenoids. These work by letting air in when powered. So all you have to do is connect power and prop goes on, disconnect and prop goes off.
No more miles and miles of air hoses!
The next challenge is to switch the power on from anywhere you want using a micro-controller and the internet. However, that is another topic.