Whether you are running a professional haunted house, a Halloween festival or fundraiser, or just want to spice up your own Halloween decorations, the help of automation software like InduSoft Web Studio can be applied to keep those spooky effects operating smoothly.
The Halloween holiday has had a long history in Europe and the United states, beginning with roots as far back as the Roman harvest feast of Pomona and the festival of the dead, Parentalia. The symbolism of spirits and late harvest feasts played an important role in Gaelic and Welsh cultures, where some of the modern traditions of Halloween begin to appear, such as costumes, bonfires, carving lanterns of vegetables like turnips, and bobbing for apples. It’s a festival often marked by food, spirits, and the shorter days of autumn. The tradition of dressing in costumes and going door to door for treats and food can be seen as early as the 16th century in Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man, and Wales.
Halloween came to North America with the mass immigration of Irish and Scottish people during the 19th century, and quickly became a holiday marked by Trick-or-treating, carving pumpkins, Halloween candy, and haunted house attractions.
If you haven’t put up your Halloween decorations yet, it’s not too late to automate them! Did you know that you can use InduSoft to:
- automate your animatronic skeletons and zombies?
- slam doors and shutters in your “haunted” house?
- start, ramp up and down, and stop cold-air fans blowing on your “guests”?
- run air jets embedded in the floor?
- control strobes and scary lights?
- start and stop the pumps that cause the “blood” to drip from the walls?
- keep tabs on the drones that have been costumed as the Grim Reaper flying around your “graveyard” (like MadeInAmerica did here?
- watch all the spooky fun from your HMI screen using the Camera ActiveX and .NET Plugins ?
- Start and stop hidden video screens showing special effects?
- Control sound and media content from proximity sensors?
- …and much, much more!
Here’s a few ideas to get you going:
- Get a few inexpensive PLCs and put them around the house to use them as controllers for the pumps lights, dripping blood, strobes, scary sounds, etc. We have a case study to show you how to control and automate your home, along with a webinar showing how it was done. With our many, many drivers, and easy to use software, it makes connecting and automating many different kinds of devices, oh-so-easy and so much fun!
- Control linear actuators and VFDs connected to your PLCs or RTUs to control the shutter slam rates, creaking door rates, air velocity flows from chilled air fans, hidden compressed air outlets controlled by automated poppet valves, to name just a few ideas.
- Use proximity detectors and motion sensors, and weight switches to control aspects of your automation to make it interactive with your guests.
- Inflate and deflate larger-than-life “ghosts” and “aliens” using VFD controlled fans orchestrated by InduSoft Web Studio!
- Use Raspberry Pi as a low cost controller or HMI.
- Control your audio content and sound levels, along with the lights, smoke machines, fans and “earthquakes” or shaking house actuators all from one location using InduSoft and some wireless networking to your devices.
Watch out for the Ghost in the Machine!