There’s few things better than a captivating prop that draws in viewers to get a closer look, asking themselves ‘how’d they do that’? But what’s better? When that same prop gives those viewers a fright when they get too close!
That’s what Dave Trammell built – a clever false mirror that displays the strange specters of Macabre Manor. He’s been using this clever prop to engage (and give a gentle scare to) trick-or-treaters at his South Jordan, Utah, home.
As you can see from Dave’s video, he’s essentially built a false wall onto which he mounted a monitor in the back. Powered by a Sprite Media Player with Motion Sensor, the monitor loops the family of phantoms of Macabre Manor. The motion sensor is hidden at the foot of the false wall and, when people approach the prop, it triggers the startle scares that are a part of the digital decoration collection.
We think the whole display looks great, right down to the ornate frame and the wall candle mounts. In building a prop like this, it is also great to remember that this “mirror” doesn’t actually need to have reflective properties – just having a video display that is elaborately decorated such as this tricks the eye into thinking it is a mirror.
There are some other cool tricks built into Dave’s display. In addition to the motion sensor, he also hid a small wifi camera in the mirror frame. That camera is connected via HDMI cable to Dave’s laptop where, when he chooses, he switches the feed to a livestream of himself wearing a mask. “I can then see trick-or-treaters or other visitors and interact with them and comment on their costumes and tell their fortunes/fates,” he tells us.
All told, Dave said it took about two days to build his Halloween prop and, now that it is done, it takes only 15 minutes to set up. He even has a great “how-to” video showing exactly how he built it. You can see it below.
Of course, this isn’t all Dave does for Halloween. He’s got countless other decorations set up around his home, all of which have given Dave’s home the reputation as a “tradition for Halloween” in his neighborhood. For example, as kids approach his house, Dave likes to display in his window the individual decoration from Tricks and Treats where the man turns into a werewolf. Then, when those trick-or-treaters knock on the door, he’ll answer with candy in a werewolf mask!
We love all of your Halloween efforts, Dave – and we can see why your house has become a Halloween tradition! As you prepare for this upcoming holiday, we cannot wait to see what else you create!
How are you preparing for Halloween? As you create your props, displays and other clever devices, make sure to send us your photos and videos using this easy submission form. There are tens of thousands of other Halloween decorators that are waiting to be inspired!