Startle Scares Inspire AtmosFAN of the Week

Longtime Digital Decorator Keeps Upping His Game

Another week, another AtmosFAN, and another Cook! This week we honor John Cook of Lakeville, Minn. No relation to last week’s recipient, aside from also creating a stunning AtmosFAN-of-the-Week worthy display!

Judging by John’s home, you can tell he’s been a dedicated Halloween decorator for years. Moreover, he’s been a dedicated Halloween digital decorator for years! About seven years ago, he tells us, he had been searching for Halloween CGI effects for his home - to the point that he actually spent about $1,000 to have someone create an original video effect for him. A year or two later, he discovered AtmosFX through a Google search. “I did backflips,” John recalls.

Fast-forward several years, and John runs several different AtmosFX Digital Decorations both inside and out of his five-stall garage, where he sets up his haunted house. At the front of his garage, he nailed foam boards to a frame, even carving grout lines into the facade for added realism. For both his interior and exterior effects, he builds AtmosFX displays inside facades and props to really create an impact.

Over the past several years, John has also made great use of media players with trigger functionality, being able to create startle scares with UnLiving Portraits, Zombie Invasion! and Bone Chillers. He admits that these startle effects were not created with the use of AtmosFX Media Players – at least, not yet. No surprise, really, seeing that John has clearly been an early adopter on these, and other techniques, for a while. That said, he tells us he’s ordered two AtmosFX Media Players for this year, and he’s eager to get them into the rotation.

Where does John get all these great ideas? He belongs to a FaceBook group called “Halloween Yards and Props,” a 10,000-member group that he says is a great resource. The results are evident – and worthy of this week’s crown. But before we bestow this week’s honor, we also need to acknowledge one last thing: Of the 300+ people he gets to visit his home, he encourages them to bring donations for the local food pantry. Way to go, John!


Do you have what it takes to be the next AtmosFAN of the Week? Show us how you’re using our digital decorations and YOU may be our next featured decorator! Send your photos or YouTube links to, and make sure to put "AtmosFAN of the Week" in the subject line.

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