Automatic High-tech Scare Tactics
A Control4 system automates some creepy effects for a Halloween haunted house.
October 29, 2011 by EH Staff

Enter one of the first rooms on this ghoulish garage tour, and a skeleton jumps out of a shipping crate, a red light glows and scary dogs bark and growl.

That’s just one of the automated effects set up for Halloween in this three-car garage in a suburb of Seattle. Every October for the past three years, the Griffin and Petrie families have converted their garage into a haunted house—with the shock, scare and awe delivered by a Control4 HC-300 processor.

Brett Griffin, who sells Control4 systems for local custom integration firm Definitive Audio, rigged the garage with motion sensors, relays and timers—all linked to the Control4 processor, which was programmed to enact a different frightening scene when each sensor is tripped.

In the final chamber, the journey ends in a particularly creepy way. A trigger starts an MP3 of a priest reciting “Our Father” over wall-mounted Control4 speakers. A young lady in a guillotine pleads for mercy … the lights go out … there’s darkness … a brief moment of silence … the sound of the guillotine blade slices through the air … and a head thumps to the floor. It’s automation at its scariest.

Check out the slides for bigger pictures of the scary show.

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