With Halloween almost upon us, you might be wondering how you’re going to decorate your house. Now, you could just go to the supermarket, and buy something. But where’s the fun in that, when you can create your own, and make them extra-spooky by using a Raspberry Pi. Here are 7 you can make at home.
Much like our similar, Arduino-focused take from 2013, we’re going to be ranking each one based on their spookiness factor, and how difficult they are to build.
The Spooky Porch
Scare Factor: 7/10
Created by Cabe Attwell, The Spooky Porch uses the full capability of the Raspberry Pi B+’s GPIO to scare any unfortunate trick-or-treaters who pass by.
As someone approaches, it slowly brightens a series of blood-red lamps, whilst simultaneously dimming any porch lights, and playing some rather sinister, ethereal noises. When the visitor reaches the door, the track switches to something even more shocking.
The code, and all designs for this project are available to download from the Element14 website. As far as it goes, it’s fairly straightforward to make, and well documented. Although it involves a lot of different, individual components, including six different flood lights, and a motion sensor.
Scare Factor: 4/10
No porch on halloween is complete without a spooky, carved pumpkin face. But rather than simply stick a candle in yours, why not throw in a Raspberry Pi?
Designed by Brian Gillespie, the Pumpkin Pi does just that. Using a Raspberry Pi, a few lines of Python, a breakout board, and some LED’s, he shows you how to turn a flickering Pumpkin into something that bit more scary.
Raspberry Pi Halloween Lights and Music Show
Scare Factor: 3/10
Noel Portugal’s Halloween Lights and Music Show is very similar in spirit to The Spooky Porch, in the respect that it uses lights and sound as part of the decorations. But while The Spooky Porch is intended to scare, this is intended to be theatrical, and to amaze.
The code to the project can be found on Instructables.com, as can the schematics.
Most of the components are easy to find, off-the-shelf lighting equipment. It features four flood lights, each illuminating in succession; one strobe light; some speakers; and a passive infrared sensor. These can be found on eBay for as little as $4, as well as on maker emporium Element14.
The Screaming Ghost
Scare Factor: 11/10
Are you a curmudgeon? Do you hate trick or treaters? Do you resent having to get up every five minutes to dole out free candy, when you could be watching Netflix in your bathrobe?
If so, this project is for you.
The Screaming Ghost promises to petrify anyone who dares knock on your door. It uses a motion detector to sense when someone is nearby. As they approach, it projects an ethereal ghost onto a pane of plexiglass, and emits a high-pitched shriek. Scary, eh?
It sounds complicated, but it’s not. All you need is some plexiglass; some reflective paint; a projector; some speakers; and a motion detector. The code and design schematics are available toview on Instructables.com.
The Socrative Zombie
Scare Factor: 6/10
Braaaains. Braaaains. Braaaains.
Everybody loves zombies. Zombies love brains. Especially this zombie, built by tecoed.co.uk.
The Socrative Zombie shoves speakers, an infra-red sensor, and a raspberry pi into a ghoulishly macabre papier-mâché zombie head. When a person approaches, the zombie starts chanting brains.
The code and schematics for The Socrative Zombie can be found here.
The Makey Makey Halloween Soundboard
Scare Factor: 7/10
The Makey Makey is pretty rad. It allows you to turn everyday, conductive things (like fruit, pencil lead, and even your own body parts) into computer input devices. To get an idea of what I mean, check out this video by the inventor of the Makey Makey, Jay Silver:
But did you know that using a Raspberry Pi, some speakers, and a Makey Makey, you can create a haunting halloween soundboard? It’s true. Check out this project from Mark Hanford.
Here, he uses a custom-built wooden case and the standard Makey Makey demo program to produce haunting sounds at the touch of a button.
Creepy Face Tracker
Scare Factor: 4/10
Have you ever seen a painting where the eyes follow you? Creepy, isn’t it? The Creepy Face Tracker, from Tony DiCola, does just that. Except here, it’s not Uncle Sam that’s following your every move, but rather a ghoulish skull.
On the face of it, this project is rather simple, and requires only a PC monitor, and the Raspberry Pi camera module. However, unlike the other projects, it uses the comparatively complicated C++ graphics framework OpenFrameworks, and requires the user to compile the code. As a result, I’m labeling this as hard.
It’s worth pointing out that this program renders the ghostly image in real time. The developer recommends that you use the Raspberry Pi B+ at a minimum. That said, to be safe, you’re far more likely to be better off with the Raspberry Pi 2, which is a vastly more capable machine.
Will you be making a Raspberry Pi halloween project? I want to hear about it. Leave me a comment in the box below, and we’ll chat.