Halloween hacking ideas for 2017

Halloween is coming and you might think you need some scary/funny decoration for it. Here are some ideas. DesignNews article 13 Halloween Gadgets to Frighten Up Devil’s Night shows some ideas for Halloween props you can buy from shop. Or do you want to make something yourself? So let’s start with pumpkins.

How to Carve Halloween Pumpkins

Arduino Project Ideas – Build a Smart Pumpkin for Halloween

arduino servo pumpkin eyes

If you are into making your own gadgets, check out those projects:

Simple Halloween Skull with arduino | Open Electronics

Control Your Halloween Decorations with DJ Lighting Hardware

Control Your Halloween Decorations With Arduino

8 Amazing Halloween Frights You Can Make With An Arduino

Arduino-Controlled Halloween Props

Halloween Fun with Arduino – Part 1

Arduino powered Haunted Mansion display

For more ideas check also my older Halloween hacking ideas postings, Hackaday Halloween ideas, hackster.io Halloween projects and Arduino.cc Halloween projects.

Or do you want to go to a pro level on your decoration. Then you should really check out this:

The author of of Controlgeek.net web blog and show control book, John Huntington, makes show control and video for The Gravesend Inn, A Haunted Hotel. He was interviewed about the technology behind the Gravesend Inn in Commercial Integrator magazine, so read the article These Scare Factories are Packed with AV: Inside Haunted House Technology to see what kind of tech is found in all haunted houses these days. Check also the Controlgeek.net blog posts about Gravesend Inn to get idea what technology is used and how. Maybe you can get some ideas for your own decoration from those.


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Smartphone Controlled Jack-O-Lantern

    Control lights on this pumpkin’s eyes and mouth using a smartphone or other connected device.

    With Halloween nearly upon us, Here’s a simple smartphone controlled pumpkin that can be made with just a few dollars of parts.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Alas, Poor Yorick! He Hath Not Amazon Prime

    If you are looking around for a Halloween project, you might consider The Yorick Project from [ViennaMike].

    This isn’t the most technically demanding project, but it has a lot of potential for further hacking. The project includes a USB microphone, a servo controller, and an audio servo driver board. It looks like the audio servo board is controlling the jaw movement and based on the video, we wondered if you might do better running it completely in software.

    It is a bit disconcerting to have to call the skull Alexa and hear the familiar voice coming out. It seems like some analog voice changing hardware might be in order on the output.

    The Yorick Project

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Remote Controlled Jack-o-Lantern

    BreakoutBros Halloween Special: A RF remote controlled Jack-o-Lantern

    While I was testing parts to review the ControlEverything.com Arduino Shield I realized I was just a few spliced wires and a relay away from something fun.

    So I combined that shield, the Arduino Light Control Tutorial, a ceramic Jack-o-Lantern, and some wire. The pumpkin I used already had a male plug, so I decided to make a relay controlled outlet.

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:


    After becoming internet-famous for their interactive Christmas lights, the Poplawskis have expanded their festive offerings this year with Holiday Frights, a fiendish collection of spooky decor controlled by a Raspberry Pi.

  5. [email protected] says:

    In upcoming Halloween day, I wanna act like a child. Thanks for such as a great Halloween idea.

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    This Creepy DIY Mechanical Spider Will Make Your Skin Crawl

    Halloween is just around the corner, so we’d like to present you with an exciting project for your next Halloween bash. Enter a creepy mechanical spider, one which has been retrofitted with a motor, LEDs, and is controlled with a Silego GreenPAK chip. The idea is to animate the spider so it moves on its own power, while its eyes light up in red for an extra scary effect.

    For this project, you’ll need a mechanical spider toy. We used a spider 3D puzzle, due to its simple design and low cost.

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    [PROJECT] Scary Eyes – Arduino controlled LED eyes

    It’s rooted in a real scary threat, some sort of wild animal. Rat, dog, flying squirrel, wolverine… whatever is the wild thing from where you’re from. Usually those eyes in the weeds/darkness are following by slow backing away or full blown running.

    In this project, we are going to start out with one pair of eyes. I’ll show you how to add blinking for more realism. For the ambitious, I will show how to chain a bunch of eyes together for a greater effect.

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Special Report: Spooktacular DIY Halloween Costumes That Are Sure to Turn Some Heads

    Whether you’re a hobbyist or an experienced mastermind, there’s a spooky project just waiting to light up your Halloween.

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Halloween projects for engineers

    Engineering skills come in handy when designing cool costumes and decorations for Halloween.

    Check out these projects, and let us know how you’ve put your skills to use to make something fun or scary!

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    5 Technologies You Should Be Afraid Of
    In the spirit of Halloween, we take a look at a few technologies that, despite all of their promise, could yield terrifying results.

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    And You Thought Your Grandma’s Dolls Were Creepy


    His build suspends the doll from fishing line, and lifts it up or lowers it down to make it float. The plan is to suspend it from his porch, and have it levitate as children draw near (at least he’ll save money on candy, as kids run away). This works by reeling the fishing line in on a stepper motor connected to a Gecko 210X stepper controller, which is in turn connected to a Raspberry Pi.

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Haunting A Smart Mirror With Hue and Alexa

    So, your smart mirror has been running for a while, but Halloween is coming up and you want to come up with some cool Halloween stuff to display on the mirror. If you’re looking for ideas, check out [Ben Eagan]’s cool Haunted Smart Mirror which connects the mirror via a Raspberry Pi with Amazon Alexa and Phillips Hue lighting.

    [Ben] points to another of his blog pages for those readers interested in the nuances of setting up Alexa with a smart mirror, while concentrating on communication with the Hue bridge and creating the setup for a new Alexa command in this post. Dealing with the Phillips Hue API seems fairly straightforward

    Haunted Home Automation

  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    What Can You Do With All That Halloween Candy?

    It’s Halloween time. In the USA, this is traditionally a time of costumes, the beginning of the Christmas decorations, and tons of crappy candy. Oh, you think I’m not a big fan of Halloween? You are correct. The costumes are cool, but the candy is excessive (and the Christmas decorations this early drive me crazy).

    How Much Energy Can You Cram Into Your Halloween Candy?

    t’s Halloween time. For many, this time of the year means there are lots of cool costumes. For others, it’s all about the candy. Now, I’m not a big fan of candy—but I am a big fan of analyzing stuff. So here we go: I’m going to look at the energy density for candy. Sure, I could just look this up—but it’s much more fun to determine it for myself.

    But what do you do with a lot of data? You start making graphs. I will start off with a plot of calories vs. mass. But wait! I don’t want to use calories as a unit of energy because it’s a pretty dumb unit. The silliest thing about a calorie is that there are actually two different calories.

    All candies are not equal; some might have more stuff in them that does not add to the total calorie value. But overall, there seems to be fairly nice correlation between candy mass and candy energy.

  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Mechanical Marvel Trades Courage for Chocolate

    When we see what [Jason Allemann] does with LEGO, we wonder why more one-offs aren’t made this way. This time he’s made a Halloween mechanical marvel that will surely scare more kids than anything else they’ll encounter on their rounds — so much so that many may even decline the chocolate it dispenses. Who wouldn’t when to get it you have to reach over an animatronic skeleton hand that may grab you while a similarly mechanized spider may lunge onto your hand.

    LEGO Mini Chocolate Machine

  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Magic Cauldron

    A “Magic Cauldron” that detects spell casting and responds with dynamic lighting effects.

  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Add Lights and Spooky Music to Your Jack-O-Lantern © CC BY

    Have the scariest Jack-O-Lantern on your street by adding glowing lights and spooky music!

  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google Cloud Vision Halloween Candy Sorter

    Candy sorting robot using Google Cloud Vision, the Raspberry Pi, and the BrickPi

    In this tutorial we’ll harness the powerful Google Cloud Vision, the BrickPi, the Raspberry Pi, the Pi Camera, and a pile of LEGO bricks to build a machine to find what you want (and don’t want) automatically! After you run the BrickPi Candy Sorter, you’ll have a pile of candy you want, and the junk you can give your little brother.

  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Capacitive Piano

    Create your own fruit piano with this python script. Place 12 apples on a table and create your own midi piano with light effects.

    Required Hardware

    Raspberry Pi 3
    MPR121 12-key capacitive touch sensor
    12 conductive objects like fruit or aluminium foil
    Dupont wire jumper cables
    Speaker (must be amplified, HDMI cable to TV/receiver sounds great, headphone jack has a little background noise but is tolerable)

  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Create a Halloween Pumpkin Like a NASA Engineer

    Want to make an out-of-this-world Halloween pumpkin? Take a cue from the engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It’s their job to design and build robots that can travel millions of miles to study other planets – and sometimes even land and drive around on the surface. So on Halloween, they can’t help but bring some of that same creative thinking to designing stellar pumpkins inspired by space exploration.

  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Internet of Jack-O’-Lanterns

    As the candy rush fades, the Halloween hacks continue pouring in. [Jeremy S Cook] has taken a few fundamental concepts and dressed them up inside the smartest pumpkin on the block.

    This pumpkin has a WEMOS D1 Mini ESP8266 brain, LED eyes in place of a candle for illumination, and a small USB power bank for power.

    Smartphone Controlled Pumpkin

  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Halloween DIY: 6 Projects You Can Build Now

  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Evil Hotspot Costume Makes Valuable Connections

    This year for Hallowe’en, [Scott] went out dressed as a Comcast xfinity hotspot. Funny, yes, but there’s a deeper meaning here. [Scott] really went as a walking PSA that illustrates the dangers of making assumptions about the relative safety of WiFi networks based solely on their broadcast names.

    Comcast Xfinity wifi hotspot- this year’s Halloween Costume!

  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Star Wars Speeder’s Finishing Touch: Mirrors

    [Super 73] make electric scooters, and they made some Star Wars Speeder Bikes with a twist for Halloween; adding some mirrored panels around the bottoms of the bikes made for a decent visual effect that requires no upkeep or fancy workings. Having amazed everyone with the bikes, they followed them up with a video of the build process.

    Halloween Levitating Star Wars Speeder Costume

  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Servo-Controlled Eyeball Makes a Muggle Moody

    Even when you bear a passing resemblance to the paranoid Auror of the Harry Potter universe, you still really need that wonky and wandering prosthetic eye to really sell that Mad-Eye Moody cosplay, and this one is pretty impressive.

    Mad Eye Moody – Moving Eyeball Prop

  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Mad Eye For The WiFi

    In the Harry Potter universe, Professor Moody was, perhaps unfairly, given the nickname Mad Eye for the prosthetic eye he wore. His eye remains a challenge for technically-minded cosplayers aiming to recreate the look and feel of this unique piece of headgear. [cyborgworkshop] had already mastered the basic eye, but wanted to take things further.

    The original build relied on a sub-micro servo to move the eyeball. This was done at random as an attempt to simulate the eye’s behaviour in the books and films. However, wanting more, [cyborgworkshop] decided to make the eye more reactive to its surrounding environment. Using the Adafruit Huzzah, a breakout board for the ESP8266, code was whipped up to detect the number of WiFi access points in the area.


  26. Andrew Powel says:

    Thank you so much for your helpful post. Everyone is gonna like your post cause you give some beautiful and useful idea of Halloween hacking. It’s help us so much to decorate our home nicely. Can you help me by giving more information about which place of home will be good for use those?

  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Pumpkin Pi Follows Your Movement — Thanks to PIR Sensors and a Hidden Raspberry Pi
    Caleb Lemoine has a relatively simple project that’s sure to bring the scares this Halloween

    Maker Caleb Lemoine is getting a head start on Halloween with a Raspberry Pi-powered jack-o’-lantern build designed to track visitors’ motions for a spooky surprise: the Pumpkin Pi.


  28. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Warty Monster is a motion-activated hack-o’-lantern featuring scary sounds, lights, and a cool mist.

    Warty Monster © CC BY
    Warty Monster is a “smart” Halloween Pumpkin featuring scary sounds, lights, and cool mist, activated by a proximity sensor and a sonar.


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