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Geeky Gizmos for a Howling Halloween

There’s something about Halloween that brings out the inner geek. Whether you live in a castle or a dungeon, your pals at Psooodough Mart have dug up a wacky list of (mostly) techie toys designed to set the stage for a fantastic Halloween experience.


Everyone Can Hear You Scream
Your outdoor sound system is step one. While you don’t have to use wireless speakers, it makes the job a good bit easier. Install a six-pack of LiteSounds Landscape Lights with Speakers and you just might be ahead of the game … lighting up your front walk and scaring the daylights out of the neighborhood kinds in one fell swoop. The LiteSounds kit includes a portable wireless transmitter (100 foot range), 100 watt low voltage lighting transformer, 100 watt audio receiver/amplifier, automatic photocell, and low voltage landscape lights (two of the six are speaker lights)

Seriously Scary Soundtrack
Once you’ve set up your sound system you’ve got to get the right soundtrack. There’s no need for you or your guests to endure the Monster Mash. And you don’t have to settle for the crappy halloween CDs they sell in the supermarket. Get creative and put together your own mix. The Exotic Sounds of Martin Denny is chock full of tiki weirdness, but you might not want to invest in the entire two-CD collection. You can download individual tracks from Amazon’s MP3 or iTunes. Keep an eye out for other goodies like Music From the Depths of Hell, along with original soundtrack cuts from your favorite scary movies.

Ghoul Vibrations
Can’t stand to hear the same old stuff? Want to make your own free-form spooky soundtrack? Get a Theremin … there’s nothing quite like it. The theremin was the first musical instrument designed to be played without being touched. (If you’ve ever wondered what that weird sounding instrument is in the Beach Boys’ classic Good Vibrations, now you know.) If you don’t want to invest in the real deal, you can always download a trial version of Sagebrush Systems’ MouSing virtual theremin software for Windows.

Pumpkin Flashers
Candles? We don’t need no steenkin’ candles. Light your pumpkin with neon. But not just any neon … APC has a neon tube set up that flashes to music and is controlled with an adjustable sensor. This baby is configured to plug into a cigarette lighter, so you’ll need a power outlet adapter and battery source.

Lost in the Fog
Nothing sets the mood like fog. At $40 or so, the Chauvet F-650 Hurricane is cheap enough to fall into the Halloween impulse buy category. Don’t forget to pick up plenty of fog juice with the unit.

Strobe Frights
Strobe lights and fog go hand-in-hand, like Frankenstein and his Bride.Mr. and Mrs. Frankenstein, please meet Mr. and Mrs. Chauvet …

The Chauvet CH-730 Mini Strobe Light’s adjustable speed control can be set from 1 to 12 flashes per second and is rated with a 10 million flash life.


Throw Your Voice, Fool Your Friends, Fun at Parties!
One or two inexpensive sets of walkie talkies can bring hours of fun. Good chance there’s a set rattling around in your junk drawer.If you have two sets, you can spread out the fun by hiding units in different parts of your yard. Toss one walkie talkie in the bushes and duct tape another one up in a tree. Use different frequencies to freak out your guests with a surround sound attack from multiple ghoulish accomplices.

Vocal Cords
It’s Halloween. Time to change your underpants and your voice. A cheap voice changer can go a long way. The Discovery VX-3 Voice Changer lets you disguise your voice to sound like a robot, alien or monster. If fifteen bucks is too much to spend, you can always download shareware somewhere. Of course you can’t walk around with your computer … unless you’re going as a geek … again.

Chalk It Up to Halloween
Okay, so this one isn’t techie, but it’s cheap. Get some sidewalk chalk and get to work creating your own crime scene on the front stoop.Which brings us to the obvious …

I Don’t Drink, Wine
Don’t forget to pick up a couple of pints of stage blood on your way home from work.