Oct. 31 is one of the biggest party nights of the year -- and while costumes are critical, so is getting your pad set up for the shindig.
But dim lighting and store-bought spider webs don't really create a creepy atmosphere these days. To really spook your guests -- and have them talking about your ghost and ghoul gathering for the rest of the year -- consider this severed handful of hi-tech gadgets.
Amazing animatronic door
You have to be really dedicated to spend $3,550 on a Halloween party prop, but if you do, boy can you get something cool. This animatronic asylum door uses a 22-inch LCD monitor, a DVD system and pneumatics to create a very convincing illusion that an axe-wielding killer is coming after you.
It's important to set the mood for the party before your guests even step through the door. The Eliminator 400 Watt Fog Machine is affordable, lightweight and spits out 1,500 cubic feet of fog per minute — enough to make your house seem eerie from a distance.
Once inside, the less smoky Cauldron Fogger maintains the spooky vibe, but doesn't do so at the expense of visibility. And its multicolor lights add some ambiance to the room.
Depending on how scary you want your party to be, a Jack O' Lantern may or may not fit into your plans. If you do opt for one, though, there are several ways to make your pumpkin carving distinctive. Sci-fi fans with a little tech know-how can build a DIY Cylon pumpkin using an array of LED lights, but if you're pressed for time, the Pumpkin Pal Stake can light up your creation — and make it appear as if you've stabbed it in the head with a sword.
You friends hopefully envision your house as a place to relax and have fun, but to up the creepy factor, you want to make it a little less cozy. Go traditional here and hang this Bates Motel sign on the door or side. It could even be a nifty piece of foreshadowing for your…
No room in your party should be safe — not even the bathroom. This serial killer shower curtain, featuring the silhouette of a Norman Bates-like slasher and splashes of blood, might look like mere window dressing, but it's also equipped with sound and motion sensors that play the distinctive music from "Psycho" and a clip of a woman screaming when someone gets too close. Awesome.
Halloween is a holiday for kids, so it's a good idea to acknowledge that at your party. This spinning head baby blends the cherubic with the Exorcist and will certainly creep our guests. Equipped with an internal motion detector, its eyes will light up and its head will spin when people walk by.
Rise of Nightmares (Sega)
If you're looking for something a little peppier, give the spectacular Dance Central 2 a shot — or if you don't have a Kinect, competing dance title Just Dance 3 is a hoot for all three systems.
Think smoke machines and sound effects don't create the proper atmosphere for your party? How about a vortex tunnel? Sure it'll cost you $7,000, but for that you'll get a 20 foot long elevated tunnel that rotates around a walkway with appropriately psychedelic artwork and blacklights. Even better, it's ADA approved! See it in action here.