DIY Haunted Television

Here’s a project that connects with me on all levels. Of course, I love spooky stuff and horror movie scares, and a huge part of what I love to do as a theatre director and designer is take what is normally thought of as a “movie special effect” and make it work in the nuts & bolts practical world. There’s a real satisfaction when the proper combination of tech and timing makes, say, an actor move independently of their shadow, or a person appear in different parts of the room too quickly to be human.

So this project by Instructables user gocivici is right up the center of my alley. He’s fitted an old cathode-ray TV with a Raspberry Pi and a mini-camera, and using face -recognition software has created a television that turns itself on, waits for the viewer to look away, and then places a spooky image behind them when they look back. Watch this:

It really is genius, and being Instructables, the how-to for creating your own is included on the site. It takes some Raspberry Pi programming and electrical engineering, but from what I see the instructions are very complete and should be manageable if taken slowly and carefully by anyone with a creative itch to scratch. I hope to see this (as well as some creative variations) in every Halloween haunted house by next fall!

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