This years haunt was the culmination of many years of experimentation. I decided to do a theme this year, and chose spiders. We made a giant spider web in the front yard with strobe lights. Put a giant spider on our roof made out of garbage bags ironed together stuffed with newspaper, and another hiding on the corner of the giant web. My standard thunder with synchronized lightning, and music set the proper mood. In the trees we also put strange animal noises.
To enhance my normal grave stones which I had made out of Styrofoam for a full fledged haunted house a few years before, I added my version of the pepper's ghost illusion... The disembodied head. It's actually more based on the old console video games like Centipede, that would reflect the screen in the glass. My brother Jim played the head by sitting in front of a black background with black over his body in front of a camera inside our house. This camera's signal was sent to a TV set I didn't care too much about, sitting in the graveyard. Here is a diagram.
The best thing was the fact that there was also a camera in the ivy with the signal on the tv in front of my brother so he could basically video conference with the visitors.
I added a cd player eject motor to the window skeleton to make him subtly move up and down.
When you walked into the house we blocked off the hall and directed the visitors into the living room. On the ground we put old carpet upside down to make a tough protective, and interesting surface. In the 15 foot tall living room we had built a scaffold with black plastic making a long black lit hall. At the end we put our signature treat trap door with the glow in the dark hair sprayed hand giving treats.
When they got the treat and turned around we dropped 20 spiders from the ceiling hung at various heights and positions. Before the spiders dropped we turned on a sound effect of everyone in my family chanting chchchchchchcchch, and some red lights.