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I have a year to prepare for our 8 acre haunted walk... as I said in my intro message..

I have lots of static props and already have a rough map of what my son and I are going to do, but he wants some "action" to some props without using "actors" at every turn... As he said if we use his friends as actors, who is going to do the walk... Our map includes a lab, spider haven, witches around a cauldron, bride and groom skeletons, casket dwellers, graveyard, ghosts in the trees, a "mad hell dog", and our fenced off pond (people can not wander off into it) in which we would like to do some type of swamp monster... Our plan is to have several "large areas" for the previously listed things and then some scattered smaller things in the darkness between the areas... leaves rustling, maybe the webs that hang at face level, ya know the kinds of things that make ya edgy between big scares...

My question is what type of things should I be looking for to make the props have action. I have 3 wiper motors, 2 ice-cream maker motors and one fog machine along with my static props which include 4 skeletons, spiders, a huge cast iron cauldron, yards and yards of cheese cloth for ghosts, 2 caskets made from pressboard, about 15 full head masks, and other small things... We are novices as to how to hook things up with out using extension cords. My son is great about car motors and can follow directions if someone is willing to, more or less, "take us under their wing" and help us out.
 

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Hi Secret, I'm glad to hear you're starting early. With that much ground to cover, you're going to need lots of time to fill it all up. Since there's no way you can power that much acreage via extension cord, I'd recommend going the 12 volt route. Car wiper motors have good torque and are fairly adaptable to different applications. The only "non-electric" (non-AC) haunted trail I ever did was for the Cub Scouts once. I used deep cycle marine trolling motor batteries to power everything, including the lighting. I'd also recommend that you start making up LED spotlights now. They use less power over time compared to a 12v light bulb, and proper mood lighting can go a long way towards making or breaking your haunt. the place in Hong Kong that I buy LEDs from even includes 12v resistors for free with each purchase.
I'd be looking for anything and everything that can be powered by 12 volt. Power window motors, old PC fans, car headlights and horns, cd players for sound, etc. Even if you can't come up with the trolling motor batteries, they can be expensive, I'd still go with 12 volt and run miles of low shock wiring compared to extension cords from the house.
 
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