Haunting With Strobe Lights
A strobe light
emits regularly timed bright flashes of light.
Strobes have a number of interesting characteristics:
These characteristics can be used in different combination to trick the eye and brain...
- regularly timed flashes
- short flash duration
Although there are scares that do not rely on visuals, many do.
The scariest-looking monster in the world won't get a peep out of your guests if
they can't see him in the dark.
By the same token, if there is more than one thing going on,
you may need to call special attention to something.
Strobe lights are commonly used to call attention to something important.
Some fire alarms flash lights.
I have seen burgular alarms that flash a light outside to alert the police.
Aviation warning lights flash to call attention to towers and tall buildings.
Sometimes emergency supplies contain a flashing beacon to call in help.
In a like manner, when we want to call attention to a startle scare, we throw a strobe light on it.
suddenly pops upright, a strobe flashes on his front.
In the same way that a strobe light can call attention to something you want to see,
it can be used to call attention away to something you don't want seen.
As an example, a dim room with a flashing light at the other end may cause patrons to
move towards it in curiosity ... while a monster creeps up behind them/
A sudden flash of light can provide a startle scare in the same way as the
sudden appearance of anything else.
You don't want to really blind anybody.
But just about everybody has had their picture taken,
and ended up seeing bright spots for a few seconds after the flash goes off.
What if you were in a nice dim room,
a sudden flash made it hard to see,
while something nasty creeped in?
You don't want to impair anybody's vision when they are in a dangerous position,
like climbing stairs!
The regular flash of light from a strobe can stop or even reverse repeated motion.
Think of this:
- Go into a bathroom, and set the sink to slowly dripping: drip, drip, drip.
- Imagine turning off the light and replacing it with a carefully timed flash of light
pointed at the sink.
- As the drop of water falls, when it gets half-way from the spigot to the drain, the light flashes.
- You can see the sink, spigot, and drain in the flashing light.
- But the only time that the light flashes is when the water drop is half-way down.
- It will appear to you that a single drop is frozen in the air.
In reality, you are seeing nothing most of the time,
mixed with brief glances of a series of drops, one after the other.
- If you speed up the light a little, it will flash before the next drop gets quite half-way.
And the drop after that will be seen still higher up.
It will seem that a single drop is dripping up.
There have to be haunt applications for this!
Remember how the regular flashes of a strobe can appear to
It can be used to create disorientation.
Think of driving down a long tunnel, with small lights placed every 20 feet.
Flash, move, flash, move, flash.
Your brain easily accepts this because, like the dripping faucet, it can assemble the
flashing images into a coherent picture of a long tunnel.
Even if you are walking down a tunnel lit by a strobe,
it is easy to keep your orientation, because each flash illuminates the next piece,
you step into that piece, and the next flash illuminates the next.
As long as nothing but you are moving, your brain is able to assemble the images into
a view of the world, and you do well.
But what if you were to take a step and see a passage going to the right ahead.
And after a step, you get closer to the passage, and it is gone.
The brain attempts to knit together the two images and they don't fit.
The next flash shows a passage to the left.
That doesn't fit either.
The clashing images cause confusion and disorientation.
I'm not suggesting that you open and close passages with every flash.
But consider what would happen if the walls were lined with tinsel,
moving slightly in the breeze.
Or there were things hanging from the ceiling, swaying slightly.
With every flash, the brain is presented with a similar but different image,
that won't fit with the previous ones.
Even a small strobe corridor lined with moving stuff can make you dizzy and nautious!
A strobe light does not have to be incredibly powerful in order to be effective.
Once your eyes become adapted to the dark, a little light goes a long way!
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