Pretty much everything will be in the garage again. Vegas tends to be too windy for long-term setups outside, and I don't trust the any cool decorations (cooler than styrofoam tombstones) would survive unmolested more than a day or so. After sketching out a few plans, I decided on a basic graveyard theme, with (subject to change...it is only February, after all) a zombie busting through a half-buried coffin, featuring a servo-driven three-axis skull and sound, another blood fountain, a female zombie with some kind of simple automation, lightning, and a Pepper's Ghost in the window.
I decided to start early this year to spread the work and expense over a longer timeline--I'm busy, and I'm cheap, and I thought a large DIY element would make it more rewarding, if not a little less expensive. I started with the pursuit of lightning.
It seems simple enough to find a way to emulate lighting--my first thought was to buy off-the-shelf. Unfortunately, a lot of the devices I found were too expensive (like, full-on DMX kits), too cheesy, or just unavailable. I looked for several weeks, and found a good solution: a sound-to-light modulator. There is a company called electronics123 that sells the kit in it's component pieces ($20 shipped); all you have to do is solder it together. Sounds simple--except that I've never soldered in my life. So, of course, I ordered it.
And here's what I got: