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Best of Make: Volume 2 by The Editors of Make:

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BOOM STICK

By Edwin Wise

Image

Photograph by Garry McLeod

DECOMPRESSION THERAPY

The super-loud Boom Stick is a PVC air cannon that delivers maximum bang for the buck. It assaults the startle reflex of any nearby victim, adding an instant rush of physical terror to haunted houses, art pieces, pranks, and performances.

I work in haunted houses during the Halloween season, as an actor, guide, technician, makeup artist, and effects creator. Some of my effects instill fear through foreshadowing or complex storylines, but the most effective way to scare people is often just a simple, brute-force startle.

The air cannon is a great and safe device for such ...

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