Halloween is possibly the hackiest of holidays.  Think about it: when else do you get to add animatronic eyes to everyday objects, or break out the CNC machine to cut into squashes? Labor day? Nope. Proximity-sensing jump-scare devices for Christmas?  We think not. But for Halloween, you can let your imagination run wild! 

We’re happy to announce that DigiKey and Arduino have teamed up for this year’s Hackaday Halloween Contest. Bring us your best costume, your scariest spook, your insane home decorations, your wildest pumpkin, or your most kid-pleasing feat, and extra points if you use a product from the Arduino Pro line to make your hair-raising fantasy happen! We’ll be rewarding the top three with a $150 gift certificate courtesy of DigiKey and some Arduino Halloween treats! 

So ghoul up, ghost around, and geek out.  This is Halloween!

You've got until October 31 to get your entry in, but these aren't necessarily simple builds, so get going now.


Thanks to our partners DigiKey and Arduino, three top projects will be awarded a $150 shopping spree.

Special Categories:

  • Costume
    • Halloween is primarily about getting into outrageous costumes and scoring candy. We don’t want to see the candy.
  • Pumpkin
    • Pumpkin carving could be as simple as taking a knife to a gourd, but that’s not what we’re after. Show us the most insane carving method, or the pumpkin so loaded with electronics that it makes Akihabara look empty in comparison.
  • Kid-Pleaser
    • Because a costume that makes a kid smile is what Halloween is really all about.  But games or elaborate candy dispensers, or anything else that helps the little ones have a good time is fair game here.
  • Hallowed Home
    • Do people come to your neighborhood just to see your haunted house? Do you spend more on light effects than on licorice? Then show us your masterpiece!
  • Spooky
    • If your halloween build is simply scary, it belongs here.


Need some inspiration? Here are some projects to check out that should get your ideas flowing:

Check out some of the Halloween-themed articles on Hackaday

How to Enter

Document your project on Share images or videos of your project and tell the story of how you designed it and built it in the description of your project.

Once you have published your project, look in the left sidebar for the "Submit project to..." menu to enter it in the Halloween Innovator Contest:

Judging Criteria 

Here are the criteria judges will have in mind while reviewing entries: 

  • We’d like to know how it works, and maybe make one ourselves. In addition to the entry, we’ll be scoring on how well the project is documented.

Contest Rules

  • This is Hackaday’s Halloween. Simply spooky doesn’t cut it – we want it to have some electronic hardware involved either in the manufacture or in the end result. 
  • Of course aesthetics matter too. If you’re going to make it look spooky, make it look spooky.
  • We’re interested in peeking under the sheets of your flying ghost. Document your haunts as well as you can so that we can follow along.
  • All entrants must agree to have the design published on Hackaday.
  • Employees and contractors of DigiKey, Supply Frame, Siemens and their immediate family members are ineligible to win, but are still encouraged to enter.
  • Rules and categories subject to change and judges' decisions are final.
  • Contest ends October 31st, 2023 09:00 am PST