Today is
February 27th

After having to give up pyrotechnics, I needed a new hobby. Halloween props allow for mechanical, electronic, and artistic expression, plus they're fun. This page will show different projects and eventually haunts from various years.

I got a lot of really good information from Dave Korr at If you're new to haunting, there's a lot of detailed explanation on electronics, animatronics and pneumatics.

November 4, 2011

Re-constructing My FCG (Flying Crank Ghost) - Part 3

This final portion of my FCG re-build shows how I built and erected the enclosure for Pepper's effect. Be sure to check out part 1 and part 2.

You can see a few more details at Halloween Forum.

Primed styrofoam
My goal was to enclose the ghost in its own chamber so that only the reflection would be visible. I used 4 x 8 sheets of styrofoam insulation for the wall panels. I first primed them with grey latex paint.

Mirror frame
The heart of Pepper's effect is the mirror. To save costs, I used a 5 x 8 sheet of window shrink insulation applied to a wooden frame. Total cost, less than $10.

Wall panels
Each panel was attached to a 2 x 4 frame with screws and fender washers. The panels were attached to the porch with a clamp, some zip ties, and a few 2 x 4 braces so there was no permanent damage to the porch. Here, I've added mortar lines to make the panels look like stone walls.

Stone Walls
After some different colors of paint for depth and texture, the walls look like stone. Here you can see the reflection in the window shrink as well. The black fringe was made with landscaping fabric.

Hanging mounts
The ghost and a blacklight were mounted to the underside of the porch roof.

Ghost chamber
The insides of the chamber were covered in black landscape fabric to keep everything dark. Here is the ghost hung out of direct view.

Pepper's ghost
Here's a shot of the illusion in action. It's a little blurry due to the long exposure (any flash would negate the effect). You can see the house window through the ghost.

Halloween house
Here's a view of the house at night showing the ghost reflection on the right. I had Halloween sound effects playing from the upstairs windows for the Tick-or Treaters.

This is how the entrance looked in the end.

Here's the costume I wore for Halloween. The mask was on discount for $8, the gloves were free from the hospital, and the nails were $2. It was a hit with most of the kids, though I did make four of them cry (they got over it and the candy avoided any permanent scarring).

Other Projects
Re-constructing my FCG - Part 2 - July 24, 2011
Re-constructing my FCG - Part 1 - July 10, 2011
A corpse I made from a skull model and latex - October 19, 2005