RF Haunt: Raymond's Halloween Website


Fanimatronic Ghoul Fanimatronic Ghoul

The Decoration:

A grim ghoul stands in front of your haunt, slowly turning his head from side to side.

Fanimatronic Ghoul (2003) Fanimatronic Ghoul (2004)


The ghoul's head is actually a mask over a modified oscillating fan. When the fan is turned on, the ghoul's head turns back and forth.


  • Black fabric
  • Ghoul mask
  • Small oscillating fan

  • Other materials:
    • Boxes of various sizes
    • Paper bowl and plate
    • Plastic one-gallon milk container
Approximate Cost: $8.00 - $10.00


When I first built a fanimatronic for my 2000 haunt, I just removed the blades from a standard oscillating fan and covered it with a mask. This worked for about half an hour before the fan overheated and permanently broke.

For my second attempt, I decided I would need to modify the fan so that it would still circulate air under the mask. To do this, I used a smaller oscillating fan and replaced the blades with ones small enough to fit within the mask. For this, you will need to find an oscillating fan that, with a modified blade, will be small enough to fit completely inside of your mask.

  1. Start by removing the original blades and grill from the fan.

  2. Once the fan's blades are removed, you will need to make a smaller propeller for the fan so that it will be able to circulate air inside the mask. Create the propeller from a rectangular piece of pliable plastic.

    Fan with modified blade Close up of modified blade

    Cutting a long rectangle out of a plastic, one-gallon milk container will work. Fold the plastic to create the blades, and punch a hole in the center to attach it to the fan.

    Fan propeller pattern

  3. Now you need to create a covering for the propeller so that it does not catch on the mask. Cut a circle out of a paper bowl, punch several holes in the sides for ventillation, and attach this to the fan around the propeller.

    The prepared paper bowl Paper bowl attached to modified fan

    Use a blade to cut several vent holes in a paper plate, and attach it to the bowl, completely enclosing the propeller.

    The prepared paper plate Paper plate attached to modified fan

  4. Put the mask over the fan so that the propeller is in the back. The fabric of the back of the mask should be thin enough to allow some ventillation. I stuffed a sponge into the head of the mask to help it balance higher on the fan.

    The completed head component (Front) The completed head component (Back)

Displaying the Ghoul:

It may take some time to find boxes that will work for creating the body of the ghoul. I placed a board across the top of the stack to act as shoulders, and propped a long 2x4 against the front coming up to about elbow level to give the ghoul an arm.
Building the body Covering the body The finished fanimatronic ghoul

You'll need a rather large piece of black fabric to drape around the entire ghoul, and it will likely require quite a bit of adjusting before it looks convincing enough as a body. The collar I used is from a store-bought sorceress costume and helps to create the illusion of shoulders while hiding the somewhat awkward transition between the top of the boxes and the base of the fan.

Chatting with death



Completed Projects:
- Fanimatronic
- Billowing Ghost
- Tombstones
- Cemetery Fence

All original content copyright 2004 Raymond Fero

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