RF Haunt: Raymond's Halloween Website


Pepper's Ghost Pepper's Ghost

The Effect:

A transparent ghost can be seen by trick-or-treators (They can see the person, and they can also see through the person to objects behind the ghost). The ghost can be wearing a costume or dressed in normal clothes, and he/she can move around to some extent.

There are several variations to this trick as well, some much more complex than others or requiring larger or more sophisticated equipment. To give some ideas, a transparent 'soul' can be seen rising from a dead body or skeleton; the ghost can slowly or quickly appear and vanish; or the ghost could appear to be floating in mid air.

Pepper's Ghost (Halloween 2000) Pepper's Ghost (Halloween 2000) Pepper's Ghost (Halloween 2001) Pepper's Ghost (Halloween 2001)

How It Works:

An actor stands out of view of the guests in a well-lit black room. A large piece of glass is angled so that he is reflected in the glass. His reflection, then, is visible to the guests. Guests can see both the reflection and the scene behind the glass, giving the illusion that there is a transparent ghost standing in the room.


  • Large piece of glass (At least several feet tall by a couple feet wide)
  • Light
  • Black fabric or backdrop
  • (Optional) Light Dimmer
Approximate Cost: $10.00 - $15.00
Keep your eye out at thrift stores for large pieces of glass. I've bought two 2'2" x 5'3" pieces of glass for $10 and $15. However, you'll need to look around, because large pieces of glass are very difficult to find. Plexi-glass will also work, as long as it's not scratched.


The hardest part of this effect is finding a piece of glass large enough. The glass I use is 2'2" x 5'3". This is smaller than would be ideal, but works well enough if I obscure the edges of the glass.

Once you have the glass, you must find a place that will be suitable to set up the effect. This could involve some planning and even some construction. Since Pepper's Ghost is so dependent on location, you should determine where you will set up the effect and plan the rest of your haunt around that.

You will need to drape a non-reflective black backdrop behind where the actor will stand. The lighting in this area (as well as the lighting behind the glass - behind where the ghost will appear to be) will need to be adjusted so that both the reflection and any props in the scene behind Pepper's Ghost are clearly visible. This is where light dimmers would be helpful.

You can make Pepper's Ghost appear to be sitting in a chair in the scene by having the actor sit on a black chair and placing another chair of the same height where the ghost appears to be sitting. Use your imagination to come up with other props that Pepper's Ghost can interact with.

Here are some possible set-ups for Pepper's Ghost.
There are dozens of different set-ups you could concievably use, so if one of these arrangements does not work for your haunt, just keep trying; you should be able to come up with something.

Pepper's Ghost in my 2001 Haunt:

Pepper's Ghost Plan
If you are doing a garage walkthrough, you may be able to use the hallway leading from the house to the garage to your advantage. The actor can stand in a room adjacent to the inside hall (In this case, the laundry room), and the glass is placed in the hall. If your glass is not large enough to cover the entire hall, the inside garage door can be opened to obscure one side of the glass. You will need to use some other method to conceal the top edge of the mirror. I angled a board across the door frame, giving the effect of a condemned building and obscuring the top edge.

Pepper's Ghost in my 2000 Haunt:

Pepper's Ghost Plan
At our Halloween 2000 Haunt, the inside rooms adjacent to the inside hall unfortunately did not work for Pepper's Ghost. We needed to actually build an artificial room in the garage for our actor to stand in. The walls of this room were made out of fabric, like the rest of our haunt, and doubled so that no light would shine through. We had a fence high enough that people could not lean far over, and made sure that a fabric wall blocked the actor from view if someone did. We hid the visible edge of the glass by opening the door slightly behind it. This made the edge of the glass look more like part of the door.



Completed Effects:
- Magic Box
- Projector Ghosts
- Pepper's Ghost
- Rickety Floor
- Cobwebs
- Tree Projection
- Curtain Spirit

Incomplete Effects:
- Living Head

All original content copyright 2004 Raymond Fero

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