Do It Yourself Ghost
May 26, 2008 10:33 AM   Subscribe

Need a ghost? Here's an easy 'how-to' make one yourself...

Plenty of time to get this technique perfected before Halloween!
posted by pearlybob (22 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
During nighttime, one could also make it glow in the dark.
posted by maxyRO at 10:43 AM on May 26, 2008


1. Buy roll of chicken wire
2. Shape into realistic human form (it's totally easy!)
3. Place in remote setting and wait for the yuks

what could be simpler?
posted by mumkin at 11:02 AM on May 26, 2008

I'll admit that does look a little creepy from a distance. I'd like to put one here.
posted by timsteil at 11:08 AM on May 26, 2008

That was so simple, yet, kinda cool, that I may have to make one.
posted by sleepy pete at 11:12 AM on May 26, 2008

I will agree with simple, but definitely doesn't look easy (for me at least). Very cool effect though, I would totally make these to freak out some people I know if I thought I had any chance of successfully making one.
posted by Stunt at 11:15 AM on May 26, 2008

I think I'd like to use this to grow my beans and peas on.
posted by LunaticFringe at 11:17 AM on May 26, 2008 [4 favorites]

I shaped chicken wire into a large eagle for a high school bonfire once. Actually wasn't too hard and since you can keep re-working it, we actually ended up with a pretty good final result. That we stuffed with paper and burned to a crisp.

Love the garden idea!!
posted by pearlybob at 11:23 AM on May 26, 2008

Personally I think it's more fun to make a ghost the old-fashioned way, with a bloody and horrible murder. Though that technique isn't without its drawbacks, I'll admit.
posted by Grangousier at 11:47 AM on May 26, 2008 [17 favorites]

I suppose you could hang a hatchet from a tree and affix it to the ghost's hand. Picture it moving slightly in the breeze.
posted by tinkertown at 12:06 PM on May 26, 2008

That is surprisingly effective from a distance, good work on the idea.
posted by triv at 12:14 PM on May 26, 2008

I love how they omit the difficult part. I mean, who could possibly have trouble fashioning chicken wire to look exactly like a ghostly human?
posted by Justinian at 12:19 PM on May 26, 2008

Damn fake chicken wire ghosts short-circuit my proton pack and I end up crossing the streams.
posted by w0mbat at 12:34 PM on May 26, 2008

But where do you put the ectoplasm?
posted by Dave Faris at 12:58 PM on May 26, 2008

Hey I like this. You could also just buy a ghost.
posted by wemayfreeze at 1:10 PM on May 26, 2008 [2 favorites]

"OMG what's that in the trees?? Whatever it is, it can't be a ghost since it isn't moving!"
posted by DU at 2:44 PM on May 26, 2008

Well, the not moving part's easy enough to fix. Just hang your lightweight chicken wire ghost from a springy tree branch with fishing line.
posted by limeonaire at 3:26 PM on May 26, 2008

Given that it's starting to be the time of year when I think of Halloween decorations (some of us have to start earlier than others) I'd like to point these out:

If you need a ghost, I'm rather partial to the flying crank ghost. With a little dedicated scrounging I've heard of people putting these together for $20-30.

If you're looking for a static prop that would be effective out it the woods somewhere, say at twilight, there's always this guy. His front yard display is mostly paper mache but it's as impressive as many setups with dozens of pneumatic cylinders and microcontrollers.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 3:37 PM on May 26, 2008

Sissies. If you were a real nerd, you'd make this out of your own aerogel. A ten year old made some aerogel, you could, too!

Then impregnate it with trace amounts of europium-activated strontium aluminate and tag it from a short distance with a 240nm true UV LED, that humans can't even see. You could even make it different colors, but I'd mostly stick with white.

Shaping it is easy. Now, the animatronic skeleton, okay ... this thing is real light, right? I mean, it's freaking aerogel. You could make your animatronic skeleton out of a fistful of Arduinos and some muscle wire!

I'm still working on making lasers come out of its eyes.
posted by adipocere at 3:38 PM on May 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


If you can think of it, you can probably find it. I searched for this artifact of my youth. There was a flying ghost one (not the Newton Ghost-on-a-line on the same Flickr page) that I SO wanted to order. I never did, and thus never experienced the excitement, and inevitable letdown, of the actual product. I do wonder what it would have been like, though.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:49 PM on May 26, 2008

The comments on the old-timey ad you linked to link to another flickr photo detailing exactly what it would have been like.
posted by Dave Faris at 9:13 PM on May 26, 2008

Ha, didn't notice that. Sweet! Naturally, not at all what I imagined as a kid. Still kinda cool, though.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:01 PM on May 26, 2008

Two things that could make this even cooler: use strips of a thin gossamer material for tattered clothes, to give that ethereal fluttering effect that ghosts in movies always seem to have floating around them. And use a slightly reflective coating, but apply it only in a specific direction so that if the viewer is shifted just a few degrees to one side or the other it would seem to disappear.

This would provide for movement, and for the "Hey, do you see that thing over there?" "No, I have no idea what you are talking about" conversations.
posted by quin at 3:14 PM on May 27, 2008

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