Photographers have been using the Pepper's Ghost Illusion for over a century to play up the level of creepiness in their photos. Many of the pictures that claim to be real "sightings" use this technique to project a ghostly figure into the background of their images.
Today, it's still used in theatre, "scary" rides at amusement parks, and haunted houses all over the world, which makes it a great photography trick for Halloween time. As shown in the tutorial below by Make's Jason Poel Smith, the technique is actually relatively simple to do
It involves using a sheet of clear plexiglass or a similar material to reflect the image of a ghost onto the scene. The angle of the reflection makes the figure appear to be transparent, giving it a creepy supernatural look. Here are a few photos Jason took using the Pepper's Ghost Illusion.
Here's how Jason describes the process:
"Set up your camera in front of the desired background. Position your ghost to one side of the camera. The ghost can be a person in a costume, an image on a computer monitor, or just a picture. Hold up the plexiglass in front of the lens at a 45 degree angle to both the camera and the ghost. The camera will see a faint reflection of the ghost."
The basic setup for photos and videos isn't too difficult to do, but there are a few other applications that get a little more complicated. Check out the full tutorial with more pictures over on Make or Instructables to learn how the Pepper's Ghost Illusion can be used to project a creepy face into a window, create a ghost in a doorway, or even make your own holographic stage illusions.
If you've created some creepy illusions using this method, share them below and let us know how you made them!