How To: Add Creepy Apparitions to Your Halloween Photos Using the Pepper's Ghost Illusion

Add Creepy Apparitions to Your Halloween Photos Using the Pepper's Ghost Illusion

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!

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