This is a ghost in window Halloween prop I made of cheese cloth. It can also used as a “flying crank ghost”. This is much simpler to make and set up. The secret is cheese cloth, a wig stand for the head (from a wig shop) and clothes hanger wire for the frame. A “black light” causes it to glow. The ghost actually glows white. Not blue as in the picture. See video at the end. Click on the pictures to enlarge.
This was originally inspired by the pdf you can view here Phantasmechanics. Go to the very end of the pdf for the relevant part ( page 17 and 18). Print it out. This is just the marionette part, but I do hook it up to a “flying crank” too. On this one I use an oscillating fan to give it motion. It is very eerie, her looking out the window– Waiting. A 2 foot black light on the couch makes it glow. It is supported by a camera tripod with a tube attached. A bolt in it just sticks into the styrofoam head. Fishing line attached to the hands and tacked to the wall hold the arms up. I find it is better to support the head the way I have done, instead of a stand going straight up. It lets the fabric move in the wind of the fan without hitting a pole.
You don’t have to use a tripod. The marionette is light. A stick tacked to a 2×2 nailed to a plywood base would work. Use coat hanger wire for the frame. Bend the wire ends into loops with long nose pliers. You MUST soak the cheese cloth in laundry detergent with brighteners (bluing) to make it glow under black light. I think all detergents have bluing to make whites brighter.
Things I did different than the Phantasmechanics pdf. I drape one layer of cheese cloth over the head and face. It gives a darker look to the face area when glowing. I only glued the cloth to the hands. I used a double layer of cloth for the hair. It looks more like a shawl. They talk abut putting a hook through the head to suspend it. You don’t have to do that since you are supporting it from below. I didn’t paint anything. I put blue LED lights in the eyes, but I didn’t like them, so don’t use them. They were too bright and drew all attention to them. I think a ghost should be ethereal.
I measured my arms for the wire length. I am a guy, so they may be too long, but it works. The hands are made from thin cardboard, like that from a cereal box. I think mine was from the packaging of a shirt. Just trace your hands. I glued the cheese cloth on it with watered thinned white glue.
I used Trilene low vis green fishing line to suspend the arms. Tacking it to the wall. You can use black thread too.
I have had many compliments on this ghost and a few wouldn’t come to the door. Too scared! It is an excellent project and will wow them year after year.
See the video for the ghost hooked up to the flying crank mechanism.