Friday Fun: Here’s How the Disney Haunted Mansion Ghosts Work

Ghosts Hitchhiking, an Example of Disney's Use of Illusion Pepper's GhostDisney

With Halloween just around the corner, it's a good time to share one of my favorite practical effects illusions and the way it's used in the haunted mansion.

If you've ever visited the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland or Disney World, one of the most memorable special effects used in the mansion is the effect that creates the illusion of ghosts dancing right in front of you. The result is phantasmagorally realistic, does not seem at all to be a cheap video projection or other digital effects, and gives a pretty strong impression to visitors of all ages.

The reason it looks so incredibly realistic is that it uses a very old optical illusion effect called Pepper's Ghost. The secret of the illusion is to cleverly reflect a real thing (such as a dummy disguised as a Victorian wife) on a sheet of glass in an angle such that the viewer sees the reflection but also the backlit background behind him. the transparent glass. This creates a compelling illusion that a ghostly creature moves in three-dimensional space beyond the glass. Watch this video below to see exactly how the Haunted Mansion's magic works:

If you want to create a similar illusion this Halloween, take a moment to check how to use a digital projector for high impact and effortless effects. You may not have the time, space, or budget to install a real glass-based Pepper's Ghost illusion, but with a digital projector, bridle for the bride, and a spooky video loop, you can achieve something very pretty.

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