Phantom Lights

Experimenting with the Pepper's Ghost Illusion

Decided to explore different ways to recreate ghostly apparitions I started to experiment with the Pepper’s Ghost Illusion: a method used since the XVI century to generate the visual apparition of a ghost in magic shows and haunted houses.


In the first version a transparent mug with some lights inside was placed inside a box and the spectator was asked to grab it. After trying to do it they became aware of the non-materiality of the object as their hand went through the object.


In the second version a small chamber resembling a curiosity cabinet was created and hidden beneath black clothes. The spectator would have to immerse himself by going under the cloths and would have to peek through a hole to see the inside. There a mug with lights was present. After a few seconds, in a blink of an eye the lights were gone. This repetition of the appearing and disappearing of the lights was repeated a few times. Not only the spectator inside the cabinet was part of the experience, but also the others waiting outside. They became witnesses of the astonishment the person inside was experiencing. By being witness of this astonishment they already started to generate a specific mood and set certain expectations towards the experience.