Sunday, November 9, 2008

Cloaked Ghost Step By Step

When I first saw Pumpkinrot's Cloaked Ghost, I knew that I had to build one. Or two... or three. Since then, I have gotten a great response from the two I built and lots of questions about how I did it. So... here are a few pictures I took along the way, and a brief description of how I made them. I don't know how Rot made his, but I really owe him credit for the idea for this prop that I put my own spin on.


I started with a piece of 1 and 1/4" pvc pipe that was probably close to 5 feet long. The little device it is standing on is a thing I made to put my tombstones on while I was painting them, that I have found comes in handy for several other uses. I went ahead and painted this pole black since I didn't want it visible and I figured this would be the easiest time to paint it.



Next I made a piece for the shoulders out of a 1X2 and arms out of 1X2's as well. The one arm has a piece of pvc pipe for the forearm... I'm not sure why I did that. I might have run out of 1X2's. I also made a hood out of chicken wire and used a wire coat hanger along the front edge to give it more support. My plan was to use monster mud covered burlap over this so I needed all the support I could get, as that stuff can be rather heavy.



I made the hands out of two different sizes of glue sticks that were cut and glued back together. I could have done this a lot simpler, but I had just learned this method and wanted to try it out. These turned out to be really strong, especially after I covered them in construction adhesive and dipped them in liquid latex for extra support.



Here is what the ghost was looking like after the monster mud covered burlap was added to the hood. I had to use another piece of wood to hold up the front of the hood while this was drying, as it kept wanting to fall and droop down too much in the front. I ran the wire to power the lantern (that this ghost would later hold) up the main pole and down the raised arm. At this point I had also dyed some cheesecloth a tan color, and wrapped the main pole with it to make it less visible in the finished product.


Here is the ghost, nearly completed with all the rest of the cheesecloth draped on it. I used some spray on glue as I layered the cheesecloth on to keep it from blowing away in the wind... this seemed to work really well. I shredded the ends of the cheesecloth and made some long stringy pieces to hang down and blow in the breeze. I tried to get rid of any "straight lines" such as the ends of the cloth or anywhere it may have folded over. I felt that any of these that were visible would take away from the creepiness factor. I painted everything inside the hood black at this point also, so that nothing would be visible inside the hood. This was what I liked most about this prop, the mystery of what was inside that darkened hood, which was nothing. I also added a Skull and Bone style flickering lantern to one hand.


Here was the finished product. Even though this picture was photoshopped a tad, the center pole becomes pretty much invisible at night and blends in with the other pieces that hang down. I painted the bottom of this black, up about a foot or so and blended it back into the tan color, which makes it even less visible. This is what gives it that "hovering" look. To stand the ghost up, I drove a five foot piece of conduit into the ground about two feet, which left three feet out of the ground for all of you mathematicians, and then slid the whole assembly onto that.

Some things I might have done differently if I were to build these again.... I might have used a paper mache material for the hood instead of monster mud, as this would have been much lighter, although the monster mud will hold up better in all types of weather (such as rain). I probably would use the thicker walled (schedule 40 I think it is called) pvc pipe, which would be stronger than the thin walled stuff I used. I didn't have any problems with it, I just like to be on the safe side. I think that about covers it, but if I left anything out feel free to ask... I'm sure there was something.

The Inspiration... Pumpkinrot's Cloaked Ghost


Photo From Pumpkinrot.com

44 comments:

Johnny said...

Thanks Grim!
This is great. I think I will try these techniques first this year. I work in a 103 year old building that has been fully restored right on Main Street. I want a cloaked ghost to put in the second floor hallway window facing Main during October.

Do you remember where you saw that hand technique? I would like to try that.

Grim said...

I got that off of a DVD called "Make Your Own Scratch Built Corpse" by Christian Hanson. I don't know if he made this up or not, because I have heard of it a few other places since then.

El Capitan Jason said...

These are amazing! I am totally going to make one for 2009! Could you do a step by step for converting an oil lantern to electric? I looked over at skull and bones, but they link to someone else whose links are broken. Love your stuff, greatwork.

Grim said...

I would be glad to. I just need to take some pictures because that is one thing I didn't take any pictures of as I was building. So it might take me a little while to make a post for that.

El Capitan Jason said...

That'd be great, Thanks! No rush. Again awesome work!

Dave Lowe said...

The hot glue stick fingers are a neat trick. Any issue with them softening or losing shape in the sun?

Grim said...

No, they are actually pretty strong. I had a small lantern hanging from one finger on that ghost. I put a thick coat of Liquid Nails construction adhesive over them, which makes them pretty nasty looking, then dip them in a gallon bucket of liquid latex that I have. This helps them hold up really well.

Jana Alexander said...

Love it!! Thanks so much for the how to....I asked Rot how to because the cloaked ghost is my favorite. So I am so glad to see you did one. Thanks, yours looks so great!! I will definately do some for 2009.

FULL MOON INDUSTRIES said...

great tutorial! i will be sure to add a cloaked ghost to my haunt next year!
stay true~

Anonymous said...

Love the cloaked ghost!! How long did it take start to finish?

Grim said...

Maybe a week, but I could do it in a couple of days if I had the time...

PinupLaRose said...

we're making our own version this week, and for our lantern we took out the oil wick part and put a flickering led candle

Grim said...

Cool! Have fun building it... I'd love to see how it turns out!

heresjohnny said...

Hey, yes the cloaked ghost! Don't know if you recall, I shared the cloaked FCG with you a couple of years ago. I have 2 new ones in the works, a new FCG one with some bonus movement, and a suspended one with some head and arm movement. Will certainly let you and Rot know when they are done. I think you have added your own wrinkle, the way you made the hood really forces the perspective of a void, instead of gathering the fabric together where the chest would be. I plan on attempting this effect in my new suspended one. Thanks for the inspiration!

Sam Landsberg said...

Oh I am so making this too.. great job!!!

Lyndsay Pyles said...

This is amazing and so simple!

ipicyou said...

Is it ok to be in the rain?? Please send me a private message. Im new to this and Im not sure Ill see your reply

Anonymous said...

Wow really nice! I like how creepy it looks and leave a lot to the imagination of the little kids. I will have try this for sure !

Darrell Perry said...

Instead of monster mud I used that spray on bedliner on burlap and then sprayed the whole thing with spray adhesive and then laid my chessecloth on top of that..so much lighter..inside the hood I used a small computer fan that barely ran..not only did it give the appearance of breathing..it scared the bejesus out of people who walked by it when they thought it was breathing on them..lol

Anonymous said...

very cool! how are the hands attached to the pvc?

Grim said...

I really can't remember how I attached them, and I gave this prop away to another yard haunter several years ago. I think I might have used a single drywall screw through the "wrist", and maybe covered that with duct tape. If I were building it today, I probably would do it completely different.

ANGELA M said...

It's a beautifully creepy prop and I fully intend to make one for my haunt this year. He will be amazing by my mausoleum. I adore Pumpkinrot also but I think I like your ghost better! shhhhhhhh!

D.A.go boo said...

Love what you are doing. Do you have any experience with mounting your creations on the roof.
I am also wondering how they hold up in the rain

Grim said...

I have never mounted anything on the roof, and they hold up very well in the rain. I usually try to get stuff under cover before it rains, though.

Unknown said...

Love this! I am trying out my own version of this. I do have a question maybe you can help me with? I am not that great with proportions. Do you mind sharing the proportions for the wood arm pieces? You did say the base pvc pipe was around 5 feet but didn't say how long the arms were. Thanks so much in advance!

Christine Birtel said...

Hi! You mentioned that if you were to do his fingers again, that you would use something other than the glue sticks. What would you try instead?

debbie broccolo said...

Going to try starch. Thoughts??

Grim said...

I don't know... Might not hold up well in the weather. I heard of someone using starch before, and mice started eating their props! :)

Grim said...

I don't remember how long the arms were, I gave my ghosts away a few years ago. I think I just measured my arms and made the ghost arms about the same.
For the hands, I'd probably just use wire and paper mâché.

Leah Pasillas said...

Fellow Minnesotan here! I made one of these last year, we used pvc with angled couplers for the arm and shoulder structure. We had trouble balancing the weight of the hood on the pole, adding weights to the base helped. We also used glue sticks for the hands and it turned out awesome. Thanks for the inspiration!

Leah Pasillas said...

Fellow Minnesotan here! I made one of these last year, we used pvc with angled couplers for the arm and shoulder structure. We had trouble balancing the weight of the hood on the pole, adding weights to the base helped. We also used glue sticks for the hands and it turned out awesome. Thanks for the inspiration!

Nathan Dean said...

Where did you source that much cheesecloth?

Nathan Dean said...

There are human proportion calculators online. AnatomyNext.Com but I think they want you to sign up :-P

I wanted my ghost BIG so I used proportions for a 6 ft dude and even added a bit more... used this as a cheat sheet

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3OYhSwWbW1lMklHMEFkRU1vMEk/view?usp=drivesdk

David said...

GRIM > Do you remember which fabric dye and color you used? Was it from RIT (https://www.ritstudio.com/)? Im trying to match your color as it looks like a dull burnt orange... Thanks!

Nathan Dean said...

My build is finally complete! This thing is HUGE, towering over 10 ft tall. See my results here
https://flic.kr/p/N9B8Xt

Thank you SO much for this tutorial and all your pictures on flickr.

Nathan Dean said...

I used power cables for wiring a house. Had it lying around.super strong and flexible.
https://flic.kr/p/N9B8Xt

Grim said...

That looks great! That hand holding the lantern, and the angle that the wrist is bent at... You nailed it. It's the little things like that, that make the biggest impact, for me.

Grim said...

I think it was a light brown or tan. I remember it was RIT dye, but I can't remember the exact color.

Grim said...

I found packs of it at Walmart.

Nathan Dean said...

Thanks! What a great Halloween! This ghost blew away the neighborhood. https://flic.kr/p/N9B8Xt

Grim said...

:) Glad to hear it! Happy Halloween!

Jaie Marland said...

I'm making this 5/17.Using torchere lamp base found in curbside trash.Very heavy base.drilled aluminum screen frame 1 hi 1 lower into pole. Hands are wire with sponge & chicken wire as palm with co-ax insulation as fingers, hot glue construction adhesive knuckles.
Will post pix to Pinterest when completed

LeAnn McCann said...

I love this ghost but wonder if spray paint covers the pipe inside the hood.

Grim said...

The pipe is actually covered by the cheesecloth, which was also painted black.