Easy and Spooky Halloween Projects

Learn how to rig up a haunted house by building one-way mirrors, starch ghosts, real-flying bats, create the best-ever slime, glow juice for fountains, and build a super-popular Morph Box that really changes one object into another.


You don’t have to worry about inappropriate guts and gore, because we’re just focusing on the physics and chemistry of each project. Some of these are illusions, some are chemistry experiments, and some just plain fun. Enjoy spooking your friends and neighbors!!



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Comments

61 Responses to “Easy and Spooky Halloween Projects”
  1. Melanie Williamson says:

    Thanks!!!!

  2. Aurora says:

    I had a hand held fog machine (I am sure you can find these on places like Amazon.com) that I attached a flexible clear tube to the end of, and then since I have so much hair, it was easy to hide the tube on my head. If you poke holes along the tube length, then smoke comes out all over!

  3. Melanie Williamson says:

    That was from me, Gabe sorry I forgot to say that.

  4. Melanie Williamson says:

    How did you get your hair to smoke, If I want to make something look hazy/smokey for Halloween?

  5. Aurora says:

    There are two videos for the first slime – the first one is the PVA slime and the second is if you can’t find PVA (uses glue instead). Enjoy!

  6. Melanie Church says:

    Good idea for the ghost project. I might try it . Also I like your classes.

  7. Kim Parent says:

    Project #1 says to use PVA (polyvinyl alcohol) , but the video actually uses school glue. How different would the result be if you we used the PVA?

  8. Jessica Taylor says:

    the sling-shot bats are a great idea!

  9. Melanie Church says:

    The bat you made was amazing my brother might like it.

  10. Kedre & Mario Roca says:

    i love the bats lol
    :):):):)

  11. Aurora says:

    I am sorry you are having trouble! I’ll have my team contact you right away!

  12. Myndee Butler says:

    Can I please get access to this unit on Halloween projects? For it to be on the main Home page, it seems there should be immediate access. Getting frustrated that everything I try to do is “locked”.

    Thanks!

  13. Kedre & Mario Roca says:

    for the hair to get it to stick up 2 bottes of gel ;)\

  14. Aurora says:

    The cloth is cheesecloth from the grocery store, and the starch is laundry starch, also from the grocery store.

  15. Hannah Tolman says:

    where do you get the cloth starch ghost

  16. Tonya King says:

    the glowing slime WOW so cool it is so fun
    ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Aurora says:

    Cool! You’re right… these are one of the first videos I made for kids. I am currently working on a new set for next season that uses dry ice. In the meantime, what do you think would happen if you hollow out (but don’t cut a face) in a pumpkin, and then fill the pumpkin with green jello, and then when its set, cut out the face and a space for a backlight. ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Aurora says:

    The only worksheets we have is for the slime experiments, which are in unit 8. It’s a really good idea… thank you!

  19. adamsclaire says:

    do you have any new halloween experiments? we did all of these last year and i was hoping for a few more.

  20. Vickie Raper says:

    Do you have paper work on-line that goes along with Halloween projects, so know what kids learning,something like question? I know just for fun! My son is homeschool project learning.

    Thank you,

    Vickie

  21. Aurora says:

    Oops! So sorry about that… we’ll get it fixed right away!

  22. Jeanette Bennett says:

    The video for bouncy putty slime is the sewer slime video. Is there a video on how to make the bouncy putty slime?
    Thanks.

  23. Luila Barber says:

    that morph box illusion IS AWESOME
    [Sebastian]

  24. Martin Melody says:

    I looooooooooove
    The ghost

  25. Aurora says:

    Search online stores for “ornithopters” like Amazon.com, or visit your local top shop for “Flying Birds”. I just purchased three yesterday at my local toy store.

  26. Christy Kotter says:

    Were can you get onathocters?

  27. Martin Melody says:

    Cool

  28. Gail Stucker says:

    I messed around with the morph box (with low voltage) and I made a cardbord box and used a flashlight to turn a onion into a kiwi AWESOME

  29. Le says:

    I was able to make it work…the video made it appear the dimmers were wired in series. At anyrate by wiring the circuits parallel – overlapping not only at the ground wire but also the white and black wires โ„ขit works!
    The wiring runs this way:
    Each dimmer to a light cord.
    The other dimmer wires to power together.
    The other lamp wires to the other power wire together.
    Then all 3 green wires together.

    Thanks again.
    Le

  30. Aurora says:

    No, not at this time… however there are fun dry ice and bubble experiments you can do:

    1. fill a tank or bowl with dry ice and blow bubbles on top – the bubbles will float and bounce along!
    2. You can fill bubbles with dry ice: Put the dry ice in a bag (be careful to still use gloves since the plastic bag conducts the heat away quickly) and pour in water to start the cloud formation process. Now insert a straw or tube so that the clouds are coming out the straw. Then dip the other end into bubble solution as you press down on the bag.
    3. I made an indoor tornado with 20 pounds of dry ice, but I wouldn’t recommend it – it makes a complete mess that took me 2 days to clean up.

    Hope this helps!
    Aurora

  31. A.N. says:

    Are there any experiments on this site using dry ice?

  32. susan lacour says:

    My favorite Morph Box Illusion

  33. Aurora says:

    You can place your cornstarch right into the cone of an OLD speaker, which is connected to a high-power low-frequency amplifier and signal generator. This will not give you good results to hook it up just to any speaker and radio – you need to run low freq through the speaker – low enough so that you see the cone itself moving. Check out this video for more info on speakers and how they work in different frequency ranges as well as this video on how to use a signal generator with your speaker.

  34. Maximilian Mohun says:

    What is the best way to run sound waves through my cornstarch goop? I can’t really see what you’re using in the video.

  35. Aurora says:

    If it didn’t actually fly by itself, I’d say that’s a fantastic idea! I think it goes too fast to use it as a marionette puppet, though… what do you think?

  36. Amy Quimpo says:

    can you for the bat project just string it up on one thin piece of clear fishing line and have like a wood hang over piece while you control the bat like a puppet

  37. Aurora says:

    That’s a speaker! ๐Ÿ™‚

  38. Amy Quimpo says:

    what was that stove thing that you used in the sound wave slime (Hereโ€™s what happens if you run sound waves through your cornstarch solution:)

  39. Aurora says:

    Wow – so great she figured something clever out! ๐Ÿ™‚

  40. Deliese Kubie says:

    Well, no, it didn’t. But since she couldn’t figure out what was wrong, she made two trap doors on the different box sections to allow the light to shine in the right place at the right time. Pretty creative, I thought.

  41. Aurora says:

    Since there’s only one way to hook up the dimmer switch, it sounds like it’s an orientation problem. When you’re facing the dimmer, it should turn ON when rotated CW and OFF when you turn the knob CCW. This means that when you attach the knobs together, one will be rotating CW and the other CCW, so one turns on and the other turns off. Does that help?

  42. Deliese Kubie says:

    My daughter has built a beautiful morph box with perfect dimensions. Now, we have a slight problem. Both lights go on and off at the same time instead of alternating. Any ideas on where she went wrong?

  43. Aurora says:

    The morph box is actually is an effect called “Pepper’s Ghost”, named after John Henry Pepper, who first made one of these in the 1860s. Theaters and magicians use it all the time. The plate glass and special lighting outlined in the video makes it so objects seem to appear or disappear or even be transparent – which is how one object can morph into another.

    The largest version of this morph box is at the Disneyland Haunted Mansion – remember the room where the ghosts are dancing and swirling around as you’re above the balloom? That effect was made by using this same technique! The ghosts appear to be dancing through the ballroom and interacting with real physical objects ballroom, and then disappearing when the lights are turned off of the object that made the ghost.

    In order for this illusion to work, you must be able to see into the main box but not into the hidden box. We hide the edge of the glass by making the box black, but you can think up a lot of other ways to do this. Both boxes (or rooms, if this effect is made larger) are identical mirror-images of each other if you want to morph one object into another. When you shine a light on the main object, you can see it clearly through the glass (and not even realize the glass is there). When you dim the light on the main object and bring up the light on the secondary (ghost) object, the light is reflected on the glass to your eye because behind the glass is dark.

    The previous experiment (One-Way Mirror) also demonstrates this effect. Does that help?

  44. Diane Richardson says:

    So why does the Morph box work? Diane

  45. Aurora says:

    You can use a white shirt from your parent’s closet as a ‘lab coat’. Do you have goggles or glasses you can find? I wrote scientific equations all over my lab coat one year. Another year I poured glow juice on it in different places so I was glowing when hit with a black light. What can YOU think up?

  46. Louise Bingham says:

    where would you suggest getting the materiels for a mad scientist costume?

  47. Aurora says:

    There are two sets of formulas: one set for vertical velocity and vertical acceleration, which takes into account gravity. A formula for acceleration can be a = (change in velocity)/time. Itโ€™s the formula v = gt or velocity equals the gravitational constant (32 ft/sยฒ) times time. After one second it will be going 5 ft/s; after two seconds 10 ft/s; and after three seconds 15 ft/s. Again, itโ€™s just like v = gt (v is velocity, g is the gravitational constant, t is time) but put the rate of acceleration of the object in place of g to get the formula v = at or velocity equals acceleration times time.

    And the other set is for horizontal acceleration and horizontal velocity. You can find how far something falls by using the formula d=vt or distance = velocity times time.

    You need to separate these two because gravity doesn’t act in the horizontal plane. In order to ‘add’ the components together, we use vectors to do this. Here’s a website from NASA that might be useful:

    http://www-istp.gsfc.nasa.gov/stargaze/Svector.htm

    and here’s a favorite physics site of mine that has built-in calculators:
    http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/traj.html

    Let me know if you have more questions – did that help?

  48. Laura Todd says:

    When we did the experiment to determine velocity by dropping items from a high distance and measuring the time it took we had a known of distance and time to calculate the unknown. We were also dropping things vertically.

    With the bats we will be shooting the items horizontally, will the formula be the same?

    Also if we are asking “Which rubberband will make this bat go farthest?” We are calculating the force, right. So would I even be using the v=d/t formula? I am not a scientist and this is all a bit confusing for me. I love the idea of measuring different rubberbands and doing 1inch and 2 then 3 and documenting the data. I just want to use the right formula. Am I asking the right question? I want to use this to review acceleration, velocity and any of Newton’s 3 laws.
    Thanks again

  49. Aurora says:

    It’s a good idea to use these to help you learn about velocity and acceleration. In fact, my college students used this very same experiment during their physics classes to understand force and acceleration vectors and how the bat flew differently depending on how much you stretched the rubber band. All kinds of real world things use the idea of v=d/t: when you throw or kick a ball (soccer, baseball, football…), you can figure out how far the ball will go using basic physics equations.

    One of the best ways to make these experiments useful are to learn how to break down your experiment and take data. When scientists take data, they are trying to answer a question. You’ll want to test only one variable at a time – for example, you might wonder if a bigger rubber band stretch means the bat always flies further…? For your experiment, you would change the amount that you stretch the rubber band. So for test #1, you stretch it only 1 inch, and measure the distance it traveled (which could be zero, or something small – just make sure to measure it). Test #1 might be stretching it 2 inches, Test #3 might be stretching it three inches…etc each time recording how far it went. When you’re done, look at the data and see what you found. Some rubber bands are non-linear, which means that there’s a point where they don’t give more force even though you stretch them more, and other points where they give you way more force than you expected for that particular stretch.

    You can measure velocity and acceleration – we have a detailed experiment on how to do this here with a baseball.

  50. Laura Todd says:

    Hi Aurora, I am at the end of the unit on velocity and aceleration. I was thinking about making the bats and shooting them. Can you give me some ideas how to make this a good activity to reinforce the concepts they are learning. Basically, what can we review about velocity and/or acceleration by shooting these bats?

    Can we measure velocity by shooting them and measuring the distance and how long it took them to land and use the formula V=d/t. Any other thoughts?

    Also, can you give me some real world applications for using the formula V=d/t?

  51. Aurora says:

    How about an M&M container?

  52. Dana Meyers says:

    I would love to do the sling shot bat project with my kids. If I can’t find film canisters, any ideas what we might be able to substitute?

  53. Eric says:

    The videos work fine for me over here. I am using Firefox.

  54. Aurora says:

    Which video is not working for you? I have all running over here. Are these the only videos that don’t work – can you get any other videos on the site to work at all? If you are running IE8, make sure you are in compatibility mode. What happens if you try using a different browser, like Firefox or IE? Or a different computer? Sorry for all the pesky questions – I just want to get this working for you. ๐Ÿ™‚

  55. Alanna says:

    Videos work great on Safari.

  56. Charles Shough says:

    it says: Video not found or a access denied

  57. Aurora says:

    Make sure you are logged in. If you still have trouble, here’s what you can do: log OUT using the link at the bottom of every page, then go back to the home page and log IN on the right side under the video.

  58. Charles Shough says:

    i cant get the video to play.

  59. Debra Thomson says:

    How did you get your hair to smoke?
    -Holly Thomson

  60. Aurora says:

    Ok – we can do that for you… we’re posting an image later today. ๐Ÿ™‚

  61. Velma Beale says:

    I want to sdee a picture of Aurora in her “Mad Scientist” outfit!

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