The Pepper's Ghost illusion has been around a long while. Named after John Henry Pepper who demonstrated the technique in the 1860s for theater. Today it is used in many theater productions and theme parks. You can see it in Disney's Tower of Terror, but it's most famous use is probably in the Disneyland Haunted Mansion. In the ballroom scene you see many ghosts dancing, dueling, and playing. All of these are a reflection in glass using the Pepper's Ghost technique.

I've wanted to use this concept for a while but wasn't exactly sure where to fit it in. Then for 2011 we decided we could create Darius Raven Pepper, M.D. who was the late son of Josephine Raven. The backstory being that it was his mother's family that founded Raven Manor Cemetery in 1850. As the local doctor, Darius served as the town coroner and also the cemetery's mortician. The locals would call him Dr. Pepper for short. He now has returned to the cemetery office to watch over the grounds each Halloween from the window.

He is made from a PVC frame I built and dressed with clothes from the local Deseret Industries thrift store. He stands in the front corner of the room and guests see his partial reflection in the window giving the illusion that he is a ghost. See the photos and captions below for more information on how he has materialized.

An enhancement for 2012 is the floating candelabra that was just stationary before. There is also a video and photos showing the candelabra in more detail.

In 2022 I decided to replace the Dr. Pepper mannequin as the UV paint was flaking off. I opted to mount a TV to the wall instead so I could play AtmosFX material and have moving ghosts reflect out the window. It works very well. In 2023 I replaced the gear motor for the candelabra with a wiper motor. I also added a PicoVolt controller to add some more randomness to the movement.

Video of
Dr. Pepper, our Pepper's Ghost

Behind the scenes video of
the Floating Candelabra

2014 update for new home

Photos of the build and completed project...

Here is the PVC frame dressed in clothes from the thrift store.
Here he is in the garage for painting. I wanted to illuminate him with a blacklight, so he needs to glow. This required painting him white, and then applying some special blacklight paint.
This is the paint I used. It wasn't cheap ($36/quart) and hard to find, but creates the desired result and is therefore worth it. With this he now glows very brightly with just a single CFL blacklight bulb. I used Rosco Fluorescent Scenic Paint in white (#5779). The manufacturer's website is I purchased through a local theater supply company (General Theatrical Supply).
With the ghost ready, I obtained a piece of Plexiglass from a local shop ( that was the height of my window. For the width I took the width of the window multiplied by the square root of 2 as I would be installing on a 45 degree angle. You may be best to set everything up first and take final measurements before getting the glass or Plexiglass. Plexiglass is safer and lighter, but more prone to scratching. Mine is about 60" high by 42" wide and hangs from the ceiling.
Here is a behind the scenes shot from inside the room. Remember the guests view this from outside the window. They will only see the empty room until the ghost is lit up with the blacklight, showing his reflection in the Plexiglass. You can see it in the photo hung at a 45 degree angle to the window.
Here is another photo inside the darkened room, the ghost is not lit so from outside the window you can only see an emtpy room with the candles and chair.
Similar shot to the last except now the CFL blacklight is on to light up the ghost. Now he is seen from outside with a little light also in the room so that you can just see through him. The candles and chair that appear behind him contribute to this effect.
This picture shows just what you would see outside the window, a ghostly Dr. Pepper looking out at you!
This is the floating candelabra that was added for 2012. It has 2 lines attached to it, one overhead supplying the main up and down motion, and another to the side to make it sway left and right. Both lines are the same Spider Wire 50lb. braided fishing line I use for the Axworthy ghosts.
Here are the two motors that are used for the floating candelabra. The one on the left pulls the candelabra up and down and is a wiper motor as of 2023 (was a Dayton #3M096 gear motor from prior). The motor on the right is the type you find in the outdoor animated Christmas reindeer. It runs at 4 RPM and pulls the candelabra to the side to help give it a random movement since the two motor speeds differ.