Everyone seems to love the Axworthy ghosts that fly over our cemetery each October. They are just a lot of work to setup, mainly because of the height of the line (14 feet above ground). I was thinking of doing something on a smaller scale that could be setup from ground level. I also wanted to do something different than just more ghosts. My son and I were talking about different objects that could "fly" such as a bat or spider, but you wouldn't really see them since the display runs after dark. My wife had the idea to float a candle and I thought the idea was perfect. So this has lead to what I call "The Restless Candle".

We envisioned a solitary flickering candle floating through the cemetery. It would travel slowly, looking mysterious, sometimes pausing, and even reversing to give it the "restless" quality I wanted. The setup is a simple 2 poles that are just over 6 feet high so it is easy for me to setup without the need of a ladder. The whole project took a couple of weeks to implement. More details on the setup and parts are below with the photos.

Click for a project video of the Restless Candle...


Click for a nightime video of the Restless Candle...



Here are photos of the build and completed project...

These are the 2 pole points for the candle (marked A and B in the photo). Point A is where the drive motor is. It was put further away from the patrons to best hide it from view and minimize any noise from the motor.
This is the "B" post that is near the front walkway. Both poles are 3/4" conduit from Home Depot that comes in 10 foot lengths. Each piece has threaded ends and includes one coupler that I use to attach it to the base cemented in the ground. The same exact setup as my overhead Axworthy ghosts, just smaller scale.
The passive pole has a small bicycle wheel mounted to the top. I prefer the mag wheels without spokes for a smooth line guide.
Here is the top of the other pole, with the drive motor mounted. It is a winshield wiper motor obtained from FrightProps.com along with a 4" Congress sheave pulley from Grainger item# 3X909.
Another shot of the motor and drive pulley after applying flat black paint. Also purchased from FrightProps.com is a PicoVolt controller which allows a 60 second program control of the motor speed and direction. This allows the candle to move at any speed I want, stop, reverse direction, and then continue in a loop. This gives a nice random effect to it.
This is our battery flicker candle purchased on Amazon. It is light enough for this use and made of real wax. I used the same SpiderWire Stealth 50lb line as I use for the overhead ghosts, and just used a needle to gently thread it through the candle. The 2 points keep the candle from twisting and are attached with fishing swivels to the line above.
Here is a still shot of the candle lit up in the night.
I had some fun with the camera and took some long exposure shots to give you an idea of the movement. Here you can see the slight bounce the candle has as it moves.
Another shot showing it on the move. I have it moving prettly slow to look more spooky and lifelike. With the motor controller switching direction and sometimes pausing, it looks like a restless ghost is searching for something in the cemetery.
One final shot showing the candle continue to move across the yard. Check out the video to get a better idea of the movement.