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Playing With Silly String

Most good fakes use simple, but creative trickery to achieve their effects. In our last article, Playing With Matches, we studied how match smoke can create convincing ecto patterns. In this article, we examine a common feature of childhood, Silly String, but first, a few words need to be said about faking ghost pictures in graveyards.

Respect should always be observed. Commonly, this means leaving nothing behind to litter the graveyard. Bring a bag to put trash in such as spent matches and bring a flashlight with you so you can search for something if you drop it. In the case of our Silly String experiment, we used three people. One to take the picture, one to spray the Silly String, and one to hold a board as a target so that it sticks to the target rather than anything else.

You should also go back early the next morning to make sure the graveyard is clean. While you're there, pick up any other litter you find, whether it is yours or not. Now, onto the smoke and mirrors.

Silly String makes good orbs for the same reason that match smoke does. The flash reflects it and makes it glow. The "wiggly" nature of Silly String makes it look like an orb, or a flash of lighting streaking across your picture.

This is about an average Silly String orb picture. In this case, the person spraying was closer to the camera and the target was placed farther away. We intended for the orb to appear to be speeding off backward from the camera, but all we managed was an effect as if the orb is going upward.

In this picture the person spraying was squatting, while the target was held high. The shadow on the tombstone is a dead give-away that this picture was made with a physical object.

This picture was taken in enough time to catch the front part of the string. The effect looks a bit like lightning.

We didn't plan this effect at all. This happened when the can of Silly String was almost completely used and began to sputter. You can see the spray originating from the left side of the picture.

This is a great twisted Silly String orb picture. It goes behind the tombstone, avoiding casting a shadow. This is also final and clinching proof that this is a fake, because the original picture, seen below, shows a person spraying the Silly String.


Photo Credits : Moonlight Embrace, Make_up1, and Caufeild.