How to: haunted house silhouettes


28 Responses to “How to: haunted house silhouettes”

  1. irksome says:

    How to… really?

    Step 1: Cut shape of scary subject to backlight in window.
    Step 2: Umm…

    • Mark_Frauenfelder says:

      The article  includes cool PDFs you can print out and use as templates.

      • irksome says:

        I saw that and it’s cool and all I suppose although for a similar project (a flock of pterodactyls bobbing on wires) I utilized this fascinating analog technology; magic marker and scissors. Kind of stimulating to the creative juices, the whole make-it-yourself thing. 

        But, to each his own.

        • CH says:

          Yes, I know!!!! Like… all these recipes and stuff… so totally destroying any creativity! Just take some flour and eggs and… things like that… and you have cake!

    • Jeff Rudell says:

      I have to agree with irksome, it’s not a difficult project to make (which, I hope, is part of what makes if fun and doable). As with a lot of DIY, it’s often not about who CAN do it, but rather about who took the time TO do it (and share it with others). One of the reasons for putting things like this online is to see what others in the Maker Community will do with it. Someone out there is going to take this idea and go crazy with it and turn it into something amazing. I can’t wait to see it.

  2. Agustin says:

    It reminds me a lot to my favorite ipad game Light Keeper  (

  3. BrotherPower says:

    It helps if you have a creepy-ass house to put them in.

    • penguinchris says:

      It’s hard to tell but I think the house in the photo is a cookie-cutter suburban mcmansion-style house. You can even see the next house over (on the left in the photo) is the same color and has the same spire (as cool as the spire is, it’s not as cool if every house on the block has one). Hardly qualifies as a creepy-ass house :)

      I am of course assuming that it isn’t one huge house, with two spires, which would certainly be rather awesome :)

      If you check the article, you can see that at some point after Mark grabbed the image (which could be an iphone photo), someone touched it up – the black level was raised, making it darker and more contrasty, and the color altered a bit to make it more Halloween-y.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      It helps if you have a creepy-ass house to put them in.

      I’ve been doing a GIS for things like ‘haunted house’ and ‘creepy mansion’.  There are all kinds of pictures of big, gothic houses with full moons and graveyards, but the farmhouses with deferred maintenance problems are much scarier.

  4. Daemonworks says:

    Here’s a thought… Motion detector hooked up to some basic audio so as to make the creeper noise whenever anyone gets close to your door.

  5. michael b says:

    It just so happens that we have a creepy-ass house, so we’re in luck.  Working on these tomorrow.

  6. Ian Wood says:

    It’s only creepy if you are suitably CREEPY and MAKERISH and if you’re not then you’re just LAME and maybe trapped a glass house with walls inscribed with esoteric spells in which case you are FUCKED in several ways. That is all.

  7. ooosuperhitopsooo says:

    “100-yard roll of inexpensive black paper My roll was 36″ x 3600″ and cost $74.”

    YIKES. scariest part of the article. Sneaking in the word “inexpensive” does not make it so.

    This should be a “do it yourself for free” project. found cardboard and black spraypaint, maybe, $5?

    • Jeff Rudell says:

      ooosuperhitopsoo brings up a good point, $74 doesn’t make it “inexpensive” unless you consider that this decorated 33 windows, which comes to $2.24 per window. Maybe that’s sort of low-cost, after all. 

      The cardboard and black spray paint is a great alternative idea. It wouldn’t have worked here (since the homeowner wanted to be able to open and close windows — cardboard would have been too thick to allow this to occur — he wanted it non-damaging (this was all adhered using Scotch tape — and the thin black paper was light enough that it stayed in place for the whole month: cardboard would have required something more robust to keep it in place) — and because there were children in the house, the homeowner wanted it to be non-toxic and non messy (no fumes or paint smudges anywhere). 

      My suggestion, if you want a “free” alternative, is to use cut-up brown paper grocery bags. They are opaque enough, they are lightweight enough, and it’s a good reuse of something that might otherwise end up in a landfill. 

      Good luck

  8. Michael W. says:

    Ooooo I am going to make a silhouette of a turban headed man holding a bunch of wires and see if I can flush out the Homeland Security spooks lurking in my neighborhood.

  9. The bottom right window is a NYPD officer clearly beating a protester.

  10. I used to do majorly spooky Halloween decorating – but there are no little kids on my street anymore.

  11. Jeff Rudell says:

    Eachean Edmundson. Way to go. Totally fantastic silhouettes (both creepy AND charming). Love your work.

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