Archive for February 23rd, 2016

February 23, 2016

Pepper’s Ghost

haunted mansion

Dircksian Phantasmagoria

Pepper’s ghost is an illusion technique used in theater, amusement parks, museums, television, and concerts. It is named after John Henry Pepper, a scientist who popularized the effect in a famed demonstration in 1862. It has a long history, dating into the 16th century, and remains widely performed today.

Notable examples of the illusion are the ‘Girl-to-Gorilla’ trick found in old carnival sideshows and the appearance of ‘ghosts’ at the ‘Haunted Mansion’ at Disneyland. Teleprompters are a modern implementation of Pepper’s ghost. They reflect a speech or script and are commonly used for live broadcasts such as news programs. Examples of concert illusions based on Pepper’s ghost are the appearance of Tupac Shakur onstage with Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg at the 2012 Coachella Music and Arts Festival and Michael Jackson at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards.

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