If you're a fan of the legendary Disneyland attraction The Haunted Mansion (and really, who isn't?), you're no doubt familiar with one of the ride's creepiest characters: the disembodied 3D head of fortune-teller “Madame Leota,” offering cryptic knowledge from beyond while floating inside a crystal ball:
Now, thanks to a couple of intrepid designers, you can build your own version of Madame Leota (or whatever eerie disembodied specter you choose) on just about any budget.
Artist & designer Barry Belcher demonstrates how you can create the crystal ball trick using a flat panel monitor, an oversized brandy snifter-shaped vase and a sheet of reflective plastic. The step-by-step instructions are available on BoingBoing, and Belcher also created this video tutorial:
If you don't have a spare monitor lying around, Ehow user Nikki reveals a super-easy mini version that uses a looped video on your smartphone for the ghostly image.
Either variant would be an awesome conversation piece, and I'm thinking you could also make an improvised version of the phone-based stunt at your local bar... especially after your pals have had a few, if you know what I mean.
If you've got a little more cash to spare, you might want to track down the '70s Haunted Mansion board game... or at least check out our cool retrospective.