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Halloween Prop Menu : Spark Grid

Spark Grid

Although spectacular, this effect could be potentially dangerous if certain safety precautions are not observed. In order to make this effect safe, the following safety tips should be observed:

  • Have the operator of this effect wear heavy work gloves and safety glasses.
  • Keep the effect a safe distance from the audience, either in a recessed area or behind plexiglass. This will prevent patrons' fingers from getting pinched or sparks flying in their eyes.

The construction of this effect is simple. You need to find a section of chain-link fence or a metal grid of some sort that is durable and that you can see through easily. Also needed are a heavy duty car battery charger, 2 battery cables and a metal rod.

Set up the chain-link fence between where your ghoul will be and the audience. The fence can either be full length or just a one or two foot high section along the wall in a hallway. Electrically connect the fence to the negative (-) terminal of the charger with one of the battery cables. Connect the metal rod to the positive (+) charger terminal with the other battery cable. When the audience starts to walk by, run the metal rod along the fence in fast, long strokes and watch the sparks fly!

Note:  Using a regular car battery in place of the battery charger is not recommended.  A car battery puts out a lot more current than a charger and the rod could even fuse to the fence.  If that were to happen, the dead-short could potentially cause the battery to heat up and explode.

You can surprise the audience by having this effect set-up behind them. As they are watching the scene in front of them, scare them from behind! Or you can use this in a dark hallway. As the audience is walking down a dark hallway, light up the scene with some sparks!

Although this scene is electrically safe (12 volts DC can not electrocute you), you will want to protect your customers from injury. Since your ghoul will be swinging a metal rod against a fence, there may be a small chance that one of the audience members may be holding on to the fence at the same time and their hands may get hit by the rod. Be sure to either have the scene well lit or have the fence recessed slightly so it will be harder for the audience to touch (see diagram 2). For additional protection, you may want to cover to recessed opening (shown in diagram 2) with fine wire mesh (the stuff used for screen doors) or plexiglass, so that it will be impossible for the audience to get injured.

You will want to protect the operator of the effect by having them wear heavy work gloves to protect from burns if the rod heats up, and also have them wear safety glasses to protect their eyes from flying sparks.

Ghoul's View of Effect

Recessed Fence for Safety

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