To produce the appearance of a Spectre (a ghost; phantom; apparition) on a Pedestal in the middle of a Table.
Enclose a small magic lantern in a box, Fig. 11, large enough to contain a small swing dressing-glass, which will reflect the light thrown on it by the lantern in such a way, that it will pass out at the aperture made at the top of the box; which aperture should be oval, and of a size adapted [Pg 65] to the cone of light to pass through it. There should be a flap with hinges, to cover the opening, that the inside of the box may not be seen.
There must be holes in that part of the box which is over the lantern, to let the smoke out; and over this must be placed a chafing-dish of an oblong figure, large enough to hold several lighted coals. This chafing-dish, for the better carrying on the deception, may be enclosed in a painted tin box, about a foot high, with a hole at top, and should stand on four feet, to let the smoke from the lantern escape.
There must also be a glass planned to rise up and down in the groove a b, and so managed by a cord and pulley, c d e f, that it may be raised up and let down by the cord coming through the outside of the box. On this glass, the spectre, (or any other figure you please,) must be painted in a contracted or equal form, as the figure will reflect a greater length than it is drawn.
When you have lighted the lamp in the lantern, and placed the mirror in a proper direction, put the box on a table, and, setting the chafing-dish in it, throw some incense, in powder, on the coals. You then open the trap door and let down the [Pg 66] glass in the groove slowly, and when you perceive the smoke diminish, draw up the glass, that the figure may disappear, and shut the trap door.
This exhibition will afford a deal of wonder; but observe, that all the lights in the room must be extinguished; and the box should be placed on a high table, that the aperture through which the light comes out may not be seen.
There are many other pleasing experiments which may be made with the magic lantern, but the limits of our work will not permit us to specify them, without excluding many other equally interesting subjects of a different nature.
– From the book, ENDLESS AMUSEMENT: A COLLECTION OF NEARLY 400 ENTERTAINING EXPERIMENTS
IN VARIOUS BRANCHES OF SCIENCE. With Illustrations. FROM THE SEVENTH LONDON EDITION. PHILADELPHIA: LEA AND BLANCHARD. 1847.