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Axworthy Ghost Kit

From $199.95

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  • Product Questions (15)

Yes, this products uses the FrightPRops Dual Speed High Torque Prop Motor (MOT1)

Only a few pounds at the most.

We do not sell a specific prop. Anything used must be very lightweight, a small styrofoam ball covered in cloth works well.

We do not have specific information but we have tested up to 40 feet here in the shop.

Yes, but you will also need more satellite units so the line does no sag and fall off.

The speed is adjustable if you get the optional PicoVolt controller.

Large. We no longer sell a small wheel.

Yes, they work great from a 12V DC car or motorcycle type battery.

Yes, that's how they are used. You do need to protect the wiring / electronics from moisture.

They are about 12” in diameter and they all contain bearings.

Best level or the line will fall off more easily.

Axworthy Ghost

Motor, Controller, Power Supply Kit (MOT1)

From $139.94

From $259.98

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how to make axworthy flying ghost

DIY Flying Axworthy Ghost for Halloween

On October 10, 2017

In Halloween

how to make axworthy flying ghost

DIY Flying Axworthy Ghost for Halloween-Video

I’ve always wanted a ghost that would fly throughout my haunts, and last year I finally got my wish!!

The Axworthy ghost is basically a suspended pulley track above the ground that you can fly a ghost from.  I built mine out of old bike wheels attached to conduit that was pounded into the ground.

All of the guests at my haunted Halloween party were awestruck as they watched this ghostly spirit silently float throughout the quiet graves.  Then, without a sound, would return to the party, hovering high above their heads…it was a hit to say the least!

how to make axworthy flying ghost

DIY Flying Axworthy Ghost for Halloween Tutorial

Want to print out this tutorial without the ads?

Click here to download my  DIY Flying Axworthy Ghost PDF Printable Tutorial  for only $5! 

Putting the Motor Together

We used an old hand drill (bought at goodwill) that we attached to a simple homemade platform (made from 2in wide flat strap welded together) to run the whole pulley system

how to make axworthy flying ghost

Here’s a closer look at the motor in action:

  • Approx. 6ft of 2in wide flat strap
  • One old hand drill (this will be the motor)
  • One adult sized bike wheel (Smaller bike wheels work, but they tend the whip the ghost around the turn faster than a larger wheel does)
  • One Variable speed controller  (to control the speed of the motor)
  • Bondo resin (You’ll also need hardener drops to mix with the resin to harden.  This usually comes with the resin when you buy it)
  • Welder (any kind)
  • Chop saw with a metal cutting blade
  • Grinder to grind off sharp edges of metal after cutting
  • Hand drill or drill press with metal drilling bits (to drill holes into mounting arms and motor plate)

These are the approximate measurements of the homemade motor platform we welded together (the whole platform is actually upside down in the pic)

how to make axworthy flying ghost

It’s pretty simple…screw the mounting arms onto something stable that will hold the weight of the whole contraption (like the edge of a roof or an awning).  Then mount the old hand drill (the motor) onto the motor plate at the other end

how to make axworthy flying ghost

We attached the drill to the motor plate with a large U-bolt

how to make axworthy flying ghost

One more note…make sure the shaft is long enough so that your ghost won’t hit the wall when turning.  You want your motor to overhang far enough away from any walls so that you won’t have this problem

how to make axworthy flying ghost

I had to build a makeshift awning out of a couple of 2x4s so that the ghost wouldn’t hit the wall when turning on the wheel.  I think if I were to build another motor platform, I would make the shaft at least another foot or foot and a half longer so the motor would overhang out further from the wall, preventing the ghost from hitting the wall while turning

how to make axworthy flying ghost

Attaching the wheel (or pulley) to the motor was a cinch…I simply inserted the axle of the wheel into the drill where you would normally insert drill bits, and then tightened.

how to make axworthy flying ghost

After hanging the motor and wheel, you’ll need to pour some Bondo resin into the axle insides of the wheel to cease the wheel from spinning independently from the drill (which will cause the whole thing to not work properly.  (I’ve used both liquid nails and also JB Weld and neither of them worked as good as the resin).

how to make axworthy flying ghost

This is how I mix the resin all up:

how to make axworthy flying ghost

Pour the resin into a disposable cup (you’ll only need about 1/4 cup of resin)

how to make axworthy flying ghost

Add the hardener.  Basically, just follow the directions on the can of resin of how many drops you’ll need for.  Honestly, I just added about 20 drops (which is probably a little more than it needed, but I’m impatient) and it worked just fine.  (FYI-The more drops you add, the faster it hardens)

how to make axworthy flying ghost

Stir it all up with a disposable spoon

how to make axworthy flying ghost

I just drizzled the resin into the axle insides with the spoon, not worrying if I got a little on the wheel here and there.  After adding the resin, I let it harden completely, before moving onto the next step.

Plug in the Variable speed controller  to the motor to control how fast your motor will spin

how to make axworthy flying ghost

Here is a close look on how the variable speed controller works: (you’ll notice that the wheel and motor platform are a little different as it was one of the first ones that we made)

Making the Pulleys

how to make axworthy flying ghost

  • Bike wheels (Decide on how many bike wheels you’ll need…for every turn your ghost makes, you will need a wheel.  At first I used a couple of kid-sized bike wheels and I found that the smaller the wheel, the faster the ghost will flip around the turn)  I like my ghost to turn slow and graceful, which is why I prefer adult-sized bike wheels.  Also, make sure all of the axles on the wheels spin freely.  If they’re rusted and seized, they won’t work!)
  • Wing nut on each axle for each wheel (Make sure all of your wheels have a wing nut that will screw onto the axle (with the exception of the wheel that attaches to the motor which you won’t need the wing nut)
  • 3/4in diameter conduit pipe in 5ft lengths (you will be pounding these into the ground) You’ll need as many of these as you have bike wheels
  • 1/2in diameter conduit pipe (cut your lengths the height that you want your ghost to suspend in the air)  You’ll need as many of these as you have bike wheels
  • Eyebolt and nut (you will need as many as you have wheels)
  • Pieces of scrap metal (approx. 1in x 2in) Doesn’t need to be fancy as this will be welded to the bottom of each 3/4in conduit pole to prevent the poles from spinning and twisting when they are pounded into the ground
  • Black spray paint-I painted all of my poles and wheels to help hide them in the dark.
  • Chop saw or grinder with metal cutting blade
  • Hand drill or drill press with metal cutting bits

Unscrew the wing nut from the axle of the wheel

how to make axworthy flying ghost

Weld the wing nut into the end of one of your 1/2inch round conduit pipes.

how to make axworthy flying ghost

We used a screwdriver to hold the wing nut in place while welding

how to make axworthy flying ghost

The wider part of the wing nut should be facing out

how to make axworthy flying ghost

Now screw the wing nut back onto the axle (sorry for the blurry pic!)

how to make axworthy flying ghost

The wheel is now attached to the 1/2inches round conduit and should spin freely

how to make axworthy flying ghost

With the 3/4inches round conduit pipe, drill a hole slightly larger than the shaft of the eye bolt (but not larger than the nut) The hole should be about 8 or 10 inches from the end of the conduit

how to make axworthy flying ghost

With the nut screwed onto the eye bolt, place the shaft of the eye bolt into the hole (the eye bolt should just slide right in since the hole is a little larger)

how to make axworthy flying ghost

Weld the nut onto the conduit, making sure NOT to weld the eye bolt also…  The eye bolt should be able to unscrew from the nut after the nut is welded

how to make axworthy flying ghost

At the other end of the 3/4in round conduit pipe (the bottom part that will be pounded into the ground), we made a ‘T’ by welding on a rectangular piece of metal to keep the poles from spinning while in the ground (something we were having an issue with until we figured this out)

how to make axworthy flying ghost

Now pound the 3/4in round conduit about 1 or 2ft into the ground (far enough in so that it’s sturdy)

how to make axworthy flying ghost

To avoid chewing up the ends of the conduit while hammering, we used a homemade metal sleeve that fit over the conduit, but a tee-post driver would work just as well

how to make axworthy flying ghost

Slide the 1/2in round conduit pipe (with the wheel attached) into the 3/4in conduit pipe that is already pounded into the ground.  Find the height that you want the wheel and then tighten the eye bolt

how to make axworthy flying ghost

I spray painted all of my wheels and pipes black to keep it all hidden at night

Making the Ghost

Since I wanted something with a little more flare I put more work into my ghost, but you can make a really easy light-weight ghost by simply draping some cheesecloth over a round ball of Styrofoam and hanging it with a piece of strong fishing line.

I can’t stress enough that the ghost needs to be as lightweight as possible, and after LOTS of trial and error, this is what I came up with:

how to make axworthy flying ghost

Tools & Supplies:

  • Acetone-free fingernail polish remover and cotton ball (to remove the date that is stamped on the milk jug)
  • Sharpie marker
  • Hot Glue gun (used when it’s time to hang ghost high above onto the main pulley line)
  • Clear plastic bag
  • Milk carton
  • Heavy grade fishing line (I used 50 pound grade)
  • Black paint and applicater for blacking out eyes
  • Cheesecloth (you will need two pieces at 3ft x 8ft in length )
  • Small sewing button
  • Green glow bracelet -(A regular sized glow stick is too heavy)
  • Life-sized skull for molding the milk jug to (it must withstands high heat from the heat gun) You can use a ceramic skull or do what I did and use a Bucky skull

how to make axworthy flying ghost

With the sharpie, draw around the handle and top as so…

how to make axworthy flying ghost

Cut along line with scissors or knife

how to make axworthy flying ghost

In order to fit the milk jug onto the skull, make two more lines (about 2 or 3in in length) on the top sides and then cut along lines

how to make axworthy flying ghost

Draw and cut one more line at the bottom (about 2-3inches in length)

how to make axworthy flying ghost

Set up your skull that you’ll be molding the milk jug to.  (I used a piece of PVC pipe and an umbrella stand to keep it propped up)

how to make axworthy flying ghost

See my video on how to mold a milk jug skull with a heat gun…

After you’ve made your milk jug skull, punch two small holes in the back (see red dots) and tie together with a piece of fishing line.  Let about 2ft of line dangle from the back.  (I also blacked out the eye sockets with my black paint)

how to make axworthy flying ghost

Tie another piece of fishing line (2ft in length) to your small button.

how to make axworthy flying ghost

Punch a small hole in the top of the skull and poke the end of the fishing line through.  The button will stop at the hole which will allow the skull to hang.

how to make axworthy flying ghost

You now should have two pieces of fishing line sticking out from the skull (one from the top, and one from the back).

how to make axworthy flying ghost

I used some fingernail polish remover and a cotton ball to remove the stamped date that was on the milk jug

how to make axworthy flying ghost

Gather both sheets of cheesecloth and starch and iron it

how to make axworthy flying ghost

Drape each piece of cheesecloth over the milk jug skull

how to make axworthy flying ghost

Pull the two pieces of fishing line up through the cheesecloth.  The line on the top is the main hanging line that will support the weight of the ghost.  The line in the back basically stabilizes the ghost so it wont twist and turn while flying.  Tie a ball bearing fishing swivel to the ends of both the lines,  leaving the main hanging line about 6in long and the stabilizing line about 8-10 inches long

how to make axworthy flying ghost

Here’s what one of the the ball-bearing fishing swivels looks like tied to one of the ends of the fishing line. (Sorry for the fuzzy pic!)

how to make axworthy flying ghost

Here is a look at how the ball bearing swivels will hang onto the actual pulley line that will allow the ghost to fly.

how to make axworthy flying ghost

I trimmed the cheesecloth to get rid of some weight.  In the pick the cheesecloth is really long, but I found out later that it was just too heavy and I had to trim it down as much as possible.

how to make axworthy flying ghost

I cut large triangles up into the fabric, which also gave it a more tattered look.

how to make axworthy flying ghost

To make the ghost head glow, I used a glow bracelet wrapped up in a clear plastic bag. I simply lifted up the ghosts’ skirts and stuffed the bag up inside the hollow head of the ghost

how to make axworthy flying ghost

The bag stays put stuffed into the head, and I didn’t even have to glue it in.  This makes it simple to remove and replace the glowing bracelet for the next night

how to make axworthy flying ghost

…and here he is with all the lights turned out!

Putting it all together

It’s time to hang the pulley line.  (It’s easiest to get a helper for this part)

Have your helper hold one end of the fishing line (keeping tension on the line), and string it all up going from one pulley to the next.  You’ll need a ladder for this!  After it’s all strung up you’ll end up back where you started and will have to make a strong knot in both ends of the fishing line (I went on YouTube to see how to correctly tie fishing line so that it won’t slip out of the knot)

how to make axworthy flying ghost

Hang your ghost onto the line with the swivel hooks.  I use a few pea-sized blobs of hot glue on the pulley line to work as stoppers for the swivel hooks. When you turn the motor on, the pulley line will move.  The stoppers basically ‘grab’ the swivels, taking your ghost with them.  If you don’t have these stoppers, the pulley line will start to slip through the swivels, causing the ghost not to move.

how to make axworthy flying ghost

I actually use two stoppers for each swivel hook.  The arrows show how the swivel can move freely in-between each stopper.  I leave about 4-6inches in-between the stoppers.  The lone middle stopper you see in the pic is just an extra one I added if I wanted to adjust anything.

how to make axworthy flying ghost

Troubleshooting:

how to make axworthy flying ghost

  • Line isn’t tight enough

how to make axworthy flying ghost

  • Line is too tight and is bending the conduit so that the pulleys are not angled correctly with the fishing line
  • Motor is running too fast and ghost whips off the track
  • Ghost is hitting or snagging something

how to make axworthy flying ghost

  • Hot glue stoppers are too big causing the line to jump off.  Make sure they are no larger than about the size of a pea
  • Hot glue stoppers on pulley line are too small and are slipping right through the swivel hooks.

how to make axworthy flying ghost

Wishing you all a Happy Haunted Halloween!!!

Click here to download my  DIY Flying Axworthy Ghost PDF Printable Tutorial for only $5! 

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DIY Flying Axworthy Ghost Tutorial-Downloadable Printable PDF

how to make axworthy flying ghost

Download my PDF Printable Tutorial on how to make an awesome DIY Flying Axworthy Ghost for Halloween! (Completely ad-free!). I recommend using a color printer, as some of the photos have color-coordinated instructions.

There are two short videos that you'll still have to watch on my online tutorial (as videos are impossible to print out), but this downloadable printed PDF tutorial explains when and where to do so. Happy Building!

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HOW TO – Axworthy flying ghost

HOW TO – Axworthy flying ghost

By Phillip Torrone

Phillip torrone.

current: @adafruit - previous: MAKE, popular science, hackaday, engadget, fallon, braincraft ... howtoons, 2600...

Axflying

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4 thoughts on “ HOW TO – Axworthy flying ghost ”

' src=

we should make sure to thank scott axworthy for his pioneering work!

“I would have gotten away with it, if it weren’t for you meddling kids!!”

I always wanted to see one of these operate in real life.

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how to make axworthy flying ghost

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Axworthy Flying Ghost

  • By Weird Jon in Articles

Although Scott Axworthy created what he called the “ghost flight system” in 1988, it was dubbed as the “Axworthy Flying Ghost” (sometimes known as the “Axeworthy Flying Ghost”) when he posted it on the Halloween-L mailing list in 1995. The name’s popularity was only rivaled by that of the prop itself. After all, what haunter could resist the idea of a ghost flying around their yard like the one in this video:

As you can imagine, there are numerous Axworthy tutorials available online, with several having made modifications to the system’s design in order to make it easier and less expensive to build.

There are also several variants of the system that don’t limit themselves to a ghost. In addition to this double ghost setup, the design has also been used to create flying UFOs and even a swarm of bats using this design based around “flying bat” toys. Someone even created an alternative to the Axworthy Flying Ghost, but the original still reigns supreme.

As was the case with the Flying Crank Ghost, a simplified (and scaled-down) version was eventually released in stores. Also like the Flying Crank Ghost, the seeming amount of work needed to create one has prevented it from being better well known outside the Halloween and haunt enthusiast circles. I’ve personally noticed how the basic concept seems to be better understood by the general public thanks to the wider availability of the stripped-down commercial version. But as the video shown earlier demonstrates, building one is well worth the effort and is sure to wow your neighbors.

Special thanks to Jeff Preischel for use of the image!

Gravedigger’s Local 16 is not to be held responsible for the content on or anything that may occur (be it good or bad) as a result of visiting any links on the above sites (or constructing a project that’s detailed on them). This also applies to the suggestions made here. Attempt at your own discretion.

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Cheap Motorized Halloween Flying Ghost

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Introduction: Cheap Motorized Halloween Flying Ghost

Cheap Motorized Halloween Flying Ghost

Hi everybody,

So Halloween is coming and you wan't to decorate your home to scare the trick or treaters without braking the bank and still have an amazing effect? Well this instructable is the one you need! In this instructable I will show you how to make a flying ghost for under 10 dollars whorth of electronics and a few dollars for the wood, I just used some scrap wood I've had laying around so I was free for me. Normally this kind of prop is made with and expensive whiper motor, wich can cost up to 30 dollars, I made mine basiccaly for for free because the motor and power supply where salvaged from and old disco ball.

Step 1: Gather the Materials

Gather the Materials

Here's what you need to make this project

A 1 meter long piece of wood that's at least 8 centimeters deep and 1 centimeter high

A 12vac synchronous motor, you can salvage one from a rotating disco ball or buy one from amazon: https://www.amazon.com/TYC-50-Synchronous-5-6RPM-T...

A 12vac power supply capable of at least dellivering 1amp you will probably have one laying around but if you don't already have one you can buy one for 15 dollars here: https://www.amazon.com/Transformer-2-5mm-5-5mm-Bar...

A white sheet to make your ghost with.

Optional: a blacklight, this will make your ghost light up blue without lighting other things that aren't white.

https://www.amazon.com/American-Black-Light-Fixtur...

Step 2: How It Works

How It Works

I made this very simple drawing to explain how it works, when the crank rotates the distances between the crank shaft and the eye-hooks will get bigger and smaller. In the drawing I only show 2 strings to keep it simple but we will use 3 one to attach to the "head" of our ghost and one for each "arm".

Step 3: Starting the Build

Starting the Build

So first take your at least one meter long piece of wood and mark the center of the wood

Step 4: Mounting the Motor

Mounting the Motor

Draw a circle around the base of the motor and drill out the hole.

Now insert the motor in the hole and screw it in place.

Step 5: Mounting the Eye-hooks

Mounting the Eye-hooks

Saw of 3 pieces of a 5*5 cm bar of wood each 5 cm high, now mark 2 points 50 cm's away from the motor's center, one to the left and one to the right.

Step 6: Drilling the Holes

Drilling the Holes

Now you can drill three holes around the marks that are 50cm's away from the motor, the distance should be something like one cm, it doesn't have to be very precise.

Step 7: Mounting the Blocks of Wood on the Bar

Mounting the Blocks of Wood on the Bar

Place the bar on top of the wooden blocks with the blocks under the 3 holes and insert a screw in each hole.

Step 8: Inserting the Eye Hooks

Inserting the Eye Hooks

Find a drill bit that is a little bit smaller then the threads on the eye-hook then drill a hole in each block as shown in the picture the hole has to be one cm away from the side of the block that's facing towards the motor. When you have drilled both holes you can insert the eye-hook just by screwing it in with your hand, the holes have to face to the center.

Step 9: Attaching the Second Arm

Attaching the Second Arm

Take a 40cm long piece of wood and drill 3 holes about 1.5cm apart on both sides, at this point you can take the thirth block of wood you made earlier and screw it to one of the sides with 3 screws through the holes you drilled.

Next we are going to attach the second arm to the bar, place it right next to the motor in a way that the eye-hook is straight in front of the motor.

Step 10: Insert the Eye-hook

Insert the Eye-hook

Again, just screw it in by hand so the hole faces towards the motor.

Step 11: Connecting the Electronics

Connecting the Electronics

Strip the wires of the power supply and the whires from the motor, and twist them together(the polarity doesn't matter because we're working with ac. When you twisted the wires together put electrical tape over the connections.

Step 12: Making the Crank

Making the Crank

I found a 1cm*1cm*20cm bar that was perfect for this job, you have to drill a hole in it a little bit bigger then the motor's shaft then drill a sideways hole trough the other hole on a 90degrees angle. Don't drill the hole like shown in the second picture, you don't wan't to poke a hole in your hand.

Step 13: Drill Your Hole Like This

Drill Your Hole Like This

Step 14: Mounting the Washer on the Crank

Mounting the Washer on the Crank

Measure a 20 cm long disance from the hole you drilled earlier (in this hole we will insert the shaft of the motor) mark that spot, here you can drill a hole about 2mm's in diameter. Now we can fabricate the washer, clamp it down on a wooden surface and drill 3 holes in it in a triangular shape. Screw the washer in place in the hole 20cm away from the hole where the motor's shaft goes. Now insert the motor shaft in the first hole with the 90degrees hole facing to the hole in the shaft( pic.2 ). And put a nail trough the sideways hole, this will also go trough the hole in the motor shaft and prevent any kind of slip.

Step 15: Add the Strings and Your Ghost

Add the Strings and Your Ghost

Now that the mechanical build is done, you can finally add the three strings each attached to a hole in the washer and through an eye-hook as shown in the drawing, attach the head of your ghost on the middle string and the arms each to one of the remaining strings. I haven't been very creative with my ghost yet but it was just to test the concept.

Step 16: Done!

Done!

Congratulions if you've made it till here, now the only thing you have to do is hang it somewhere where it's dark shine a light on it, and scare some people!

Happy Halloween! :-)

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Participated in the Halloween Decor Contest 2016

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Axworthy flying tape ghost?

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JJC

 The Bowline: "Lay the bight to make a hole. Then under the back and around the pole. Over the top and thru the eye. Cinch it tight and let it lie"

 To tension it we used a tautline hitch for the other end.

  It was rather amazing how much tension we could apply to this to get it taut. Once the line was taut, remove the tape.

 We attached the ghost at the loop of the bowline. Basically the ghost was a foam ball six inches in diameter, with a hanger attached beneath it. Then it was layered with tuelle and gauze. Weighed perhaps three pounds. The ghost will be different soon, made from a wig form - so it has a distinct head on it. The head will have blue led eyes powered by a nine volt, plus arms reaching out ahead of it. This means it will need two mount points, ideally we want more ghosts in the loop. The masons line seems capable of taking the additional weight.

 One of the nice things about the setup, is that it can easily be made to run past other props and take advantage of the lighting associated with them. It looked great whizzing by the ghost ring, the FCG and the porch, which were all illuminated with black lights.

 The cabling might change, we have a tarred netting line, supposedly minimal stretch, and we have 1/16th" steel cable. Just gonna have to experiment during the off season in the garage.

how to make axworthy flying ghost

Sawyer Ventures

Flying Crank Ghost DIY Halloween Prop

There are many how-to projects listed online with instructions to build a flying crank ghost, but the recommended motor is relatively expensive at approximately $60. We set out to build a flying crank ghost where all parts would be less than the cost of the motor itself – the video shows the result – keep reading to see how we did it.

Parts list:

  • windshield wiper motor – $16.50 online
  • computer power supply – free
  • aluminum angle iron – $8.99 big box store
  • flat black spray paint – $1.18 big box store
  • styrofoam mannequin head – $3.50 online
  • 24″ blacklight – $15.99 electronics store
  • cheesecloth – $1.99 discount store
  • RIT fabric dye – $1.49 discount store
  • wire clothes hangers – free
  • 2 red LEDs – $2.99 online
  • LED fader $11.95
  • fishing line – $4.50
  • assorted nuts, washers and bolts – $3

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Motor and Frame Preparation

Step 1)  Prepare the wiper motor to mount the aluminum angle iron swing arm.  The wiper motor comes with a short arm already attached. Loosen the nut on the central shaft and discard the short arm – these nuts are often on very tight so it can be helpful to use a pair of vice grips or large pliers to grasp the arm and prevent it from turning.  Be sure to keep the nut!

how to make axworthy flying ghost

Step 2)  Using a piece of heavy paper or cardboard, trace the bolt pattern from the wiper motor then cut out the holes for the bolts and for the central shaft – this creates the template to transfer to the aluminum angle iron.

how to make axworthy flying ghost

At this point, you need to make some decisions that will affect the final movement of the ghost and can be difficult to change later.

The length of the swing arm will impact the overall size of the apparatus – be sure to leave enough clearance for the swing arm to make full rotation with plenty of clearance.  Our Flying Crank Ghost is displayed in the front window of our house, so we built the frame to fit the space – see the diagram for dimensions.

how to make axworthy flying ghost

The length of the swing arm also determines the amount of movement in your ghost for both the head and arms. The total arm length in the video for our Flying Crank Ghost was 10 inches and we think it would be improved with slightly less movement, approximately 8 1/2 to 9 inches.

how to make axworthy flying ghost

The top of the image is the front of the ghost with the motor mount directly in the center.  Our frame is made of 2×2 lumber and we highly recommend using structural connectors (also called rigid ties or strong-ties) at the joints to tie everything together.   Spax wood screws (buy on Amazon) are a slight premium to normal wood screws but they are worth the money because of how smoothly they go in. Its amazing how big a difference they make – we use them exclusively now.

Mount the Motor and Power Supply

Step 3) Using the template, transfer the bolt pattern and central hub cutout to the aluminum angle iron and then drill out the holes and cut out the opening for the hub.  The holes were easily drilled, but the larger cutout for the wiper motor hub was more challenging.  We used a hacksaw to remove most of the material and then finished it off using a Dremel tool to get the final shape.  After the holes are cut, mount your wiper motor to the angle iron and make sure everything fits.

how to make axworthy flying ghost

Step 4) Your wiper motor will have 3 terminals – high speed, low speed and the ground (the ground terminal is probably connected to the motor housing).  For a Flying Crank Ghost you will be using the low speed and ground terminals.

Now examine the pinout configuration from your computer power supply – the diagram shown is from an ATX power supply.  ATX power supplies are switched-mode power supplies – which means they must have a load connected to operate properly – the power supply will check for the load using the voltage sense (or power sense) wire.

how to make axworthy flying ghost

It may look complicated, but you really only need to find 4 pins: 2 black ground wires, the green power-on wire for the supply, and an orange 3.3V wire to get the lowest speed for your ghost.  If using an ATX power supply, conveniently the voltage sense wire is already configured with a 3.3V line to Pin 11.  Make note of the wires you will use and then cut all the wires to remove them from the plug, bundle all the other wires together using a tie wrap – you won’t be using them.

  • Connect the 3.3V and voltage sense wires from Pin 11 to the low-speed terminal on the wiper motor.
  • Connect one of the ground wires from the power supply to the ground terminal on the wiper motor.
  • The green 12V wire is the switch wire for the power supply, our plan was to control the entire ghost assembly from the extension cord so we just connected the green wire to a black ground wire using a wire nut – you could also install a switch if you want to control the ghost movement separately.
  • Mount the power supply to the aluminum angle iron (we just used zip ties to secure it) and make the connections to the wiper motor.

how to make axworthy flying ghost

Build the Swing Arm and Spinning Washer

Step 5) Now cut the aluminum angle iron to the desired length of your swing arm.  The swing arm used in the video was 10 inches (9 inches from center of the motor hole to the center of the swivel mounting bolt).

We used a 3/8 inch drill bit to drill partway thru the aluminum angle iron to form a bevel, and then used the smaller drill bit to finish the hole. The bevel ensures the wiper motor hub will have a good connection to the swing arm.

how to make axworthy flying ghost

Drill the appropriate sized hole at the other end of the swing arm to match the bolt size you will use to build the assembly in Step 6).

Step 6) This spinning washer assembly is important to get right – the assembly must spin freely without binding.  We used a 1/4″x3″ bolt as the main shaft with matched lock nuts and metal washers.  At our local big box store we found a nylon nut that fits the 1/4″ bolt (look in the specialty fastener drawers) and that fits thru the inside of the large washer.  Drill three holes in the washer as shown.

The assembly order for the bolt is as follows:

  • Insert the bolt thru the swing arm
  • Tighten the first lock nut all the way down to secure the bolt to the swing arm
  • Metal washer
  • Nylon washer (nylon washers are optional but will reduce the chance of squeaking from the ghost)
  • Nylon washer

Lock nut 2 and lock nut 3 should be snug against each other to minimize the chance that the spinning washer will bind, but make sure the spinning washer can rotate freely.  After finishing the spinning washer, mount the swing arm to the wiper motor. The picture shows the final assembly.

how to make axworthy flying ghost

At this point you need to plug in the power supply and verify that the swing arm rotates correctly and is aligned to give clearance all the way around. 

CAUTION – Wiper motors are strong! The swing arm may have sharp edges that can cut, you can get pinched, hit, or tangled in the mechanism. Stay clear of the assembly and turn off the power before making any adjustments.

Make any adjustments needed then give the entire assembly a coat of flat black spray paint – go ahead and paint the spinning washer, just keep it a light coat so it doesn’t gum up. Don’t spray inside the power supply.

how to make axworthy flying ghost

Build the Ghost Head and Wire Frame

Step 7)  Now to build the ghost itself.  Take the styrofoam mannequin head and poke a hole thru each eye to the back of the head using a pencil sized wood dowel or a long screwdriver.  Also poke a hole straight down thru the center from top to bottom.

how to make axworthy flying ghost

You can see that we hollowed out the back of the head to make room for the LED fader and battery and we also dug out the eye sockets to make room for the small plastic ‘eyeballs’ that we picked up at a craft store.  The eyeballs aren’t necessary, but they help to diffuse the light from the LEDs and create a nice effect where there is a brighter center ‘pupil’ with the ball of light around it that adds to the spookiness.  The circuit we used came with leads to wire each eyeball LED and we used red LEDs to contrast with the bluish glow from the blacklight.

how to make axworthy flying ghost

Step 8) Now take the clothes hangers (or other wire) to form the structure of the ghost body.  Nothing fancy here, just make the central section long enough to reach all the way thru the styrofoam head so you can hang it.  We wanted our ghost to be approximately life sized, so we used 10″ for the shoulders and 12″ for the upper arm and forearm lengths.  The arms need to move freely and not come loose, so make sure the loops are fully closed and have enough room to swivel.  Give the completed wire frame a coat of flat black spray paint.

how to make axworthy flying ghost

Now assemble the styrofoam head and wire frame together – the wire frame can be left just by itself but we decided to add some foam pipe insulation to give the ghost limbs a little more substance.

Make the Cheesecloth Body and Final Assembly

Step 9)  Prepare your cheesecloth by soaking it in the RIT fabric whitener (following the package instructions).  Hang the cheesecloth and allow it to dry thoroughly – it should now glow nicely under blacklight.

Step 10)  Now hang your completed frame from Step 6) in the display location and you can string up the ghost.  Up to this point, we have followed what many other people have with their flying crank ghosts, but as we looked at all the videos online we didn’t like how all the FCGs just bobbed up and down.

As we looked at the mechanism we realized that one simple change (that nobody else had done) would add another dimension of movement and give the ghost a swooshing movement that causes the ghost to sweep forward and rise before it drifts down and backward.  The faster rotation of the wiper motor works well and when combined with a small fan to add movement to the cheesecloth creates an eerie effect.

The change we made was to add a pulley to the swivel washer and suspend the ghost directly from the swing arm (the reverse of the standard setup).  We found a very cheap pulley at the local home improvement store in the screen door section – a sliding screen door tension roller – it has nice deep track to keep the string on the roller and not let it slide off and the metal tab made for easy mounting.

Be sure to use fishing line that doesn’t glow under blacklight – we used 12lb test Spiderwire EZBraid.

Hang the ghost by tying one end of the fishing line to the wire hanger on the ghost head, route the line up thru the pulley attached to the spinning washer, and then tie the other end of the line to the wood frame at the rear.  This is the dashed red line in the diagram.

For the arms, tie the line to one of the ‘hands’ and then route it thru an eyehook on the wood frame and then tie the other end to the swivel washer (you can use snap hook to make the connections easier to remove).  Repeat on the other side for the other arm.  These are the dashed blue lines in the diagram.

Many designs call for small pulleys instead of the eyehooks we used for the arms – since the largest weight is the head assembly we found those pulleys are not necessary.  We restring every season and haven’t had a problem, but you could certainly use pulleys if you prefer.

After hanging the ghost, you can arrange the cheesecloth however you like it.  We opted to create a wispy shroud look for the arms with a more substantial center ‘body’ outline while still leaving the torso very wispy – get creative and try different configurations until you find something the kids like.

how to make axworthy flying ghost

3 thoughts on “ Flying Crank Ghost DIY Halloween Prop ”

That video is awesome – just found my project for Halloween next year – and thanks for the great instructions!

where did you find your motor? Great looking ghost, thank you for posting step-by-steps.

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    how to make axworthy flying ghost

VIDEO

  1. Halloween Prop

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  3. FLYING GHOST PRANK 😂

  4. Charlie the Axworthy Ghost

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  6. Dead Things Vlog- Axworthy Flying Ghost

COMMENTS

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  4. Axworthy Ghost Kit

    Axworthy Ghost Kit. FP-0AK7. In stock. Finally, one of the most popular Halloween decorations made easy! No more trying to rig up Frisbee and a motor from a junkyard. FrightProps has assembled industrial quality parts to make this the ultimate Axworthy! From $199.95.

  5. DIY Flying Axworthy Ghost for Halloween-Video

    Unscrew the wing nut from the axle of the wheel. Weld the wing nut into the end of one of your 1/2inch round conduit pipes. We used a screwdriver to hold the wing nut in place while welding. The wider part of the wing nut should be facing out. Now screw the wing nut back onto the axle (sorry for the blurry pic!)

  6. Building a Flying Motorized Ghost

    How to Build a Flying Motorized Axworthy Ghost Prop | Halloween PropStep 1: Determine how many anchor points you will need based on the length you want you...

  7. Any Step by Step Tutorial for Axworthy Ghost

    Take a 12 or 18" piece and thread a coupling to one end. place it in the ground and secure it in cement leaving the coupling exposed. Once its set thread a 10" section of rigid conduit into the coupling, paint it flat black and attach you idler wheel to it .

  8. Rob's Version of an Axworthy Ghost

    This is a flying ghost made in the style made popular by Scott Axworthy. This is a cheap and moderately easy prop to put together. Using bike rims, a recycled sewing machine motor, some heavy braided fishing line, a foam skull, cheap plastic drop cloth, some Great Stuff spray foam insulation, and clothes hangers I made this prop in a few days ...

  9. how to make axworthy flying ghost

    axworthy flying ghost built from wheel chair wheels and sewing machine motor, drive belt was cut from a inner tube in action http://www.youtube.co...

  10. DIY Flying Axworthy Ghost Tutorial-Downloadable Printable PDF

    Size. 2.84 MB. Length. 32 pages. Download my PDF Printable Tutorial on how to make an awesome DIY Flying Axworthy Ghost for Halloween! (Completely ad-free!). I recommend using a color printer, as some of the photos have color-coordinated instructions. There are two short videos that you'll still have to watch on my online tutorial (as videos ...

  11. How to make an Axworthy Flying ghost DIY Halloween prop 2013

    My flying ghost project almost completed, test running to sort out any issues. It needs a longer black string and painting black. Plus I need to make my gho...

  12. HOW TO

    Enter the MAKE & CRAFT Contests! Makers and Crafters, it's time to enter our ghoulishly fun Halloween contests! Anyone, anywhere can enter, and depending on what type of maker or crafter you are, you can enter all or just some of the contests - Link. Comments are closed. Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord ...

  13. DIY Flying Ghost Part 1

    Follow these steps to create a budget friendly flying ghost without the high cost of a kit! DIY Flying Ghost Part 2: https://youtu.be/Ricynnp-rOUAmazon Affil...

  14. Halloween Zip Line

    Step 4: Understanding the Nodes (non-motor) The same clothesline pulleys can be used for what I call the "nodes". You will need to cut off one side (bottom) so that the "drop line" can pass around the pulley. I use a bent eye bolt that the pulley basically just hangs from. Many people online build their Axworthy Ghost by mounting to trees or homes.

  15. PDF PropBoy's Axworthy Flying Ghost

    Ghost: My ghost was very simple just a stryo foam ball wrapped in a clear garbage bag with a cloak. Try to keep the weight of your ghost as light as possible as this will effect your performance of the Axworthy ghost effect. To heavy and the ghost could pull the drive line off the wheels.

  16. Axworthy Flying Ghost

    Axworthy Flying Ghost. By Weird Jon in Articles. Although Scott Axworthy created what he called the "ghost flight system" in 1988, it was dubbed as the "Axworthy Flying Ghost" (sometimes known as the "Axeworthy Flying Ghost") when he posted it on the Halloween-L mailing list in 1995. The name's popularity was only rivaled by that ...

  17. Motorized Axworthy/Flying Ghost Pulley System

    An Axworthy ghost is a spooky ghost that is made to look like a flying apparition through the use of fishing line, swivels, pulleys and some kind of motor. There are many examples online of people making them from bicycle wheels, electric drills, and other items found around the home. But, I did not find any 3D printable versions so I thought I ...

  18. Cheap Motorized Halloween Flying Ghost

    Step 14: Mounting the Washer on the Crank. Measure a 20 cm long disance from the hole you drilled earlier (in this hole we will insert the shaft of the motor) mark that spot, here you can drill a hole about 2mm's in diameter. Now we can fabricate the washer, clamp it down on a wooden surface and drill 3 holes in it in a triangular shape.

  19. Mechanical:

    The 3 keys to Axworthy success are. #1 Pulley alignment. #2 Line tension.... When you break something the line might be too tight .... until then it is too loose. #3 Ghost, line speed relationship. Light ghosts can go real fast. Heavy ghosts need to go slower.

  20. Minions Web

    Pretty simple, more aluminum angle stock, one end drilled to recieve the wheel axle, then two holes in the side face and one in the bottom. Use drywall screws to attach to the 2x4" end and mount the wheel. Being sure to slip the chain in place before tightening it. On testing it, the thing rocked!

  21. Flying Crank Ghost DIY Halloween Prop

    Make sure everything fits to mount the wiper motor; Step 4) Your wiper motor will have 3 terminals - high speed, low speed and the ground (the ground terminal is probably connected to the motor housing). For a Flying Crank Ghost you will be using the low speed and ground terminals. Now examine the pinout configuration from your computer power supply - the diagram shown is from an ATX power ...