Today I am going to show examples of mirror illusions that I have found on my haunted house journey. My favorite places to go are: Cedar Point Halloweekends (local favorite!) and Universal HHN.
The most common types of illusions you’ll see in houses are infinity mirrors, two way mirror jump scares, and mirror mazes.
Let’s get started!
This haunted house is a Universal Studios original. They created the story-line, characters and implemented realism to make the story behind the house come alive.
When you are waiting in line they have a huge projection screen showing a live Facebook feed of two teenagers, Sid and Nancy, and their antics to damage the cemetery where the glowing mother resides and watches over. Normally she likes children but not when they are there to do wrong.
This haunted house has two mirror illusions that I have seen and found in my walkthroughs: an infinity mirror and a pepper’s ghost illusion. I’ll outline them in the details below and a timestamp of a walk-through from YouTube. The video is not mine but it does show the illusions quite nicely.
One of my favorite parts is actually not a mirror illusion but a sound illusion. At the very end there is a dark tunnel that has been completely sound proofed.
Pepper’s Ghost Illusion
When the person turns the camera toward the skeleton they are frightened and in an instant the scare-actor disappears. You don’t see a mirror though in its place so it has to be a pepper’s ghost effect to show the wall behind where the scare-actor appears and disappears.
At 1:38 when the person holding the camera rounds the corner, they are met by the same actor coming from behind a black curtain. This is because in order for the pepper’s ghost effect to work, the actor has to be in a dark area and illuminate themselves to be seen.
A Pepper’s Ghost Illusion is made using a Teleprompter Mirror.
In Graveyard Games only one mirror is used that is strategically placed so you can see what is behind the mirror the entire time and then when the skeleton goes to scare, they simply light him up to cast his image onto the glass, superimposing the background with the skeleton so they appear to be floating in mid air.
Full Length Infinity Mirror
At 3:36 there is an Infinity Mirror optical illusion that is a full size mirror. Instead of the traditional look of an infinity mirror, they placed candles along the bottom of the mirror to give it the illusion of a long hallway. They likely used a Glass Two Way Mirror because it is one-directional and gives it a deep and dark effect rather than capturing tons of reflections of people and lights in the attraction.
To re-create the effect in the house, I recommend battery operated candles to go in-between the two mirrors. For a more permanent installation you may consider candles that plug in to an outlet.
Bathroom Two Way Mirror
As you approach this bathroom sink it looks like just a regular mirror. However, when you walk by they illuminate the other side of the mirror to reveal Will getting sick in front of the mirror.
Soap bubbles is a popular prop for stage effects to simulate many different effects. In the Stranger Things HHN 29 house they use it to simulate the upside-down spores that float around to fully immerse you into the experience. Soap is the perfect illusion of the spores because the soap foam collects over time just like the spores do as they infect the underground tunnels in Hawkins.
The first mirror illusion in this house is the Hunchback of Notre Dame area where they have a mirror maze (Time Stamp 1:05). This is used to make the space appear much larger up in the clock tower. It also allows the scare-actors a place to hide and create the jump scares.
*In this same area there are a few ropes that have a special tape on them which means you can touch and activate it.