Make A Static Powered Dancing Ghost

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Today we were playing around with some balloons (which we often do when things get slow) and we had an idea to add a Halloween twist to a familiar static experiment. It is really quite a lot of fun and super simple. For this bit of spooky science you will need:

  • A piece of tissue paper
  • A balloon
  • Scissors
  • A head of hair
  • Spooky Music (optional)
  1. First cut out a ghost shape in the tissue as shown about 1.5 inches (4 cm) long and add some eyes with a marker. If you are using 2-ply tissues, peel apart the 2 layers to get the tissue as thin as possible. Cut out a few ghosts for more fun and place them on a flat surface. You might want to make some out of regular paper to compare. (Some readers found slightly heavier ghosts easier to control.)
  2. Blow up the balloon and tie it. Then rub it really fast through your hair for about 10 seconds. This will add a static charge.

static ghost

3. Slowly bring the balloon near the ghost, and the ghost will begin to rise toward the balloon. (Our ghost “arms” actually reached toward the balloon as we got it near.) If the balloon is charged enough, the ghost will rise and float right up to the balloon, even when it is several inches away. With a little practice, you can get the ghost to rise, float, and even dance around. TIP: The easiest way to make the ghost rise without it sticking to the balloon is to tape theĀ very tip of the bottom of the ghost to a table. The ghost will rise and move along with the balloon. With a good charge, the balloon can control the ghost from several inches away.

How’s it work?

When you rub the balloon through your hair, invisible electrons (with a negative charge) build up on the surface of the balloon. The electrons have the power to pull very light objects (with a positive charge) toward them – in this case, the tissue ghost!

Try it out and let us know how it goes.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE HALLOWEEN SCIENCE IDEAS.

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Comments

30 Responses to “Make A Static Powered Dancing Ghost”
  1. BOB34567890 says:

    AWESOME EXPERIMENT BOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. deceased says:

    FUN AND AWESOME EXPERIMENT!!!!

  3. Claudialovesscience says:

    Nice experiment, I need a halloween/science experiment for my project for a grade. In 3 weeks i have to make what i got into reserching for halloween and science project. Now i have the perfect project to share for my class in 5th grade. :) Thanks Bob!!!

  4. kid in 7th grade says:

    awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. baby gurl says:

    wow that is a awesome experiment!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:-)

  6. BAM says:

    i tried this before it is fun i made 1 change i used tissue stapeled together to make a 1ft goblin

  7. ScienceBobRules!!!! says:

    Awesome experiment! I’m going t try it out with my partner.

  8. shadow says:

    HI BOB I HATE TO BOTHER U BUT I LOVE YOUR EXPERIMENTS SO MUCH.
    ME AND MY FRIEND LIKES UR YOUR IDEA

  9. sheman says:

    Amazingly Fun An Awsomely nice!!!!!!

  10. magan says:

    that is so cool

  11. michaeljackson says:

    heeyy bob..i love dis experiment!!! im at school looking for a science fair project….and my teacher suggested this site!! thanks boB!

  12. jacob jenkins!!!!! :D says:

    heyyyyy!!! this is awesome!!!

  13. kaykay says:

    kool i love it

  14. girl says:

    CoOl ScIeNcE fAiR pRoJeCt B0B!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. ScienceBobFan#1! says:

    Awesome, like I said, I’m going to try it out with my partner, but, it’s a demontration, if it’s a real experiment, then you’d e-mail me back showing that it’s an experiment. Thanks for the demontration/experiment!

  16. science dx says:

    best idea ever-_-

  17. kingpushpakraj says:

    I’ll use this on a birthday party

  18. angel m says:

    you are the best bob you rock!!!!!!!

  19. maria says:

    cool!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Waseem(smrm) says:

    Bob this is a nice experiment,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,I don’t have words to tell you about this experiment…………………..

  21. ellie73782 says:

    SPOOKY……………..and very kewl i think i am going to try and do it sometime…. :):):):):):):):):):):):) XDDDDD

  22. ellie73782 says:

    that is a really kewl thing to do when ur really board. bob u r very smart i wish u were my teacher for everthing lol

  23. antimatter says:

    bob has lots of awesom experiments

  24. sarah says:

    wow that really worked!!! that really worked.gotta tell a friend. bye :)

  25. Sciencebob master says:

    You are the best scientist in the whole universe and I love your experiment and I also showed my brother that and I scared the doo out of him and it was funny lol thanks sciencebob

  26. bekbek says:

    Is there an alternative to using a balloon to create the static? We are a latex free school and cannot use balloons in science. This looks like a great Halloween activity.

  27. ritz says:

    AWESOME……YOU MADE THIS HALLOW HALLOWIN TO WIN IN MY SCHOOLS FAIROF SCIENCE THANKS BOB.

  28. ScienceBob says:

    Yes, you can also use a piece of PVC pipe and rub it carefully through hair. Have fun!

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  1. […] CLICK HERE for instructions to make a static powered dancing ghost. […]

  2. […] lot of fun and super simple. For this bit of spooky science you will need: A piece of tissue […] Science Bob’s Science Experiment Blog If you like this content, please follow the above link to the original […]



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