Even if you aren’t transforming your front yard into a creepy cemetery or your home into an insane asylum this October 31, everyone could do with a little more spookiness in their lives, especially on All Hallows Eve, and no haunted house is complete without some spooky smoke effects. Fortunately, you don’t have to create a fire hazard to fill your home up with fog. The following three tricks make it incredibly easy to add awesome ambiance to the spookiest night of the year.
Because you must heat water at high temperatures to create water vapor, this type of fog can also be dangerous. However, as long as you understand the importance of handling your tools properly, water vapor can be an easy and almost free way of creating smoke effects. Plus, there are many variations of manipulating water vapor so you can achieve the exact effect you want.
For the first option, you will need hot water, a glass jar, a metal strainer, and regular ice. Again, you don’t want to heat the water to boiling, but it should still be scalding to the touch ― about 180 degrees. You should fill a glass jar with the hot water, allowing the glass to heat up, and then, you can pour out most of the water, leaving only about an inch of liquid at the bottom of the glass.
Quickly, you should cover the glass with the strainer and fill the strainer with ice. Almost immediately, you should see fog start to form inside the jar, swirling impressively as the hot and cold air intermixes. As the jar cools, the fog will dissipate, so you may need to repeat this process throughout the night. However, you can create colored smoke by adding food coloring to the hot water, which creates a whimsical effect.
Because much of our existing air includes water vapor, visible fog clouds don’t linger for long when released from their jars. However, you can manipulate water vapor outside of the glass container by buying and using e-cigarettes or vaporizers to help create your spooky effects. Vapers have demonstrated that you can perform all sorts of cool vape tricks with practice, which means your Halloween house can be spooky and stylish this year. These will be less dangerous for you to use than scalding, hot water to create effects, plus there are flavors to make it even more fun for guests.
Dry ice is perhaps the most famous way to make fog effects because the steam created by dry ice sinks in an eerie (and easy to maintain) manner. You can find dry ice in nearly any grocery store, and it is relatively cheap, which means you can keep your house spooky without significant expense.
For the best smoke effects using dry ice, you should fill a heat- and cold-safe bowl with between four and eight gallons of warm water. You should try to avoid raising the temperature above 180 degrees, or the steam from the water will interfere with the fog from the dry ice and ruin the effect. Next, you should place five to 10 pounds of dry ice into the water, and immediately, you should see the thick, spooky fog form. For added ambiance, you can shine colored lights onto the fog, keeping the bowl and dry ice hidden. Still, about every 15 minutes, you will likely need to add more dry ice to keep the effect alive.
Despite dry ice’s popularity and accessibility, the chemical compound can be dangerous to have in your home. Dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide, which has a much lower freezing temperature than water and therefore can cause frostbite from a single touch. Whenever handling dry ice, you must use thick gloves or tongs to prevent burnt skin through contact with the substance.
Additionally, the fog created by dry ice is carbon dioxide gas; when kept in an enclosed area, the carbon dioxide can reduce the amount of breathable oxygen, increasing the likelihood of asphyxiation ― especially of children or pets, who may be closest to the highest concentrations of the smoky gas. If you choose to use dry ice this Halloween, you should fully understand the necessary safety measures before buying any.