How to Make Pneumatic Halloween Props


Professional haunted houses and thrill rides use pneumatics to provide scares and thrills. From ghosts that pop out behind gravestones to creatures that jump out of coffins, the effect can be scary and impressive when unexpected.

You can create this same effect at home by creating your own pneumatic Halloween props. Using a prefabricated pneumatic kit allows you to focus on your prop without worrying about creating a working pneumatic part from scratch.

Things You'll Need

  • Pneumatic air-powered kit
  • Air compressor
  • Air hoses
  • Halloween props
  • Twine or sturdy wire
  • Bolts or clamps -- optional
  • Find a prop or decoration that you would like to use for your pneumatic prop. Something scary like a skeleton or spider is a good choice. Make sure the prop is sturdy enough to withstand jarring movements, and that there is something to connect it to your pneumatic device.

  • Plan a spot for your pneumatic to go, including what you would like it to do. The most popular choices are to have the prop jump out at people, such as a ghost, or to drop down from above, such as a spider. Also consider how you will keep it hidden from view before it pops out. You may wish to use an obstruction such as a gravestone or a black cloth to keep it hidden.

  • Connect your pneumatic device to the air compressor and test that it is working correctly.

  • Attach your prop to the pneumatic using twine or sturdy wire. If necessary, you can also use bolts or small clamps.

  • Run the prop through multiple test runs to make sure it does not shake loose after repeated cycles.

  • Hide your prop using a barrier or black cloth to enhance the surprise effect. You should also dim the lights as much as possible for maximum effect.

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  • Photo Credit halloween image by PETER LAKOMY from
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