Rising ghosts halloween experiment : Fizzics Education


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Rising ghosts halloween experiment

Rising ghosts halloween experiment

Follow FizzicsEd 150 Science Experiments:

You will need

  • A balloon
  • A pen
  • Sticky tape
  • Scissors
  • Paper towelling (for variable testing; try coffee filter paper, wrapping paper and regular paper too!)
  • Woollen cloth (fr variable testing; try cotton or satin too!)
  • A desk


Materials needed for the experiment - scissors, pen, paper, sticky tape, balloon and woolen cloth

Draw some simple outlines of ghosts on your paper towelling. Extension idea; try different size ghosts for your experiment too!


Cut out your paper ghosts and then tape them to your desk.

3 Rubbing an orange balloon on a shirt

Rub your balloon on your shirt or alternatively on some woollen cloth.

4 Paper ghosts rising towards a balloon

Bring your charged balloon towards your taped paper ghosts. Can you get them to rise? Extension idea; why not try to get them to fly up to the balloon by not taping them to the desk?

5 A man placing his hand on a plasma globe. Energy is streaming out of the tesla coil towards his fingers

Get the Electricity & Magnetism Unit of Work here!

  • How does electricity actually flow?
  • What makes magnets become magnetic?
  • Why is there electromagnetism and what does this tell us about electricity & magnetism?
  • From series & parallel circuits to conductors & insulators, there’s a lot to explore & learn!

Includes cross-curricular teaching ideas, student quizzes, a sample marking rubric, scope & sequences & more.

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6 Glowing green slime dripping out of a hand in front of a UV light
7 Teacher showing how to do an experiment outside to a group of kids.

Online courses for teachers & parents

– Help students learn how science really works

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Why does this work?

Rubbing an object can cause it to build up an electrical charge. This happens because the rubbing action can make one object pass electrons to another. Which way the electrons travel is dependent upon what materials you are rubbing together.

A loss of electrons makes an object positively charged and a gain of electrons makes an object negatively charged.

Opposite charges attract, like charges repel.

So how does the balloon work? The charge built up on the balloon is the opposite to the charge of the paper ghosts.
Opposites attract!

Interactive Simulation

Check out this interactive simulation created by the University of Colorado PhET Project below.

  1. Click on the balloon and drag it around the shirt and see how the electrons interact.
  2. Bring the balloon into the clear space and let it go to see where it is attracted.
  3. Watch what happens to the electrons on the wall as you bring the balloon closer.

Balloons and Static Electricity

Click to Run

PhET Interactive Simulations
University of Colorado Boulder

Variables to test

More on variables here

  • How big can you make the paper ghosts?
  • What happens if you use cellophane?
  • Does the thickness of the paper make a difference?
  • Try the experiment during low vs. high humidity… which works better?

A man with a glove above a liquid nitrogen vapour cloud

Extension experiment

Sticky Static Balloons!

Sticky static balloons science experiment - sticking the static balloon to a face

Learn more!


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