Introduction: Mystical Glowing Walkway

About: Bill Lae is an award-winning visual effects artist & Halloween Haunter. As one of Hollywood’s busiest visual effects artists, Bill worked for all the major networks and delivered his magic touch to some of TV…

Using BLACK LIGHTS for Halloween is one of the coolest effects you can have. Rather than buy the expensive bulbs and fixtures at a party or Halloween store, go to your Home Building center. The bulbs should be around $12 each. You can also purchase a cheap "shop light" fluorescent fixture from $8 to $12. Although the fixture allows for two bulbs, you only need 1 bulb per fixture to keep costs down. One bulb will cover a fairly large area--a good ten to twenty feet. For a little more information on Black Lights:

When you have your black-lights all set up, you’ve probably already put up a lot of cool hanging decorations. Have you thought about adding something to the floor/ground to make it glow? What’s particularly wild about this effect is that we are used to walking on dark (non-illuminated) surfaces, so when we introduce a glowing, luminescent walkway, it’s almost like you feel like you’re “hovering” as you walk. You don’t feel “secure” or “grounded!”  It’s a little dizzying and disorienting. It’s a GREAT feeling to give to your Halloween guests! Keep ‘em a little “off balance”. It makes them even easier to scare!

Glowing Bricks on a Non-Glowing Base.


-A roll of paper from home center: paper-bag brown.
-Duct tape.
-3M “Spray Mount” spray adhesive
-Fluorescent sheets of paper

Go to the home center, and, most likely, in the paint section you will see a few options on rolls of paper. (I've also seen this stuff in the dollar store as packaging/shipping paper.) The rolls may vary from small footage (10 feet long) to hundreds of feet long! They should be at leat 2-3 feet wide. There will typically be both brown (the stuff used to make brown paper bags) and white. Sometimes you can also find other colors. (If you want other colors, you will most likely need to special order it on the internet. I’ve NEVER found rolls of fluorescent paper---now that would be great!)

We’ll be using the brown paper. It is NOT reactive to black-light. This paper is fairly heavy (like brown paper bags) and can withstand some heavy traffic. I bought a thirty foot roll. Our walkway was a good twenty some feet. There’s a couple different options for adding the glowing shapes. I wanted to try something “quick and easy.” So I bought a stack of 8 ½ x 11 inch (letter size) sheets of fluorescent paper. The pack had five colors (red-pink, green, orange, yellow, and blue.) I made sure the sheets were reactive to black-light. So, if you follow my lead, here’s what you’re going to do: cut the fluorescent sheets in half, creating your 8 ½ x 5 ½ inch “bricks.” Roll the paper out on the ground (sidewalk, driveway, ….). Take the spray adhesive and start laying (pasting) your bricks to the roll. Alternate the colors (if you have multiple colors. Make sure you also alternate each row so that it does not line up perfectly. Cut some half-bricks if you want to or just start the second row a “half a brick in” from the side. Keep doing this alternating pattern.

The number of bricks across will depend on the width of the roll of paper. It turns out we only had 4 across. USE DUCT TAPE to SECURE the paper to the walkway. You don’t want anyone to trip on or rip up your masterpiece!

The results are really quite impressive for the minimal amount of complexity involved. All of the time is spent “laying” the bricks.

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