How to Create a homemade realistic looking fake fire prop for your halloween haunted house. This fire will look realistic under a bubbling cauldron, creating a mesmerizing campfire ambience. The artificial flame will lap up against the bottom of the Cauldron creating a realistic and eerie effect.
note: the more senses you can activate the more realistic this effect will appear

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  •  the fake fire can be recreated using the glowing logs with the rolling embers, but the most powerful and captivating part of the campfire is the dancing flames

Do it yourself

This dancing flame effect can be created by blowing white silk material into the air and shinning light on it with orange, yellow, and blue lights to create these flames.
 A large coffee can, can have the bottom removed by a can opener and  mount a small computer type of fan in the middle area. attach an upside down v shape of silk to the top of the can. The fan can be purchased at a local radio shack.
Find several small lights that can be focused onto the dancing flame and can be colored orange and blue or yellow. You can purchase many different colors of "Gels" from your local theatre lighting rental company or find a local distributor at the website.  Gels will provide you color and can be placed very close to your bulbs and can withstand heat very well. 
Don't forget you will need to have your fan can elevated off the floor a couple of inches to allow air flow from the bottom. Hide all of this apparatus in the middle of split wood.

cub scout ceremony fire
This is a photo of our new campfire system (not my homemade one)

Note:  I used this for a number of campfire re-creations at least 5-6 times, but the last one went a little longer then normal and I noticed the burning wood smell was VERY realistic, that was when I jumped up and unplugged my homeade unit and decided that it was time to retire it for the safety of the kids around me. (This is a true story) I started looking for alternatives and found a safer, more realistic, and less hassle of a  unit which was UL certified. When I discovered the price was barely more then I had in materials for my homemade campfire, I began to ask myself why I stressed myself out over when my homemade campfire would really burst into flames. carries a nice portable indoor campfire (1-888-638-1509)

 FREE: the best way to achieve the realistic campfire sounds is by borrowing a sound effects cd called "Crackling Fire" from your local public library.

  • For added realism, place a small computer speaker or mini speaker and portable cd player (walkman style) under the wood surrounding the campfire to play your crackling fire sounds.


  •  Add a fog machine to puff out smoke from around the base of your fake fire, or Put dry ice into your hot water in your Cauldron to allow it to bubble out and flow down into the fire.

  • I found this amazingly realistic woodfire scent available from scent-air technologies to use with the indoor campfire.  see their website for details.