Thu 31 Oct - Sat 2 Nov 2019

We have an exciting opportunity for a venue that would like to hold a spooky, family-friendly experience as part of Museums at Night this Halloween: the option to host a Digital Ghost Hunt!

Elliott Hall of King’s Digital Lab explains more about this offer:

What does the experience consist of?

The Digital Ghost Hunt combines Augmented Reality and live performance into an immersive family storytelling experience. Young audience members (9+) are recruited into the Ministry of Real Paranormal Hygiene (MORPH) by Deputy Undersecretary Quill. The Ministry needs their help due to the unique ability of the young to see and interact with ghostly spirits. (Their parents may also tag along, if it’s absolutely necessary.)

A staircase with a mysterious figure standing at the top

A spooky figure (c) Ali Wright

The ghost hunters will learn to use their SEEK ghost detectors to discover spooky emanations, translate Morse code using flickering lights and find messages left in ultraviolet ectoplasm. Meanwhile, the spirit will interact with them through a mixture of traditional theatrical effects and the poltergeist potential of smart home technology. Together, the audience will uncover the story of why the ghost is haunting the building, and how to set them free.

You can watch a video trailer on the Digital Ghost Hunt website.

Who is the show for?

This is a family show aimed at children aged 9+ and their parents: children need to be accompanied.

A group of children point behind a man to a figure behind him at the top of a staircase

A guide on the staircase with a mysterious figure behind him (c) Ali Wright

How many times can it be performed?

The experience will last for around 45 mins, so we would like to do 4 rounds of it on one night, ideally Thursday 31 October.

For each round 20-30 people can take part in the experience, again depending on the size of the spaces we’re in.

Can the experience tie in to a museum or gallery’s individual building and collections?

The performance is built around the place where it’s set, so we would want to meet with museum staff or volunteers to talk about their collection and the building’s history. From there we would develop a story, either one based directly off events connected to the building, or a fiction using some of the building/collection history (as we did for Battersea Arts Centre). We would need access to the building at least a month before, just to walk the spaces we would be using, and figure out how they connect and can be used. From there we’d need a minimum of two days before to come and test things. This would be non-invasive, in the sense it would probably be just me walking around with some blinking lights, taking measurements.

We won’t need exclusive access to the spaces, or to leave anything set up in between these site visits, and we wouldn’t need the visits to be on adjacent days – in fact we usually separate them to give time for testing. We’re particularly interested in working within a building that has ‘character’ – one that has atmosphere and spaces that we can use.

People talking and children pointing in silhouette as a ghostly figure appears at a window behind them

Taking advantage of the buildings at Battersea Arts Centre to make the ghost appear in a window (c) Ali Wright

Is there a cost to museums for this, and will extra staff or volunteers be needed?

All of the core funding for the show will come from us. What we need are employees/volunteers to help with people management and safeguarding. The number will depend on the size of the space but four is usually a good number of helpers.

Depending on what the museum’s other plans are for Museums at Night we might ask for a nominal fee – say £4 – with pre-booking, more to ensure attendance than revenue. If a museum is already selling tickets to their evening event on 31 October, we can discuss merging this experience with what they’re already doing.

A woman in a trench coat with a group of children

Helping young visitors to solve the next step of the Digital Ghost Hunt (c) Ali Wright

Who created the Digital Ghost Hunt? 

Elliott Hall from King’s Digital Lab at King’s College London, and Tom Bowtell from interactive storytellers KIT Theatre: find out more about the project on the Digital Ghost Hunt website.

A man in a white coat talking to a group of people

Tom Bowtell of KIT Theatre giving instructions (c) Ali Wright

Want to find out more about this opportunity? Get in touch!

For more information, a copy of the technical question sheet the Digital Ghost Hunt team use with venues, and to discuss how this might work in your museum, gallery or historic house for Museums at Night this Halloween, please email Elliott Hall: [email protected].


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Thu 31 Oct - Sat 2 Nov 2019