Two AtmosFANs, Two Cool Ways to Showcase UnLiving Portraits

UnLiving Portraits might be one of AtmosFX’s oldest decoration collections, but all that really means is that there just has been more time for clever AtmosFANs to devise new ways to use it! Here, we take a peek at two different DIY props that feature this immensely popular ghostly gallery – both of which you can make for yourself!

We’ve seen a lot of clever decorators showcase UnLiving Portraits in a lot of different ways, from loading them into digital picture frames to mounting three flat-screen TVs behind drywall. But it isn’t too often you see it embedded into a gravestone, as is the case from AtmosFAN Kenneth D. of Surprise, Arizona,

We’ve seen the technique often used with Eerie Eyes Decoration Collection, where “cracks” in a gravestone reveal the glaring eyes from some unknown creature living within. But here, Kenneth instead embeds UnLiving Portraits as a way to immortalize these troubled family members. After all, as the etched words say on the gravestone: “A family that feuds together, dies together.”

The great thing about Kenneth’s prop is that you can use any single screen – a tablet, digital picture frame, computer monitor or even a TV – to display all three portraits. The only real trick is to make sure you secure the display device properly, and make sure the three viewing windows are in the right place. From our perspective, it looks great – and when Kenneth has been previewing his project for his neighbors, as he tells us, “they can’t wait for Halloween.” Nor can we!

AtmosFAN Frank S. has been behind the creation of “Nightmare on Conservation Drive” at his Springfield, Virginia, home for years. Typically, Frank tells us, he’ll have 2,000 visitors come to his Halloween display. This year, he’s adding a new attraction to his outdoor display: A full-size (and portable) gallery display of the three ghastly portraits.

All three screens are mounted onto large walls, and adorned with standard hardware-store molding and 3D-printed accents on the corners. UnLiving Portraits is designed so that all three “paintings” can be displayed on different screens and still appear to be interacting together, simply by starting them all at the same time. But Frank took it to the next level – and we love it. “We were able to develop an inexpensive way of showing all three videos synchronized without using an expensive video system,” he says. “Each portrait is running a Raspberry Pi Zero configured to start at the same time as the other two.”

And next year, a breathtaking prop might get even better. “Next year we may put them on opposite sides of the walkway so as the ax is swung,” he says, “you will feel it pass by with a carefully timed puff of air controlled by the same Pi.” We can’t wait!

How are you preparing for Halloween? You are on the clock – it is in less than two weeks! Send us photos and videos of what you’ve created – or what you are working on – using this simple online submission form. Not only will you earn points for use at, but you might become the next AtmosFAN of the Week, earning yourself a complete decoration collection!

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