Earlier experiences in various costume contests taught Bryan and me that it took more than craftsmanship to win. You needed a gimmick. For us it was tossing marshmallows to the crowd and wielding this low-budget smoking ghost trap.
Dry ice + warm water = smoke
My thrown-together trap was comprised mostly of masonite and some plywood, decorated with various surplus knobs and junk. It was never meant to be closely scrutinized.
The trap housed two containers that we got from our fiberglass supplier (Meledo Enterprises in Tucson). The bottom would hold dry ice; the top container would hold warm water. Right before going out on stage I’d open the small water valve (visible on the right side of the trap) to let warm water flow over the dry ice, creating copious amounts of smoke for a few minutes.
1984-1985 kold-TV video
Our trap can be seen in action in these clips from KOLD-TV, shot in 1984.