Dry Ice :
The Cold Reality-
By David Collier

Over the years I've seen my share of atmospheric effects. Fog seems to be the dominant effect in today's haunted houses, home yard haunts and parties. I remember when a fog machine would set you back $400.00 some 25 years ago. My pals and I would rent one at the local costume shop for about $100.00 for the fogger and the liquid. We thought it was the best.

Today, you can go to your local party store of even Target and get a fogger with juice and a remote control for under $50.00. Times have changed.

But the one complaint that I have with fog is that it's too light and it just fills an area with smoke. I want my fog to be low lying and creep along the ground in my graveyard. I don't want folks thinking my yard is on fire (and that's happened).

Sure you can build a device that makes your fogger a low, creeping fog effect but it can cost a little bit much and then ya got to store the sucker.

So instead of a fogger, I go for dry ice.

Dry Ice has great advantages over fog. It also had some disadvantages. But first, let's learn a little bit about what dry ice is.

What is Dry Ice?

Dry Ice is the frozen form of carbon dioxide (CO2). In it's gas form, Carbon dioxide is colorless, which, when inhaled at high concentrations (a dangerous activity due to the associated asphyxiation risk), produces a sour taste in the mouth and stinging sensation in the nose and throat. These effects result from the gas dissolving in the mucous membranes and saliva, forming a weak solution of carbonic acid. (source: Wikipedia)

Dry Ice is COLD. How cold? Try -109.3 F (-78.5 C). That's cold!

Dry Ice when mixed with water turns it from a solid state to a gaseous state, creating those really great low creeping fog effects you see in horror movies. The warmer the water, the more fog is produced but the dry ice will "melt" away faster. Putting dry ice in cold water will have a lesser effect as well as freezing your water source.

Dry Ice Uses

Have a grave yard? Put some dry ice in a large container (metal is best) with hot water and your lawn will be covered with fog. The more dry ice, the more fog you'll get.

Use it in a punch bowl to give your beverage that bubbly witches cauldren effect. They did it on The Munsters. Just be sure to place the ice on a metal or plastic saucer at the bottom of the bowl. Remember, this stuff is cold and can damage the bowl or even the table it rests on.

What Not To Do

NEVER handle dry ice with your bare hands. Remember the kid in the film A Christmas Story when he stuck his tongue on a frozen pole at school? Same thing will happen to your hands. The resulting freezer "burn" will not be pleasant especially when you see the skin you've lost in the process. ALWAYS wear cloth gloves or use a towell or tongs to handle dry ice.

NEVER place dry ice in your mouth. It would be very bad.

NEVER store dry ice in a tightly sealed or stoppered container.

DO NOT inhale. See the Wikipedia description above.

DO NOT leave dry ice unattended around children.

Just use your imagination and dry ice can have a bone "chilling" effect on your next party or haunt.

For more information on dry ice go to www.dryiceinfo.com. It has many tips and tricks to get the most out of your dry ice effects.

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