Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Rotating Candle holder ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Rotating Candle holder
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: kim1234-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 08 Dec 2002 00:19 PST
Expires: 07 Jan 2003 00:19 PST
Question ID: 121263
In the movie "Sleepy Hollow" starring Johnny Depp, one of the scenes
shows a kid playing with a candle holder that revolves due to the heat
of the candle and projects rotating pictures on the wall (in this case
a witch and cat).  What is this type of candle holder called?
Subject: Re: Rotating Candle holder
Answered By: bobbie7-ga on 08 Dec 2002 10:11 PST
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hello Kim and thank you for such an interesting question.

According to the results of my research, the Sleepy Hollow “rotating
candle holder” that you’re referring to is called a Shadow Lantern or
a Magic Lantern and it may have been a movie prop.

Here is an image of the lantern.

The following are the sources of the above information:

Magic Lantern

“Thomas plops on the floor and lights his MAGIC LANTERN: a lantern
with an outer sleeve of glass painted with silhouettes of lions and
monsters. Thomas turns the lantern and looks to the walls where the
creatures, shadows are thrown.”

A Sleepy Hollow scripts refers to it as a “Magic Lantern”.

“Killian’s Kitchen. Behind Killian, mantelpiece stones pulse,
breathing. Demonic faces form, then disappear. Meanwhile, Thomas
continues his fun, shadow animals circling him. Beth enters, looking
at Thomas, smiling. The MAGIC LANTERN suddenly stops spinning. Shadow
creatures freeze. Beth looks up, noticing the ferocity of the wind.
The smile leaves her face. The entire house creaks. Killian stands,
looking up. The house creaks again, then suddenly the wind stops.

“Thomas plops on the floor and lights his MAGIC LANTERN: a lantern
with an outer sleeve of glass painted with silhouettes of lions and
monsters. Thomas turns the lantern and looks to the walls where the
creatures, shadows are thrown.  He roars for them, imagining them real
and having a grand time.”

“And there's one almost unspeakably creepy scene involving a MAGIC
LANTERN that you probably saw in the trailers.”

“When Thomas lights the candles in his MAGIC LANTERN, the projections
should be reflected on his face but aren't.”

In video games it is called a Magic Shadow Lantern:

"A reproduction of the magic shadow lantern from "Sleepy Hollow"
Don't lose your head over this charming "Sleepy Hollow" reproduction
lantern. Light the candles, and watch the spooky creatures glow and

A definition from Art Optics:

Shadow Lantern: candle and rotating silhouettes that cast shadows on
the translucent walls of a small box

This lantern may have been a prop as discussed at Movie Slip-ups:

”Tim Burton says on the DVD commentary, the lantern effect was very
difficult to produce, and if you think about it he probably means, it
looked crap with candles.”

“Candles flicker no? YES. So when the little boy lights the three
candles and closes the door, it projects images of witches and cats
and ghoulish entities onto the walls. These images are perfectly crisp
and VERY white. Candles flicker and are yellow. The light inside was
not three candles but an incandescent light bulb, not invented until
well into the next century.”

 “Also note that the images are projected on the walls, and on the
boy's mother as she enters the room...but not on the boy himself
sitting directly in front of it (showing they're being projected from
“You'll also notice the image on the rotating cylinder does not align
with the projection on the wall.“


Additional information that may interest you:

Shadow Lantern:

Helen Hiebert shows how to create and assemble a lantern with wood and
paper that casts a unique stenciled shadow when a light source is
placed in its center.,1793,HGTV_3463_1395753,00.html

Dark Tin Star Lantern:

Our dark tin star lantern stands 7 ” tall x 4 ” in diameter. The
cutout star shapes will cast a beautiful glow when lit in a darkened
space.  It holds a tealight (not included) that can be inserted thru a
swinging door, and also has a hanging

Search Criteria:

"Sleepy Hollow" "magic lantern"
"shadow lantern" "Sleepy Hollow"
Magic Shadow Lantern
“Sleepy Hollow” lantern

I hope you find this helpful.

Best Regards,
kim1234-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
Thank you for such a wonderful answer.  It was more than I could have hoped for.


There are no comments at this time.

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy