top of page

Phantasmagoria Revivals

Here the Birds Bur(2020) at the Heritage Square Museum

Melissa Ferrari has an ongoing body of lantern work in the classical tradition of magic lantern phantasmagoria, incorporating a variety of handmade & antique slides depicting subjects at the intersection of science and the supernatural, including witch conjurings, weeping statues, alchemy & spiritualists.


She collaborated with Stephanie Delazeri & Sam Gurry to create a series of Phantasmagoria Revivals at the Heritage Square Museum in Los Angeles in 2018 & 2020, including Here the Birds Burn, an immersive theater piece directed by Stephanie Delazeri where modern guests joined "guests" from the early 1800s to attend the phantasmagoria. The phantasmagoria was broken down into three acts, a demonic lecture and puppet show, a salon de physique, and finally a conjuration of spirits. Incorporating authentic 19th-century magic lanterns, optical inventions and magical trickery, guests explored the interwoven relationship between science and superstition in the early 1800s.  

Melissa created the lantern shows & conjurations of spirits for these Phantasmagoria Revivals, which were rear-projected in the ballroom of the Perry Mansion.  The lantern shows included hidden toy lanterns projecting flying demons, a lantern-on-wheels for traditional fantoscope effects, a ghost raising, and approximately 70 phantasmagoria lantern slides.

Stephanie Delazeri wrote a lovely write-up of Here the Birds Burn for The Magic Lantern: number 31 (June 2022), which you can read here:

Devilish Conjurings in the City of Angels.


Phantasmagoria Slides.png
bottom of page