Saturday, October 29, 2022

Spirit Ball Memories

I'm not usually into modern Halloween items or props (although granted this is 17 years old), but this piece was pretty cool, the price was right and it reminded me of something from my childhood (more on that later).

This is a 2005 Gemmy Spirit Ball.  It's animatronic and says 5 different phrases backed by creepy carnival music. (p.s. I told you I used my Ouija board for decoration)

Spirit Ball

Or Boule Magique if you prefer

I mentioned earlier it reminded me of something from my youth.  In our local shopping mall (South County Mall in St. Louis County), there was a food court called "Seven Kitchens".  In juxtaposition with food courts we recognize today where they are independent fast food restaurants, these were all operated by the same company (Pope's Cafeteria) and were themed with a different decoration and cuisine.  The Seven Kitchens were the main cafeteria, Coney Island (hamburgers and hot dogs), the Mexican Restaurant (El Rancho), Chinese food (Far East), Seafood (Fisherman's Wharf), The Round Table (steak), and Country Kitchen (I don't recall, but I'm guessing your standard "meals like mom made"). Anyway, I digress.  At the front of the food court was a small section of arcade games. This was the 1970's, so they weren't typical 80's arcade video games, but rather mechanical games.  Among them was a fortune telling machine.  It was either Estrella or Esmerelda.  "Esmerelda" sounds more familiar, but I seem to recall a crystal ball lit up like Estrella's below.

I've seen old Victrola cabinets converted into fortune telling booths and if I come across one cheap enough (non-working of course), I may use the cabinet and this Spirit Ball to construct my own  and reconstruct my memories as the originals are very expensive.  But for now, I like the way it looks as is.


  1. Love those old animated arcade games - so creepy. I have an old gemmy geanie we always called Jambi. He broke and now I keep him in a box with all kinds of other things I am meaning to repair.

  2. Esmerelda would have lasted in my memory, too! I like your little crystal ball and the display. Mystical Halloween.

  3. Replies
    1. I thought for sure you'd comment about the Esmerelda or perhaps confirm my memories. I distinctly recall you and I getting our fortune told by it one time.

    2. well tbh i thought about it, but your memory of it is pretty much all i remember, too, as far as where it was and all that. i don't specifically recall us getting our fortunes told by it, but i'm 100% sure we must have. who could resist??

    3. Yeah, I remember getting little cards with fortunes on it. I couldn't tell you what it said after all these years though. If it was accurate, it should have said, "Run for the hills, kids!"

    4. funny you should mention those little cards: a month or so ago i found one in a book, i must've used it as a bookmark -- now i need to find it again, because i'm wondering if it was from that machine. if i find it, i'll send you a pic of it...


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