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Spooky Ghost Text Effect Photoshop Tutorial
Tutorials Text Effects 15444 October 29th, 2018

Learn how to create a spooky ghost text effect in Photoshop with a creepy forest background. You can easily replace the background with one of these dark Gothic backgrounds free stock images. Create interesting manipulations for this year Halloween party using this spooky text style.

Ghost Text Effect in Photoshop with Spooky Background

Spooky ghost text effect with the ghost of a girl on a forrest background Photoshop tutorial. Photoshop tutorial result, photo manipulation with the ghost of a girl on a forrest background with enhanced lighting.

Open this creepy forest background image in a new PSD file. Call this layer Forest Image.

Creepy forest background with fog.

Add a Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer to darken the image. You can use the Exposure adjustment instead of brightness and contrast.

Enhance the spooky effect of the forrest background using Photoshop Brightness and Contrast adjustments.

Duplicate the Forest Image layer and call it Highlights 1. Place this layer in fron of all the other layers. Go to Filter>Stylize and choose Glowing Edges

Use Photoshop Filter>Stylize>Glowing Edges to trace contour

Go to Image>Adjustments and choose Desaturate.

Photoshop desaturate image Spooky forrest trees contour made with Photoshop

Set the blend mode to Screen, opacity 50%

Blend trees and spooky tree contours by using Screen Photoshop blending mode.

Add a Layer Mask to this layer. Use the Brush Tool, color black and paint inside the layer mask to hide some areas. Try to leave highlight on only one part of the trees (left or right).

Spooky Photoshop effect with forrest tree contours mask layer

Duplicate this layer and call it Highlights 2. Use the Brush Tool again to hide more parts of the white lines to create more highlights.

Photoshop layer mask for hiding highlights in the forrest background image

Create a new layer and call it Gradient. Fill the layer with any color you want. Set the Fill to 0% and add a Gradient Overlay layer style with these settings.

Gradient overlay settings for the Photoshop layer style

Now it is time to add the text and to create the spooky ghost text effect. Type the text "Ghost" using any font type you like. I use the font type Consolas.

Install New Font in Photoshop
You can choose a font family from the Font Family menu in the Character panel or options bar. If a document uses fonts that aren't installed on your system, you see an alert message when you open it. If you later try to edit type layers with missing fonts, Photoshop prompts you to substitute an available matching font. Learn how to install a new font in Photoshop Read more...
Ghost text Photoshop layer using Consolas font type

Rasterize the text and make 2 copies. Name the 3 layers: Ghost1, Ghost2 and Ghost3. Let's start with the top layer, Ghost3. Hide the other two layers. Add a Color Overlay using #f8f8f8. Set the Opacity of the layer(not of the Color Overlay) to 30%

Spooky ghost text layer with Color overlay and opacity settings

Go to Filter>Blur and choose Gaussian Blur with these settings.

Spooky ghost text effect with Gaussian blur

Go to Filter>Distort and choose the ZigZag filter.

Distorted ghost text effect using Photoshop Distort ZigZag filter

Go to Filter>Blur and choose the Radial Blur filter, Blur Method Zoom.

Radial blur applied on the spooky ghost text effect

The next layer that we work with is Ghost2. Please unhide the layer first. To create a spooky effect we'll add some layer styles like Outer Glow.

Ghost text effect Drop Shadow settings Ghost text effect Outer Glow settings Ghost text effect Inner Glow settings Ghost text effect Color Overlay settings

Now we'll add some filter effects similar with the one used for the previous layer. First add a Filter>Blur>Motion Blur filter.

Spooky text effect with Motion Blur

Next, add a Gaussian Blur effect.

Gaussian blur applied on ghost text effect

Very important aspect: move the Ghost2 layer to the left to create movement effect. Also set the opacity of this layer to 55%

Time to add styles to our last layer called Ghost1. Set the opacity of the layer to 50% and add a Color Overlay style using a dirty white color #f8f8f8.

Spoooky Photoshop text effects extra layers Color Overlay layer style settings

To create that ghostly eerie effect we will use again the two Photoshop filters: Motion Blur and Gaussian Blur.

Spoooky Photoshop text effects extra layers Motion Blur filter Spoooky Photoshop text effects extra layers Gaussian Blur filter

To distort the text entirely, to the point that is not readable anymore, we'' use the Twirl filter that you can find also in the Distort category of filters.

Ghost text effect enhanced with Twirl Distort Filter

Very important is to move the Ghost1 layer up.

Download these ghost brushes as we will need them for the next step. Unzip the files and load the ABR file in Photoshop.

Spooky ghost Photoshop brushes

Create a new layer and call it Ghost Silhouette. Use the Brush Tool, color white and add a ghost from the list of brushes. I used the "ghost8 brush" but you can choose any creepy silhouette you want.

Spooky ghost of a girl added with Photoshop brushes

Set the opacity of the Ghost Silhouette layer to around 40%. Duplicate the Ghost Silhouette layer, resize it, lower the opacity even more and move it like shown in the image.

Double ghost silhouette of a girl on a spooky forrest background

You can use the Warp Tool to distort the two ghost images.

Photoshop Transform Warp Tool Photoshop warped spooky ghost silhouette

Add a new layer or layers and use the Brush Tool, color white, to create highlights. Set the blend mode to Overlay. Play with different opacity levels. Use the Gaussian Blur to soften the light effect.

Spooky ghost in forrest with ghost text effect made in Photoshop

For the final touches we'll add two adjustment layers: Hue/Saturation and Gradient Map. For the Gradient Map set the blend mode to Overlay. So, here is the final result for the ghost text style made in Photoshop using layer styles and filters.

Adjust colors using Hue/Saturation adjusments and Gradient Map Spooky ghost text effect Photoshop tutorial result Spooky ghost text effect Photoshop tutorial result with enhanced lighting

If you enjoyed this tutorial, make sure you check out these amazing premium Photoshop addons for Halloween:

Spooky Double Exposure Photoshop Action

Spooky Double Exposure Photoshop Action

Halloween Ghost Animated Photoshop Action

Halloween Ghost Animated Photoshop Action

Ghost Creepy Photo Effects Photoshop Actions

Ghost Creepy Photo Effects Photoshop Actions
4.8 ( 107 votes)

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6 comment(s) for "Spooky Ghost Text Effect Photoshop Tutorial"

5:23 AM Friday, October 9, 2015
Thank you for this tutorial, just in time for Halloween. As a little suggestion .. if you convert the text to smart object and add smart filters you can replace the text easier :) reply
3:52 AM Wednesday, October 28, 2015
I was able to follow you all the way to the end. You said to add a Hue/Saturation and Gradient Map, but there are no settings in the tutorial. I have played around with the colors but it doesn't look like yours.
Also, on the ghost, you said to duplicate it and "resize it". Resize to what? anything? or something specific?

Otherwise, one of the best tuts I have done in terms of complete instructions,,thank you! reply
3:57 AM Wednesday, October 28, 2015
I just added the settings for the Hue/Saturation and Gradient Map adjustments. To make the colors more vibrant you can increase the Saturation level.
About the resize use something between 60% and 80% ... it will probably not look identical!
Thank you for the message :) reply
10:57 AM Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Halloween Night Ghost photo manipulation inspired by this tutorial made by d.trenkenshu reply
Su Hall
Su Hall
1:06 PM Monday, April 29, 2019
Alright! This is a cool effect! Thank you!

Su reply
Ifraeem Suleman
Ifraeem Suleman
1:06 PM Monday, April 29, 2019
Thanks :) reply

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