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How to Give a Good Halloween Scare

Published by Esperanza Derosa

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Halloween is slowly getting closer, are you ready to give your victims a good scare? If your planning a Halloween party this year, I have put together some ideas for you to play around with. Halloween is all about letting your creative side come out. Let your mind ponder back to all those scary stories and horror movies you’ve seen over the years. What scared you and your siblings when you were young? What places have you visited in your life that gave you creepy vibes? Use all this information to create a scenario that can give everyone a good Halloween scare.

You will find that most of the good scares require you to divert the attention of your victim. Then when they least expect it, you get em’. This is a tried and true method for many magicians, writers, actors, etc. You need to master this technique to really get the best scares. Now I don’t know your handyman capabilities, or your budget, so feel free to make these Halloween scares a part of your repertoire.

Your party guests enter and you direct them to hang their coats in a nearby closet. They go to open the door and expect something to fall or someone to pop out. This is a classic scare that everybody knows, but you can still get some people all the time. Here is the twist I put on it. Our old house had a very good size closet in the hallway just after you come through the front door. Well, in the back of the closet there is a panel that leads into the family room on the other side. It was too small for me to fit through, but perfect for my nephew who was dressed up as this hideous evil clown. I would make sure the closet was fairly empty, so when they go to put their coats in there, they see the whole closet in tact, as one. On the shelf above the coats, you can put something that you would normally find in the closet. For this prank I used a flashlight. OK, so this is how it went, time after time, one of the best Halloween scares ever! Someone would come to the door, I very nonchalantly invite them in and direct them to put their coats in the closet. They open the door expecting to be scared, but its empty. As soon as they close the door, I would say something like.”Oh Ted, can you grab that flashlight on the shelf in there”. Ted opens the door right back up and there stands a evil clown who screams at the top of his lungs. I got so many people that year with this, and my nephew loved that he got to scare all these grown-ups. However your going to do it, you have to get someone to see a area that is safe, redirect their attention for a minute, they look back at that area and your masterpiece awaits them. It works almost every time.

Ever since I was a kid and saw the Twilight Zone episode “The Dummy”, I have been terrified of puppets, dolls, mannequins, etc. Many “tough guys” out there are not scared of these type things, but the people who are, get really spooked out when you can pull off something related. Again, I don’t know your budget but your local thrift store can be a great place to find creepy dolls and things. If you can get your hands on a vintage ventriloquist dummy, chances are it is worth some money. Over the years I have found broken ones that can make cool props. Have it sitting someplace where you can’t see the controller and make it talk. I did this more for fun than to scare people. I had a old “Howdy Doody” dummy that I had sitting on a table with me behind it under a tablecloth. As people walked by, I would have some choice words for them.

I was at a huge big city thrift store one summer back in the early 90’s. In the back of the store I noticed hundreds of mannequin parts lying around. I remember thinking “what the heck is all this stuff doing here, who would want this garbage”. Well according to the manager, many people who sew and do fashion work come in and buy parts. Well my sick inspiration from the 1979 cult classic “Tourist Trap” kicked in. To make a long story short, I bought many parts and rearranged them in my basement with other assorted Halloween props. It has to be the craziest scene I have ever created, just pure horror, weird, craziness. I am so mad I never took any pictures of it, a friend of mine has it on video tape though. Yes it was extreme, but all this time later people still remember and talk about it. That’s what you want, people to pass your name down in the pages of Halloween scare history.

Here is another idea that you can add your own twist to. A Halloween party game I like to call “prove it”. I got the idea from the Twilight Zone episode “The Grave”. Somehow you have to get some people to start talking about how brave they are, or ” I don’t get scared”. OK, I got a few brave souls yapping about how they can handle anything. Here is the game, which works perfect for us because we live near a graveyard. All you need is a secluded area relatively close to you. Everybody stands together, we all write our names and a short saying on a piece of paper. One by one, every person has to go by themselves and put their piece of paper at the chosen location. When everybody gets back, we all go together and retrieve the papers. Anyone who’s paper is not there, is a chicken. There are several ways you can go from here. Have someone or something hiding out there to scare them as they come. Wait till the end and scare everyone as they get there. The one year I did this with my nephew and some of his friends. When we went back to collect everyone’s paper, all the papers were missing (thanks to another friend), they expected it from me, what they did not expect was the five m-80’s I rigged up. When they ran up to look for the papers, I quickly lit the fuse, and Blam! Obviously, I laid my trap away from everyone ,to the side on the edge of the woods. I have never seen tough high school football players jump so high in my life. That was a lot of fun, and one of my greatest Halloween scares.

Much of my creative Halloween side stems from the fact that I came from a family that loved to scare each other. Even though I started young, please be careful when you attempt to pull off a good Halloween scare. No little kids or really old people, use caution and be safe, have fun and don’t scare to be mean or hateful. Halloween is a time when it’s OK to scare the pants off your friends, just remember that sooner or later the scare will come back around to you. I hope that reading my article has got your creative juices flowing. Remember to check out the thrift stores for some low cost supplies. Get it all planned out, and you can be the inventor of the next good Halloween scare.


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