Need ideas for the perfect Halloween? You’ll get more than a few when you check out the many scary prank videos on the Internet. You can get your ghoul on with inspiration from the haunted shopping cart to the telekinetic girl who has a Carrie-style breakdown in a coffee shop. It’s that time of year when you can let yourself go and enter the world of the weird and absurd. Let’s check out the highlights.
History of Halloween
Just how did we start celebrating such a strange holiday? Most texts attribute Halloween’s beginning to ancient Celtic religious festivals like Samhain. At that time, November 1 was the beginning of the New Year. October 31 was equated with death as it represented the end of summer and the harvest. Celebrants lit bonfires and dressed in costumes so that they would not be mistaken for spirits who were thought to roam the earth on that night.
As Christianity spread into the Celtic countries, the festivals of Samhain evolved into All Hallows’ Eve, a designation by then Pope Gregory III who had named November first as All Saints Day. Over the centuries, October 31 evolved into Halloween, a secular holiday celebrated with candy, child-friendly activities, games and pranks.
Scary prank videos
From the dumb to the just plain amazing, you’ll find it all when you search for scary prank videos related to Halloween pranks. Here are a few of the favorites playing now:
- the human chair that grabs anyone who sits on it
- the headless man who chases people in the park
- the haunted shopping cart that moves on its own
A compilation of some really imaginative, funny and elaborate scary pranks can be found at dotTech.com/tag/pranks. For example in an October 8, 2013, post by Ashraf titled, “Angry telekenetic girl levitates guy in coffee shop, in real life,” unsuspecting shoppers in a coffee shop experience a really angry coffee drinker who has a meltdown on par with Carrie.
According to Ashraf, “This prank was created to promote the remake of the ‘Carrie’ movie, and most of the people in the coffee shop are in on the prank… except for the people at the counter who probably shat their pants while this happened.”
Most outstanding Halloween prank ever
Though many scary pranks are amazing, none can come close to Orson Welles’ radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds in 1938. The script was adapted from the H.G. Wells story and changed the setting from England to America. Though the names of politicians and reporters were fictional, actual names of towns were used in the program. The story dramatized a Martian invasion as if it was really happening, using urgent news reports and eyewitness interviews to move the plot forward.
In his October 25, 2013, article for The State titled, “Orson Welles’ ‘War of the Worlds’ still vivid at 75,” Rich Heldenfels described the mayhem that resulted from panicked listeners who believed the radio play to be real.
“As a result, many people sitting by their radios, already jittery about the clouds of war forming over Europe, believed that Martians had invaded not only New Jersey, but also the rest of the nation,” Heldenfels said.
It isn’t that people back then were more gullible, it’s that the broadcast was so realistic. Check it out for yourself by listening to the broadcast at Ourmedia.com.
And now a word from your pet
On another note, let’s all agree to keep our pets out of the line of fire when it comes to scary Halloween pranks. While we may get a charge out of seeing our friends scream and lose their lunch in fear, our pets did not sign up for this kind of abuse.
In an October 27, 2013, post for LeesburgPatch.com titled, “Tips, Respite For Pets That Freak Out On Halloween,” Dusty Smith listed some good reminders to help our pets survive into November.
Some of the tips should be no-brainers, such as:
- keep your pet inside and away from the door
- make sure that your pet is wearing identification so that it can be returned to you if lost
- keep burning candles out of reach
- don’t dress your pet in a costume unless you know they’ll like it
Most important is the matter of treats. Candy is dandy but not for animals. Chocolate can be downright dangerous and it doesn’t take much to cause a toxic reaction like vomiting, diarrhea or elevated heart rate.
“In extreme cases, the dog may have seizures. Other toxic treats: candy and gum with the artificial sweetener xylitol can cause hypoglycemia and liver failure,” Smith warned.
What’s your favorite Halloween prank? Tell us about it in the comments below.