I don't know where I got it, but I've always wanted to be the trick side of trick-or-treat, and scare the bejezus out of kids--young and old, if I could manage it. If trick-or-treaters wanted the delicious caramel apples that we made up just for them (we're talking 70'-80's here), then they had to get through the wierd sounds, ghouls, monsters, and ghosts I had set up in my yard... and they never knew which ones were "live". Take the one year I had my nephew wearing a mask, gloves, and a hooded sweatshirts (yeah, that's what they are called), and had him sit next to the front door. It was the last hurtle the little tykes had to go through. My actor underneath all the clothes and mask didn't move, until the precise moment, and then, only his hand, which was draped over the railing next to the door would move. Ohhhh! the screams! I loved it! We never had a soaped window or eggs thrown.
But it didn't need to be Halloween to make visitors scream. There was the time I had a small group of girl friends over from my high school for a "slumber party". I lived then in a rather large house. Larger than what the other three girls lived in. Plus it was old. I never knew how old until much later, it dated back to Civil War era. So, I used to tell them that it was haunted, which it wasn't, but that was me being the story teller back then.
I knew the time would be right to initiate my brother in at least one of my pranks that night before he left. You see, my room was situated over a closet on the first floor. The underside of the steps in front of my room, in fact, were easily accessed if one had a handy chair placed in the right spot in the closet below. My brother agreed to go into the closet downstairs, while we were all gathered in my room talking--and calling up boys and hanging up. What brother wouldn't want to be in on making girls scream?
We were all in my room and the knock came. I let one of the others answer--wouldn't be right I answered, the whole thing wouldn't work.
So, Alice answered and, of course, there was no one there.
The other two gasped and they looked out into the hallway, checked the room next to us, thinking they'd find the trickster. No one there.
The knock came again. Again they opened in. Again there was no one there. This creeped them out and they screamed and were beside themselves.
"I told you the house was haunted," I reminded. They certainly believed me now. There was no apparent logical way the knock came from anyone. Hahah!
Later on we played this silly game called "purple coffin" where you imagined your enemy--or someone you really hated--in a purple coffin, obviously dead from something.
After we played this, I knew I had to quickly rig up something that looked like a coffin, and put it in place so that they would come across it on their own. I had this old suitcase, a doll and something purple, and a flashlight. I got it ready for when we'd come down to make pizza (the kind in a box).
I said nothing to any of them. The coffin was set up in a room beyond the dining room, and could be seen from the kitchen doorway. The only way to the bathroom was through the dining room. You could not miss that light aimed into the "coffin" on the doll laying there. I should have become a director. I had directed a home made 8mm. film starring my nephew as "Dracula", and neice as his victim. I'd made a bat and at the right moment the bat disappeared and in it's place (on film), "Dracula" appeared. My niece now directly blames me for making her so screwy. You're welcome, honey!
Anyway, my anticipation hig, I bided my time as we made our pizza. We ate and drank pop. And then the first one had to go visit the bathroom. Perfect! Martha was the most skittish of them all. On her way out of the kitchen, she faced that far room with the doll and coffin. She let out a screach and backed up, crying "Purple coffin! Purple coffin!"
After they all got over the scare, I showed them what I had done. Needless to say I didn't host any more sleep overs at my house. I think that one lasted them.
As a side note, my "enemy"--from our "purple coffin" game I saw her the very next day at school on crutches. Someone told me that she had stepped on a needle.