A to Z : SCARE TACTICS

(An A to Z 2013 Challenge Entry)

Lately I’ve been writing about some of my encounters with ghosts, haunted houses, and/or just creepy places (and situations) in general. Then I read about some rather elaborate pranks/lies some fellow bloggers have endured from family and friends. It reminded me of a time I blended both of these elements together.

Having grown up with three brothers, sometimes the sibling rivalry ran deep. What better way to pass the time than to argue, wrestle, and scare the hell out of one another? What was my mother thinking having four boys? The odds were definitely not in her favor.

Now, we never really had any major pranks pulled on one another another to any large extent. Sometimes you hear of families where this is the case, and they each try to “up” the last to get even. I’ve always been fond of pranks — sometimes initiating them now and again — but usually kept mine around obvious dates like April Fools Day. They sometimes lose flare that day, being most expect it, unless you do it right.

Run, Run As Fast As You Can

Back in the day my pranks were more cruel, in the sense I would try to scare people. I think attempting to scare one another is just something many people enjoy doing. People obviously like to be scared on some bizzare level, otherwise horror movies/novels/etc would hold no place in our entertainment field.

One of my most memorable attempts at this occurred way back at the Stanchfield House (site of those hauntings) when a teenager. During the Summer, I was sometimes assigned to watch my brothers while my stepfather and mother were at work. Mainly, I was to watch the youngest of the bunch. At one point our youngest brother fell asleep in his room, and I had an idea come to mind.

I would scare the hell out of him.

That’s about it. Sounds pretty solid right? I thought so too! So how would I accomplish this? I mean... our youngest brother was maybe eight or so years old. It isn’t really hard to scare a kid. But, sometimes you just want to do it right.

So the prep work included getting some fake blood (from Halloween), and applying it to my other two brothers and a fake plastic cleaver. I believe I applied a handful to myself, as well, for some added effect. Then there was the positioning of the “bodies”. One brother was sprawled out on the stairs (our bedrooms were on the second floor), while the other was placed in the doorway; half in the room, half in the hallway.

Once the scene was set, I put on my game face and got to work. I jumped on the bed screaming — channeling Christian Bale’s Batman before its time — waking our brother up. I was hovering over him with the bloody cleaver in one hand, and told him I had killed his brothers. There was a little resistance at first, even though he was clearly afraid — eyes wide — still fighting off the grogginess of his deep slumber.

I told him I was a demon and had possessed his brother’s body. He said my name and I responded with, “Jak isn’t here anymore. He is dead like the others!” I think when he got out of bed and saw one of our brothers laying on the ground it started to register more. I grabbed him and said, “You’re going to be next. You better run.” Paused and then yelled, “RUN!”

And run he did. He took off out of the room, into the hall, down the stairs — past the “bodies” of his brothers, now deceased — and then the front screen door slammed. Then he was gone. My brothers got up and we all laughed and had a good time with it.

At this point, I don’t recall if we ever thought or wondered about what exactly to do next. Maybe we thought he would just eventually come home. What I do know is that our mother was on her way back home from work and picked up our crying, traumatized little brother who was still making his way down the dirt road.

He was crying and telling her how everyone was dead. Needless to say, she was pissed off — more at the fact he was walking down the country road all alone — and laid into us when she got home. More so me, being I was the oldest and on babysitting duty. Thankfully, I wasn’t grounded or punished much. I can’t recall how our youngest brother reacted after the fact, but I’d imagine he was really upset as well. It blew over fast, though.

I thought our mother even laughed a bit about it soon after. We certainly all do now, years later. It makes for a good story from time to time at family gatherings and the holidays.

Have you ever pulled a prank on (or really scared) anyone? If so, what? Ever have one done to you? If so, what?