Anyone in a clown mask can frighten a small child. In my family, little kids are what we call low-hanging fruit. Today's prank is the equivalent of a ladder to the top branches of the apple tree where the teens hang out. Teens make the best Halloween victims because they hate to show fear in front of adults -- it is a sign of weakness, an acknowledgment that we still have influence on them.
Electrocution by Hair Dryer
I filmed this clip in our family spookhouse, staged in a garage. This was the last stop, the pièce de résistance, the grand finale where kids were rewarded with glow necklaces. The only catch was they had to reach into the bath tub to retrieve one.
I used a video camera in a night shot setting. Obviously I was bumped a lot. Panicky people will do that. I wish I had captured the floor around the bathtub. It was littered with lipgloss, plastic fangs, actual bags of candy, one retainer, and a shoe. Sounds awful, I know, but it was quite fun!
Simplified Version for Your Front Stoop
This relatively simple version of the above effect can be done in little time and with little effort for maximum effect. As kids reach for a treat, you step on the switch that activates the sound and light effect. Here are the steps for your front stoop version.
Household Supply List:
Plastic container/cauldron with hole in bottom for drill cord
Drill with bit removed and trigger duct-taped into the 'on' position
Extension cord with step-on switch like this one
Strobe light like this one
Scary head (optional)
Five East Steps to Bloodcurdling Screams
First, drill a hole in the bottom of the cauldron. Make sure the hole is big enough so you can thread through the drill's cord, including the plug.
Second, take the power drill, making sure the bit is removed and the trigger is taped firmly in the 'on' position and place it in the bottom of the cauldron. Thread the cord through the hole and plug it into a multi-plug outlet. The drill makes a very loud noise and causes the cauldron to vibrate.
Third, insert the colander upside down over the drill. This forms a cage around the drill. Place scary head or candy bowl on top of colander. Place strobe light behind the cauldron, not inside the cauldron.
Fourth, configure the electrical cords. Plug both the strobe light and the drill into the multi-plug outlet. Plug the multi-plug outlet into the extension cord with on/off step-on switch. In the end, what you want is to be able to step on the switch that activates both the power drill and the strobe light at the same time.
Fifth, stage your area. Position your cauldron with the cord discreetly in the back and the on/off switch in a spot where you can secretly step on it at the right moment. Top the cauldron with a tray of candy and if you have one, a scary head. When the kid reaches into the cauldron to take the candy, hit the button and voilà.
Word of warning: Clear the area around the cauldron in case people feel the need to fling themselves away from it. Choose a level spot and stay well away from stairs.
Go to town on those teens, especially the ones who trick or treat without a costume, the punks. But be nice to the little kids.