Night of the Living Dummy Halloween Prank

This one’s a classic Halloween prank meant to be played outdoors and always manages to prank trick-or-treaters. But you can add some twists to make yours stand apart from the rest.

One of the neatest ways to spookily decorate the front of a home for Halloween is by adding a stuffed dummy to the lawn or porch stairs. It’s easy to do: take some old clothes, shoes and gloves, stuff them with fallen leaves, put them together, and make a head out of a scary Halloween mask or a Jack-o-Lantern.

Several twists can make this more fun. The easiest way is by creating marionette dummy. Place your dummy on the front stair, and sit on a lawn chair on the front porch with your bowl of candy for the trick-or-treaters. Tie a thin string or long strand of fishing line to an arm, and thread the string over the porch railing or through a plant-hanger hook, and keep the other end of the string in your hand. Pull the string as costumed children approach for a good jump, or even a scream, when the dummy waves!

A more difficult, more effective way to do this is by dressing up as a dummy yourself. Choose the loosest old clothing you can find, and once you’re wearing it, stuff it with leaves or other bunched-up items of clothing. Cover every square inch of skin with socks, shoes, gloves, a mask, and a hat or hood. Be sure to let some leaves poke out of your sleeves, collar, and pant legs.

Sit on the porch stairs or front lawn as awkwardly as possible: you’re trying to look like a haphazard, nonliving dummy. If the front of your home is to be lit, keep it somewhat dim. When kids approach, jump up and roar for a huge startling surprise! Because this trick is intense, it’s a good idea to leave the younger children alone, and focus on scaring the preteens. They’ll have to get past you to reach the candy by your door!