What’s In the Bushes? from 9 Tricks to Actually Spook Your Trick-or-Treaters

9 Tricks to Actually Spook Your Trick-or-Treaters

Give the neighborhood kids a treat and a trick this Halloween

Scare Your Trick-or-Treaters

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On the night when your doorbell sees more action than your backyard slide does in summer, why not turn the tables on trick-or-treaters and give them something to really remember.  Here are some epic ways to scare the pants of the hoard of trick-or-treaters that might visit your door this Halloween.

The Human Scarecrow

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Porch scarecrows have become as ubiquitous on Halloween as pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. It’s something kids are looking for. What they aren’t expecting, though, is having a scarecrow come to life. Place the usual scarecrow on the porch, but also have someone dress up as a scarecrow, making sure to cover his or her face with a burlap bag, and slump down on a chair or steps on the porch. Then, as the youngsters make their way up to the house, your human scarecrow can spring to life and scare them straight.

A Creepy-Crawly Surprise

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Hammer a small nail into the top of your exterior doorframe. Tie a piece of fishing line, about two feet long, to the nail and attach the other end to a big plastic or paper spider or bat. Pull the spider or bat inside and close the door. When trick-or-treaters knock, open the door and release the creature by letting go of the line, allowing it to “fly out” and swing in front of your visitors. Watch them jump in surprise.

What’s In the Bushes?

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Bring your bushes to life by giving them eerie, glowing eyes. Cut some triangular shaped, spooky eyes into the side of an empty paper towel roll. Place an orange glow stick inside the roll and nestle it inside your bushes, or in a plant near your door. This works nicely if you have a sound effect or vibrating toy to shake up the bush every once in a while.  

Live Graveyard

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If you’ve got a front yard big enough for this one, it is a must try. Set up some fake tombstones and cemetery-like props.  Dress up like a zombie and as the kids retreat from the house, have someone hide behind a faux tombstone to pop out and scare the trick-or-treaters. 

A Treat and a Trick

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When you hand the candy to the trick-or-treaters, give them a little fright with this fun prank. Cut a hole large enough for your hand to fit through in a large cardboard or plastic candy bowl and tape a plastic baggy over the hole from the bottom. Fill the bowl with candy. When kids put their hands in the full bowl to retrieve candy, reach up through the bottom of the bowl and grab their hands as they grab a treat. 

Mirror Message

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Write a message using soapy water and a cotton swab on a small, portable mirror or on a glass covered screen door if you have one. Make it a spooky one. “I’m watching you” or “Help me” will do the trick. Set up a humidifier outside near the mirror, covered with decorations to make it unrecognizable. Just before the kids hit the porch, turn it on so that the message appears while they are waiting for candy. 

How Much is That Dolly in the Window?

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No matter how old you are, a “live" doll is scary business. Secure a spooky doll in the window. Something that resembles Annabelle would be particularly haunting. Have it positioned so that it is staring right at the door, or place it in a place that the kids can’t miss. Have its arm tied to fishing wire and when the kids notice her, lift her arm up like it’s waving. 

Rat-Infested Candy

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Answer the door with a bowl of candy with a life like rat toy stuffed inside. Have the kids dig in for what they want. One will come out with the rat and run straight for home. This also works with ketchup soaked rat toys or goo-covered tarantulas if the kids are older.

Who Is at the Door?

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This is a take on that popular Internet meme that forces you to stare at the screen until the girl from The Ring shows up. Only this is real. Get made up in your scariest Halloween costume. When the trick-or-treaters ring the doorbell, open your door slowly, hiding behind it, to reveal a pitch-black entryway. Let them stand there and stare for a few seconds. and jump out unexpectedly, making a very scary roaring noise. You can console them with candy if they haven’t run away! 

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