by LM Lee
Halloween Article about real scare tactics.
As a child I was always a little more than morbid. I loved scary movies, books and imagery. Still today I have an undying interest in all things creepy. My family never knew what to expect from me, as reading and watching did not satisfy my need for the macabre. Today there are many shows and productions that use a lot of elaborate backdrop to create a false scenario in order to terrify their targets. It's an idea as old as the hills I was born in.
One particular evening when I was 14, I hatched a scheme targeting my older brother, Rick. A 21 yr old who worked 3rd shift in a packing plant. Now you can't ask for a better victim than a 3rd shift worker. Their senses are already prepared for something, anything, to crawl out of the dark. My accomplices were a good friend, Sheila, who was also aged 14, and an agreement from my two other brothers to stay out of the way. My mother had went to the movies with a friend, and although she came home early, she did not stop us from terrorizing Rick, and even had a moment of involvement. It was a good time.
Items used were a bolt of drab grey silky smooth polyester my grandmother had given me, various make-up, but especially gel blush in very red, lotion, corn starch, powder and a little creativity. Make-up techniques consisted of dousing our hair with lotion to the very ends and then applying powder, comb it through, repeat and then tease it with corn starch using a comb and your hands until it looks crusty, like you just crawled out of the grave. We did the same to our faces but we mixed a little liquid eyeliner in the lotion so it had a greyish consistency. after you add the corn starch to this, it might begin to flake, so it's best to start with a facial lotion that is not as oily. Another idea that works is to actually flake some of the crust off your face, line the flaked off "hole" with eyeliner and red or pink lipgloss, and fill in the center with green and/or purple matte powder eyeshadow. I cannot express to you how real this can look. take your time, we had hours and we used them. save the crusty flakes that fall onto some wax paper, Be generous, and make as much "ick" as you can. As for costume we stripped down to our underwear and smeared the leftovers from our make-up job all over our arms and legs, being careful to smear it heavily under and between toes and fingers ading a dab of eyeliner and eyeshadow where appropriate. The material was wrapped around our waists and draped over the shoulders to resemble an old long dress. The edges were shredded and torn.It was perfect.
Now the scenario. We lived deep in the country on the lake. When Rick came home, we intended him to think that everyone in the house had been murdered, dragged off into the woods by something or eaten. With about 15 minutes left, we used that red gel blush and put it all over the front door, until the knob was slick. My mother came home about this time and was a little startled, that was encouraging so we continued. She agreed to sit on the couch in the living room and watch. We went to the breaker box and flipped the switch, killing the power to the house, and the one street light out front. We anticipated he would run down the hall towards my room at the end, so sheila stood right outside my door across from the bathroom and waited. I went to the front, opened the door about 6 inches, and stood behind it.
When Rick drove up about 3am, you could hear a pin drop it was so quiet. We were careful not to breath too loud. When he got out of the car he noticed the street light was out, and started toward the house. At the front door he paused at the sight of the open door, and the quiet darkness inside. At first I thought he might be too scared to come inside then he reached out and touched the knob to push the door open a little more and stood there trying to determine by the moonlight coming through the trees what was on his hands. He stepped inside and tried the light switch, which was already in the on position. It seemed like a lifetime before he finally closed the door and I stepped out of the darkness and reached out to him. Nearly falling backwards he let out a yell and as predicted ran for the hallway, as I stepped in between him and the front door. At the end of the hall, in her best dead girl voice, sheila said, "Where are you going?" to which he turned and ran into the bathroom locking the door while sheila and I pretended to try and break in. I can only imagine his terror while he was locked in the bathroom. For even after we burst into laughter, he thought it was a demon trick. My mother went to talk him out of the bathroom, and he said. "You're not my mama, you're one of those....things, trying to trick me." It took all of 20 minutes to make him understand it was just sheila and me dressed up to look like demons.
It was a very satisfying scare, a not so boring friday night in October, and we still laugh about it today. Except for Rick that is, who just never wants to talk about the night his little sister had hell waiting for him at home.