5 Awesome Creepy Prank Videos

I'm sorry to have to break it to you this way, everyone, but I haven't been able to come up with a better way: effective immediately, I will be giving up blogging forever in order to focus my attention on becoming a professional marathon ghost — like the actress who was hired by the organizers of a December 8 marathon in Taiwan to dress as a ghost and spook runners into running faster. For years, I had thought there was no way to turn my passion for dressing up as Samara from The Ring and then jumping out at exercising strangers into a career. But as the unnamed actress hired to cover herself in pancake makeup and terrify passing runners showed me, the only limitation on me is me. It's on me to turn my dreams into reality!

Of course, it's not going to be easy. I'm going to have to train day and night in the fine art of pretending to be a ghost, in a way that will surely alienate all of my friends, ruin my romantic relationship, and end in my being banned for life from my local public library (again). But these are the breaks that a professional marathon-ghost-for-hire must accept. My only home is the road, and my only friends will be the people I scare into running faster than they ever have before, and finally truly tasting this crazy thing called life (the people that just pee their pants and cry when I jump out at them will presumably not become my friends).

But luckily, I'm not alone in this. People have been playing spooky-yet-hilarious pranks on people forever — not pranks that are about the threat of bodily harm or making people genuinely fear for their safety, but merely about making the prankee think, for one spooky-yet-amazing moment, that they live in a world that is slightly creepier and more magical that the one we reside in.

Of course, you should not ever play these kinds of pranks on people yourself — most of these videos were made by professionals, and you never know if your prankee will fall or have some other genuinely scary physical reaction to one of these — so please, leave the ghostly children and monster dogs to the professionals, and enjoy five of the most delightfully fun-scary pranks caught on video.

1. Mutant Spider Dog

SA Wardega on YouTube

You may recall Polish prankster SA Wardega's spider dog — a dog with giant fake spider legs growing out of its back, which would probably look adorable if you saw it at your local dog park Halloween parade, but would likely leave you with a pair of significantly dampened trousers if you encountered it in a dark alley. The video went viral in 2014, and showed the world that if you have enough of a passion for messing with strangers, you can indeed make it into a career: Wardega went on to engineer follow-up pranks involving dinosaurs and my personal role model, Samara from The Ring.

(And yes, all the people who seem very chill about the dangling bloody arms and whatnot in the beginning of some of the scenes, but who then run in terror from the spider dog, make this video even better).

2. Brooklyn Graveyard Clown

Bee Kind on YouTube

We're living in a modern golden age of clown-related prankery — over the past few years, the spooky clowns of America have truly outdone themselves, relaxing around town while holding balloons, meandering in our poorly lit intersections, and reflecting the fact that there are truly few things spookier than a clown just going about their ordinary clown business. Clowns filing real estate paperwork? Clowns trying to use coupons for cold medicine at the grocery store? Clowns very calmly folding their enormous clown shirts at the laundromat? I am TERRIFIED.

Because of all this, it's tough to pick just one video of a clown walking eerily through a graveyard to post here. Are we selecting based on skill? Grace? Pure panache? Perhaps it's merely regional bias, as a born-and-bred northeasterner, that leads me to say that this video, captured in Brooklyn in 2014, is the best spooky graveyard clown video out there. Maybe it's the sheer moxie of doing it during daylight hours — after all, spooking people in a graveyard at night is like shooting fish in a barrel, but wandering around a huge cemetary in the middle of the day, dressed as a clown and holding a fistful of balloons, is like shooting something way weirder, in a significantly stranger barrel. Honorable mention, of course, to the Chicago graveyard clown, and all spooky but respectful prank clowns everywhere. We all float down here, people!

3. Brazilain Subway Ghost Girl

My favorite part about the subway girl ghost prank — which was filmed for the Brazilian TV show Programa Silvio Santos — is that the ghost is absolutely, 100 percent dressed like someone I would have hung out with in front of Hot Topic in middle school (although I suppose there is an argument to be made that people should have been falling over themselves to run away from me in middle school).

4. Montana Zombie Emergency Alert

Elliot Gunn on YouTube

In 2013, someone hacked a Great Falls, Montana TV station to broadcast a very professional and legit-looking announcement letting locals know that "the bodies of the dead are rising from their graves and attacking the living." The culprit behind this one was never apprehended, and while we do not condone utilizing public emergency services in order to loop us all into an enormous zombie role play game — if you're gonna be doing that anyway, well, I think this is the best way to go about it.

Also, how great is it that it happened during a segment on The Steve Wilkos Show called "Teen cheaters take lie detectors"? I want to know what happened with the teen cheaters almost as much as I want to know what happened with the zombie alert.

5. Jimmy Kimmel's Ghost Prank

To those of you who watched that video of the ghost prank from Jimmy Kimmel Live! and then said to yourself, "I would never fall for something like that, that was totally absurd," let me tell you a tale. One night, a few years ago, I was walking home from the movies by myself, a little bit late at night. It was raining lightly, and I was in a part of town that was safe, but quiet. I crossed paths with a few people on the way to the train, and we all lifted our umbrellas upon crossing paths in order to make that "Hey, I'm not a murderer, are you? No? Cool, bye!" eye contact that's so popular among strangers on deserted late night streets.

I started crossing paths with a very tall guy, and as I raised my umbrella to confirm that we were both not murderers, I saw that the guy...had monster eyes. Like, big, animal-pupil, Michael-Jackson-in-"Thriller"-monster eyes, set in a shockingly pale face. I stared at him, while he made eye contact with me — to scare me, to prove he wasn't a murderer, to prove that he was a murderer, who knows.

And then he just kept walking. Maybe he was out trying to prank people, maybe he was just on his way to a zombie rave and forgot that he had his Halloween contacts in, I'll never know. But in that one moment, everything I knew about reality was suspended, and the world did seems like an extremely strange, kind of scary, but slightly more interesting place. And years later, I remember that moment better than the movie I saw, the dude I was dating at the time, and a lot of other things you would think would have made a bigger impression on me.

What was the point of that story? Was it to prove that sometimes, there can be some real value to a mildly spooky prank? Or was it to prove that I'm a moron? Can't it be both? Don't ask me; I'm too busy trying to crawl out of this TV.

Image: Programa Silvio Santos