Trulia’s Haunted Open House Video Is the Best Halloween Prank I’ve Seen All Season

I love me a good haunted house, so it’s not too surprising that I laughed my head off at this prank: Real estate website Trulia staged a “haunted open house” for Halloween this year, and it’s magnificent. Seriously — it’s definitely the best Halloween prank I’ve seen all season, and quite possibly the best one I’ve ever seen, period. Can someone get the Ghostbusters on the line, please? I think they’re going to want to see this.

I’m not sure exactly where the house is actually located, but a ton of effort clearly went into carrying the stunt off. According to AdWeek, Trulia teamed up with Olson Engage to make it happen; they rigged up an old house, already impressive enough on its own, with all sorts of gags to turn it into a real life haunted house. As the resulting video puts it, it consisted of “2,300 square feet of scary” — and when you open a place like that up for an open house? Magic, I tell you. Pure magic.

The whole video is definitely worth watching, so scroll down to see it; for the curious, though, here’s what went into the whole thing:

Live Actors:

Two actors brought a theatrical touch to the whole thing; one disguised herself as a human doll, while the other made for a terrifying-looking ghost grandma

A Poltergeist Book:

A book was rigged so that it could fly off the shelf seemingly on its own.

A Mysterious Caller:

Someone was on hand to call the house’s phone periodically, giving us a significantly creepier version of one of the worst creepypastas in existence.

A Remote-Triggered Sewing Machine:

Look, ma! No hands!

A Trick Bed Frame:

There’s nothing like an object with a false bottom when it comes to stunts like this. That’s where ghost grandma hid:

Set Dressing:

For the living doll, all ready to ask prospective buyers to take her home with them.

And, Of Course, Hidden Cameras:

16 of ‘em, to be precise, all GoPros. If you’re going to do a stunt like this, you have to catch it on film.

So that’s the set-up… but the rest of it? You really have to watch it in action to get the full hilarity of it. To be fair, I probably would have freaked out just as much as the prank’s poor, unsuspecting rubes (lady who curses a blue streak at the 1:45 mark? I feel you) — but that’s not stopping me from cackling with glee at their reactions. Here’s my favorite one from the moment the living doll made her extremely well-timed appearance:

And here’s a fabulous one from the ghost grandma scare:

Admittedly Candid Camera­- or Punk’t-style pranks have the potential to open up a messy can of worms. One YouTube commenter, for example, wrote, “I’d file a lawsuit against you if you filmed me like this”; it’s also probably a good idea to find out whether the folks planning on touring the house have heart problems beforehand. But even though I’ve never orchestrated something like this myself, I would assume that once the tricks have been revealed, you get permission from the participants to use their reactions in a video like this. The fun only happens when the participants are willing, and these guys all look like they were good sports about it.

Trulia has been trotting out a whole bunch of fabulous Halloween-themed content this year, by the way; head on over to their website for maps detailing where to go (or avoid, as the case may be) for the most ghost sightings, tips on buying haunted houses, and more. Happy almost-Halloween!

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Images: Trulia/YouTube (11) 

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