Scary Prank: A True Scary Story
Black Cats at Halloween
“What’s the scariest trick you’ve ever pulled on someone ?” Halloween can bring out the best tricksters and that little saying: “the-devil-made-me-do-it” becomes a household phrase. Growing up with a houseful of brothers and a neighborhood full of boys kept my sister and me on our toes for plastic spiders, ex-lax chocolate bars and other spooky surprises. So, when it comes to pulling a prank or setting up a scare, it’s no wonder that I have a little sadistic streak in me as well.
I can tell you several stories of Halloween frights: drives through cemeteries at midnight, ghostly tales around campfires in the middle of the woods, or slumber party séances. Remember the character of Cato, in the Pink Panther? He would consistently hide and jump out at the Inspector…that would be me, even at my age, delighting in hiding behind a door while an unsuspecting family member is entering and then, ‘surprising’ him. Great entertainment for the child in me-not so much for the other person, although I haven’t been punched in the arm for it lately, the way my brothers used to do.
Still, I recall some pretty intense scares, mostly involving my late husband, but the one that I will share here is the time I gave my husband’s imagination a run for his money. You see, my husband loved horror movies and insisted on watching them-alone, because I couldn’t bear to watch them. If he did persuade me to see one, like the time I agreed to see Psycho II, I kept my eyes covered through most of the movie.
Karen Black-A Brief Bio
Karen Black: July 1, 1939-August 8, 2013.
Ms. Black, a character actress whose rise to fame occurred predominantly in the 1970s, died of complications of cancer in Los Angeles, California. She was 74.
Born in Park Ridge, Illinois, she was named Karen Blanche Ziegler. She attended Northwestern University before launching a stage career in New York. Her Broadway debut was in 1965 for the play, The Playroom.
Her 1970 screen hits include: Nashville, Easy Rider, and Five Easy Pieces, in which she played Jack Nicholson's girlfriend, earning her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She also starred in the 1975 series: Trilogy of Terror.
One of Ms. Black's last performances was in 2005, in the lesser known movie: My Suicidal Sweetheart.
Karen Black was married to Stephen Eckelberry at the time of her death.
Scary Movie: Trilogy of Terror
One evening I arrived home near midnight, after my afternoon shift ended, to find the house dark, save for the light from the living room television. As I entered the door I recognized the movie as one of the creepiest ones I have ever seen. How I ever stayed focused to the end of this movie I have no idea. Even stranger than that-I was alone!
It was called Trilogy of Terror and it starred Karen Black. This made for television movie was based on the story, Prey by Richard Matheson. The storyline is that Karen returns home with a birthday gift she bought at a local curio store: a statue of a Zuni warrior with the mission to kill. He looked fierce with his jagged teeth and sharp little spear. A little bracelet was entwined around his waist and when that bracelet fell off he came to life.
In the movie he chased Karen Black around her apartment making an awful sound of attack and gnashing his razor sharp teeth in attempts to bite her. Well, she finally was overcome and the last scene will forever stay in my mind: there she is hunched down awaiting the arrival of her mother, whom she despised, with the biggest butcher knife in her hand jabbing it up and down and gnashing her teeth.
Knowing what happened in the film I attempted to forewarn John of the outcome: he’ll scare himself, (he always did), it’ll disturb his sleep, he’ll be thinking of it for days, etc. None of this mattered, of course, because he wanted the thrill of being frightened.
The rest of the scary story
In our home, the laundry room was down in the basement…the spooky, creepy basement. This basement, which is in the house I grew up in, had quite a history of scary moments. It’s design provided all sorts of wonderful places to hide and jump out at or be the victim of someone jumping out at you. It also had a basement door that led to the outside. The staircase was right smack in the middle, not off to the side, and since the washer and dryer were around to the back, near the basement door, one could not see ‘up’ the stairs from the laundry area.
After the movie ended I asked my husband to do me a favor and move the clothes from the washer to the dryer on the pretense that I did not want them to get smelly sitting in the washer overnight. He was reluctant to do this, but finally agreed. As soon as he went downstairs I ran to the kitchen and got the biggest kitchen knife out of the drawer and went to the top of the stairs waiting for John in the exact position that Karen had taken waiting for her unsuspecting mother.
Poor John…preoccupied with the movie, he rounded the corner of the stairs only to look up and see me ‘acting the part of the possessed’. He made a dead stop, hesitated, gave a little nervous laugh, attempted a couple of steps and finally stopped again.
“Okay, Dee,” he said, trying to act nonchalant, “very funny; you made your point.”
Stone silence from me other than the gnashing noises I was making and the sound of the knife hitting the floor boards.
“Okay, enough is enough now…I get your point, now knock it off.”
No comment from me, just the continued movement of the knife up and down into the floor and more throaty noise.
Oh, he was getting more scared and mad, yet this big guy refused to come up the stairs towards me! Instead, he turned around to the basement door and said, “Fine, I’ll just go around!”
Well, by the time he came up through the back door I had returned the knife and jumped into bed with the lights off. He got into bed and scolded me for my prank and I mumbled something about, “Maybe you shouldn’t be watching movies like that” and “I told you you’d be scared”.
Then, when everything was quiet I turned to him in the dark and made those awful gnashing noises one last time…
It’s shameful, I know, scaring a 200-pound man in the dark…I’m bad! But, boy it was fun and what a story to share with our friends. There was always much laughter following this tale.