To honor Halloween, I think we should scare someone in the dark. There are two great ways for doing this. The first is to play Murder in the Dark! This is an awesome game. Here are the rules:
Make enough slips of paper for 1 each. On one write "murderer", on another write "detective", and on all of the rest write "suspect". Put the slips of paper in a hat and draw. You can not reveal to anyone what you are. Someone counts to three and turns off the lights. (Be sure to play this in a room where no one will bump into any sharp things) and the game begins. Also fun is to play in a house or building with multiple rooms, but again: make sure no one will accidentally bump into fine china or your ancient sword collection. The murderer finds people and taps them on the shoulder. If you are tapped on the shoulder and are a suspect, simply fall to the ground, making a few dying noises. If you are tapped and you are the detective, you say "detective is dead". When the detective is killed, the lights go on. All dead suspects must pretend to be dead, and even the murderer himself can play dead. The detective then surveys the "bodies" and accuses who they think is the murderer. If they guess wrong, the murderer has won, but if they guess right, the detective has won. To make it easier for young detectives, people can call out "Murderer, murderer" when they are killed.
Variation (Hyperion's Family Rules): When the game starts, the detective is cloistered somewhere that he or she cannot hear what's going on. The rest of the people mill around the house, freaking out, until the murderer strikes. Then everyone gathers in the living room around the dead body and the detective comes out and does his/her best Sherlock Holmes impression, interrogating suspects. EVERYONE MUST TELL THE TRUTH BUT THE MURDERER, who can lie or tell the truth as it suits the purpose of evading detection. After the detective has asked the questions necessary, a guess is made and the murderer is revealed, and then you play again. This is a GREAT game to play at family gatherings, provided everyone is between 12 and 70.
I can't tell you how much fun it is to bump around in the dark, terrified that you're going to get killed. (And if there are eligible ladies in question, well, I always say to lead with your hands out at chest height, if you know what I mean!)
The next way to scare someone in the dark is to turn off all the lights and tell them a scary story. The one I have below comes from an English nursery rhyme, and it used to scare everyone to pieces as a kid. Even now it can be quite effective.
The problem: reading it, the story will seem silly and inane. YOU HAVE TO TRUST HYPERION HERE! What you do is: memorize the story, or the basic flow to it. (Once you read it a few times, it's not hard.) When you tell the story, you then have to follow these few rules:
- The lights have to be completely off. Setting the mood will help add suspense
- Tell the story very slowly and very softly. If people are straining to hear, they will be even more tense, and you set them up effectively.
- When you get to the bold parts (from the cupboard), read those lines even slower and more wailing, as if from the grave. I don't care if your audience is 9 or 39, this will be effective.
- Don't ignore all the teeny/tinys. They seem stupid reading them over down below, but when you tell the story, the repetition adds to the cadence and eventually suspense.
- Most importantly, when you get to the end, the words in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS, you must shout that as loud as you can. In the dark, after the entire story told slowly and softly: trust me, they'll freak.
And without further ado, here is your story. Please leave a comment on whom you tried to scare, and how it went over.
ONCE upon a time there was a teeny-tiny woman who lived in a teeny-tiny house in a teeny-tiny village.
Now, one day this teeny-tiny woman put on her teeny-tiny bonnet, and went out of her teeny-tiny house to take a teeny-tiny walk. And when this teeny-tiny woman had gone a teeny-tiny way, she came to a teeny-tiny gate; so the teeny-tiny woman opened the teeny-tiny gate, and went into a teeny-tiny churchyard. And when this teeny-tiny woman had got into the teeny-tiny churchyard, she saw a teeny-tiny bone on a teeny-tiny grave, and the teeny-tiny woman said to her teeny-tiny self, 'This teeny-tiny bone will make me some teeny-tiny soup for my teeny-tiny supper.' So the teeny-tiny woman put the teeny-tiny bone into her teeny-tiny pocket, and went home to her teeny-tiny house.
Now, when the teeny-tiny woman got home to her teeny-tiny house, she was a teeny-tiny bit tired; so she went up her teeny-tiny stairs to her teeny-tiny bed, and put the teeny-tiny bone into a teeny-tiny cupboard. And when this teeny-tiny woman had been to sleep a teeny-tiny time, she was awakened by a teeny-tiny voice from the teeny-tiny cupboard, which said:
'Give me my bone!'
And this teeny-tiny woman was a teeny-tiny frightened, so she hid her teeny-tiny head under the teeny-tiny covers and went to sleep again. And when she had been to sleep again a teeny-tiny time, the teeny-tiny voice again cried out from the teeny-tiny cupboard a teeny-tiny louder,
'Give me my bone!'
This made the teeny-tiny woman a teeny-tiny more frightened, so she hid her teeny-tiny head a teeny-tiny further under the teeny-tiny covers. And when the teeny-tiny woman had been to sleep again a teeny-tiny time, the teeny-tiny voice from the teeny-tiny cupboard said again a teeny-tiny louder,
'Give me my bone!'
And this teeny-tiny woman was a teeny-tiny bit more frightened, but she put her teeny-tiny head out of the teeny tiny clothes, and said in her loudest teeny-tiny voice, 'TAKE IT!'