Want to scare your room mates or buddies into thinking the room or office is haunted? You may not have the big budgets (or crew, or equipment, or stuntmen) of Poltergeist, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stage a fake haunting for friends and colleagues. All it takes is five minutes a day – and the ability to keep a straight face as those around you start wondering if there’s someone out there.

Just don’t say “boo!”

1) Stare at something next to them

Madison (Kennedy Clements) looks up in "Poltergeist". Credits: Twentieth Century Fox

Madison (Kennedy Clements) looks up in “Poltergeist”. Credit: Twentieth Century Fox

Think of the most irritating person you know. Now, pretend that person is sitting right next to your target. Keep glancing over at that invisible “person,” or furrowing your eyebrows the way you would if he or she were really sitting there. In other words, pretend there is a real, live person sitting next to your friend. When he or she asks what you’re looking at, take one lingering look at the invisible “person” next to the target before muttering that it’s nothing. They’ll be wondering if there’s something there that they can’t see.

2) Rearrange their belongings in a pile every two or three days

Madison (Kennedy Clements) in "Poltergeist". Credits: Twentieth Century Fox

Madison (Kennedy Clements) in “Poltergeist”. Credits: Twentieth Century Fox

Remember that the objective is to scare them, not irritate them. So don’t take things that they you know would peeve them. Take random objects, then stack them in a small pile in the middle of their desk or room. The point is to make this as inexplicable as possible. Feign ignorance when they ask, or even better – tell them they did it just half an hour ago. Make them question their sanity and memory.

3) Hide a metal nail in their belongings

Hands in"Poltergeist". Credits: Twentieth Century Fox

Hands in”Poltergeist”. Credit: Twentieth Century Fox

A nail is always a symbol of some sort of curse or haunting. Put a nail somewhere they’ll come across (among their stationery, for instance), or “hide” it under a cup or some place they’ll easily find. Be careful not to put in where your friend might get hurt though, like among their socks or in the toilet! Bonus points if you can somehow hammer the nail into something (but don’t damage your friend’s belongings). Have them suspect that a curse has been placed on them.

4) Tell them that an old person was looking for them

But a person older than Amy (Rosemarie DeWitt) in "Poltergeist" would probably work better. Credits: Twentieth Century Fox

But a person older than Amy (Rosemarie DeWitt) in “Poltergeist” would probably work better. Credit: Twentieth Century Fox

When they come back into the room, tell them an old man or woman was looking for them, and if they hurry out they can catch that person. Repeat this once a week, and tell them “that same old person came looking for you again!” After a while they’ll be wondering who this person is – and why they’re looking for your target. If you can manage to weave in something like “they looked really angry, did you offend them or something?” this will make them wonder what exactly they did to cause this.

5)Drop marbles on the floor above you

The house explodes in"Poltergeist" but you probably don't have to go to this extent. Credits: Twentieth Century Fox

The house explodes in”Poltergeist” but you probably don’t have to go to this extent. Credit: Twentieth Century Fox

This takes a bit of effort since you need to source for marbles and get into the room above yours, but the results will be worth it. Everyone suspects something supernatural when they hear marbles dropping nowadays. An added bonus is that you’ll never be in the room when they hear marbles, so you can openly disbelieve them when they talk about it.

But if all this is too much work for you, there’s a much simpler way – buy them a ticket to Poltergeist, but tell them it’s something else (like Entourage, for example). Then watch them scream at the opening sequence.

Source: Twentieth Century Fox