By Raisa Bruner
October 30, 2018

For some, “trick or treat” is just a phrase that expedites the process of securing candy on Halloween. For others, it’s a motto — and the “trick” part becomes a calling card. From celebrity appearances to regular citizens getting in on the seasonal spooky spirit, here are 2018’s best Halloween pranks so far.

Thriller zombies take over the world

It’s become an annual tradition: flash mobs of dancers decked out in full zombie looks — fake blood included — gathered in cities around the world to perform the choreography of Michael Jackson’s famous “Thriller” dance. The “Thrill the World” tradition was on display in city centers everywhere from Tennessee to Brazil and even at California’s own Neverland Ranch, bringing out hordes of zombies.

The BBC gets ghostly

During an episode of Inside No. 9 on the BBC, a ghost “took over” the live show after there were apparent technical difficulties. Reverting to footage of the show’s creators in their dressing room, the eerie prank was convincing enough that many viewers turned it off — or were concerned for the safety of the creators, who it transpired believed their studio was being haunted. They and BBC Two even tweeted with confusion to keep up the believability of the hoax.

Jimmy Kimmel scares kids as usual

At this point, we should all know that Kimmel is one of the season’s most reliable pranksters. For his latest, Kimmel played tricks on unsuspecting kids, getting them into a photo booth to take pictures with a seasonal figure. The character? None other than the terrifying Michael Myers of Halloween franchise fame. Hopefully the young, impressionable kids didn’t all go home with nightmares after being visited by Myers.

Michael Myers makes his mark in Brazil

The Halloween movie franchise is back in a big way this fall, with Jamie Lee Curtis‘s return to the horror film series making a splash at the box office — and this Michael Myers lookalike in Brazil scaring citizens in real life, too. Set up by a Brazilian TV variety show, hidden cameras captured a gruesomely-made-up Myers actor surprising people on the street at empty bus stops and deserted parking garages, to their horror.

Diddy gets a clown scare

Leave it to Ellen DeGeneres to pull a prank on one of her own TV show guests — the (un)lucky recipient this year being the rapper and mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs. DeGeneres wanted to put his fear of clowns to the test, and did so with aplomb, getting a very creepy character to pop up unexpectedly — to Diddy’s utter horror.

The “Doll in the Hall” is this season’s “Elf on the Shelf”

A Pittsburgh mom has been freaking out her own kids with “Doll in the Hall,” a prank in which she places a Victorian-looking doll in new locations around the house — to the unfortunate surprise of her children. She even started a Facebook page for the trick, and seems to have inspired some copycat behavior among her kids’ families, too. But unlike the holiday season’s friendly “Elf on the Shelf” shenanigans, this toy prank seems engineered to bring on nightmares.

Spider-Man swings through Brooklyn

While some people get in the Halloween spirit with spooky decorations, the tenants of this Brooklyn Heights building went for superhero status instead, putting up a lifelike Spider-Man — with webs — to spark some wonder in the hearts of passersby. It certainly looks quite realistic, even if his swinging is stationary.

 

 

Write to Raisa Bruner at raisa.bruner@time.com.

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