Article by Alice Hawkins
A magical time of year is upon us, one of both treats and scares that may be lurking around every corner. While you may very well be the one who is spooked, you may be feeling the spirit of the season enough to get in some spooking of your own. But who should be on the receiving end of your festive fright? And what would be sufficiently scary?
Now you may be thinking to yourself, “I love my friends, why would I ever want to scare them?” But of course your best friends also make the best targets, since they’ll most likely be laughing with you afterward, all in good jest. On the other hand, this can also be a good opportunity to treat your housemate who chews too loud at dinner to a comedic taste of their own irritating quirk. Perhaps send a small army of enlarged chomping wind-up toys after them in the hallway.
Once you’ve decided on a target, it’s time to decide on the perfect prank. This can be as personal or impersonal as you want it to be. For example if you know your subject is afraid of spiders, the path ahead may seem fairly straightforward. Alternatively, if you have no idea what they’re afraid of, spiders might still be a good bet. Approximately 5% of the population has arachnophobia, despite less than 30 out of over 40,000 species of spiders are actually capable of harming humans. But an even larger percentage of the population would at least be startled by having one or more spiders flung in their general direction without warning, so keep that in mind.
Pranks may also be as complex as you want to make them. The aforementioned spider-scare is very simple and able to be carried out by just about anyone. But there is nothing stopping you from taking things further, even with simple spells. Limus ercuto is a fairly easy to perform and harmless, albeit sticky spell that will cover your target in slime. A puff of air on some chicken feathers and they’ll look quite silly indeed. If you’re feeling nice you can skurge that slime off after a good laugh.
While it might be tempting to get even with one of your classmates that rubs you the wrong way, it’s also important to remember to temper your pranking ambitions. The Owl Post certainly won’t be carrying out anything harmful, and there’s nothing fun about explaining yourself to the Deputy Headmistress over a hospital bed. So keep it fun, keep it harmless, and have an enjoyable All Hallow’s Eve.