Our seasonal guide for horror-movie fans reveals the hidden potential in ordinary-looking toys and appliances. If you really want to freak someone out, give them a gift that will frighten them long after the wrapping paper has been thrown away. And if you're on the receiving end of any of these gifts, beware -- they may be haunted!
By Perri Nemiroff
We’re nearing the end of 2013; are demons really still trying to spook us with flickering lights and creaking doors? Just about everyone needs a personal computer and, even better, that personal computer becomes, basically, an additional appendage. The machines are essential parts of our lives so if you really want to freak someone out, haunt the Apple beach ball or make a laptop fan buzz a bit too loud, because that’s never a good sign.
Bobbleheads are basically the modern wooden rocking horse. There is a rocking horse gag in Insidious Chapter 2 that works quite well, but it’s location appropriate. Who actually has a rocking horse nowadays? No one! But folks have shelves lined with Funko Wobblers – or at least I do. What if Bumble, a Mars Attacks Martian, and Oogie Boogie were just having an impromptu dance party late at night?
L.A. Gear Sneakers
L.A. Light sneakers were a 90s childhood essential. However, now the things are almost equally as irritating as Heelys. But you know what would give L.A. Lights one extra little breath of life? A good horror movie scare. There’s always guilt involved when picking on kids, but just imagine the lights igniting and a bunch of little ones running around with Ghost Rider feet.
Pass the Pigs
In Insidious, Elise uses her gas mask to communicate with folks in The Further, but in Chapter 2 we meet Carl and his dice. Carl asks a question, rolls a set of dice covered in letters, and the result reveals the spirit’s response. Should we ever get a movie featuring a kid who’s a Carl-in-training, he or she would definitely be using Pass the Pigs instead of some crusty old dice. Just be careful; if a spirit makes you Pig Out, you could be in trouble.
How much better would it have been if “The Sandman” in Dark Skies built an incredible display using Legos rather than showing off with the contents of the Barrett family’s kitchen cupboard? Plus, Legos are incredibly versatile. Demons can construct satanic symbols or spell out creepy messages. And, even better, once the work is complete the freaked out parents are still left wondering if they’ve got a ghost problem or just a really weird kid.
Ostrich Head Pillow
The Night of the Living Ostrich Head Pillow. You’d see that, right? Okay, perhaps that’s a bit extreme, but wouldn’t this thing make for an excellent scare or kill? Someone thinks they’re laying down for a plush, quiet nap and before they know it, they’re being suffocated by an evil spirit that thinks they look absolutely ridiculous. Or, what if a snoozer isn’t making use of those armholes? Something could just crawl up in there, no?
Body Massage Chair
You know those people who go to Sharper Image just to get a free massage in one of those vibrating chairs? They deserve a demon to take control and give them a quick zap in the you-know-what. And if a particularly malevolent spirit wanted to take the attack to the next level, it’s as simple as targeting someone sitting in an especially extravagant model. There’s no doubt one of those could swallow a person whole.
It’s like the junior version of the tanning bed scene in Final Destination 3. Almost all of those nail spa dryers come with UV lights and fans. What if one of those lights were to explode? Or what if the fan guard mysteriously fell off and that freshly manicured hand were to float a little too close to the top? That demon could build an army of Addams Family Things, that’s what. Although some would likely be a bit charred.
During the day, your Halloween inflatables happily welcome Trick-or-Treaters to the front door, but late at night, when the streets are empty and the moonlight hits them in the worst possible way, friendly grins look more like ominous smirks. Fortunately, the thing is staked into the front lawn, so you’re safe - that is until you wait up in the middle of the night and find them staring into your window.
Most paranormal entity movies involve humans riling up camera-shy ghosts. If demons hate candid cameras so much, why not turn the devices on their victims? There’s no better way to freak a person out than by giving them the impression that they’re being watched. Even worse, if a spirit can occupy one camera, it can inhabit them all and if you’ve got as many devices with cameras in them as I do, that’s a lot of vantage points for one demon.
Annabelle, from The Conjuring, is undeniably unnerving, but imagine an Annabelle 2.0 with talking and mobile features. Similar to Annabelle, there’s something inherently eerie about a Furby. They sing gibberish songs, have evil laughs, and have crazy eyes. The ultimate nightmare is being attacked by a mass of dancing Furbies, blinking and babbling away – especially if they’re in “evil mode.” And yes, there really is a way to turn the 2012 model into an evil Furby.
Should your Twitter or Facebook get hacked by a paranormal entity, that evil force is free to send wicked messages, post demonic symbols on your wall, or perhaps even bring you back to level one on Candy Crush. Over on Instagram, what if your pretty pictures got hit with a ghost-revealing filter? Picturesque basket of fresh fruit today, rotten pile of browning mush tomorrow.