How to Haunt Your Own House from Frightlopedia

A Halloween Prank for Kids: Create Ghostly Footsteps or Knocking with Your Very Own Ghost Phone

Trick your family and friends into thinking a ghost is visiting your home.

What You Need

Two phones, at least one of which should be a smartphone. Ask your parents if you can borrow theirs if necessary.

What You Do

Prepare the hauntingGhost Phone

1. With a parent’s help, download a free ringtone that sounds like footsteps, knocking, or howling (or any other sound you think is ghostlike) onto the smartphone. Listen to the choices until you find one that sounds convincing. We’ll call this phone the “ghost phone.”

2. Make sure the “vibrate” function is turned off on the ghost phone, and turn up the volume.

3. Test out your ghost phone before you do the actual haunting. Decide where you want the ghostly sounds to come from. A closet in your sibling’s bedroom or in a room where your family hangs out in the evening is a good spot. The idea is to find a place where it will seem like a ghost is inside the wall. When no one is around, put the ghost phone in that spot.Then use your other phone to call the ghost phone. Listen to see if the ringtone can be heard. You might have to adjust the volume.

Do the haunting

1. A day or two before you start the haunting, mention to your sibling or other family members that you heard that several houses in the area are reportedly haunted. You can say something like, “I heard the house down the street is haunted. The family keeps hearing knocking (or footsteps or howling) in the walls at night but there’s nothing there.” This will get them in the right frame of mind.

2. When you’re ready for the haunting to begin, hide the ghost phone in the spot you selected. Pick a time when you know your “victim” will be entering the room soon. You can hide it in a sibling’s closet just before he or she goes to bed. (Make sure your sibling is old enough to handle a ghost, though!) Or hide it in the living room just before everyone gathers to watch TV.

3. When your “victim” is in the room you’re haunting, step outside the room and call the ghost phone with your other phone. Wait a few minutes and call again. Make sure you are nearby so you can hear your victim react. If your victim gets up and says there’s a weird noise in the closet, go in with your phone hidden behind your back or in your pocket. Make sure the phone is set to dial the ghost phone number. Pretend to listen for the sound. You can say, “I don’t hear anything” and dial the number as you say it. Then act very freaked out when you hear the sound. You can say, “Oh, boy, this is just what they were talking about! It sounds like our house is haunted, too!” Wait awhile and then say, “I guess it stopped,” and leave the room. A minute or two later, call the ghost phone again.

4. Use your judgment about how far to take the haunting. You can keep it going for a few nights, or reveal the “ghost” behind the sounds sooner if you think it’s wise.

Make a Mysterious and Spooky Smell for Halloween

Add a strange scent to make your house seem haunted.

Haunted House

What You Need

A paper towel


A small paper or plastic cup or an empty 6- or 8-ounce yogurt cup

What You Do

Prepare the haunting

1. Tear the paper towel in half and fold one piece so you have a square about 3 inches across.

2. Spray the folded towel with perfume until it’s pretty saturated but not soaking wet.

3. Put it in the cup.

Do the haunting

1. When you hide your ghost phone, hide the cup with the scented paper towel in it at the same time.

2. When your ghost phone starts ringing, look in the hiding place as if you are searching for a ghost. Then say to your victim, “Do you smell something strange? You know, ghosts sometimes produce a smell. This is really creepy. Now we have this weird sound and a mysterious smell. I’m getting out of here!”

Here’s the book for kids who love scary stuff, whether it’s telling ghost stories around a campfire, discovering the origins of various vampires, monsters, and witches, or reading creepy tales under the covers with a flashlight.

More About Frightlopedia:

Combining fact, fiction, and hands-on activities, Frightlopedia is an illustrated A-Z collection of some of the world’s most frightening places, scariest stories, and gruesomest creatures, both real and imagined.

Discover Borneo’s Gomantong Cave, where literally millions of bats, cockroaches, spiders, and rats coexist—in pitch darkness. Learn about mythical creatures like the Mongolian Death Worm—and scarily real ones like killer bees, which were accidentally created by scientists in the 1950s. Visit New Orleans’s Beauregard-Keyes house, where Civil War soldiers are said to still clash in the front hall. Plus ghost stories from around the world, a cross-cultural study of vampires, and how to transform into a zombie with makeup. Each entry includes a “Fright Meter” measurement from 1 to 3, because while being scared is fun, everyone has their limit.

A 2017 YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers.

Buy the Book
Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | Workman

No Comments

Leave a Reply