Halloween is not really a “thing’ in Australia. Most of what we know of Halloween comes through watching a lot of American TV and movies. We know, correctly or otherwise, that its a time for the darker and more mystical side of life. So one day my friends and I sat down and planned an elaborate prank for the upcoming Halloween.
We were in our first year at University and looking for creative activities which we could do as a group. In retrospect it was a kind of bonding experience. We were all fresh out of High School and our degree was very demanding of our time and our intellect. So when we blew off steam it was well-planned, creative and elaborate.
There were 12 of us. On Halloween night we chose a winding, long stretch of road that was pretty much the same ll the way through – not hard to find in Australia. All twelve of us dressed identically – black pants, black shoes and a black hoodie. We used camouflage paint on faces to darken and reduce the shine from our faces. We then went out and stood by the side of the road at about 1 kilometer intervals or so, eachone out of the line of sight of oncoming cars. As cars drove past we were to remain still apart from moving to face the car as it drove past.
The effect we were going for was to make people driving past think they have been driving past the same character over and over again. either thinking they are in some kind of time loop, or that the ‘shadow person’ was somehow re-materialising next to their car.
Each of us could see the reaction people driving past had. Remember it was Halloween night. There was enough moonlight to see a small distance to the side of the road, but without a lot of detail. For the first one or two of us ‘Shadow People‘, people driving past looked curious, perhaps a little perplexed. As the cars encountered more and more of us on the side of the road people’s expressions turned from curiosity, to anxiety to terror. Many cars were speeding past by the end of our line, a few cars turned around and sped back the way they came.
I would have freaked out if I was a driver or passenger in such a situation. So it was mean. But boy was it funny. And, now I think about it, it was stupid. It could have become dangerous. A driver might have panicked so much they could have lost control of their car and crashed. Another driver might have been so scared they could have run over one of the shadows. Not to mention the stress and trauma caused to innocent people. I would never do such a thing again. But when you are 19 you can do some pretty stupid things.
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