Eight Halloween Pranks That Won't Get You Arrested

You can get a lot of mileage out of a Pennywise costume.

Ah, Halloween. The one night on the calendar where even the most well-fortified suburbanites should fear for life, liberty, and property.

OK, most Halloweens don’t go down like The Purge. (That’s reserved for Devil’s Night, but only a fool pulls a prank on Devil’s Night, what with all the on-edge cops out in force.)

But it’s still a night where you can entertain yourself, and your friends, with pranks. And if something happens to your neighbor’s house, you can always blame it on the kids.

1) Soaping windows. This is an old-school prank that is equated with tagging, but way better. Why? Because the soap comes off without a lot of time and energy. Plus, if you live in my neighborhood, y’alls windows need cleaning, anyway.

2) Spiders. Drop a fake spider from anywhere, you’re sure to traumatize a kid, or a spouse, for life.

3) Write something creepy on a steamed mirror after a shower. While great to pull on people you know, this trick is best applied in a hotel room or somewhere else no one owns. I’ve found that cleaning ladies — while normally very thorough — don’t often spray-clean the bathroom mirror.The beauty of this trick lies in the fact that you won’t necessarily see it play out, but you can be very certain it creeps people out. I prefer to write something subtle and cryptic, like “DON’T TURN AROUND.”

4) Lifelike dummies. Making a good dummy is an under appreciated art. Haddon’s law states that the further a dummy is placed from a front porch, the greater the likelihood that it will be mistaken for a dead body. (This can go too far, however.)

And as a corollary, there’s always replacing a dummy with yourself. Halloween dummies are only scary for two reasons: If you’re a little kid, or if you think a dummy is an inanimate thing filled with leaves and aren’t expecting it to stand up and walk up to you. The best way to pull this prank is to slip into the clothes that a dummy was wearing once the festivities have died down and scare the bejesus out of passersby.

5) Take all the lawn signs for one political candidate and put them on the lawn of his or her opponent. All right, so this isn’t technically a Halloween prank. But elections are going on around the same time as Halloween.Pick a local race — city council, mayor, what have you — and find out where one of the candidates lives. (If it’s anything like the sleepy Midwestern suburb where I grew up, you can look this stuff up in the phone book.)

Next, drive around and collect lawn signs for that person’s opponent. Under the cover of night, plant a few on the first candidate’s lawn.

This is trespassing, and therefore illegal, you say? Well, fine then, but did the Founding Fathers worry about legality when they rebelled from the British?

6) The old rise-n’-shine. In certain parts of the country, this doesn’t even qualify as a prank.

7) Pennywise costume. Night or day, you can still get a lot of mileage out of a Pennywise costume.

8) Telling your kids you ate all their Halloween candy. Take it away, Mr. Kimmel:

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