Pranks can be a lot of fun, but how do you know when your prank has gone too far? Here are three Friday the 13th-themed prank videos that can help you learn the fine line between a prankster and a dangerous asshole.
Example #1: A guy has his friend put on a Michael Myers mask, hide in a dark office, and then jump out when his boss enters and turns on the lights. The guy is scared for a mere instant, but the fear quickly abates, and no one is in any danger.
Example #2: A guy tells a girl that a murder has occurred nearby, leaves to go get pizza, then makes spooky noises outside the house. As she worries, the prank culminates in a robed man breaking in and threatening her briefly, although laughs from the co-conspirators are heard almost instantly. And then the girl is beheaded, and you realize the video is fake and itself is a prank, but the lesson still stands: The girl is scared for a bit, then given a quick true fright, then instantly consoled. Dickish? Absolutely, but pranks aren't nice by nature, and at least this was brief and the prankee quickly made aware that it had all been fake.
And then here's Example #3.
That's Vitaly Zdorovetskiy — who you may remember from the equally ill-conceived zombie prank in Miami last year — literally chasing people down the street with a chainsaw. These aren't friends or acquaintances, this is not a private space, and Vitaly isn't holding a toy — they are random people on the street who truly believe they are going to be murdered by a man holding what looks like a working chainsaw (Vitaly claims the blades were removed, but it's not like anyone could have possibly known that).
This is technically a prank, but it's also 1) insanely cruel and 2) shockingly dangerous. The one thing this isn't, shockingly, is a crime, at least according to Zdorovetskiy's attorney (Columbus, Ohio, prosecutor Ron O'Brien disagrees), but that's really only because no one managed to get hurt. The victims could easily have injured themselves trying to get away, and any one of these people would have been well within their rights to shoot Zdorovetskiy if they'd had the means, because they would have genuinely thought they were defending themselves from someone attempting to murder them.
So here's a tip for all you aspiring pranksters: Will you victim be scared for more than a few seconds? Will they truly believe themselves in life-threatening danger? Will they truly hate you when the prank is over? Does the prank run the risk of someone actually shooting you? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then maybe you ought to stick to putting a bucket of water over the door.