Life / Marie's Thoughts / NaBloPoMo

Entertainment or Just Plain Wrong?

Most people, in one way or another, have been part of a rather scary practical joke or two.  Maybe your older brother used to turn off the lights while you were rummaging around for something in that scary basement and lock the door behind you.  Perhaps you’ve made prank calls to your friend when you knew they were home alone.  Whether you were the one jumping out from a closet or unfortunately getting the crap scared out of you, everyone has been a part of an “all in good fun” scary situation .

The question I have is when does it go from entertaining to just plain wrong?

When you’re a kid, there aren’t many cruel stunts you could pull on your peers that would really put them in any serious danger.  A few fake spiders won’t ever really hurt someone, unless the victim is seriously traumatized for life by having them thrown all over you.  I guess that is a possibility.  But, kids don’t really have the means to set up a prank as elaborate as the pranks that are being pulled nowadays for entertainment purposes.

First, let’s look at the small pranks pulled in a show called “Just For Laughs: Gags”.  This French Canadian show has hidden cameras on unsuspecting victims who are about to have a prank played on them.  Here’s an example that I found that seemed perfect for what I’m talking about.  A little kid tries to scare customers at the post office with a plastic toy gorilla.  The real prank is when they bring out a man in a gorilla suit to really scare them.

Mostly, it’s all in good fun.  The victims get slightly startled and they have a good laugh after.  No real harm done and it’s a quick and easy gag.  Now, this morning on Facebook, I saw a link to a video titled: Extremely Scary Ghost Elevator Prank In Brazil.  I don’t usually watch most videos on YouTube unless a good friend of mine posts something I may really enjoy, but the title caught my eye and I decided to watch it.  Take a look.

Now, is it just me, or is this a little too intense?  This prank actually brought people to tears!  I totally understand wanting to get viewers and to be different and entertaining, but I think this is going a little bit overboard.  Not only are they putting people in a confined place with no escape, they’re bringing the fear of being trapped in an elevator, the fear of an elevator coming crashing down, and on top of it they add a scary girl holding a doll to the mix.  Holy crap.  If someone played a prank like that on me, I would be beyond pissed off.

This prank could be harmful in many different ways.  One thing I worry about is : is it possible that someone could have a heart attack because of it?  Another thing is: what if someone attacked that little girl?  Not only could the victims be hurt by possibly banging their hands on the elevator walls in an attempt to get out, but the prankster could be hurt in the process.  Granted, most victims just hid their faces and screamed, but do they screen their victims ahead of time in order to know that they have to “kick boxing” background or something?

I don’t know about you, but I don’t find it entertaining to watch people cry like that.  It seems so cruel to do that to people, and for what?  Entertainment? A few laughs at the victim’s expense?  At least with the small pranks like Just For Laughs: Gags, the victims can look back on it and smile a bit, without thinking it was the most terrifying moment of their life.  I’m sure the victims of the elevator prank would look back in anger.  I know I would.

What do you think?  Is it Entertainment or Just Plain Wrong?

See you tomorrow morning!

Good Morning, Joe

Other posts about Marie’s Thoughts:
The Mathematics of Regret
Would You Eat This Food After Reading The Note Attached To It?
The Spice Of Life
Kids in Restaurants: A Server’s Point of View
Do Not Let the Evil Inherit the Earth
Remember to Tip Your Waitress: a Guide to a Better Dining Experience


11 thoughts on “Entertainment or Just Plain Wrong?

  1. That was so scary! I was thinking the same thing, “what if someone had a heart attack, or what if someone hit the little girl?” I feel like I would want to punch at it to see if it were real. How bad would I feel leaving a “prank” after I punched a little girl in the face. Those people are going to have something scary happen to them, I just know it!

  2. Unfortunately, I think the fact that shows like these exist is only a testament to the fact that people do like to watch this kind of stuff. Me and my boyfriend were watching Intervention on TLC the other day, have you ever seen that? This particular episode they were actually showing this guy shooting up heroin and smoking crack. Me and my boyfriend spent the entire episode lamenting number one, that this person exists and decided that rather than handle their addiction privately they decided to be on this trashy reality show, and number two, that such a show exists in the first place.

    • Yes, I guess people do like that watch that kind of stuff. But I still find it a little sad. That show on TLC, could you actually learn something from it? I guess I have a problem where there is really no point at all except for to laugh at people who are scared and crying. Ugh…it pains me to think about.

      • I got hooked watching Intervention during a marathon once and I have to say, I don’t think it’s as bad as the others. The drug scenes definitely can be harsh, I agree with you Katie, but in the end, this really is what is happening and those people’s family members are showing real pain. Sometimes they even get help and can heal from it. You should try watching the whole episode, (I understand though if it ain’t your thing). I got stuck watching one after the other and was crying so much, I couldn’t stop watching, after four hours went by I realized, I needed an intervention from Intervention!

  3. Great post! I can’t stand this kind of stuff. I used to watch practical joke shows when I was young like Punkd and another one where people set their friends up in horror scenarios. I can’t stand them these days. The amygdala and the nervous system can’t tell the different between real and perceived threat and so yes, not only is there the danger of physically harming these people, but they could also be traumatized.

    If people want to laugh there’s plenty of great scripted comedy, and if it has to be reality then just load up a fails compilation on youtube, at least these things happened by accident and not by design to scare and hurt people.

    I think the issue is one of consensuality, I don’t care if people put themselves in danger by choice, but when it’s an organised ploy to mess with someone’s perception of reality without their knowledge or consent I find it a serious breach of peoples rights and boundaries.

    Maybe I’m just a grump, I dunno lol. But I’m glad you posted this, thanks for sharing :)


    • “But when it’s an organised ploy to mess with someone’s perception of reality without their knowledge or consent I find it a serious breach of peoples rights and boundaries.” I couldn’t have said it better myself! The thought of this happening to me one day scares the shit out of me. I would be furious. People messing with my mind and emotions is definitely NOT okay with me. Ugh…and all for a 5 second laugh? It’s terrible…

      Thanks so much for the great comment and hope you see you back soon!


  4. I thought that elevator prank was horrible too Marie! I wondered the same things as you and thought about how i would feel if it happened to me. And Speaking of bad pranks, I fell upon a video just yesterday that was absolutley disturbing, but the worst part is, it could in fact happen to anyone! Two people hid in their friends house. one was filming while the other had his face covered with a bandana. The girl came home and they jumped out at her making it look like there was a mugger/robber, and the girl ran out of the house scared to death. Her friend filmed her as she ran after her and then she ran down her steps, and into the street where she got hit by a car. :( I think some people just doon’t think it all the way through.

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