Trapped with a Ghost

By: Olivia Qiunn

Like many people, I have an overwhelming fear of elevators. My fear is born out of a combination of my claustrophobia and the experience I had at a young age getting trapped in an elevator for an hour. That is why when my friend showed me a video of a “hilarious” elevator prank a few weeks ago, my heart started pounding and I felt genuinely sorry for the poor victims.

The video showcases different people stepping into an elevator, sometimes alone and sometimes with other people. Quickly after the elevator begins its ascent, the lights begin to flicker. A look of fear passes over many of the people’s faces, and then the elevator goes completely black. When the lights are out, a small child who is part of the prank quietly crawls out of a concealed sliding panel in the elevator. Then the lights flash back on, and the child is standing near the person or people inside. The child is a very pale little girl with long disheveled hair, wearing a nightgown and holding a doll. She is clearly supposed to represent a ghost. When the victims of the prank see her, many of them cover their eyes, cower in the corner, or scream. The little girl then lets out a horrifying scream to further terrify the victims. The video is a compilation of this prank being pulled over and over on unknowing people. The video reveals nothing about what happens after these people get out of the elevator.

After doing a little research to figure out the origins of the video, I found out that it was a prank pulled by the Brazilian television show, The Silvio Santos Program. The Silvio Santos Program is a variety-like, practical joke show that is hosted by Brazil’s most prominent celebrity billionaire. I was unable to find out much information regarding the aftermath of this prank. One short news article from Fox News Insider cited that questions of liability are being raised. American legal analyst Arthur Aidala claimed that “the elevator riders could sue the show for intentional affliction of extreme emotional disturbance.” While I believe that this prank would definitely result in litigation in sue-happy United States, I am curious about what will happen in Brazil and I will continue to keep tabs on it.
Aside from legal matters, the video has raised a lot of controversy. Some people think it is the scariest or meanest prank ever, while some think it is hilarious. Here is the link to the video featured in the Huffington Post. Watch it and let me know what you think! Is it scary, mean, funny, or something else?


10 thoughts on “Trapped with a Ghost

  1. I’d probably be traumatized for life from that experience, even if I found out I was being pranked. It reminds me a lot of the show Scare Tactics where people would get MTV to prank their friends by having them get attacked by a ghost or a monster or an alien. I’m afraid of that sort of stuff, so I would be absolutely terrified. If you’re interesting, you can look up the show on youtube and get clips of the pranks. One of the scariest ones for me is this one about bigfoot, because I have a fear of bigooft: and

  2. I actually watched the video of this prank a while ago before you posted this and I was in shock. I didn’t know anything about the background of the prank (who’s idea it was, etc.). I was definitely shocked. I know personally that even though I do like horror, something like this probably would have terrified me and stayed on my mind for quite some time.

  3. If I was in the elevator and this happened to me, I would definitely be emotionally scarred. It is so creepy, especially when the little girl disappears and reappears so quickly. Watching the video after knowing the context of the prank, however, I found the video to be kinda funny. I don’t know why I laughed. I guess it is because I don’t believe in ghosts and I knew it was a prank. I can’t imagine something like that actually happening to me.

  4. I actually love Scare Tactics, and I think it’s hilarious, but I’m not sure I would want to be a victim of the pranks. This elevator prank sounds terrifying, because I’m hardcore scared of elevators. I actually refused to take the elevator in the hotel my parents and I were staying in after the power went out in our hotel, because I’m not about that life. I would probably have a stroke if this happened to me, and I would be livid after I found out it was a prank.

  5. This is horrifying. I would freak out. I have stumbled across videos like this before on youtube and find that I am never able to watch them because they are so scary. The scariest horror is horror that you can relate to and I can only imagine how much I would freak out if this happened to me.

  6. Elevators are creepy enough without little creepy ghost pranks; I would probably have fainted in fear. But as with Alana, I was laughing (most likely because I was not directly in the elevator experiencing it). I wish there was a way to more quickly find out what happened after the prank was over; did the show debrief the unwilling victims? I get the feeling no one made moves to sue the show. There might be some psychological trauma but we are looking at from the American culture rather than the Brazilian culture.

  7. I think it is absolutely mean and not funny at all to pull a prank like that. It could really have a lasting effect on some people because there are people who are easily scared and have fears of elevators or ghosts or anything like that. If that prank would’ve been pulled on me, I would’ve cowered in the corner crying. I know I would because I’ve gone to a haunted corn maze/house thing before and when this guy dressed up as Leatherface with a chainsaw came up to me, all I could do was cover my eyes and hope he would leave me alone. Of course he didn’t. He proceeded to whisper in my ear and then turn the chainsaw on right next to me. I really hope that people would stop pulling pranks like the elevator one. I don’t think it’s funny at all.

  8. I’m also terrified by elevators, not because of an experience but rather it’s simply an irrational fear that I’ve always had. So in my opinion, nothing about this “prank” is funny, it is simply cruel. I would be traumatized for life if this ever happened to me, and I think it’s dangerous because you never know what someone’s defense mechanisms might be when faced with that terrifying of a situation. The victims or the little girl could have gotten hurt in this process and that’s not worth pulling off a prank.

  9. I have a similar fear of elevators. When we go on vacation, my family has begun to get rooms on the highest floors in order for me to have to be exhausted running up and down stairs or so I have to be on an elevator as long as possible, (some family, huh?). But there is something inherently scared about an elevator, especially when you have all of these youtube videos.

  10. I think that is so messed up! The little girl isn’t just a normal little girl either. Her hair is teased and she looks really pale, which makes it that much more scary. I am terrified of elevators too so I would’ve been the one screaming if that happened to me. I was just in an elevator today and it made a weird noise and I freaked out over that. I can’t even imagine what I would do if this happened to me. Also, the people in the background are laughing at it, which I think makes it even more messed up because the people inside are actually so terrified.

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