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?