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Halloween Gags - Scary Surprises

At the gateway to the graveyard, Jim Timon, vice president of entertainment at Universal Orlando, shared the tricks of his trade.

To set the mood, he suggests a CD of scary music, some foggers and colored light bulbs decorated with spiders.

On The Early Show plaza Friday, part of the fun was the costumes and the decorations.

Timon also recommends having some gags. He says the principle behind most of the gags is "misdirection." You are scaring people because things are unexpected, he explains. Some examples are:

  • In a display of masks on a table, include a human head.
  • Have a live scarecrow: The scarecrow would look inanimate with his lower body separated from the upper body. But in fact the upper body is a real person whose job is to scare those passing by.
  • Another gag is to serve candy in a box with your hand in the box concealed by the candy so when trick-or-treaters reache to get candy, they will feel your hand instead.

Some of the characters who helped Timon make his Ghoulish Graveyard scarier were Grim Reaper, Sentinel, caretaker Grave Digger. But you can enlist friends to create your own fun.

On The Early Show plaza, part of the fun was also giving away prizes.

The unscientific applause meter selected a little witch as the winner among three finalists. She and her family got a trip for four to Universal Orlando, presented by Timon. The second and third runners-up, Abe Lincoln and an alligator, respectively, got gift certificates from FAO Schwarz. As for the pet costume competition, a dog disguised as a lobster got a gift basket from PetSmart.