How To Make Your Halloween Hotel Stay Scream-Worthy

How To Make Your Halloween Hotel Stay Scream-Worthy

It’s almost that time of year again. The orange leaves crunch beneath your feet, jack-o-lanters illuminate your path and spooky screams echo through the air. The most frightening festival of the year is on its way and you’re getting ready to raise some spirits. But how will you spend the spookiest day of the year? Before you make any plans, we’ve put together some chilling and thrilling ideas to transform your Halloween retreat into a spine-chilling nightmare!

ZenHotels Blog
10 minutes read

Trick your friend

If you’re traveling with a friend over Halloween, this could be the perfect opportunity to give them a fright and a vacation they won’t forget in a hurry! If you and your friend love scary movies and spooky games, this is a good time to put all you’ve learned into practice. Think of all the horror movies you’ve watched before. Arm yourself with all the ways the madmen, the ghosts, and the other monsters have used to make their presence felt in the past. Use these tips to blindside your unsuspecting victim and create a haunted experience that you both can laugh about once the fear has subsided. Your challenge will be to put all the stages of the trick together in a single chain. Your friend may not notice one strange event, but if there is a number of them, they will start to wonder what’s going on. The aim of the gag is to recreate the disturbing sense of an imminent threat that often follows the protagonists of horror movies.

Your first task will be to choose a phrase you are going to use to torment your victim with. It’s best to use something short, so it’s easy to write down on any surface. The phrase should be rather general, so that the victim figures out on their own that they are being tricked. The greater the room for imagination, the more tricked your trickee will feel. The key is to guide them in the right direction.

Potential frightening phrases

  • Don’t turn around
  • Look behind you
  • Don’t turn the lights off
  • I see you
  • I am following you
  • I know what you did
  • I am playing with you
  • I’ll get you
  • Run!
  • Hide!
  • I will come at night
  • Nobody can help you 

You can choose one from our list or come up with your own phrase. Don’t be shy about using phrases from famous movies or books. You don’t need to be original; you just need to be effective.

Stage 1: A Surprise

Place the phrase where you know your friend will definitely see it, but where it isn’t immediately noticeable. For example, write the threat…on the bottom of the toilet seat! That would be a real surprise.

“Watch out!” — is the last thing you expect to see under the toilet seat. Photo: source

Tip: use easily removable highlighter or paint. First, test how easily the text can be wiped off the surface on a barely noticeable part of it. If it’s difficult to remove, you could end up having to pay a fine — and the joke will be on you instead.

Stage 2: An Emerging Threat

This is a classic trick – the old secret message on the mirror. Mix a bit of soap in warm water, dip a cotton pad in it, ring out the water, and write your phrase on the mirror. Wait for your friend to take a shower. The mirror will get all steamed up, and the message will appear. A scream from the bathroom is a sure sign that your mischief has worked.

Stage 3: A Note

Keep the trick going with a hair-raising note, especially for your victim.. To make it more surprising, make the text letters out of newspaper cut-outs. Or you can simply print out all the letters you need. If you don’t have access to a printer, you could handwrite the note but this is risky as your friend may recognize your writing. To avoid this ruining your trick, ask the hotel receptionist to get involved! You need to slip them the note surreptitiously. This is when your sneaky skills can come into play, you can’t make your friend aware that you’re the trickster! One option is to drop it in their jacket pocket. Or you could ask a waiter at a café or the hotel to bring the note along with the check. It’s more of a challenge, but it will take suspicion off of you. Ultimately, if all else fails, you can always stick the note under the hotel room door. The most important thing is for your chosen trickee to be the person who reads it, rather than the hotel cleaning lady.

“I see you” — scary, isn’t it? Photo: source

Stage 4: A Suspicious Phone Call

Remember in the scary movies where they phone up their victim and torment them? This tactic can easily be added into your trick. There are two options for making the call. The first is to phone the hotel bedroom from the lobby. The attendant will almost certainly help you make it. The second option is to call the victim’s mobile phone from the lobby. Use the hotel phone so your number doesn’t get recognized. You don’t need to go on for a whole conversation. All you have to do is say the special phrase.

Hardly anyone calls in hotel rooms. The weirder the call will be for your friend if someone suddenly calls. 

You could even take it a step further and disguise your voice to really spook your friend! There are two ways to disguise your voice.

  • The first is to record your words on your smartphone in advance, modify the recording, and play it back through the phone. The Voice Changer Plus app, for example, will help you with that. The downside is that the recording might end up muffled and too quiet. 
  • A second way is to modify your voice in real time. This time, the Call Voice Changer app is just what you’re looking for. However, in this case you will need to call them from your own smartphone, which means that you will need to hide your number so that you don’t give yourself away. 

Stage 5: An Omnipresent Threat 

You will need an accomplice for this part. It will be great if you manage to convince the hotel waiter, attendant, cleaner, porter, or another staff member to play along with you. Ask them to casually throw in the key phrase just as you and your friend pass them by. Or the waiter might walk right up to you and say, “I was asked to tell you…” It is particularly amusing when the staff member doesn’t speak your language but agrees to learn the phrase especially for the purpose of tricking! In that case, the element of surprise will make their statement sound truly ominous.

Spooking the Hotel

Once you’ve spooked your friend, they might feel inspired to do make their own tricks this Halloween! To save yourself being the victim, suggest that you both work together to play tricks on the hotel instead. Hotel staff usually love getting in the spirit of the holidays, just be sure not to go too over the top with your tricks! 

Option 1: A dead body in the bedroom

It’s really hard to find a room cleaner who will be surprised at something they find in a hotel room. They’ve seen just about everything you can imagine in their line of work. But you can still arrange a surprise for the cleaner if you leave a…“dead body” in the room.

Two gentlemen getting rest. Photo: source 

You will need to practice a bit and learn to fold the bedding the right way, or maneuver the pillows under the sheets to give the shape you need! 

But, if you are unable to find any props, and the sheets and towels simply refuse to assume the shape of a human body, there is still hope. Copy a famous police technique from crime scene investigation movies. Draw the outline of a body on the ground as though it were the scene of a crime, and then stick masking tape all around it.

Not that scary, but still might get you thinking… Photo: source 

Option 2: Hands from the great beyond

This trick requires some hard work using… err… hands. The idea is to create hands of a being from the other side and place them under the bedroom door facing into the hallway so it appears that somebody is trying to crawl out of the room.

There are two ways to create this prop. For the first option, you will need rubber gloves, cotton wool, and wire. Stuff a glove full of cotton wool, place wire in the fingers, mold it into the shape you need, and presto!

Awesome! Photo: source

For the other method, you will need a thick drinking straw, masking tape, and scissors. Attach the straw to your forearm and palm. Bend your fingers to make the hand look frightening and wrap the tape around your hand. Then cut the model along the straw outline and it will slip off your hand while retaining its shape. Use the tape to repair the cut and BOOM – it’s ready! All that left to do now is hide around the corner and await your victim.

How to make a scary hand — instructions. Picture: source

Option 3: Who’s in here?

Imagine the room cleaner is going from room to room. She knocks on your door and gets no reply. She enters the room and starts cleaning it. She makes the bed. Quietly, she turns on the light in the bathroom, goes inside and suddenly… she finds somebody waiting for her! In fact, you just hung your clothes in the shower so as to resemble a human silhouette. If you can get the timing right and show up at your room during the cleaning session, you’ll be sure to hear a scream. Make sure to end the trick promptly with smiles and apologies.

No comments. Photo: source

Option 4: A guest from a parallel universe

This trick requires preparation, but it will give you a good excuse to visit the town’s flea-markets. We are sure that you’ll be in luck and, besides from the prop, you will find lots of interesting souvenirs to boot. But first and foremost, you will need an old doll. Or rather, her head.

Cover the doll’s head (not your own head!) in glue and carefully wrap it in medical gauze. Then select a place for your “exhibit”. We recommend a mirror or the inner side of a cupboard door so that the model doesn’t immediately catch people’s eyes but, instead, suddenly appears. Fortify the doll and gauze with smooth gradients on the surface using double-sided sticky-tape. Then simply enjoy your work and the fear it evokes!.

Joke as a work of art! Hotel staff might even want to keep this art piece. Photo: source

Option 5: A pet

You don’t need to actually be staying in the hotel to do this trick. You can simply choose a hotel and walk in off the street. What’s important is that it’s a pet-friendly hotel. You and your trickster friend head up to reception and ask some questions, just like any prospective guests would. Ask questions like, are you sure we can stay here with animals? Which animals are allowed to stay here? And which animals aren’t allowed? And does the animal’s size make a difference? Is there good sound proofing? And if the animal starts to growl, will it be heard through the walls by the other guests? 

Love walking under the moon with friends? You sure they don’t have any skeletons in the closet?

After a string of similar questions, you explain your situation. The thing is your friend is a werewolf. As it happens, there will be a full moon tonight, and you are looking for a place he can stay during the transformation, because back home the neighbors complain about the constant howling and yelping. Meanwhile, your friend doesn’t take part in the conversation, but is hanging around nearby and is close enough to be seen. He spends his time scratching hard behind his ear, sniffing the air, and trying to chew a decorative plant.

It’s your choice which trick to choose, or maybe you’d like to try to pull off them all in one go. As a final thought, we want to remind you of some simple rules to follow, so that your mischief doesn’t backfire and play you instead.

  1. Don’t do anything that distracts the hotel personnel from doing their jobs: Beckoning the cleaner into the storeroom and then locking her in there is a bad idea.
  2. Don’t involve too many people in your tricks: Not everybody has the same sense of humor and not everybody wants to be playing games.
  3. Don’t overdo the trick: Don’t make the “dead body” or body parts appear overly realistic. You never know how strong the emotional state is of the person who gets the surprise.
  4. Only use materials on surfaces that won’t cause damage: Masking tape, paint, highlighters, and so on must not leave any stains. Otherwise, you will have to pay a fine, and the joke won’t be very funny anymore.
  5. Don’t leave a mess that will take ages to clean up after you: Firstly, you risk getting a fine. Secondly, you shouldn’t cause an unpleasant experience for the hotel staff.

And above all, don’t forget the tips! Remember: we are responsible for the people we tricked.

Choose a hotel for a trick.

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