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A Screamer Prank (usually referred to either as a "Screamer" or a "Prank") is a type of Jump Scare that originated on the Internet. At first, it pretends to be a game, a test, a still image, a video that is not meant to be scary, etc. Then a scary image (usually a scary face) pops up with either a scream or a Scare Chord, which is also when you realize that what you were viewing before the Jump Scare was fake all along.
These are known for utilizing Schmuck Bait to a shameless degree and one of the many reasons why one should be paranoid clicking on certain links on the internet. Also see Shock Site and Last-Note Nightmare, the latter being when a song has a creepy ending.
- "K-Fee" is a coffee beverage sold by a German company with a similar name. They have made nine different television commercials that imitate the screamers found online (they were actually shown on TV in Germany). The most popular one is the one featuring a car driving through a road, but after the car disappeared, a green zombie jumps up with a loud monstrous scream. The reason why it is more popular than the other commercials is because it was passed around the internet and was said to be a commercial that was never aired on TV because a ghostly mist would appear next to the car about halfway through the commercial. You can read about all of the K-Fee commercials on the K-Fee Wikipedia page. In 2006, there were three parody commercials released on German television to advertise a new variant of K-Fee coffee with less caffeine.
- Busch Gardens' 2011 Howl-O'-Scream TV ad is scary in and of itself, what with the creepy imagery and dark Nursery Rhyme being played in the background, but the kicker comes at the end, when the song ends ("Come play in my garden...") and a female zombie tears through the "O" and lets out a very loud scream. If you're that curious, here's the ad.
- Lady In The Water had this type of game for it's advertising campaign. If you're curious, it's here http://wwws.warnerbros.co.uk/ladyinthewater/lookinthewater/
- Upgrade Complete offers one through the Heart Rate upgrade.
- Mortal Kombat 9 has the Krypt Monster, a little fucker that can pop up every now and then when the player is in the Krypt.
- Abused to no small extent in the Arise series of Flash games, to the point that it's more tedious than actually frightening.
- "Kikia"is one of the first screamers ever made, and also the first screamer to be widely spread across the Internet and inspired some people to create similar things. Kikia's first appearance on the Internet was on the Taiwanese service Kimo. It was posted from a person with the online username Netspooky. The cartoon begins with a boy sits on a lawn looking at the sky. Two lines of Chinese text appear. "I don’t have a face....", "No eyes...", "Nothing..."! The view then changes and shows the boy walking down a city street lined with buildings. Then, another two lines of Chinese text appear. "Want to see what my face looks like?", "Now you will...!". Then, a screenshot of a ghost woman from Fatal Frame with white eyes appears, flashing a bit, along with a loud sound effect of a female screaming. This is possibly the meaning of the boy's face. After the screamer, the yellow text "Kikia" appears, on a black background.
- "What's Wrong with this Picture?" starts a rather innocent photo of a dining room. This is actually a flash file, but because of its early appearance, many viewers had little or no knowledge of flash. After about 30 seconds staring into the picture, a black and white picture of a woman with large black eyes, a wide open mouth and her hands on her face briefly appears, accompanied by a scream, witch sounds a bit like The Wilhelm Scream. The animation then repeats. Being reuploaded on multiple websites like YouTube, this animation has gained many views. Screamers of this kind became more and more popular as they began to circulate on the Internet. A few more examples of this are What's Wrong With This Picture? and Zoeken.
- "Good Intentions" is a flash screamer. It pretends to be just a slide show of very pretty, peaceful photos (to the tune of R.E.M.'s Shiny Happy People) but, after a while, a photo will come very slowly and all of a sudden his eyes turn extremely huge (like Kim Goodman and Antonio Francis' eyes) and makes a fish mouth, and two Fatal Frame images of the ghost woman (one of them from Kikia) (see above) covers it, with a very distorted scream. It's not over yet, because after this it starts doing the complete opposite, showing scary and unpleasant pictures of murders, monsters, infauspicious people, and more, and appears to be over, but after a short time, will scream again.
- "Subliminal Music and Images" is often considered to be the scariest screamer on the internet. It has been distributed to many websites since 2002. After loading, an advertisement for gin is shown. After a few seconds, part of the image is highlighted and the word "SEX" is visible. An image for a flooring company appears, with a woman appearing to be touching her shoulder. The image is then flipped, so it appears the woman is masturbating herself. Then a song, Cradle of Filth's "Dinner at Deviant Palace" begins to play backward. The Lord's Prayer is heard along with faint noises. In the middle of the prayer, a loud scream is heard, along with a flurry of pictures; the first one is a demon face from the 1985 Italian movie Demoni (italian for "Demons"), then Pazuzu's face from the 1973 movie The Exorcist, then a gray-scale image from a face of a woman's corpse from Rotten.com (don't go to that site, it's a Shock Site), and then a harlequin fetus (don't look that up either), and then a gray-scale image of a mummy without wrappings. It ends with a message, "Never trust strange flash documents/videos talking about subliminal stuff!" with metal music playing in the background.
- Anne.jpg (also known as Go To Sleep) is a screamer webpage designed to be sent to people as a prank, similar to Shafou.com. As soon as you click on the link, a negative flashing picture of Jeff the Killer accompanied with a loud screech appears, along with the text: This site have been visited 27297239 times (depending how many times it has been visited) along with FACEBOOK below and then below This site will not harm your computer and doesn't contains malware! It was created in February of 2013, and has since been viewed more than 20 million times as of December, 2015. NOTE: We didn't have the link here because this website is dangerous for people who have epilepsy.
- Shafou.com is a screamer website, similar to Anne.jpg. When you click on the link, it shortly flashes the text "www.shafou.com". Then, the website shows a picture of Regan from The Exorcist with the same scream from The Maze. After that, the website restarts.
- Ghost In The London Dungeon is an advert for the London Dungeon made in 2006. It starts off with the following text: The footage you are about to see is absolutely genuine and was captured by CCTV cameras at the The London Dungeon. Look very closely and you will see a mysterious ghostly figure. The video has been thoroughly analysed by experts but they have so far offered no explanation as to what it is. In the next scene, there are two fuzzy separate security camera images with the words "MAIN EXT JACK ENT" on the left and "PRIS DR" on the right. The time stamp 05:59:50 and the date 20-11-04 are displayed at the bottom. The image goes fuzzy for a moment and the time advances to 10:09:43. You can also see, what appears to be, a janitor holding a broom walk out of range of the camera on the left. After about 34 seconds into the video, a old lady, with white hair, black teeth and wearing rags, jumps up, her face filling the screen, and yells "YEAAAH!". She stays like that for a while, staring at the camera with her mouth wide open. After a brief pause, she seems to faint, and descends into oblivion. The following text then reads "Did you spot it?"
- Inciswf.com/cute.swf is a screamer website created by SparcTec. It shows a picture of a cute cat, but after about 7 seconds it shows a picture of the face from What's Wrong? in yellow along with a unloud scream, who is also the same scream when Sonic.exe kills Tails & Knuckles in the game Sonic.exe. The website then restarts, just like Shafou.com. It is designed to be sent as a prank.
- 100 Scary Screamers is a screamer publicated on YouTube in 19 May 2012. It starts with a red text written 100 scary screamers, but at 5 seconds, a picture of Kayako Saeki's ghost from The Grudge pops up along with a loud scream that loops 4 times (The "Death" sound effect from Sound Bible, also used as Tails's scream at Sonic2.exe at the end of the game). Then when the screamer ends, the video says that the screamers are in the video description, however the description has only 40 screamer links.
- SCP-450 is a unique YouTube screamer that despite its name, has nothing to do with the SCP Foundation's website or information. The original video was uploaded on December 4th, 2010 by Andreyj857. It had over 140,000 views as of November 2014. The video is now private, but there are still some copies of it. This video begins with a warning message that the materials in the video may damage one's health and to watch at your own risk. After that message, a dark-brown hallway (with the end invisible by darkness) is shown with eerie music playing in the background. At 0:50, a picture of a cat accompanied by a meow pops up and afterwards the credits start. The following line is shown: THANKS FOR WATCHING! Prepare to **** bricks >;3. Immediately after this line appears from the bottom, a flurry of well-known screamer faces, like Regan MacNeil, the Tic-Tac-Toe zombie, the Sajjad Ali banshee, Pazuzu, the face from What's Wrong?, Katie Embry, the Fatal Frame image from Kikia, and Smile Dog, pop up and zoom to the viewer in a fast slide show fashion with accompanying screams. The screen then becomes black. One second later, the face of Jeff the Killer comes up while the song I Shot The Sheriff by Bob Marley plays. Again, after Marley said I Shot The Sheriff, Regan MacNeil pops up again with yet another scream, witch is the same scream from The Maze, while the face zooms up and seemingly "headbutts" the screen. After that the video ends.
- "The Maze" , also known as the "Scary Maze", is a Flash game created in 2004. It was made by game developer Jeremy Winterrowd. It's a famous screamer that gets the user's attention by presenting a game where the challenge is to get to the red area with your cursor while not touching the walls. Usually, there is note saying that few people have completed the game to intrigue you further. There are three levels in all, and after one finishes the 3rd level, Regan MacNeil from The Exorcist appears on the screen and lets out a blood-curdling scream, and if you touch the wall near the end of level 3 where the level gets progressively thin, it will still surprise you. To cheat, hold down the mouse and drag it to the red area. The game was uploaded in 2005 on Jeremy's website, Winterrowd.com. The original version of the game had some slight differences in color, the color of the maze was orange instead of turquoise. There is also another version shown on America's Funniest Home Videos that changes the Exorcist girl to the pic that was used in "What's Wrong with this Picture?", most likely for licensing reasons. The scream is also changed to the one in "What's Wrong with this Picture?".
- "Steady Hand 2" (this one's in Japanese) is another screamer that plays similar to the maze. The "game's" objective is to go to the "goal" without touching the wall. The first level operates entirely as a normal game, and will result in a game over if lost. However, on the second level, always at the same place on the course (3/4 of the way through), a black and white portrait of a deformed person will zoom in and out on a red background with a long scream.
- Disappearing Boat is a screamer published on Jeremy Winterrowd's website. The footage is the video in the video UNDERWATER NUKE! published by itiseasytofindaname in 4 October 2009. It starts by showing a ship floating on the water. An explosion occurs underwater in the background, and a massive wave is created. Near the end, as the boat is beginning to get submerged by the water, the old lady from the Ghost In The London Dungeon video pops up screaming "YEAAAH!" and falls down.
- "Where's Waldo" is a flash screamer made in 2002. It is inspired by a series of books, Where's Waldo. It starts you with a realistic Where's Waldo comic, asking you to find the Waldo, with the circus music playing, until it then fades to silence. Then after 24 seconds of no music, Pazuzu's face from The Exorcist pops up with a loud scream, before turning back to the crowd. This does not repeat.
- There is also an alternative version of this screamer which has the pic used in "What's Wrong with this Picture" but with lights in the eye sockets, and the screen also flashes white during the Jump Scare in this version, along with a different scream. It ends with a message, Hope we did not scare you to bad, with a tongue sticking out Smiley Face. Also, the music is different because it uses another circus music but this time with no silence.
- Note that Waldo was nowhere in the scene, but Odlaw and Wenda were both in it.
- "Chris the Jack O Latern" is a crudely animated Halloween cartoon featuring a sad jack-o-lantern, who says "Hi kids, my name is Chris. You guys know what Sunday is? Yeah, that's right, Sunday is Halloween, and that makes me upset. You know why it makes me upset?" He pauses until you click the screen, then he says, "Yeah, because Sunday is the day that..." then a rather scary smiling ghost face with a deafening high pitched scream appears. Chris' comments date this prank to 2004 (as Halloween fell on a Sunday that year).
- There were also 2 sequel episodes, at the end of episode two, there was a menu where you could select to either to go back to Albino Blacksheep's main site, replay the video, or go to the creator's website. However, moving the mouse over any of them brings up a picture with the same scream used in the first CTJ. Moving the mouse over "Back to ABS" makes the ghost used in the first CTJ pop up, moving it over "Replay" makes a greyscale cloaked man pop up, moving it over "Website" makes a picture of the creator pop up (as a joke). None of the buttons actually work. Episode three was the only episode to have no real screamer part. In the middle, there was a quick appearance of the ghost from the first one (with no scream).
- "Jingle Bells Reversed" plays an excerpt of Jingle Bells, then plays it backwards. During the 3/4 mark of the reverse excerpt, heavy breathing is heard and a negative image of a man (possibly Jeremy Winterrowd) screaming suddenly pops up with a loud scream that vibrates/echoes afterwards. The words "Hmm... It sounds slightly different in reverse. Hidden message? Who knows? I'm a bastard? Yes." appear at the end.
- "The Fact About Sajjad Ali" uses soothing music from a Pakistani pop singer Sajjad Ali. Text appears over a picture of Stonehenge describing the song played in the flash, "Paniyon Mein", followed by some Romanized Hindi. A Banshee with glowing eyes suddenly zooms out to a scream, covering the Stonehenge picture. The scream is the same as "What's Wrong With The Picture".
- Follow the Red Dot is a YouTube video uploaded by user RicciAika on March 29th, 2007. It starts with the words Huthsweg Productions prasentiert Verfolge den roten Punkt! which translates to "Huthsweg Productions presents Follow the red Dot!" Then, a red dot is shown moving across a white maze, like the title, which tells you to follow the dot. As it reaches the end of the first maze, another maze comes out and the dot continues to move forward. Just before the dot reaches the end of the section, a close-up picture of Katie Embry from the movie The Ringappears with a loud scream until the end of the video. There ist an alternative version in spanish which is slightly different. The face is Regan MacNeil from the movie The Exorcist with a loud scream.
- "Zoeken" is a Dutch prank made in 2004 by Frits & Stefan Vos. "Zoeken" is a Dutch word for "search". It asks you to find the three differences between two pictures. Actually, these pictures are identical, so there are no differences at all. After a short while (after about 15 seconds), a picture of Amy Peterson from the movie Fright Night (uses the same image and scream as the shock item as the "Jessica Alba Nude" screamer) suddenly appears, zooming in and out a few times over a roar (same as in "Steady Hand 2"), before heading to the end portion with a picture of SpongeBob SquarePants thumbing up and winking and the sound of SpongeBob laughing.
- "Swearing Baby" shows a video of a baby sleeping, then the baby opens its mouth, but a few seconds after that, it turns blue, it's head grows giant, his eyeballs are missing, looking him like a alien, and lets out a high pitched distorted scream before turning back to normal.
- Jessica Alba Naked is a Flash prank made by Jeremy Winterrowd. When you click on the link, a naked picture of Jessica Alba appears, but not the whole picture is shown because the picture has a fake loading effect. Just before the picture loads her breasts, a picture of Amy Peterson from Fright Night zooms in and out and screams. This screamer is the same image and scream used in Zoeken, but except the zooming and out looks smaller.
- "Little Dancing Girl" is a video of a young girl dancing down a hallway, but after the girl is gone from the screen, a woman as a red demon jumps up with a powerful scream. Another scary thing about the screamer is actually the TV on the right which just has constant static.
- "Escape The Spooky Room" is a prank that shows a picture of a rather poorly drawn room, in which you're supposed to find a way out of (like a game called The Crimson Room). However, clicking on anything has no effect at all and, after about half a minute, a creepy shadow is shown moving across the floor. Upon waiting a few more seconds, a rather scary picture of a deformed person's face leaps onto the screen, accompanied by a woman screaming.
- "Ghost Chair" is a video that shows a room with a rocking chair, a television, a couch, and a bunch of toys. After a while, the chair starts rocking on its own, then Regan MacNeil quickly crawls up to the camera with the rest of her body black a few seconds later with a distorted and echoy scream.
- There is also another version on szworld.net which at the end, a white mask of a distorted face with long hair and pupilless eyes comes up instead of the Exorcist girl.
- "Clock Crew Quiz" pretends to be a test which involves a series of questions, all of which gives the following choices: "Strawberry Clock," "Josh Bedn," "Tom Fulp," or "George Bush." First Question: Who is king of the Portal? Answer: Strawberry Clock. Second Question: Who was the first clock? Answer: Strawberry Clock. Third Question: Who is from Canada? Immediately after the question is revealed, an image of a distorted woman's face will appear with a scream. The Clock Crew of the title is a reference to a group of people who make Macromedia Flash animations on Newgrounds (where this prank is hosted), with "Strawberry Clock" referring to the person who started it all.
- "Meaning of Life 2006" is a Newgrounds animation that states it is a serious Flash and apologizes for a quiet music rip. It appears to be a rather substandard Flash presentation talking philosophically about the meaning of life. After several frames, an animated picture of a woman's skull (it still has long hair and one eye) that's boiling in a gorey goo-like substance appears accompanied with a continuously looping scream.
- "3D Practice" is a Newgrounds animation that shows a few 3D animations. at the end, a hideous face which is a bloody green zombie face pops up with a horrifying scream, despite it being rated suitable for everyone (most likely on purpose to trap to some viewers).
- "Watch This While High" is a prank spread across YouTube for people that are drunk and/or high. It starts of with a sun smiling, and then shows random pictures from the TV show "SpongeBob Square Pants". At the end of the video, a flurry of disturbing art pops up with a roar.
- "Hot Blond in Tanning Bed" is an infamous, no scream Youtube prank. It shows a pretty 18 year old getting ready to tan (stripping down to a bikini, putting on tanning lotion, etc.). Then she turns on the tanning bed. She then sits on the edge of the tanning bed and puts tanning lotion on her leg, but then the top lid of the tanning bed closes quickly (kind of like a Venus flytrap) and distorts her body, but with no blood. It cuts off to a message saying "Tanning can kill you". Finally, it goes back to the video and electric sparks come out of the tanning bed.
- This was referenced in Bionicle Heroes with the Piraka Sun Lounger, except with a lawn chair.
- Speaking of, wasn't there a Piraka Connect-the-Dots game you could download on the Piraka website? It told you to turn up the volume. There were no numbered dots and if you got it wrong a number of times a Piraka (or other picture) would appear and flash at you until it showed the Piraka logo. Not to mention this was for KIDS.
- This was referenced in Bionicle Heroes with the Piraka Sun Lounger, except with a lawn chair.
- "Freaky Picture" is not a video or a flash file, it is an animated GIF. A normal messy room is shown, and the instructions tell you to watch closely at the blue sack hanged on the door for about one minute, the time to figure out what's wrong on this room. After 60 seconds a picture of a blurred lady ghost appears from the door toward you before disappearing really fast. No scream but the sudden appearance is quite (hence the title) freaky.
- All five Luna Games (a series of Creepypasta fangames) contain screamers. However, the first and fourth ones are tame especially compared to the second and third ones (The fourth one has alot more actual game-play). The screamer in the full version of the fifth game (titled "Luna Game 0") only pops up if you try to restart the game.
Web Original Parodies
- "Not Scary" shows a picture of a room, then it shows a picture of a face drawn on MS Paint with a guy going "Boogity boogity boogity boo". Then it switches between the room and the MS Paint face for a while until the guys face says "Alright, I'm done. You can go away now". Then he says one last "Boogity boogity boogity!" with the face.
- Played for Laughs in The Angry Video Game Nerd's review of Nintendo Power. We first see a long, quiet shot of the Nerd's room with a few magazines piled up on the floor before the Nerd suddenly jumps into the screen and yells "ASS!"