Click to play our newest game, yahtzee!


How to Scare Someone Out of Their Sleep

It's hard to resist scaring someone who is sleeping soundly.
Illustration by Ryn Gargulinski

The joy of someone sleeping soundly is a gorgeous sight to behold, especially if you know you are about the shatter that slumber with a terrorizing trick. You can scare someone out of their sleep using a variety of methods, but a few outlined below are pretty much foolproof. Several simple steps and soft, mushy pillow are all you need to scare someone out of their sleep.

Find your victim. The person you choose should be sleeping soundly, preferably by themselves. If another person is also asleep nearby, get that person out of the room so they don’t ruin the whole thing. If there are dogs or cats on the bed, try to get the animals to leave so they don’t bite you while you go about scaring the person out of their sleep.

Sneak up to the side of the bed, couch or wherever the person is sleeping with a soft, large pillow grasped in both your hands.

Quickly smash the pillow over the person’s face—firmly but not hard enough to suffocate him—and shake it like an earthquake is hitting their head.

Lift up the pillow once the person starts screaming, moaning, gargling or gasping for air. Their face should be filled with terror as you whip off the pillow to look them in the eye.

Use an alternative method. If the pillow smothering doesn’t suit you, other ways to scare someone out of their sleep is to hide beneath the bed or sneak up to the bottom of it while they are slumbering. You can either start banging from the bottom of the bed if you happen to be underneath or, keeping out of sight at the foot of the bed, grab at the person’s ankles and start pulling. You can use a damp sponge to dribble water on their ankles, as well, so they thing the thing grasping their feet is either slimy or making them bleed.


Good times to scare someone out of their sleep are April Fool's Day, Halloween, Christmas morning or the person's birthday. Bad times to scare someone out of their sleep are mornings on which the person has a grand job interview or has to drive you somewhere. Instead of grabbing at the person’s ankles, you can also grab at their wrists or any limbs that are hanging off the mattress or couch. If you are going to creep beneath a bed, make sure its underside is devoid of shoes, dust bunnies, sharp objects and other clutter. Also make sure the bed is steady and not prone to fall off its frame and smash you.


  • Don’t smash the pillow too hard or too long for fear of smothering the person to death.
Our Passtimes