CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- If we lived in a neighborhood that attracted more than a half-dozen trick-or-treaters, I expect I'd be one of those who spend the evening pretending to be a porch scarecrow with a bowl of candy on its lap.
I love clever costumes and Halloween pranks, and it was while searching for inspiration online that I found my new hero, Kurt Roedeger, 29, of Douglassville, Pa.
After reading about Kurt's prizewinning Halloween prank on Zug.com, I contacted Kurt to find out how his story ended and to ask permission to share a condensed version of his inspiring hoax.
Kurt said his family members generally make up his front line of prank victims, but they're also the first he stands up to protect when he feels they've been wronged. "I believe in the escalation of war," says Kurt. "You shoot one of my soldiers, I level one of your cities."
And so, when Kurt's younger brother, who is now 26, began working for an obnoxious and self-absorbed man we'll call Bob, it wasn't long before Bob's mistreatment was bad enough that Kurt decided it was time for some creative brotherly intervention.
To Kurt's advantage, his brother's boss lived a fairly short distance away, on the other side of some woods. Also to Kurt's advantage was that their local newspaper had a recurring feature about haunted houses and businesses in the area.
Kurt decided it would be fun to convince Bob that his house had been built on Indian burial grounds. To plant that seed, he called Bob, claiming to be from the newspaper, saying he was working on a story about local haunted places and asking if he could stop by.
"I went to his house with aerial maps of his property, beat-up copies of USGS maps (they're online for the entire country), and forged copies of an old survey showing a settlement with the area near his house marked as 'ceremonial,'" wrote Kurt, who gave Bob a brief history of a made-up Indian tribe called the Picardatee, a name inspired by "Star Trek."
Kurt used the name of a person who had recently left the paper, in case Bob called to ask about the story ("Sorry, Tom doesn't work here anymore"), and then left things alone for a while, allowing the seed to germinate in Bob's head.