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Elevator prank viral video: Scary? Funny? Would you sue?

November 28, 2012|By Deborah Netburn

Is scaring the living daylights out of someone hilarious or mean? You decide.

Last week, the Brazilian hidden camera show "Programa Silvio Santos" aired clips of people screaming in terror at a ghostly girl in a broken elevator. The video was posted to YouTube, where it already has more than 7 million views and rising. Gawker, and several other news sources, have referred to it as possibly the scariest prank ever.

The poor unsuspecting subjects enter an office building and are directed to the elevators by a friendly woman at the front desk. Hidden cameras catch them adjusting their clothes and checking their makeup in the elevator's mirrored walls. Then the lights flicker out and the power appears to go out. 

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That may be scary enough for anyone who suffers from claustrophobia, but it gets worse. During the fake power outage, a ghostly little girl climbs out of a secret door in the elevator. When the lights flicker back on, it's like she came out of nowhere. Most of the people in the video stare at her in terror, or start screaming. Then she turns to them and lets out a scream.

The people are obviously terrified, but a laugh track playing over the whole thing indicates that we are supposed to find their terror hilarious. I will admit that I found myself laughing each time the riders freaked out, but I'm not sure why.

This is not the first time a hidden camera prank has gone viral. In October, LG created an elevator floor out of computer monitors. When someone got on the elevator, the monitors made it look like the elevator floor was collapsing underneath the person's feet. Hidden cameras caught it all, and the video has received more than 15 million views. 

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