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Dead Man’s Guts

Materials Needed

For "A Post Mortem Hallowe'en"
  • Copy of "A Hallowe'en Post Mortem" (here)
  • A head of cauliflower/broccoli or sponge strips tied together (a Brain)
  • A piece of corn silk or piece of fur (for hair)
  • A dried peach or apricot (an ear)
  • Kernels of dried corn (for teeth)
  • A boiled & cooled manicotti shell (for a windpipe)
  • A rubber glove, filled with wet sand or wet oatmeal (a severed hand)
  • Skinned Grapes (for eyeballs)
  • 12 Empty thread spools strung together on a string (a spine)
  • Small piece of chain
  • Materials Needed

    For "Poor Joe"
  • Copy of "Poor Joe" (here)
  • A rubber glove, filled with wet sand or wet oatmeal (a severed hand)
  • 10 Small carrots (for toes)
  • A Wig
  • A head of cauliflower/broccoli or sponge strips tied together (a Brain)
  • A dried peach or apricot (an ear)
  • Skinned Grapes (for eyeballs)
  • A quarter red pepper, or raw hot dog cut in half lengthwise (for a tongue)
  • A peeled tomato (for a heart)
  • This is one of the ickiest…. and funniest…. of all Halloween storytelling pranks. Nothing makes people squirm more than a gross and gory Halloween tale, unless they have to actually touch the gross and gory stuff, too. Make your guests scream with horror and delight with guts made of moist Sponges, macaroni, and more.


    This will require a bit of pre-planning to get all the “guts” together, but shouldn’t take too long. Choose your story, either Charles F. Smith’s circa-1930s “A Hallowe’en Post Mortem,” which he wrote for the Boy Scouts (this is a great story to use as it was created for this type of prank) or the story “Poor Joe” (another good choice). Since the items for both stories are the basically the same you could also do both. Place each item for the story in a bowl or a small craft box large enough so the guest can reach inside and feel the item.

    Seat your guests in a darkened room. The room should be very dark, so using a flashlight to read the story will be helpful, as well as add to the eerie atmosphere. For older kids you can have the guests all be blindfolded instead, this will usually make it a bit more exciting for them.

    Have each person sit around a table or in a circle so the “guts” can be passed easily from one to the other. When everyone is in place have the narrator start the story, speaking in a quiet, spooky tone as they read. As each verse is told have the storyteller pause and pass around the associated “remains” so that each guest can touch and feel them. When everyone has had a turn move on to the next verse.

    You can add additional “remains” at the end of the tale if you like, or expand your story to include other “organs.” Try using cold, cooked spaghetti for more guts; or shriveled and dried carrots for old fingers. After you read the original story pass the extras to your guests and have them try to guess which “body part” it is.

    This is one storytelling your guests will really get a kick out of, and even the bravest of the bunch will squeal once or twice!


    1. Make sure the room is dark room and use a flashlight to read. Holding the flashlight under your chin while the kids pass around the bowls makes for a very creepy room.
    2. Have a helper. Someone to hand you the right bowls at each part will make things much easier.
    3. Adding creepy sound effects in the background while reading can greatly increase the excitement. Add them if possible.
    5. Unless it’s a “family project” keep the story and food from your own kids. The secret will pay off when they can enjoy the story as much as their friends.
    6. Do a “Dry run” with your story and your helper. A quick practice run will help things go smoother when the actual party starts.

    Click Here to Download a Copy of “A Hallowe’en Post Mortem” to Read at Your Party!

    Click Here to Download a Copy of “Poor Joe” to Read at Your Party!