Prank culture has come a long way from the days of prank calls, Candid Camera, and Punk’d. YouTube prank videos have become massively popular, with hijinks ranging from the mild to the malicious filling our news feeds, generating millions of views, and even leading to the occasional arrest. High-profile prank channels such as PrankvsPrank and RomanAtwood reach ten million followers with every video, and in the fall of 2016, prank culture gave rise to hundreds of creepy clown sightings across the U.S.
And the popularity of pranks clearly isn’t restricted to the states: This week in central Germany, a man woke up and tried to leave his house, only to discover a solid brick wall built into his front doorway.
The unidentified pranksters bricked in the man’s door overnight while he slept, apparently quietly as neither the homeowner nor his neighbors noticed anything unusual during the night.
The motives behind the prank aren’t clear, but local Mainhausen authorities believe multiple perpetrators were involved due to how quickly the wall was constructed. One police spokesman commented:
“It reminded me of the Berlin Wall. That went up pretty quickly, too. But it’s a crime and no joke.”
Bricking up doors apparently has some popularity in Germany: In 2015, a subway in Hamburg ran its route for an hour before the driver noticed one of the train’s doors had been bricked up with concrete blocks, and in 2016 a German landlady with a bone to pick bricked up a tenant’s front door while they slept, leaving behind a note suggesting the elderly tenants climb out a window or the cellar door if they cared to leave.
While YouTube pranksters are known for crafting elaborate social experiment pranks, we think they could learn a thing or two about schadenfreude from this simple, yet effective prank.