Dummy run! Neighbor dashes over to rescue man dangling from the guttering after a Christmas lights disaster – only to discover it’s a prank
A prankster used Christmas decorations to trick his neighbors into thinking a person had toppled off a ladder while hanging up lights and was left clinging onto the gutter.
Rich Ferguson, 51, put up half the Christmas lights at his house in Colorado and then hung a mannequin off the gutter to make it look like someone had toppled off a ladder while putting up the decorations.
He left the ladder next to the dummy, which was made to look as though it was gripping onto the pipe with its hands, and set up hidden cameras to record how his neighbors reacted when they saw what they thought was a person in need of help hanging from the front of the house.
A woman was filmed rushing over to assist the dummy before realizing she had been pranked.
Rich Ferguson, 51, put up half the Christmas lights at his house in Colorado and then hung a mannequin from the gutter to make it look like someone had toppled off a ladder while putting up the decorations
Mr Ferguson used a hidden camera to film a woman rushing over to assist what she thinks is a person in need of help after falling from a ladder
In his video, Mr Ferguson shows the outside of the house and explains how the prank will work.
He says: ‘This is freaking hilarious. So I have this dummy who was stringing up some lights and after a few feet the ladder fell down and so now he’s just hanging here by his arms.’
Mr Ferguson shows a hidden camera positioned on the roof, and another on the grass in front of the house, and says: ‘We’re going to see if we can capture the reactions of some passers-by.’
The video then cuts to the camera on the roof as it shows a dog walker, dressed in a maroon jumper and black trousers, as she rushes over to help.
She moves the ladder towards the mannequin before realizing she has been caught out by the prankster.
She can be heard swearing before running away from the house.
Mr Ferguson posted the video onto his TikTok page where it has been viewed almost 15 million times.
Mr Ferguson made it look like the mannequin was clinging onto the house guttering after falling from a ladder that toppled over
He also left a ladder toppled over next to the mannequin which is approximately four feet off the ground
He has also used his account @officialrichferguson to share other videos of people reacting to the startling decoration.
One shows two children approaching the mannequin, while another is of a man who pulls up in his car and positions the ladder into a position so the stricken dummy can climb down.
The prank was met with a mixed reaction, with some users calling it ‘hilarious’ while others felt it was cruel.
TikTok user Jessica said: ‘I had to watch this 10 times. I think it’s very funny. A lot of people lost their humor during the pandemic along with their taste…’
But another user, Kaitlin Lillywhite, said: ‘As a healthcare provider in a hospital, I’ve seen so many people with permanent paralysis from ladder falls. Let’s just…not do this.’
After receiving negative reactions from ‘so many people’ who suggested the mannequin was ‘hung by some Christmas lights’, Mr Ferguson posted another video to explain that it was ‘just a four foot tall mannequin hanging from the gutter because he started stringing up some lights and the ladder fell over’.
He added: ‘Quite a pointed gag. Therefore I don’t have to put lights up on my whole house because, well, this accident.
‘Super simple idea guys, relax.’
He captioned the video: ‘Just to be abundantly clear what’s going on with this hilarious holiday decoration idea, it’s hanging by its hands. Chill.’