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Internet Screamers, also known as Jumpscares, are practical jokes that are meant to scare the viewer by abruptly flashing a disturbing image or playing a loud, frightening noise. Screamers are often used as a bait and switch type of trolling in online forums.
The earliest known screamer Kikia began circulating on the Taiwanese web in 2003, which features a poorly drawn boy sitting in a field and walking in a market place before the screen turns white and a frightening face from the video game Fatal Frame II is abruptly flashed on the screen (shown below).
Also in 2003, the Scary Maze Game was released online by developer Jeremy Winterrowd. Upon completion of the flash game’s third level, the player is greeted by a large picture of the character Regan McNeil (played by Linda Blair) in the 1973 horror film The Exorcist.
In July 2005, the German beverage company K-Fee released a commercial known as “Ghost Car” in which a zombie abruptly pops up on the screen during peaceful footage of a car driving through an idyllic scene (shown below).
In 2011, the South Korean horror webcomic The Bong-Chon Dong Ghost was released, which contained a jump scarein two parts of the comic. In February 2013, the flash Anne.jpg was released on the website Akk.li intended to fool users with a fake filename hyperlink. Instead of a static image, the site instantly pops-up and flashes with an image of the creepypasta character Jeff The Killer along with a loud scream.
Scary prank reactions are video recordings of people tricked into viewing an Internet screamer.