‘Scary Snowman’ Returns to Cambridge to ‘Terrorize’ Pedestrians for the Holidays
Jason Lichtenberger likes to spread Christmas fear. But he also just enjoys making people laugh.
For the second year in a row, Lichtenberger returned to the Boston area to “terrorize” pedestrians walking down the street with his oversized “Scary Snowman” suit, a costume designed by Lichtenberger’s uncle in 2011 that he uses to frighten unaware passersby by lunging at them unexpectedly.
“It’s a rush,” said Lichtenberger of the annual prank, which gained Internet fame three years ago after he posted a video of himself and his prankster-partner, Brian Medeiros, Jr., scaring people on Thayer Street in Providence, Rhode Island.
On Saturday, Lichtenberger and Medeiros set up the Scary Snowman in Cambridge’s bustling Harvard Square, where shoppers and students crowded the sidewalks.
As shown in the three-minute video—it’s a “Christmas Special”—posted by the pair, dozens of people fell victim to the angry-looking snowman that they plopped down in front of J.P Licks.
The reactions in the video vary: some people jump, some make strange guttural noises, and others swear at the snowman before they start laughing.
“I’ve seen it all,” said Lichtenberger, who recalled the time in New Jersey, on the boardwalk, when a “muscle head” leveled Medeiros with a punch. “Nothing surprises me anymore.”
While some reactions have been violent in the past, Lichtenberger said coming to the Boston area is enjoyable, because the people they prey on are always jovial in the end.
“People in Boston, they have a great sense of humor. Everybody, they get scared at first and then laugh at themselves. They realize how silly it is. Boston has a great sense of humor,” said Lichtenberger.
He said his favorite reaction is when people talk to the Scary Snowman. “I like it when people stand around and have a conversation with him. It’s that type of interaction that makes me laugh.”
Lichtenberger and Medeiros do the prank free of charge, and offered to stand in front of any businesses interested in taking part in spreading the Christmas fear.