Polystyrene Scream

We can’t always explain how this world works or what forces are at work behind the scenes. Here’s how to tap into mysterious energy with nothing but a polystyrene cup.

Guide lines
Ready, Steady, Go!

This works best sitting directly in front of a person or people, so they see your skills from the front and not the side. Engage the power of storytelling.


Did you feel that? Like there was some invisible presence in the room. Did you also feel it?

Look around the room as if you’re trying to locate it.

Lend me your ears

Gently and quietly push your thumb into the base area of the polystyrene cup. Obviously first make sure there’s no liquid in it.


I hope it’s just Casper the friendly ghost.

They’ll now be looking at you.

Seal the Deal and Reveal

With your thumb in the back of the cup, spread your other fingers as if you’re not holding the cup and try to make it look like it’s levitating, gently hovering it up into the air.


It’s flowing through me… are you seeing this?

Levitate the cup towards them a few times, looking a little freaked out. Then, slowly, reveal the source behind the illusion: your thumb.

Pro Tip: For maximum effect, practice in front of the mirror beforehand to get your levitation effect looking good.

Some extra lines you can try

  • I think we just had a spiritual moment together.
  • We could all use a cuppa ghostly brew in the morning.
  • Don’t try this with the coffee urn, you’ll need massive thumbs.
Alternative ending

For the added cost of a paperclip, you’ll get an even better hovering effect. Wrap the paperclip around your thumb and push the paperclip into the cup for extra ghostliness.

Anticipated responses and retorts

What else can you float?

I can float your boat.

Does your cup runneth over?

Funny! My cup is cool by the pool.
Good follow ups
When & where
When to use it
  • When you want to get people excited.
  • When you need to get people involved.
  • When you want to have some fun.
Where to use it
  • the canteen
  • team building events
  • in a restaurant
  • socializing at the bar
Getting ready
Items required
  • A polystyrene cup
  • Make sure the cup is empty and not cracked or damaged.
Training required
  • Practice a few times in front of a mirror and you will be a master.
Watch out (potential unexpected effects)
  • You may spook a few folk.

type type

Do It Yourself (DIY)

material material

a polystyrene cup

size size

cup size

durability durability

you will need a new cup every time you want to do this

source source

the camp fire

time to impact time to impact

pretty much there and then

size of audience size of audience

one-on-one or in a group

possible health risk possible health risk

a few people may get scared, if it is very late at night

reusable how many times you can use it

just once is probably best

training needed training needed

practice once or twice in front of a mirror

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