We all grew up watching Home Alone and that crafty little Culkin kid outsmarting Joe Pesci and the tall guy. We laughed and thought how cool it would be if we could do that. Now we’re adults — even though we may not act like it — and we realize how important protecting the place we live in truly is. But heating up door knobs with blow torches isn’t really the practical route. What we really need are alarm systems and body guards. And those two things can be pretty expensive. Luckily, there are some simple booby traps you can place in your house to instantly scare away would be burglars, stalkers, or relatives. With a trip to the hardware store and a little elbow grease, your apartment will be as safe as Fort Knox — because no one wants to breech the apartment of someone who would do these things.
You remember fly paper, right? That uber-sticky tape that hung from the ceiling and attracted flies that would then get caught in it and eventually starve to death. The stuff is incredibly sticky and almost impossible to get off of you. Perfect for bobbie trapping your place.
What you Need: Several rolls of fly paper from you local hardware store (yes, they still sell it); String; Nails.
How to Build it: Tie one end of the string to the front door knob (door shut) and cut off the rest of the string at about five and a half feet. Then you put two nails in the ceiling — one about a foot from the door and another about five feet from it. Loop the string around the first nail. Unroll the fly paper (you need about ten rolls to do this effectively) and tie the end of the remaining string around the tops of them…this will take a little bit of time because of the stickiness. Then loosely loop the end of the sting (tied to the fly paper) around the final nail.
How it Works: When the door opens, the string will tighten and pull away from the nail holding the fly paper. The sticky paper will fly downward and smack the person in the face and torso — held at that height by the first nail the string is looped around.
These are the little gadgets that you can attach to your door and when opened, a pin is pulled and a very annoying siren goes off. Like, really annoying. You can also get the keychain version that a lot of chicks buy for when they are walking to their car in a dark parking lot.
What you Need: Buy the sirens at a hardware store, either the ones made for doors and windows or the keychain versions; Nails or Screws.
How to Build it: This is a pretty simple one. You attach the body of the siren to the door (on the inside) or to the wall beside the window you are wanting to secure. The other piece — ‘the pin’ chain’ — is then attached to the window frame or the top of the door frame.
How it Works: When the door or window is opened, the pin will pull from the main housing of the siren and will cause the World’s Most Annoying Sound to come out. You can put these all over your apartment and we guarantee the intruder won’t get past the first two.
Marbles on the Floor
Nothing makes a person bite it hard like a bunch of marbles on the ground. Unless you have a bunch of banana peels instead. This booby trap is designed to make someone hit the floor. Quickly and hard.
What you Need: Several containers of marbles — can be purchased at most toy stores; Bucket (at least two gallons); String.
How to Build it: Put all the marbles in the bucket. Tie the string around the door knob (door closed) and tie the remaining length of string around the handle of the bucket. Place the bucket on an end table right beside the door, or just leave it setting on the floor. Make sure the rope is taught.
How it Works: The door opens and the string pulls tight against the bucket handle. The bucket will tilt and dump all the marbles on the floor in front of the door. Good luck walking on those.
This is a classic in the booby trapping world. While most people think of tripwires being attached to explosives or some sort of arrow-shooting device, we are simply suggesting the tripwires with no strings attached (sorry for the pun).
What you Need: Fishing line (the strongest you can find); Tall Nails.
How to Build it: Put nails adjacent to one another along your floors. String the fishing wire around both of them until the line is tight. Do this in front and behind every door and all through the hallway. And in random spots in your apartment’s rooms.
How it Works: Person steps in, doesn’t see the wire, trips over it. It’s that easy.
Bucket ‘O Chum
This trap repels someone because it’s disgusting. It involves dumping a pile of rotting, stinking food — chum, if you will — onto someone’s head. It’s effective, because no one will want to keep poking around your apartment after having two week old tuna salad dropped on their head.
What you Need: Several weeks’ worth of leftover food; Bucket (at least a gallon); String; Nails.
How to Build it: Put all the gross ‘chum’ in the bucket. Tie the string around the door knob (door closed) and put a nail above the door. Loop the end of the string around the nail and tie the remaining length around the handle of the bucket. Hoist the bucket to the ceiling and make sure the rope is taught.
How it Works: The door opens and the string pulls tight against the bucket handle. The bucket will tilt and dump all the rotting food on the person. Sure, they may catch a chicken bone or two on the cranium, but most of them be unharmed yet too revolted to continue. Unfortunately, the cleanup on this one isn’t much fun.
This is the ‘someone-standing-behind-the-door’ fake out trap. It doesn’t always work in every apartment, but you will likely have one room you can use for this.
What you Need: An apartment that has doors inside; Closet Doors; Chairs; Other Stuff.
How to Build it: It’s ideal if you have a closet door directly behind the room’s door. You open the closet door and then push the room’s door against it. The handles will butt up against one another and not allow the door to open more than a foot or so. Even though someone can enter the room, pushing a door open and then having it become stuck can scare someone off. You can also use chairs, brooms, door stops, and other obstacles that will keep the door from moving.
How it Works: The door won’t open when something is against it. Plain and simple.