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The unsuspecting residents of San Luis Obispo, California, were treated to a frightening performance by magician Rich Ferguson, aka The Ice Breaker. It was greeted with a mixture of reactions: some women screamed, children ran away, while others remained non-plussed.
One minute you're walking down an alleyway minding your own business... and then you bump into a man who sneezes and his head falls off. And then he tries to re-attach it to his body.
But always expect the unexpected on Halloween, as the residents of San Luis Obispo, California, found out.
Magician Rich Ferguson performed his 'head drop' trick on the streets of his hometown.
Now, his illusion, and the hilarious reactions of unsuspecting strangers, has become a YouTube monster smash, with almost 4million hits.
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Just a regular guy in an alleyway with an itchy nose?
Oh no, his head's fallen off! But don't worry, that's no ordinary man... it's magician Rich Ferguson aka The Ice Breaker
The illusionist stunned passers-by on the streets of San Luis Obispo, California with his Halloween prank
Warning, video contains swearing
Mr Ferguson, aka The Ice Breaker, decided to stage his grisly prank during the day because, as he said, 'night is a more vulnerable setting and it freaks people out big time'.
During the performance, there is no shoving up of the jacket - his upper clothing stays perfectly in place as his head 'falls off'.
It was greeted with mixed reactions: some women screamed, children ran away, while others remained non-plussed.
And the reaction? Women screamed and cowered in fear...
Schoolchildren fled the scene in terror...
... while others just laughed it off
The award-winning magician wrote on YouTube: 'Having way too much fun this season with pranks and street magic. Watch out, we are coming for you!'
He added: 'They do say "trick or treat?" I say trick!'
How is the illusion possible? Possibly a combination of yoga and many hours of practice - but a good magician never tells.
Scary mini-clowns, vampire cats and heads in jars... Behold the Halloween costume freakshow!
It's the season of the witch - and that means frightening costume time for both man and beast.
As these pictures posted on photo-sharing website Imgur show, everyone - including cats and dogs - are getting into the (ghostly) spirit of Halloween.
Ah, the old 'invisible man carrying child's decapitated head' routine
I am known as cat-bat the vampire kitten... and I'm your worst nightmare
Portrait of the artist as a young freak
The dreaded dog-riding pumpkin terror... and it's heading your way!
I've got my eyes on you - and it makes me happy
I am Dog, son of Chewbacca
A mini killer clown on the loose? You must be kidding
The rise of the robo-baby-powered terminating machines
Beware the black dress octopus woman, which was among the images posted on photo-sharing website Imgur