More Bellhop pranks

I wrote a post about Bellhop pranks and I got a lot of comments that I should write up some of the other Bellhop pranks that have happened in the recent past.  Specifically of the year following the first post.  (Also if you want to catch up on all the pranks posts, here’s your chance)

Dave Reynolds, one of our pie victims, the year of the pie-ing

Dave Reynolds, one of our pie victims, the year of the pie-ing

I was hesitating on this one, because I had such a large role, I wasn’t sure I should write it up.  I was the bellhop supervisor and my bellhops and I, Janis Zirlen, Nora Mattingly, and Isaac Fitzgerald wanted the bellhop pranks night to be epic.  They definitely were.  In an effort to not make a long post longer, I will omit some of the pranks pulled.

We’ll start with one part that we didn’t think would be a big deal that turned bigger and then we’ll move to the big deal that got huge…. John French was on night crew and lived on the 4th floor of Gosport.  We thought it would be hilarious to tie all his clothes together and hang them out the window as if he were escaping.  Well they were out all night and got wet and little did we know he takes his clothes very seriously, actually.  So the next day all of our bed frames and mattresses disappeared, along with anyone’s beds who we might have been seeing.  They ended up being found in the attic by the salt water tanks.

Part 2: we had the bakery make us three whipped cream pies.  We decided to target the heads of engineering, the Island Engineer- Ben Fowler, the Facilities Manager- Dave Reynolds, and the Engineer Supervisor- Morgan Kennedy.  Long story short, we called them all into the lobby and pied them in the face.  They were shocked and awed.  Also, an accidental prank sidebar is that our clothes and their clothes were all thoroughly covered in whipped cream, so we put them in the pel laundry bins downstairs.  I guess we should have put a note on them or soaked them or something, because we left them too long, the milk must have curdled because our clothes smelled bad forever and the laundry staff was pissed.  Whoops.

The engineers soon decided to retaliate.  One by one the bellhops soon found themselves alone cornered and surrounded by Continue reading

More Pelican Pranks- an April Fools special

You can catch up with the other stories in our pranks series here.

Mark Adams shares this story:

When I was the fire marshal I got to decide the location of the fire scenario for the fire drill. At that time the sirens weren’t as loud as they are now, you used to be able to sleep through them.  I would always try to arrange the fire drill location for where I knew a girl was trying to take a nap, so when we busted in with all our fire fighting equipment we would wake them up!

Sarah Wicker, former head chef, had her children on Star as children and babies.  She used a doll to pretend it was her child and convinced staff that she had accidentally Continue reading

Bellhop pranks

Many island staff crews keep logs to keep each other informed of current work-related events and reminders, which also leaves room for gossiping and recounting practical joke adventures.  The following is a description from a night of bellhop pranks (which occurred while off-duty and crew bonding).

Erin 7:30 am: Recap of last night’s shenanigans

  • put pink dress, big monster shoes, little girl shoes, maybe some other stuff in Janis and Amy’s room
  • short sheeted Susan’s bed and woke up all of night crew
  • hung out in Turtle and Dano’s room, blasted music, took a polaroid (they never came, we just confused some people)
  • left an anonymous note at the desk for a wake up call at 6:00 am in Martin’s room
  • put monkeys and other stuffed creatures in the rowboats. Continue reading

Laundry room Pranks

Story shared by William Thomas Harper: (fourth in our pranks series!)

In 2009 I was the Laundry super and had to deal with many temperamental washing machines, in particular the machine named Sir Tinkles (don’t know who named him, but he was never quite right).  I spent lots of time learning how to fix those washers and ended up on Maintenance the following season because of it.  One of my projects (besides getting the new industrial-size washing machines installed) was to get rid of the machines that didn’t quite cut the mustard.  Sir Tinkles was on top of my make-or-break list and I ended up dragging it over to the power house and gutting it for parts.

Once I realized that I essentially had an empty shell of a washer that I could fit inside of, I realized that there were endless possibilities for the new Sir Tinkles.  With the help of Sam Mansfield, I carried the washing machine to the laundry room- unbeknownst to Chamber.  I climbed inside and shut the lid and waited, while Sam lured the unsuspecting Chamber crew into the laundry room Continue reading

1970s Prank – making Star Island more colorful

Frederick T. McGill, who was an island legend in his own right, was the historian for a number of years.  He started a notebook to record things that he and later Vaughn Curators heard over the years.  In these pages I found the following story recorded August 9, 1998:

Rosalee Ward visited Vaughn today, and had some great stories from when she was a Pelican during the 1970s.  The Pelicans decided to make Star a little more colorful by putting the baker’s Continue reading

Pelican Pranks- fake notes

The second in our Pelican Pranks series

Martin Fisher shares the following story:

I did do a bunch of fake notes to chamber.  It got boring working in the evening while a bellhop (and night crew can get boring also) Chamber would always get a bunch of notes the first night of conferences so I would try to spice it up for them.

  • I would ask people to change my sheets and/or make my bed.  Someone on chamber actually did it for me once (hospital corners & everything) but I can’t for the life of me remember who it was.  I’m pretty sure after that time I felt bad and never asked for that again.
  • I would use fake room numbers (like Cottage B-23 or Cottage F) and ask for things like Continue reading

Pelican Pranks- Night Crew Ghosts

This year in Vaughn Cottage I had an exhibit of Pelican Pranks.  I wasn’t sure how I would make those available to you, but I’ve decided to put a few installments on the blog.  If you have more stories to share, email me at and maybe I’ll share yours as well!

Practical jokes are a way to pass the time on Star, a remote island in the Atlantic.  There is a long history of our staff (called Pelicans) making fun and giving each other a hard time (lovingly of course).

Paraphrased from talking with Sumar Maji:

When I was on night crew we teamed up to scare folks on the front porch on windless nights.  We would choose someone to be nonchalantly hanging out on the porch and someone would go underneath the porch.  We tied a string to the back leg of a rocking chair and the string hung down under the porch.  The person under the porch would tug on the string and make the chair rock back and forth.  You had to do it on a night with no wind, when all the other chairs were still.  The person on the porch would exclaim something about how the chair was moving and get everyone excited about it.  Once we didn’t tell one of our crew members what we were doing and when someone went to the desk to ask him if this ever happened before he launched into a story about Continue reading