Is Your Home an Instrument of Death?


A man’s home is his castle, which is fitting, since castles seem to come with battleaxes and trap doors. Face it: your home is a death trap. As many as 30,000 deaths a year are caused by an accident in the home, be it slipping in the shower, falling down the stairs or failing to catch that gas leak before your post-coital cigarette. And those numbers are compounded if there’s a serial killer in there with you. Slashers are a lot like Robin Williams: they’ll go by the script if they have to, but they just can’t resist a chance to improv. Why resort to a simple stabbing when your victim is an avid hunting enthusiast, and sharp antlers are poking out of the walls, practically begging to be impale the person who mounted them in the first place?

Yes, you could very well be setting yourself up for an ironic death without even realizing it. There’s only one thing to do: horror proof your house. It’s a lot like baby proofing, if your baby was a homicidal maniac. Let’s look at a few classic household murder scenes and figure out what you could have done differently.


Problem: In this scene from Silent Night, Deadly Night 2, this gentlemen is walking around the garbage cans, minding his own business, when he is accosted, thrown into the garbage, and impaled with a common household umbrella.

Solution: It’s much harder to be killed by a raincoat than an umbrella. Be sure to invest in one with a hood!


Problem: In this scene from Gremlins, a mild-mannered housewife has been besieged by gremlins. With local exterminators presumably unavailable due to the holidays, she’s forced to feed them to a blender, fend off flying dishware, and spray aerosol cans into their eyes and nuke them in a microwave.

Solution: It could be a trick question, since in fact this industrious lady uses her house wares to her advantage, and not her killer’s. But in fact the entire situation could have been avoided by forgoing the kitchen altogether and relying on takeout, thus stimulating the economy and keeping her home horror-free!


Problem: In this scene from Final Destination, this individual puts on a John Denver record, puts a towel on her knife rack, makes a mug of hot water, empties it, and puts ice-cold vodka in the mug instead. It cracks, spilling vodka onto her floor and computer, which short circuits, shooting a piece of the screen into her neck. The vodka on the floor ignites, trailing back to the gas stove and vodka bottle, which explodes, knocking her onto the ground. She reaches for the towel, causing a knife to fall into her chest. A secondary explosion then drops a chair onto the knife, sealing the deal.

Solution: Never, under any circumstances, listen to John Denver.


For more information on which instruments of death to avoid, come back Wednesday the 11th for an infographic courtesy of The Cabin in the Woods, detailing the various implements most commonly used for murder purposes.