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GOTCHA! 18 Amazing Ways to Freak Out Your Friends

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GOTCHA! 18 Amazing Ways to Freak Out Your Friends
AuthorDavid Acer
PublisherKids Can Press
IllustratorStephen MacEachern
Publication Date2008

Written by David Acer, illustrated by Stephen MacEachern, and published by Kids Can Press, Gotcha! gives kids a chance to explore claims of the paranormal, supernatural, and extraterrestrial while at the same time teaching them to think critically (though not dismissively) about the subjects. Along the way they also learn how conduct their own paranormal experiments (e.g., "Test Your ESP", "Test Your House for Ghosts"), perform supernatural-looking tricks (e.g., "Move Things with Your Mind," "Teleport Me"), and perpetrate amazing hoaxes (e.g., "Make Fake Ghost Photos," "Make a Fake Lake Monster Video," "Make a Crop Circle"). A spin-off of Acer's Mystery Lab segments on Discovery Kids' Mystery Hunters, the book was published in both hardcover (for libraries and schools) and softcover (for bookstores), and has since been translated into French (by Éditions Scholastic) and Danish. Gotcha! also won the 2010 Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award for Best Non-Fiction, and was nominated for a 2010 Diamond Willow Award.

Text from Back Cover

The Truth is in Here!

Does Bigfoot exist? Are crop circles made by aliens? Can dead bodies climb out of their graves and show up at your birthday party? Join Doubting Dave and the Mystery Hunters as they investigate some of the world’s oldest and coolest mysteries, THEN learn how to recreate those mysteries YOURSELF to fool your friends!

  • Make fake Bigfoot prints in your own backyard!
  • Take phony UFO photos in your car!
  • Use an amazing illusion to turn yourself into a headless zombie!
  • Show your friends a crazy card trick that will convince them you can travel through time!
  • Pull a "King Midas" and turn a pencil into gold!
  • Freeze your BFF in his tracks with a trick that looks like hypnosis!

PLUS you'll learn how to test your ESP, snap a fake ghost photo, bend a spoon with your brain and 9 other cool feats. AND teenage Mystery Hunters Araya and Christina answer all your questions about ghosts, aliens, psychics, hypnotists, sea monsters, Bigfoot and more! Find out the truth while you freak out your friends, then you can say GOTCHA!


  • It was also published in French (by Éditions Scholastic) and Danish


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