Halloween is almost here, and some are celebrating the season by watching tons of horror movies and shows. It’s a good time to remember that there are ways to avoid a grim fate from a hellish villain — as any fan of the horror genre will tell you. Simple rules like, don’t say “I’ll be right back.” Don’t ever think you can overpower Michael Myers. Don’t go to sleep (okay, that one’s harder). And for Pete’s sake, don’t repeatedly say the name of an evil ghost bent on killing anyone who summons him! Wheel of Fortune nearly caused a contestant to commit a huge Halloween party foul, as the player had to solve the puzzle by repeating “Candyman” four times.
In horror movie lore, Candyman is the ghost of a Black man who was lynched for an interracial love affair. He brutally murders those who summon him, which can be done by repeating “Candyman” five times while looking in a mirror. Watch the clip below to see the terrifyingly close call.
That was fun but, uh—let’s not do that again 😰 pic.twitter.com/s5neSpsJvgOctober 27, 2021
I mean, at least Pat Sajak wasn’t looking in a mirror when he said “Candyman” the fifth time. I’m not sure what the other contestants were doing during the puzzle reading, but I would have loved to see someone take a running dive and throw themselves into the contestant to keep him from saying a fifth “Candyman.” You can’t be too careful, as one Twitter user pointed out.
And what a terrifying thing for Pat Sajak to suggest that Candyman was hiding under the big wheel. Hopefully somewhere there’s a screenwriter taking notes. I bet Sajak would even take part in that movie, after his recent cameo in Muppets Haunted Mansion.
But it wasn’t just longtime host Pat Sajak or that night’s contestants who narrowly avoided danger after Wheel of Fortune’s irresponsible near-villain-conjuring. Viewers found themselves solving the puzzle out loud, which is nearly impossible not to do when watching the game show at home.
Wheel of Fortune just tricked me into saying “Candyman” four times, so there’s that. pic.twitter.com/thHDnf1hwCOctober 27, 2021
Props to the crew for avoiding making “Beetlejuice” the answer to the puzzle — as you only need to say his name three times to attract the antics of the poltergeist — or (I shudder at the thought) “Bloody Mary.” Some fans on Twitter joked that even though the fifth “Candyman” wasn’t there, they still wouldn’t have risked solving the puzzle.
Candyman was a 1992 horror movie starring Tony Todd as the titular villain. A “spiritual sequel,” also titled Candyman was released in August 2021 from director Nia DaCosta, starring Yahya Abdul-Mateen and Teyonah Parris. The film dominated the box office and made history as the first No. 1 movie directed by a Black woman. Both the original Candyman and its sequel can currently be rented on streaming services including Prime and Apple TV+. Check your local listings to find out how to watch more Pat Sajak hijinks on Wheel of Fortune.