A jovial prank involving a fake severed hand and some young children took a turn for the sour when terrified local residents phoned the police believing it was real.
Patrick Plummer, 34, left the prop he had made on the pavement outside his house in Hyson Green, Nottingham, to amuse his young nieces.
However the prank went awry when police turned up and started to cordon off the area forcing Plummer to own up.
The horror movie fan told the Nottingham Post: "My sister's children were round and I made it look as though my finger had come off to make them laugh.
"The kids are used to it now, so we decided to leave it in the street so they could see people walking past wondering what it was."
A spokeswoman for Nottinghamshire Police said: "A member of the public contacted us at 7pm on June 6 to report the incident.
"The call was made in good faith by the member of the public and we had to respond to what seemed to be a serious incident.
"When officers arrived at the scene, a man, who was understandably red-faced, told us he was responsible for the practical joke.
"Instead of pointing the finger, we advised him about his actions. He promptly removed the hand and finger and apologised profusely."