You may or may not know what a 'howler' is, but for those who don't know, I'll explain. It is quite simply a noise maker. A very good one. It works upon the same concept of a soup can phone, it sends vibrations through the string when pulled, and the can amplifies the vibrations. The video above demonstrates these haunting noises.
I have early memories of my grandma telling me about these little noise-makers. Many stories I've heard about her brother scaring the kids throughout the woods with haunting noises during the night. It echoes quite nicely in an open field, which makes it very good for creeping out your friends. And better yet, it is very inexpensive to make. If you like this 'ible please vote for me in the Project: Prank Contest. Thanks!
First off, we will be making a small pinhole in the bottom of the can. This is where the string will go later.
Turn the can on its side, and use a screwdriver to make a tiny hole on the bottom. It should be no bigger than your string, so everything will fit nice and snug.
Cut off a good length of string, about 3 feet should do. If you are using a kerosene lamp like the one pictured, unscrew the top and dip the string inside. Make sure it all gets coated, just be sure you don't drop it inside. Pull the string out and wipe off any excess kerosene with your fingers, but try to refrain from wiping your hands on your pants, please.
Holding the can under your arm, pull the string between your fingers, pinching it tightly. Experiment with the way you hold the string and how fast you pull it until you find that perfect 'ghost' sound. Enjoy your newly made howler. Go scare some kids, and don't forget to vote for me in the Project: Prank Contest! Thanks!