Police Investigate After TikTok 'Heartbeat Challenge' Damages People's Doors

No matter what time period you find yourself in, there's going to be some strange and immature prank that your peers will pull on each other.

But while this means it would neither be fair nor realistic to claim we wouldn't have youths pulling annoying pranks if it weren't for TikTok, we do have to admit that the platform has helped nuisances spread farther and at a faster rate than before.

And that can be particularly problematic when someone comes up with a destructive prank that others also fancy themselves daring enough to do. Whether it involves stealing stuff from their schools or pouring beans on people's porches, it's often not long before the police or TitkTok itself have to step in and nip these trends at the bud.

Indeed, it seems that one new twist on an old classic has already crossed that threshold in the U.K.

Whether you call it Nicky Nine Doors or Ding Dong Ditch, you're no doubt familar with the enduring prank that sees people knock on their neighbors' doors and run away.

From the looks of it, a TikTok challenge that has picked up traction over the past month aims for a similar effect, but turns things up a notch.

It's called the "heartbeat challenge" and is named for a particular line in the Kesha song "Die Young" that participants are supposed to play before they clobber their hapless victim's door.

As you can see from the TikToks shown here, the object is to pound or kick the door to the beat of the song and then run away.

And according to Wiltshire Live, the trend is a particular problem for the English county of the same name as residents have reported being scared by the sudden noises and worried that people were trying to break in.

As one mom put it, "Last night at around 10.50 pm someone tried to kick my front door down, this has sent me into a really bad state of anxiety."

Another named Leigh-Anne Dady told the outlet, "It has shaken us up a little. We have a newborn so I think it just scared us a little to be honest."

But for some, the problem has run a little deeper than a sudden scare.

As The Liverpool Echo reported, some pranksters are managing to kick the doors hard enough to damage them and one older resident of Hemel Hempstead had to pay a costly repair bill as a result.

The heartbeat challenge proved an even bigger problem for another of the town's residents, whose door was actually broken open while they were out, leaving them exposed to opportunistic burglars.

In response, police throughout the Wiltshire, Hertfordshire and Herefordshire counties have stepped up patrols in affected areas and intend to prosecute anyone caught doing the heartbeat challenge.

In the words of Sarah Rex from the Herefordshire Police, "It’s not just a bit of fun – it is frightening, anti-social and, in some cases, illegal."

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