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Originally published October 31, 2006 at 12:00 AM | Page modified October 31, 2006 at 1:46 PM

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Scare-seeking teens stumble onto suicide in Coeur d'Alene

Teenagers seeking a Halloween scare got a lot more fright than they wanted, first bumping into a corpse and then being confronted by an angry man with a machete, authorities said.

The Associated Press

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho – Teenagers seeking a Halloween scare got a lot more fright than they wanted, first bumping into a corpse and then being confronted by an angry man with a machete, authorities said.

According to report issued by the Kootenai County sheriff's office, the teens left at a Halloween party Friday night to go "ding dong ditching" — ringing doorbells and running away — when they noticed a house under construction next door and entered the basement through the garage because they "thought it would be scary inside."

Seeing what looked like a bag hanging from the rafters, they shot a few BBs and threw pieces of lumber at the object. One told investigators a BB sounded like it had hit a "coat or a pair of pants."

The teens returned to the party, came back with a flashlight and discovered the bag was actually the body of a man, investigators wrote.

They ran back to the Halloween party with their story, "but nobody believed them," so they persuaded someone to go back to the unfinished home with them, only to be confronted by the machete-wielding owner, Norman Giddings, 65, who told them to go down on the ground or "he would bust their heads open," according to the report.

Giddings then called authorities, saying he had been at his home nearby when a neighbor reported trespassers in the house he was having built.

Deputy Coroner Jody DeLuca said the dead man hanged himself not long before the teens entered the house, adding that there was no visible sign that the body had been hit by a BB.

Sheriff's Capt. Ben Wolfinger told The Spokesman-Review of Spokane, Wash., on Monday it was unlikely that charges would be filed against the teenagers. According to the sheriff's report, Giddings said he didn't want to press charges because the teens "had been through enough."

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