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Watch Simon Cowell get spooked out of his mind in this weird AF America's Got Talent audition

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Possessions, ghosts, and actual paranormal activity are better seen in movies or TV than in real life (if you even believe in that sort of thing). But even near-convincing supernatural hunting “reality” shows can’t live up to this weird America’s Got Talent audition that seems, dare we say, pretty legit. If you’re not sold on this being authentic, at least you’ll get a huge kick out of Simon Cowell’s expression, which is bordering on terrified. The act involves antique chair and a creepy doll, which are having a serious moment in cinema right now.

Nicholas Wallace’s audition gets the Hollywood treatment with some horror movie-type scenes intercut with explanations regarding his connection to old things in decrepit houses. As he says, “I dabble in the strange and unusual” Cowell’s disdainful, judgey face comes into view. However, that all goes out the window as he brings Gabrielle Union on stage (much to Howie Mandel’s and Cowell’s extreme relief). As she sits in a rocking chair that was supposedly salvaged from a hotel fire, Wallace blindfolds her and starts raising and poking the doll, which apparently Union feels. Cowell’s judgey expression is replaced by one of slack-jawed horror. The combination of Wallace’s wide-eyed stare, the screams of horror from the audience, and goosebump-inducing music all contribute to a truly creepy performance.

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No word yet if he’ll bring Pennywise the Clown’s red balloons out next time or terrify the judges with a staticky TV, but he’ll have to think up something that’ll top this one.

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About the author

Alani Vargas

Alani Vargas is an entertainment writer and A.V. Club contributor. Her work also appears on Showbiz Cheat Sheet, INSIDER, Bustle, Refinery29, and Elite Daily.