Michael Meyers, Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, Sadako/Samara and Pinhead are on their annual trek to your neighborhood. That means it must be Halloween again. With it come the trick-or-treaters, the parties and the need to climb into the attic for the latex scars, spirit gum, face paint and vampire costume you piece together every year.
But wait — we’re in the age of the smartphone. Why not use it to make this one very creepy All Hallows’ Eve? Go to your search tool, type in “Halloween apps” and you’ll find all the traditional scare-tactic tools, such as Halloween-themed games, ringtones, desktop images and streaming classic horror films.
A deeper glance into the witch’s cauldron will uncover truly over-the-edge apps designed to really scare people.
Best of all, these apps won’t cost you an arm or a leg … just a few taps on the touchscreen.
Tell-Tale Heart and Other Organs
The classic Halloween accessory, the festering wound or scar, goes a step toward maniacal with the iWound. This truly “organic” app combines your iPhone or Android phone with a fleshy case and a ripped shirt to create the illusion of a vital organ, such as your heart, beating outside of your body. iWound manufacturer, Morph Suits, supplies the app for free; themed T-shirts are $20 to $50, plus shipping.
iWound’s creator, former NASA employee Mark Rober, went on to found Digital Dudz, which created a line of T-shirts that seem to follow you everywhere. The company’s free app allows people to match up the shirt with the proper video on their phone, which slips into an inside pocket.
The result is an easy yet eye-catching costume, from a twitching eyeball to a doe-eyed (and terrified) cartoon kitten. The “I see you there” effect only lasts until your smartphone battery runs out. (Note: Digital Dudz was recently sold to Morph Suits and is now a subsidiary of that company.)
If you’re dying to join the zombie craze but don’t want to deal with hours of makeup and layers of latex, turn to your iPhone or Android.
iTunes and Google Play feature numerous free apps, such as AMC’s Walking Dead’s Dead Yourself, or Zombiematic Camera, that can transform a photo of you, your friends or your pets into the living dead.
You can then share your new look with anyone who can open a jpeg.
For $2.99, ZombieBooth Pro goes a step further by taking the transformation 3D and animated.
If your little monster is making the rounds through the neighborhood alone (or at least, without your presence), or if there are too many kids to keep track of during the night, let technology simplify the job. Free smartphone apps like Scan Me Kidz (in conjunction with a QR-coded bracelet) use GPS to track your child’s whereabouts, while the QR code contains information that can bring your youngster back home.
There’s also Trick or Tracker ($4.99 normally, but free on Halloween), which allows children to send parents their exact whereabouts at predetermined time intervals. The bonus with these apps is they’re useable all year, and not just by children.
Images from Zombiematic, Digital Dudz, ZombienBooth, Trick or Tracker.
Alan Naditz contributed this article.