Every Halloween, the app developer community finds new ways to scare up spooky fun for the iPhone and iPad. Click around the app store and you’ll find hundreds of zombie makers, photo filters, prank pullers, noise makers and basic mischief generators. Here’s a sampling of some of the best options, for free and for cheap.
A full-featured and surprisingly sophisticated photo filter app, the amazing iMut8r isn’t just a fun Halloween app, it’s one of the coolest apps I’ve seen all year, period. You start by snapping a portrait-style photo of yourself or a friend (or load one from your picture album). Then you choose from iMut8rs selection of photo effect kits – werewolf, vampire, witch, zombie, frankenthing, demon, or creature from the deep.
Each has its own selection of virtual makeup effects (fangs, neck bolts, head wounds) and other tweaks. What makes iMut8r great is the exacting level of detail. You can scale and rotate effects to match up precisely with your picture. Photos can be exported or posted online in the usual fashion. Highly recommended.
Make A Zombie
Small in scale but stylish in execution (these puns have a mind of their own), Make A Zombie is a stylish avatar maker with a few twists. You can save your creations to your photo album, post them to the usual social media suspects, or even order them printed on a T-shirt or custom iPhone case. There’s not much to this app, but it has a nice design and a kind of Zen zombie simplicity .
Halloween Sounds Pro
The app stores are full of sound effect boards, which offer one-touch access to short audio clips, usually sorted by theme. Designed for the iPhone, Halloween Sounds Pro has a modest but effective collection of 16 scary clips – you’ve got your screeching cats, your moaning ghosts, your mad scientist cackle. The most useful feature, though, is the simple time-delay slider. Just queue up a bloodcurling scream, max out the volume, then leave your phone somewhere interesting.
Ghost Hunters Haunted House Finder
This handy app from SyFy channel’s Ghost Hunter reality series provides detailed information on 100 or so of the haunted locations that the team has explored over seven television seasons. The app determines your physical location, then suggests nearby haunted venues. For instance, the Mordecai House in Raleigh, where spirits have been known to play the antique piano and occasionally yank on visitors’ hair. For now, the app is more promotional than truly useful. Developers have yet to field the killer app that will actually help you find a nearby haunted house attraction.
House of Horrors
Horror movie fans will appreciate this intriguing little app, which facilitates streaming horror movies on demand. All films are free and in the public domain, which means they’re quite old and usually only good for B-movie camp value. But there are a few hidden gems, including the 1962 horror classic “Carnival of Souls.” The black-and-white film looks surprisingly good – particularly on the iPad – and it’s a genuinely scary movie. In fact, freaky film specialists like directors George Romero and David Lynch have cited “Carnival of Souls” as a significant influence.