Let’s be clear, or at least ethereally translucent – it’s hard to get a really good scare out of your iPhone, unless of course you're getting calls from the hereafter, or you have the cell number of the Beast. The screen's too small, for one thing. The only time your iPhone will really scare you is when you get the auto-text that your bill has been deducted the first month after adding your stepson to your limited-minutes plan.
If you want your iPad to scare you, go to youtube and type in "real ghost video." You'll get hundreds of options all beginning with somber white type on a black background announcing something along the lines of “what you are about to see is real.”
But for if you want interactive fun, you still can't beat the iWorld. Get some frighteningly good times for all ages with these Halloween Apps for iOS devices – believe it or not, we've found some apps to make the hair on the back of your neck stand up too!
New and Updated Halloween Apps for 2011
While you're out trick or treating on Halloween, make sure to load up Ogmento's Paranormal Activity: Sanctuary, the Augmented Reality game that uses location-based services to find "hellholes" and demons nearby, where your home town, office and neighborhood become the front lines of a supernatural conflict. In Paranormal Activity: Sanctuary, you will investigate paranormal phenomena to identify hot spots of demonic activity called hellholes, then use your arcane powers to exorcise the evil spirits and create sanctuaries that protect against further attacks. But beware, if you let down your guard you risk becoming possessed by dark spirits and turning against your former allies.
Developer: Ogmento, Inc.
Price: free Download on the App Store
In "The Haunted Halloween: A Scooby-Doo! You Play Too Book," Scooby and the gang are invited to a Halloween Party -- but Scooby and Shaggy find themselves in a real haunted house! Each of the first six Scooby-Doo! You Play Too Book apps features puzzles, animated surprises, digital coloring pages, and hidden Zoinks Points that users can collect and redeem for exclusive Scooby-Doo games, videos, downloads and more at www.zoinkspoints.com. ScrollMotion Kids' newest platform feature, Stickers, enables kids to create their own Scooby-Doo scenarios by placing digital Scooby-Doo stickers on top of different animated backgrounds. Children can also save and share their creations with family and friends. Each fully interactive book app also includes professional narration, sound effects and record-your-own audio.
Developer: ScrollMotion, Inc
Price: $4.99 Download on the App Store
Classic Halloween Apps
A-Story-A-Day Halloween Countdown (Moulinarn Mobile Books.) For all the interactivity of iDevices, you can’t beat a good scary story by a master of horror. Of course, Moulinarn prefers to bundle public-domain horror in this inexpensive app, so think Poe, Kipling, and Edith Wharton, not Stephen King or Dean Koontz. The app’s basically an old-school Catholic advent calendar, except you’re counting down days until Halloween not Christmas, and you get a scare a day instead of a piece of candy. If you’ve never actually read a whole short story, trust me on this: they can be really, really scary.
True Ghost Stories From Around the World is purely user-written, and that's what gives you the scare – and not just because of the quality of user-submitted prose. In this day and age, text is just scarier than easily faked video and photo “evidence” - though users can upload the latter as well. Likewise, stories from the teeming masses seem more convincing because they’re not written in Hollywood, or anywhere where spell-checking is routine. Join the community, share your ghost story and/or photos, or just cringe in fear at stories by hundreds of thousands of frightened mortals from a similarly cringing worldwide user base. Users can rate stories, and can search for the highest ratings and therefore the most believable details.
Ghost Capture is a quick-and-easy tap-and-haunt app for the pics in your camera roll. Pick a ghost, rotate it, set the transparency and size, and e-mail your “haunted” picture to friends. Ridiculously convincing for the level of effort required. GC might be a good add-on if you want to join the True Ghost Stories community. Alternately, just upload your haunted pictures in-app to Facebook. An unfortunately limited selection of ghost choices detracts from the effect if your friends know the app. But if they don’t, prepare for OMG. Or, spend $0.99 and get the Ghost Capture with 30 extra ghosts.
iCreepy Spider Halloween. Warning: the app’s a little buggy. Wait, that’s the whole point. Basically there’s this tarantula on your phone, and he reacts to your touch. Just leave the phone on with the Spider running, and amaze your friends. Leave your finger on the screen too long, and he attacks. Shake the phone and he runs away. Step on the phone, and the spider dies, but only because your phone does. The backdrop is black, so the initial friend-reaction can be priceless. A little sleight of hand, and the rest of the shtick works too.
Halloween+. There are tons of apps out there with Halloween music loops, sound boards, ring tones, countdown calendars, or costume ideas. Usually there's an app for each purpose. We picked Halloween Plus because it’s got all that, plus a professional interface, Halloween background pictures, and Halloween trivia. It’s your one-dollar full-purpose Halloween prep assistant.
A Halloween Trick-or-Treat Game: Candy Catch is a simple, well-done kid’s game that adults can get addicted to as well. Tilt to catch falling candy, and avoid pumpkins and spiders. The little black cats indicate your remaining lives – of course, you start with nine. CC is simple, cute entertainment for your little boy or ghoul.
Halloween Experience The real cool part of the app is carving your own pumpkin, then seeing it glow in "lights out" mode. There are a couple of other "iPumpkin" apps out there, but this one wins for the add-ons. Also includes Halloween-themed versions of Towers of Hanoi and Hangman, scary sound effects, and the requisite countdown calendar.
Zombie Me — A few taps, and your friends are undead. If that exercise seems redundant, you have bigger problems than which Halloween app to buy. Again, there are other Zombiefying apps available, but this one gives you slightly more control of how over-the-top you want to go. You start with a picture from your camera roll, then add makeup, blood drops, goofy zombie eyes and mouths, and clothes. Be subtle and convincing, or ridiculously macabre. Get hold of storied Brett Favre e-mails for truly scary results.
Photo: iPhone 4 Case Demon Series by Ideal Case.