Whether you want to make a spooky costume or scare yourself witless, these are the apps and games to install
It’s once again time to unleash ghosts and witches, and spend every waking hour perfecting your spooky laugh. Yep, Halloween has descended, aiming to scare the wits out of everyone, and all in the name of fun.
You might already be busy carving pumpkins, and lacing the house with fake spider webs (hint: just stop dusting – they’ll show up on their own). If so, it’s time to take a break and download these 12 scary treats from the App Store.
After all, you don’t want to leave your device out of the party, do you?
Free • v4.1.6 • 96.1 MB • By Sympoz Inc.
We’re starting off with an app for people who go all-out dressing up for Halloween. Some are happy to drape a sheet over their head, and contend they’re a ghost. Others will grab a cheap costume from a store. Not you: you want to make your own gear (and something for the kids). Craftsy can help.
The app’s essentially a marketplace for makers. A quick search for Halloween gave us pumpkin beanies, spooky silhouettes, adorable baby ghost wool ornaments, and a ton more. If you’re low on funds, you can filter results just to freebies. And anything you download can be opened in the iOS Files app.
Free • v9.0.1 • 67.9 MB • By AJNS New Media
There’s no way you can scare people on an empty stomach – or be scared on an empty stomach. What we’re saying, basically, is that Halloween is a time when people expect to be fed tasty treats. Stuck for ideas? Do a quick search for Halloween in the superb Kitchen Stories.
You’ll immediately come across the Last-Minute Halloween Spookfest, which includes instructions for graveyard salsa, mummy sausages, witch’s brew, and more. And because the one thing Kitchen Stories doesn’t want you to be scared of is trying new things, recipes come complete with step-by-step photographic instructions, and useful how-to video guides.
Free+IAP • v1.8 • 109 MB • By Apptly LLC
If you’re not into dressing up for Halloween, but still want to get into the spirit (or – OHO! – spirits) of things, Monsterfy could be what you’re looking for.
Snap a selfie, lining yourself up within a mask outline, and the app will animate you as a hideous zombie, toothy vampire, or someone whose eyes are rather worryingly on fire. The results are largely effective, despite some warping backgrounds when the images animate. (We suspect ARKit will revolutionize this kind of app by next year.)
Stills or videos can be shared with friends, and a bunch of additional ghouls and horrors are available via IAP.
Halloween Scary Sound Effects
Free+$0.99/99p IAP • v3.0 • 100 MB • By Aamir Elahi
In all honesty, soundboards are pretty much the dregs of the App Store – you can blaze through dozens of the things and still not find anything properly good. When it comes to spooky sounds, Halloween Scary Sound Effects narrowly gets the nod, because of a few key features.
Like its contemporaries, the app’s stuffed full of varied sounds. But they can be played simultaneously here, and you can save custom mixes – ideal for terrifying younglings who come to your door demanding candy. The ads are astonishingly irritating and regular, but can be banished with a one-off payment. It’s a pity you can’t banish the ‘click’ that’s emitted every time you tap on a new sound, though.
Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
$4.99/£4.99 • v1.5 • 144 MB • By Loud Crow Interactive Inc.
For anyone of a certain vintage, there’ll be a big nostalgic hit on entering the world of Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. The app’s based on the 1960s animated TV special, and features the Peanuts gang dressing up to go trick-or-treating, while Linus inevitably ends up disappointed waiting all night for the Great Pumpkin.
Although primarily a digital book (ideal for kids – or older ‘kids’ who fancy revisiting an old favorite), the app is fully narrated, and also includes a range of interactive elements. You can tilt and tap objects to make them move, carve your own pumpkin, and attempt to play something suitably spooky on Schroeder’s piano.
$2.99/£2.99 • v1.0.4 • 216 MB • By Toca Boca AB
Catnip for youngsters, Toca Boca’s spooky app is full of cartoonish scares. As little bespectacled ghost Bonnie, you scoot about a haunted house, looking to startle the various members of an oddball family.
You lie in wait, lurking behind curtains, or even hiding in the toilet. (Kids: do not try this at home.) One BOO! later and you can chalk one up in the ‘terrified somebody’ column.
As with other Toca Boca fare, there are loads of secrets to find, and an inevitable bout of disco dancing. Unlike the developer’s other games, there’s a headless dog, too, which somehow can still bark. No, we don’t know how either.
The Canterville Ghost
Free+$1.99/£1.99 IAP • v1.1.8 • 301 MB • By iClassics Productions, S.L.
A classic comic chiller, Oscar Wilde’s The Canterville Ghost has been reimagined here as a semi-interactive book. The atmosphere’s ramped up by way of a suitably spooky soundtrack, and there are plenty of animations to interact with, by prodding or shaking your device.
Traditionalists might balk at such a rendition, but The Canterville Ghost is a lot of fun. For fans of the original, it provides a new take to enjoy; for youngsters, it’s a more immediate and approachable experience than straight prose.
For free, you get most of two chapters to try. The rest of the book’s unlocked with a one-off IAP.
Tormentum – Mystery Adventure
$4.99/£4.99 • v1.5.2 • 372 MB • By OhNoo Studio
This game doesn’t begin well for its protagonist, who finds himself in a dungeon, surrounded by skeletons, while fiery meteorites rain down outside. And it only gets weirder, as you work through dozens of hand-painted stages that have a crazed Gigeresque aesthetic.
The actual game bit is more straightforward. You tap things to get an explanation of how to unlock the path forwards, which typically involves solving simple puzzles or finding objects and placing them in their proper homes.
Hardcore puzzle-fans might find Tormentum a bit lightweight, but it’s the perfect oddball nightmarish fantasy adventure for a dark Halloween evening when it’s pouring down outside. (Hopefully not meteors down your way, though.)
$2.99/£2.99 • v1.7 • 397 MB • By Glitch Games
If you’re looking for a really creepy game, Forever Lost fits the bill, dumping you in an abandoned asylum. Writing scrawled across the wall makes it very clear you’re not the first to be trapped there.
Essentially an escape game, Forever Lost betters the bulk of its contemporaries through its palpable sense of atmosphere – and in being dead weird. Early on, you play a game on an abandoned, very much out of place iPad, and an object you find ends up in your real-world inventory.
Spooky stuff – unless you’re of an inkling that Apple’s kit really is magic.
$3.99/£3.99 • v1.2 • 813 MB • By Simogo AB
This eerie game feels a bit like traversing a painterly picture book, based around Scandinavian folklore. As you flip virtual pages and explore a barren forest, the snow crunches underfoot. Very rapidly, huts and trees give way to horrors and scares that bar the way of the protagonist trying to find his one true love.
Along with being beautiful, Year Walk is, admittedly, an obtuse game. But the puzzles want to make you slow down and think. Naturally, when you’re then deep in thought, it’ll make you jump out of your skin. Saying too much more would spoil things, so dive in, prepare for cold and terror, and ensure you download Year Walk Companion, too. It’ll come in very handy.
$1.99/£1.99 • v1.3.1 • 92.8 MB • By RAC7 Games
Often in horror, less is more – and there’s very little to see in Dark Echo. All you get is a stylised representation of sound waves bouncing off of the obstacles found in some kind of horrific underground darkness.
As you tap to clap or hold the screen to move, your echoes bounce around, sometimes waking… things. Horrible things that make noises, and that it’s a good idea to get away from – quickly.
It’s amazing how a few sound effects and the game helpfully suddenly saying RUN! can result in such a heart-pounding experience. Trust us: you’ll never look at wiggly red lines in quite the same way again.
Five Nights at Freddy’s
$2.99/£2.99 • v1.1 • 50.4 MB • By Scott Cawthon
King of jump scares on iPhone has to be the Five Nights at Freddy’s series. The first game finds you installed as a night watchman at a pizza joint. By day, people are served and entertained by animatronic robots. But at night, these mechanical beasts get a bit murdery.
The game tasks you with keeping an eye on the robotic freaks using an archaic CCTV system, and figuring out how to protect yourself if one comes by to tear your face off. In the equally impressive sequel, the management ‘generously’ provides you with a torch (low on batteries, naturally), and a music box that stops an especially psychotic robot from trying to kill you.
There must be easier ways to make a few bucks.