Scare your friends, turn yourself into a monster, immerse yourself in horror stories, and more
It’s time to unleash plastic ghosts and perfect your spooky laugh. Yes, Halloween is on the way, where we’ll all aim to scare the wits out of everyone, in the name of fun.
You might already be busy carving pumpkins and lacing the house with fake spider webs. (Top tip: just stop dusting for a few weeks.) If so, take a break and see how these scary App Store treats can improve the season.
Don’t fancy making your own Halloween goodies? Then find someone who’s done the hard work and pay them instead. But afraid of ending up with the same thing as everyone else? That’s what Etsy’s for, providing you with loads of artisanal homemade models, clothes and trinkets to explore.
If you’re a dab hand with card and glue, this app provides templates to fingerpaint and add stickers to. You then print and construct your blocky characters, making your house look like it’s been invaded by monsters from Minecraft. If that sounds like too much effort, loads of designs from other users are available to download.
You can’t scare people on an empty stomach, but a few packs of store-bought snacks won’t cut it. With Tasty, you can make brain sliders, skull candy apples and ‘Halloween feet loaf.’ And each recipe handily includes step-by-step video to ensure you won’t turn your kitchen exploits into a horror show.
Jack’s Halloween Pumpkin Maker (free)
If the idea of carving up a real pumpkin sounds too much like hard work, use this app instead. You can work with pre-made shapes or use the knife tool to make your own carvings. The atmosphere can at any point be tweaked by adjusting moon, mist and candle details. When you’re done, you can share your spooky creation as a still image, GIF or video animation.
Monsterfy (free or $3.99/£3.49)
Not dressing up for Halloween but still keen to get into the spirit of things? Use this app to snap a selfie and quickly transform your beautiful self into a hideous zombie, toothy vampire or someone whose eyes are worryingly on fire. Then send stills and clips to terrify your friends.
Spooky Halloween Sounds (free)
This one’s straightforward. At the top of the screen is a countdown to the big day, in case you’ve forgotten when it is. Below that are loads of buttons for triggering spooky noises and sound loops. It’s responsive, fun and – unlike most other apps of its ilk – has no horrifying ads and IAP.
White Noise ($0.99/89p)
Should you want more control over your spooky sound mix, White Noise is a good bet. It’s really a sleep aid, but includes plenty of storm noises and the like to help you build up a foreboding Halloween ambience. Then you can relax to its other sounds for the rest of the year.
PicCollage (free + IAP)
Trees won’t thank you if you send a bunch of Halloween cards to all your friends. So use PicCollage instead, which lets you place your own snaps inside templates, mess around with everything, and export the results for spooky posterity. Be mindful IAP’s required to remove the watermark, but the free app’s otherwise full-featured.
Serial Reader (free or $2.99/£2.49)
The classics are peppered with horror, and if you want to get in the mood as the big day approaches, dig into them with this app. Handily, you don’t have to do this in one huge vampire-like bite either – Serial Reader breaks tomes down into daily episodes you can blaze through in minutes.
Creepypasta (free + IAP)
Prefer new scary stories you’ve never read before? This app scours the web for the best of them and serves them up in handy categories like ‘Ghosts’ and, er, ‘Dismemberment.’ Nice. The Micropastas tab is worth a look as well, distilling the essence of a terrifying tale into a few short lines.
Frankenstein: Interactive ($3.99/£3.49)
In this reinvention of Mary Shelley’s famous tome, the original text becomes a framework for a journey within the story’s world, with you guiding Victor Frankenstein through a series of disastrous events. It’s less freeform than other adventures, with branching narratives leading to an inevitable conclusion. But that doesn’t matter when you’re immersed in the story, staring at the lovely illustrations.
Lake (free + IAP)
When the scares have got your heart thumping and you need to calm down a bit, Lake keeps you in the Halloween mood, but in a more tranquil way. Its suitably spooky Halloween and festivities collections have black and white art to color, from a chunky mummy to a suspiciously large rat that’s keenly into cosplaying as a witch, judging by its broomstick and hat.