Halloween downloads have been a staple of Apple’s App Store ever since Angry Birds started flinging themselves at pumpkins instead of pigs. But the best Halloween apps were built from the grave — I mean, ground up — to scare, spook, and startle. These five apps can help the entire family get in the Halloween spirit, and are worth leaving on your iPhone or iPad even after all the trick-or-treat candy is gone.
It’s the week before Halloween, which for most people means it’s time to panic and find a costume. Craftsy offers endless inspiration and hours of classes on how to design, stitch, sew, and knit together countless creative projects, including killer kiddie costumes. And while it might be too late to crochet this Batman costume — unless you’re some sort of yarn monster — “The Costume Box” sewing class is currently discounted, and busting with ideas for tick-or-treaters-to-be.
Craftsy is available for free, with in-app purchases required, in the App Store.
October is all about curling up in the dark and scaring yourself senseless with a good horror flick. Right now, there’s nothing spookier on television than FX’s American Horror Story. For four seasons, this anthology of terrifying tales has won awards and viewers alike. Missed out on it? Binge watching with the FX Now app is a great way to get your frightening fill. But if it packs too much bloodshed, the app also has a not-so-sinister alternative in every episode of The Simpsons ever aired — including all of the excellent “Treehouse of Horror” Halloween specials.
FXNOW is available for free in the App Store, though a cable subscription is required to watch most of its on-demand episodes.
“It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain; but once conceived, it haunted me day and night,” confesses Edgar Allen Poe’s main character in “A Tell-Tale Heart.” I wonder if the makers of iPoe, an interactive, illustrated book featuring some of the horror master's most ghastly stories had the same hysteria. As gorgeous as it is spine-tingling, this app is an excellent way to brush up on some classic Halloween tales or enjoy the spooky stories for the first time. And with Apple’s new app bundles, you can now get volumes one and two of these Retina display-enhanced books, as well as a bonus app with 27 spooky wallpaper images pulled from the stories, for a barebones price.
The iPoe Halloween Special Pack is available for $5.99 in the App Store.
Black and white and dead all over, this gorgeous side-scrolling puzzler has enough creepy and confounding elements to scare you senseless. With subtle, eerie music and skin-crawling sound effects, the audio alone is enough to make your pulse race while you guide a little boy through a dark world hell-bent on stopping him from rescuing his sister. It might not look like much in its screenshots, but turn out the lights, grab some friends and Airplay the game to an Apple TV, and you’ll discover how less can be gore.
Limbo is available for $4.99 in the App Store.
Zombies are people too — or were people, rather. Helping little ones to survive the scariest holiday, this iPad-only app aimed at six- to eight-year-olds lets children make their own monsters from a colorful collection of body parts, clothing and other hair-raising extras. Camera integration lets young mad scientists add friends' and family members’ faces to their creations as well as customize the accessories. And with a sandbox style of play, the fun only stops when your kid's imagination runs out.
Zombies iMake is available for free in the App Store.