Somehow Halloween is right around the corner again, but there’s still time to decorate the house, stock up on candy, and get into the spirit of things with a 3D-printed costume. We’re here to help you get ready for the most terrifying Halloween ever with our pick of the best Halloween apps, ghoulish games, and petrifying podcasts around.
Best Halloween games
The first game on our list is the hit supernatural thriller Oxenfree. When a group of partying teens accidentally unlock a ghostly rift, you must make choices to decide what happens next. Explore a haunted island, contact the supernatural, forge or destroy friendships, and enjoy a cool 80s setting complete with an original soundtrack. You’ll need a Netflix membership to enjoy Oxenfree on mobile, but it’s free to play and its spooky vibe will stick with you long after the end credits roll. Oxenfree II: Lost Signals lands sometime next year, too, making this the perfect time to play the first game.
Dead by Daylight
If you’ve played Dead by Daylight on console or PC, the mobile version is every bit as much fun. If you’re totally new to the game, it’s a 4v1 PVP experience where you either play as a serial killer trying to take down a group of four survivors, or try your luck as one of the survivors, hiding and trying to outwit the killer at every turn. By far the best thing about this game is the selection of horror movie slasher villains you can choose to play as, including Friday the 13th‘s Jason, Nightmare on Elm Street‘s Freddy Krueger, and even Halloween‘s Michael Myers. Choose to play as a survivor and you can also pick from some iconic characters like Halloween‘s Laurie Strode or Silent Hill‘s Cheryl Mason. Randomly generated maps keep the action fresh each time, and each character you choose has customized perks, giving the game longevity. With jump scares a-plenty, there’s nothing quite like the Dead by Daylight experience this Halloween.
If you fancy something a little bit different than the usual cheesy jump scares and not-so-terrifying Halloween masks, Simulacra is a great game to get stuck into this Halloween. In this found-footage-style horror game, you stumble across a phone belonging to a young woman named Anna and find a mysterious video message that seems to be a cry for help. Turns out, Anna is missing and nobody knows where she is. It’s up to you to piece together what happened to her by talking to her friends and looking through her texts, emails, and photo gallery — but her phone starts to behave strangely the deeper you dig. The game features an expansive narrative with five different possible endings, so there’s plenty of value for the $5 entry fee, and it’s filmed with live actors for an immersive feel.
Five Nights at Freddy’s AR: Special Delivery
If you’ve already played the original mobile port of the hit game Five Nights at Freddy’s, then check out this new version that takes the terror one step further (or too far, depending on your bravery) — with an augmented reality (AR) component. Unlike the original game, where you’re watching the security cameras for evil animatronics at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, this new installment brings the animatronics into your home. In the game, you subscribe to the “Fazbear Funtime Service,” which delivers your favorite animatronics on-demand to your home. However, the visiting animatronics malfunction, and suddenly they’re out for blood rather than here to entertain. Let us tell you this: There’s nothing more terrifying than an evil animatronic bunny lunging out from behind your bed … Nothing. This definitely isn’t a game we recommend you play while home alone this Halloween.
Dead Trigger 2
It wouldn’t be Halloween without zombies, and if you’re looking for one of the best zombie shooters around, you have to give Dead Trigger 2 (and its predecessor, Dead Trigger) a go. This isn’t a serious zombie game by any means, and it’s more reminiscent of fun console titles like Dead Rising, where you unlock and collect a variety of weapons — including some ridiculous ones like lethal chickens — to take down the undead, build your own hideout, and explore 10 regions with 33 different battlefields. You can play with touch control or the virtual joystick — just don’t let the zombies get you.
This game lets you create and manage your own Halloween City. You can decorate the city with lots of witches, vampires, werewolves, mummies, and, of course, zombies. You can also crossbreed to get new monsters and try them in the game. Collect coins to unlock more items and take pictures of the city you have created to share them with your friends. Collect monsters and defeat your enemies in this fun game that’s also a great way to entertain the kids this Halloween.
Friday the 13th: Killer Puzzle
Play as horror legend Jason Voorhees from the Friday the 13th movies in this fun little puzzler, which sees you terrorizing and slaying those around you, from the shores of Crystal Lake to Downtown Manhattan. There are eight episodes with 100 levels each, and along the way, you’ll unlock some pretty epic weapons. You can choose “PG” for (almost) family-friendly fun or “R” mode for the most gruesome kill scenes ever.
Our final pick of games to scare you to death this Halloween — and we may have saved the best for last — is Granny, an escape game with one goal: Make it out of Granny’s house alive. You have five days to get out, but Granny is always listening. She hears everything, so you’ll need to be cautious and quiet. You can hide under beds and in closets, using your environment to your advantage. Look out for secret passageways that could prove the key to your escape. It’s pretty scary, and you’ll find yourself holding your breath at times as you hide while Granny looks for you.
Best Halloween apps
There’s no better feeling than spooking your friends at Halloween, and the Scary Prank app — only available on iOS, though there are similar apps on Android — is one of the best ways to do it. The app looks like a quiz game. Pass your phone to your friends so they can “help” you answer some questions, then … wait for it … BOO! A scary ghost suddenly jumps out at the screen with a bloodcurdling scream. It’s a lot like those videos that did the rounds a few years back where you’d be asked to look closely at a photograph showing a supposed ghost sighting, only to be absolutely terrified when something jumps out at you. You can even upload reaction videos to the community and watch other people get scared too — pretty funny.
Ghost Detector Radar Camera
Is your house haunted? Time to find out with one of the most popular ghost-hunting apps around. Ghost Detector Radar Camera is the perfect app for scaring your friends with spooky entities. Just open the app, then walk around your house, work, or wherever you happen to be until it finds a ghost. Then, you can select a question and have a conversation with the undead! There are some pretty amusing reviews of this app, with people claiming to have contacted real, evil spirits in their home and others claiming it’s all fake. Is it a hoax? The only way to know is to download it yourself.
If you’re looking for some spooky stories to read alone or with friends this Halloween, Creepypasta is the app you need. This iOS-only app is free to download, and there are over 14,500 stories here, including tales about popular characters like Slenderman. Turn on dark mode, cozy up under the covers, and prepare to be scared.
Toca Boo ($4)
Toca Boo is one of the cutest apps we’ve come across — and definitely one for the kids (or big kids) this Halloween. You play as Bonnie, a little girl dressed as a ghost, as she roams her house, trying to frighten her family members. Hide behind curtains or under tables, and stay out of the light, or you’ll be seen. With six different family members to scare and a huge house spread over two floors to explore, the game features beautiful, original artwork, and plenty of hidden surprises to keep you entertained.
Ghost Lens AR
If you want to create a ghostly effect by merging two similar photos of yourself together, you can do it with Ghost Lens AR for iOS. You can make it look like your spirit has left your body, create spooky AR video effects, or add terrifying ghost GIFs to your own images. Your photos will suddenly turn into evidence of paranormal activity, so you can scare the living daylights out of yourself and everyone you choose to share the ghostly pics with. As they say, if you’ve got it, haunt it.
Best Halloween podcasts
Aaron Mahnke’s 13 Days of Halloween
There’s no better podcast to listen to this All Hallow’s Eve than Aaron Mahnke’s 13 Days of Halloween. The 3D audio show’s in its third season, with episodes landing daily for 13 days, starting on October 19 and ending on Halloween itself. Powerful, 360-degree surround sound technology makes these tales truly immersive, so you’ll need to wear headphones for the most chilling experience. It’s up to you whether you listen to seasons one and two first, or dive straight into season three: Devil’s Night, starring the voice talents of actor Clancy Brown (The Shawshank Redemption). When 12-year-old Max and his dog become stranded far from home, they must to find a way back through the mayhem of the most dangerous night of the year.
This weekly podcast sees hosts Amanda McLoughlin and Julia Schifini get together over a boozy tipple to talk all things myths, urban legends, and folklore. Every week there’s something new and spooky — but we love the Your Urban Legends episodes best, where listeners get in touch to share stories of urban legends in their hometown.
No plans to sit around a campfire and tell ghost stories with all your friends this year? That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the same experience at home. Camp Monsters is one of our favorite weekly podcasts, telling haunting and often terrifying encounters with impossible creatures in the wildest corners of the country. Come closer to the fire and hear the next tale.
We’ve loved Lore since it began in 2015 when we were lured in by host Aaron Mahnke’s dulcet tones. This bi-weekly podcast is the perfect listen this Halloween if you want strange, mysterious, and often frightening historical tales — and there are over 250 episodes to keep you entertained. The TV show is worth checking out too.
The NoSleep Podcast
The NoSleep Podcast is an anthology of original short horror fiction designed to be listened to alone, in the dark — or switch the light on (we won’t judge). It’s definitely not one for the kids, as each tale is as frightening as it is disturbing, read by a talented voice actor with atmospheric music and sound effects. If you love reading horror fiction and ghost stories, this will be your new favorite podcast.
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