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What the Tech? Halloween apps

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If you love a good scare forget about costumes and yard decorations; the scariest thing some people will see is an app on their smartphone.

I was skeptical, I mean how scary can an app be? Turns out...pretty darn scary. Here are my picks for the top 3 scary apps in the App Stores:

1. Insidious 3. This app is just a trailer for the movie that came out a year or so ago. It uses your phone's accelerometer to give a 360-degree immersive experience. You'll need a Google Cardboard device; the kind you slip a phone into and look through like an old ViewMaster Viewer. The app walks you up to a scary lady who's warning you of what's to come. She's one creepy sounding woman who warns that you are not alone. As she's giving you advice, weird things start happening like slamming doors and moving glasses on a table. The video only lasts a couple of minutes, but it is a frightening couple of minutes. I've shown the video through the player to about a dozen people and each person jumps a bit at the scary parts. Sadly, it ends far too soon.

2. Night Terrors. This app uses the camera on your phone as a viewfinder using augmented reality, similar to technique used in the app Pokemon Go. It suggests turning off the lights, wearing headphones and walking through your home. As you walk you see flickering lights, glowing eyes and the occasional freaky spirit that jumps out of nowhere. The immersiveness of walking through your home in the dark wearing headphones with lots of scary sounds is creepy enough even without the surprise 'boos' and screams you hear. The videos are divided by chapters, the first is 99-cents. I was disappointed in the number of spooks I saw in the 5-7 minutes of stumbling through my dark house but I admit I'll probably download the next chapter.

3. 11:57 is the scariest of the apps I tried. It's in 360-degrees so you can turn your head and look up and down as things start happening around you. It also suggests wearing headphones to complete the immersive experience. This isn't one of those apps where things just keep popping up out of nowhere, there seems to be a story somewhere in the video (what it is I don't know but there's an old man, a creepy kid and shadows that keep moving around you). 11:57 is a free app and definitely worth the download.

What's cool about all of these apps is being able to almost take you away from reality and the technology is still fairly new so next Halloween I anticipate even scarier apps to fill up smartphone screens.

The apps include a warning when you first open it, urging people with heart conditions or who've had a seizure to look no further and though anyone can download them, they are not recommended for young users.

links:

11:57 app 11:57.pm Night Terrors https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/night-terrors-augmented-reality-survival-horror#/

Insidious 3 https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.focus.insidiousCardboard&hl=en

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/insidious-vr/id989844820?mt=8

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