Digital Crave

Spooky Halloween tech to decorate your house

Digital Crave

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For those who like to frighten, dress up or just have unadulterated fun,Halloween is a much better time of the year than Thanksgiving or Christmas.

If you're reading this, you likely agree candy is tastier than turkey and zombies are cooler than Santa.

Whether you're planning on freaking out trick-or-treaters who come to your door or throwing a killer costume party, you can go all-out for All Hallow's Eve by decorating in or around your haunted house. And while you might not think of technology when it comes to Halloween décor, choosing the right gadgets can help add some fright to your night.

On your front porch, for example, replace that boring 'ol poorly carved pumpkin with this 3-foot-tall Fogging Jack O' Lantern ($199.99). Not only do the eyes, nose and mouth light up on its creepy face, with a menacing red glow, but as the name suggests fog pours out of the giant jack o' lantern from a 6-gallon tank of water (which lasts for hours, says Hammacher Schlemmer).

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If your guests want to come inside, they'll need to use the Corpse Door Knocker ($12.99).

Using a motion sensor to activate when someone is nearby, the severed hand knocks on the door and grunts "let me in" via a small speaker (3 AA batteries included). The door prop includes a suction cup and transparent strap to mount on your door.

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Then, when your guests need to use the bathroom, help scare the you-know-what out of them with the Electronic Serial Killer Shower Curtain and Bath Mat ($14.99) from ThinkGeek.

Activated by sound or motion, guests will start hearing the Psycho theme music and see a blood-stained curtain and mat.

While not electronic, there's also the Scary Shower Curtain ($29.99) from Present Time Wanted. Instead of blood, this white 80- by 72-inch shower curtain (with hooks) has a silhouette of someone seemingly standing in the shower with hands pressed on the curtain.

Also in the bathroom, replace your existing toilet paper holder with the Creepy Toilet Paper Holder With Sounds ($6.49). As the name suggests, pulling a sheet of toilet paper from this inexpensive doohickey triggers some screams out of the battery-powered device (two AAAs not included).

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If you have a little more cash at your disposal, why not give your guests some chills and thrills with Night Frights' Scary Mary Mirror (from $1,699.99), an ornate mirror that transforms the person's reflection into one of many ghoulish surprises including a zombified woman, killer clown and screaming ghost.

And no, you don't need to say "Bloody Mary" three times in front of it to see the pants-wetting effect.

Hidden behind the 2-way mirror is an LCD screen that plays back a number of creepy routines from Night Frights' library of content, when connected to a DVD player via HDMI cable (both included) and speaker system (required for audio). This large mirror — with a frame measuring 40 inches tall by 28 inches wide — also includes a wall mount and portrait light to illuminate it — while optional accouterments include a controller to trigger the video when someone steps on a switch mat, a PIR sensor or handheld switch ($200 to $250 more for each).

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Another visual effect to dress up your Halloween house of horrors: the aptly-named Spooky Shadows Light ($24.99), a battery-powered light that casts dark figures and shapes on your walls and ceilings.

Examples of what you see include witches, leafless trees, tombstones and a cat. Perfect for helping the kiddies get to sleep!

Even better, plug your existing light bulbs into the Halloween Lighting Effects Machine ($29.95) and watch your lamps flicker and dim along with a 30-minute spooky sounds CD featuring thunderstorms, creaking floors, and more.

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Your friends enjoying some beverages at your house party? They might not want to reach for that drink if they see a realistic-looking spider crawl across the coffee table.

Uncle Milton's Radio Control Tarantula ($17.45) is a furry R/C-controlled creepy crawler that scurries across any flat surface.

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Or perhaps lying on the countertop in your kitchen — where every good party always ends up — you've got a Bloody Butcher Heart ($19.99). This isn't any ordinary cut of beef: wrapped in cellophane, this faux human heart (made out of vinyl) actually beats while on the bloody Styrofoam tray. The gimmick requires two AA batteries (not included).

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If you want to invite a special friend to stay the night, show them to their room — with an Exorcist Bed waiting for them inside ($3,999).

OK, so this might actually hurt your chances for a fall fling, but using pneumatics technology you can lie and levitate on a cushion of air, says the company, up to five feet off the surface of the bed, in fact. What's more, the bed even thrashes around wildly like Regan (Linda Blair) before the infamous head-spin.

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Finally, when your guests are gone, email them some frightfully fun photos of the night — by first plugging your camera into the Skullhub USB ($24.99).

This creepy 4-port USB 2.0 hub and knickknack holder connects to your Mac or Windows computer, allowing you to plug in four other devices into the jawbone of the grinning skull.

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