Oct. 31, 2012 -- For kids and adults alike, Halloween is one of the most favorite holidays of the year. Most of us dress up in costume to attend spooky parties or go trick-or-treating. But celebrating this festive day doesn't have to be limited to masks, wigs or capes. There are plenty of gizmos, gadgets and novelty items inspired by Halloween that will give you pleasure for days, weeks or months. Here are 13 of our suggestions.
ANALYSIS: Halloween: A (Cartoon) History
Freak Show cases for iPod Touch: $24.99 each
Just in time for Halloween, Griffin Technology has cooked up and today is scheduled to release four freaky silicone cases to protect your 4th generation iPod Touch. Whether you go with Frankenstein's monster, The Mummy, a vampiress or The Wolfman, these friendly, protective fiends will still allow you to access to the Touch's camera, connectors and other controls.
SCIENCE CHANNEL QUIZ: Which Monster Are You?
Zombie Back Scratcher: $24.95
Zombies are everywhere this year, it’s like they’re the new vampire, without the suave demeanor and good looks. The Zombie Back Scratcher is another novelty item banking on this craze. I will give them this: the back scratchers support independent artists and illustrators. And because the gory details of each arm are created by a real person, no two are the same.
Lil' Vampire Pacifier: $4.99
In order to commemorate the day your baby calmly joined the incisor-filled ranks of Das Wampyr (via this hilarious set of fake fangs), try to capture the most entertaining image possible. All the unsuspecting baby knows is that it can quietly be pacified like normal. But you know the real reason behind this accessory: Hours of laughs for mom, dad and others.
WordBully w/Trick or Tracker: Free for a limited time, then $9.95
It's scary out there -- and not just on Halloween. One way to help protect your kids is by monitoring their texts for signs of cyber-bullying. WordBully, a new Android app just released, checks both outbound and inbound texts for approximately 3,600 words, acronyms, bulli-cons and phrases likely to be considered vulgar, profane, physically or emotionally threatening.
The app also allows you to create and manage a custom list of monitored colloquialisms and blacklist certain suspected individuals. Ultimately, it's about gaining perspective on what your child's going through. But in case you don't know where your child's going through, WordBully has the Halloween-appropriate Trick or Tracker sister app built into it. By sending a special code to their phone, you can instantly determine their location. It also has a very handy flashlight feature that helps illuminate their path -- or into their bag of goodies.
Pumpkin Gutter: $11.99
The Pumpkin Gutter is for the Halloween neat freak in all of us that still enjoys a little mayhem. The gutter can be used with any high-powered drill and has steel blades to quickly and efficiently remove all of the nasty gooey bits inside of your Halloween decoration. It can even thin out the walls to create more creative carvings. While it does hollow out pumpkins with no regrets, it thankfully shows some mercy on pumpkin seeds, so roast away.
Via: The Hardware Aisle
The ThinkGeek EvilTron sound button: $9.99 for 1; $14.99 for 2; $17.99 for 3
Up the creep factor of your Halloween setting with some unsettling noises. ThinkGeek's diabolical EvilTron plays five sounds, from unsettling creaking and unidentifiable scratching sounds to a gasping last breath, sinister child laughing and eerie whispering of 'Hey, can you hear me?' Best of all, it has a random mode, perfect for when you hide the tiny device in whatever devilishly clever location will best torture your victims. The included battery supposedly has enough juice for the deviousness to last until after Thanksgiving.
Customized Haunted Memories Portrait: $500 for 1 subject; $900 for 2 subjects
For years, Eddie Allen has used old photographs as a basis for making spooky portraits that morph. But his gruesome talents aren't limited to anonymous subjects in old fashioned photos. He can turn you too into a skeleton, zombie or demon -- er, that is, he can take a picture of you and make it a frighteningly fun custom portrait. Eddie's painstaking work takes about three months and you'll need to pose with facial expressions that lend themselves to the lenticular changes. But he'll work with you to create something assuredly entertaining and highly memorable.
Martha Stewart Animated Snake Wreath: $29.99
Those who are afraid of snakes should just skip this slide. The Animated Snake Wreath is adorned with vibrating and hissing snakes that look like their slithering away and has a motion-activated sensor. If you’re strapped for cash this season, Martha’s got you covered with a DIY version that's less animated, but still freaky.
Skull USB Hub: $24.99
No, this isn't an actual human skull. It's a 6-inch long resin facsimile with four built-in USB 2.0 ports that's sure to get some double-takes -- but don't let that go to your head. Other than that, there's nothing much to wrap your brain around (so to speak). It's just an eerie hub.
DIY "Haunted Mansion" Singing Heads
If you’re feeling a little crafty this season and have a some knowledge of electrical engineering, try your hand at these singing heads. They're powered by Ardunio, a micro-controller board used to make electronics in projects more accessible. A video of the original singing heads from Disney World's Haunted Mansion is projected, along with sounds, onto four styrofoam heads, which gives the appearance that the heads are singing (click here to see the video on Youtube). The instructions and supply list is on Instructables, a site that allows users to share projects with others.
Night Vision Infrared Stealth Binoculars: $49.99
Even though they're rated for kids starting at age eight, these award-winning night vision goggles are the real deal. Part of Jakks' SpyNet line, they utilize infrared technology to help you see on a dual-eye digital display what evil may be lurking up to 50 feet away in the dark. And unlike in the movie Patriot Games, turning on the light won't blind you. They can be used just as well in daylight.
DemonBells: $79.99 to $199.99
DemonBells aren’t marketed for Halloween, but they could inspire the Halloween spirit during a workout. The kettle bells have been designed with cultural influences from all over the world, like the 35-pound bell modeled after traditional Japanese warrior masks or the tattoo culture-inspired 20lb "sugar skull." The heaviest and most aptly named bell is the "Big Boi," weighing in at 72 pounds and based on Polynesian war masks/totem poles, this guy is not for beginners. Even after the holiday, the kettle bells are cool conversation pieces and a reminder of the warrior inside.
Haunted Coat Rack: $2,295 to $2,868.75
The Scare Factory is known for producing complex, demonic, over-the-top effects involving realistically scary attack dogs, gesticulating zombies and articulating corpses. And who could forget their Last Ride Angel of Death Hearse? So by their standards, this year's Haunted Coat Rack is relatively simple. Nonetheless, the effect of a rotting corpse bursting out of what looks like an ordinary coat rack and flailing its arms around is assured to quicken the hearts of countless passers by. But don't worry, they won't get mad at you, as long as you stock plenty of extra towels and clean underwear...and they get to watch the next victims trip the sensor!
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