Explainer: 10 terrifying Halloween gadgets

  • Halloween is about fun, candy and costumes — but it is also about crippling, blood-curdling fear. If you have forgotten about the true meaning of Halloween, the following gadgets should be scary enough, creepy enough and just plain weird enough to remind you.

  • Electronic serial killer shower curtain

    Showers are invigorating, but after showering with the electronic serial killer curtain, you'll never feel more alive. Seriously — because after the "Psycho" theme music plays and the screaming starts, you'll feel lucky to be alive.

    The audio clips are activated by both sound and motion, so there's also the added benefit of water conservation and short bathroom trips. Anyone in there will want to get out as fast as possible. $19.98 (Things You Never Knew Existed via Nerd Approved)

  • Flashing light-up body parts

    Are these illuminated severed limbs made from plastic, or are they the real limbs of all the people you murdered at the nearby nuclear power plant? You know, the irradiated corpses you hastily buried in a shallow grave in your front yard? Hey, they're cheaper than those solar lights, and more effective on trick-or-treaters. $19.99 (Buy Costumes via Nerd Approved)

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  • Ghost-detecting cell phone strap

    If you feel your house is haunted by a Japanese-speaking poltergeist, you'll want to pick up one of these ghost-detecting cell phone straps. It claims to have the ability to detect ghosts in your area at the push of a button. When a spirit is detected, the light on the strap turns red — indicating danger.

    It also includes a mysterious device called a Kotodama tuner that supposedly uses "algorithms" to translate the spiritual energy around you into human speech. What kind of messages you will hear is unknown, but unless you speak the language I would get Rosetta Stone so you can communicate effectively with the Great Beyond. $23.20 (Strapya)

  • Animatronic vortex tunnel

    If money is no object on the haunted house this year, consider using this vortex tunnel as an entrance. The tunnel rotates around the walking platform, complete with trippy blacklights and illuminated artwork. There's even a version that employs 3-D-printed fabric that can be viewed with glasses. Of course, if you use something this extreme as an entrance, you had better deliver with the haunted house itself. This thing can't just open up to you sitting in your living room eating a pizza and watching "30 Rock" — although that would be hilarious. $7,877 (Haunted Props via Nerd Approved)

  • Haunted toilet paper roller

    This motion-activated toilet paper roller emits spooky howling, screaming and moaning sounds — which could lead others to believe that you have a serious problem going on in there. Naturally, you don't want people coming in while you do your business (or for a while thereafter), so you can use it to tell others that the bathroom is haunted and that they should not enter if they value their souls. $6.49 (The Design Town via Nerd Approved)

  • Skullhub USB

    This isn't an actual skull, it's a 4-port USB hub and knick knack holder designed to look like a skull. But your co-workers don't know that. You just keep telling them it's the last guy who stole your Diet Coke out of the break-room fridge. Then tell them you've been thinking about making a new chair. $24.99 (Think Geek via CubicleBot)

  • DIY spirit radio

    Image: DIY Spirit Radio
    Courtesy of Nerd Approved

    You know if something was creepy enough to spook out an already creepy Nikola Tesla, it has to be like clown-level creepy. That was the case with the Spirit Radio. This updated version is basically a crystal radio circuit connected to a computer sound-in jack that generates bizarre sounds from various electromagnetic sources.

    In 1901, Tesla wrote about the device saying: "My first observations positively terrified me as there was present in them something mysterious, not to say supernatural, and I was alone in my laboratory at night." Check out the following link to build one — if you dare. Materials about $30. (Instructables)

  • Exorcist bed

    Maybe the reason you can't sleep at night is because your mattress isn't comfortable. Instead of spending lots of money on the latest fad, why not spend lots money on a bed where you don't use the mattress at all? With the Exorcist Bed, you'll be lying on a cushion of air — literally — as you float up to five feet off the surface. Obviously, the effect is an illusion created with pneumatics, but it sure looks like you've become possessed. The bed even thrashes around wildly to enhance the effect. $3,999 (Carnage Complex via Nerd Approved)

  • Fogging jack o' lantern

    You don't need a poorly carved, poorly lit pumpkin bursting into flames on your front porch in front of a bunch of kids and engulfing your doorway like it’s the portal to hell … again. So keep it safe with this 3-foot-tall fogging jack o' lantern. The eyes, nose and mouth light up and it will produce fog from a 6-gallon tank of water for hours. $499.95 (Hammacher Schlemmer)

  • ShockGunz

    Instead of trying to get creative to scare people this Halloween, it might be a lot easier to bust out the big guns. ShockGunz, to be more precise. These portable fear cannons come in several varieties — all of which feature bright lights and loud horns in different configurations. All you need to do is sneak up behind someone and pull the trigger. And don't worry, you can't be arrested for owning this type of gun — unless we are talking about cardiac arrest. $275-$500 (Shot In The Dark Scare Tools via Nerd Approved)

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