We get it: pretty much nothing about 2020 is normal.

And yet, if you’re anything like us, you’re probably trying to find ways to make everything feel a little bit more normal. Upcoming holidays–Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah–seem to provide the possibility for a little bit of normalcy in this crazy year.

Even though the first holiday of that bunch, Halloween, may not be totally normal, we think it will still be possible to have fun on everyone’s favorite spooky holiday. So, with October already upon us, here are 5 apps we think should help maintain a safe Halloween experience this year for everyone involved:

  1. Halloween 2020 COVID-19 DashboardOkay, so this isn’t actually a mobile app, but we’d be remiss not to include it. The Harvard Global Health Institute and the Halloween & Costume Association teamed up to modify the CDC’s dashboard to indicate “Halloween safety” levels throughout the country. It’s simple: using the dashboard, you can find your county, see a color-coded risk level, and use that to determine how best to safely celebrate Halloween. The site provides recommendations (which get more restrictive the more active cases there are in your county) for how to enjoy Halloween no matter where you are. We recommend using this tool before you head to any of the others.
  2. Halloween Spooky Sound Box: There’s nothing like some spooky music to get you in the mood for Halloween! This free app has tons of scary options, from door creaks and ghost whispers to haunted hearbeats, to set the mood on Halloween.
  3. Junket: On its own, Junket isn’t much of a Halloween app. Normally, the app provides virtual tours of key spots all around the country, from San Francisco to Colonial Williamsburg. This year, Junket teamed up with US Ghost Adventures, which normally hosts in-person tours, to provide (paid) virtual ghost tours throughout the country. If you’re looking for a good way to get your thrills in later this month, we think a virtual ghost tour could be a great place to start.
  4. Great Pumpkin, Charlie BrownAlternatively, if you’re hoping for a more family-friendly Halloween, there’s nothing like Charlie Brown to get you in the holiday spirit. The only paid app on our list at $4.99, “Great Pumkin, Charlie Brown” is a digitized version of the classic Charlie Brown Halloween story that’s appropriate for all ages. With extra features that you don’t get in the book version like customizable costumes, music, and interactive scenes, we think this one is worth the five dollars.
  5. Nextdoor: Finally, this year, Nextdoor partnered with Party City to try to create a resource for safe celebration of Halloween during the COVID-19 pandemic. Features like virtual visitors, as well as ways to show neighbors that you have cool pumpkins or haunted decor out front for people to visit at a distance, help everyone safely celebrate this spooky holiday.

Do you have an addition to this list? Another fun tech-oriented way you like to spice up your halloween activities? Respond in the comments and let us know–we’d love to hear from you!

Photo by Marius Ciocirlan on Unsplash