Tech Gadgets For Your Halloween Ghost-Hunting - InformationWeek

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10/25/2015
10:05 AM
David Wagner
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Tech Gadgets For Your Halloween Ghost-Hunting

If you're looking to get your spooky on this Halloween with ghosts, vampires, or zombies, we've got the technology to help you do it.

Steve Jobs Movie: 5 Myths, 5 Realities
Steve Jobs Movie: 5 Myths, 5 Realities
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Every year around Halloween, we give you a special zombie-themed public service announcement. (Last year, it was the best and worst cities to live in during a zombie attack.) This year, however, we've got a triple threat of paranormal creatures to satisfy your thirst for fright.

Trulia, the online real estate site, has provided us with the perfect inspiration. Its number-crunching ghouls have used their traditional big data-driven maps to provide the top 10 cities where you are most likely to be bitten by a vampire or see a ghost. They also name the very worst place to be in a zombie attack. But don't worry, because, if you find your town on any of these lists, we've got the finest in mobile apps, devices, and technology to help you survive your encounters with the paranormal.

Let's start with everyone's favorite blood sucker, the vampire. Why? Mostly because Trulia tells us that three major tech towns are on the vampire's list of favorite hunting grounds. Among other data, Trulia has checked for the largest number of blood banks and hospitals per capita. Coming in at No. 2 on this list is Austin. No. 3 is San Francisco, and Boston is No. 7.

But have no fear, because you already have the best anti-vampire tool money can buy -- your smartphone.

This is what anti-vampire kits looked like in the 19th century:

(Image: Josh Berglund via Wikipedia)

(Image: Josh Berglund via Wikipedia)

This is what they look like now:

(Image: dork, LLC via iTunes)

(Image: dork, LLC via iTunes)

This app lights up your phone with "sunlight" to scare away vampires. In case that isn't enough, it can also provide this handy picture of a cross. I'm less sold on the idea that it gives you "smell free" pictures of garlic. Also, the free "Holy Water dispenser" would be more comforting if my phone had a squirt function (Apple, I'm looking at you). But between the cross and the searing light from my display, I'm sure that Vlad the Impaler will soon become Vlad the Hightailer, as in hightailing it back to Transylvania.

If you happen to find vampires romantic and mysterious, there is an app for that, too. You can always make your selfies a little more vampiric with this app. If you're ready to meet the real deal, download the Red Cross mobile app to find your local blood bank.

[If things that go bump in the night aren't your thing, try this rundown of the geekiest costumes. Read 11 Geekiest Halloween Costumes.]

If ghosts are your spooks of choice, Seattle is the tech town for you, coming in at No. 2 on the list. How'd they make the list? We'll let Trulia tell you.

Many … experts have revealed that sightings are most likely to happen in spooky-looking places. So we created an extensive survey to identify the most spooky, and therefore most ghost-infested, places across the country. It was a very scientific survey. And not at all random.

Ghost-hunting has hit the mainstream. Not only are there countless paranormal investigation shows on TV, but even mainstream sites are selling ghost-hunting kits. If you "ain't afraid of no ghosts," we suggest this special Ghost Hunters-branded ghost-hunting kit available on NBC's website for only $99. It comes with all the equipment you need: an EMF monitor to measure changes in electromagnetic fields when ghosts float by, motion sensors, digital thermometers to measure the chill in the air when you get goose bumps, and even an EVP listener.

'What is an EVP listener,' you ask? EVP stands for Electronic Voice Phenomena. The idea is that ghosts are talking all the time, but our

There's a haunted app for that. See Page 2

David has been writing on business and technology for over 10 years and was most recently Managing Editor at Enterpriseefficiency.com. Before that he was an Assistant Editor at MIT Sloan Management Review, where he covered a wide range of business topics including IT, ... View Full Bio
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zerox203
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zerox203,
User Rank: Ninja
10/29/2015 | 3:15:46 AM
Re: Tech Gadgets For Your Halloween Ghost-Hunting
@Brian.Dean,

That was my thought, too. Even as a complete joke, saying that pictures of garlic or holy water will do anything about vampires is pretty weak. I was about to give it a pass as long as it was free, but it looks like they're charging for it... they'll have to be a little more creative if they want my money. You're right, though; the supernatural and the mystical is definitely chic right now. The crazy popularity of The Walking Dead, fantastical shows about witches and headless horsemen on primetime TV, comic book shows on every channel (somewhat related), and even reality shows like Face/Off. Movies, Books, Games, Fashion, it's everywhere. Maybe we do have to hit a breaking point where we'll go back down eventually. For now, it's definitely big business - maybe big enough to support a $24,000 gun kit.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
10/28/2015 | 1:23:06 PM
Re: Scarier than I thought
@impactnow- Windows 10! Now with all new Windows Defender which fights malware and the paranormal!
impactnow
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impactnow,
User Rank: Author
10/28/2015 | 12:42:42 PM
Scarier than I thought
Dave LOL who knew that tech would be the paranormal's greatest enemy! I would have never guessed! I have to say I would have never thought of any of these apps for my  cell phone. I only knew about the ones that rate your Halloween candy to save trick or treaters the trip. Now I think I have other things to worry about....I was just thinking about whether I should upgrade to Windows 10.
Brian.Dean
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Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
10/27/2015 | 8:00:33 AM
Re: Tech Gadgets For Your Halloween Ghost-Hunting
I don't feel that a smartphone app is adequate defense against a vampire. Supernatural would indicate that greater preparation is required. On a more serious note, the collectables market can be gauged by viewership of shows such as, Supernatural. The current episodes of Supernatural gain an average viewership of around 2 million per episode, it is down from previous years where viewership could reach as high as 6 million per episode.
zerox203
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zerox203,
User Rank: Ninja
10/26/2015 | 4:26:09 PM
Re: Tech Gadgets For Your Halloween Ghost-Hunting
I'm quite amused by the range of seriousness that these offerings take themselves with. The phone app and the ghost-busting kit are clearly intended as gag/enthusiast gifts but at $24,000 it's hard to say the same about the Z.E.R.O kit. They pack their share of humor into the commercial, but the gear is the real deal, which begs the question... are people really preparing for the zombie apocalypse? The like-to-dislike ratio and the comments on the Youtube video suggest that people are into this... but who knows how many would buy. As for dangerous cities, well... crud. Boston makes two of the lists (no surprise to be honest... quite congested here and we have a storied history with the supernatural), not to mention Providence is only a hop, skip, and a jump away... so if that's zombie central, I'm done for anyway. Maybe I should think twice about making fun of the $24,000 zombie survival kit.
yalanand
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yalanand,
User Rank: Ninja
10/26/2015 | 1:16:09 PM
Maybe someday
Maybe someday I would fight off zombies with my iPhone ready with it plugged into a 10,000 mAh powerbank and my anti-zombie app switched on. A man can dream.
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