Halloween isn’t just about the cool costumes and tasty treats: it’s also about the tricks! For many of us, there’s no sweeter feeling than a prank well played, and everyone has that one friend or coworker who’s not to be trusted. However, as we get busier, the logistics of redecorating an office cubicle or filling an entire room with balloons for fun simply become less practical. That’s why I’ve been thinking of ways to digitise bringing a little havoc to my friend’s lives (but only a little).
Messages out of the blue
BroApp, which allows you to automatically SMS some sweet nothings to your significant other on scheduled days of the week, hit the Google Play Store last year. It caused a fuss because the name contains the word “bro” and the media made good clickbait out of the notion that these no-good users were setting up some kind of chat-bot so they could ignore their girlfriends (spoiler: that’s not how the app works).
Personally I believe the app, which lets you customise the messages it sends, is a great instigator of communication. The way you use BroApp is really just a reflection of yourself, so naturally when I found out about it I immediately thought “I want to use this to send random and ridiculous text messages to my best friend.” You know, like Cat Facts, but with less aggressive monetisation on the back of a classic reddit post.
However, if you use an iPhone, don’t bother. The limitations of Apple’s software means the iOS version only schedules reminders for you to manually hit the send button for the message yourself; it can’t send the texts automatically in the same way the Android version can. If this still sounds appealing, just get the identical-but-free MomApp instead, which has actually helped me text my mum more often, so it’s not that bad.
You don’t have to take a Photoshop course to make your very own fake haunting photos. With Ghost Lens for iOS or Ghost Photo Maker for Android, you can take several photos and overlap them with varying transparency so that objects which have moved positions look like ghosts. I can’t think of any better kind of haunting than being haunted by myself, though I may get a friend in a hoodie to help me out with a light-hearted hoax that my apartment has a ghost. Even if you just want to make some particularly hipster pics for your Instagram, you’ll find it’s a pretty neat tool once you get the hang of the interface.
Crank it up to absurd
Of course, you may not want your pics to have the subtlety Ghost Lens can provide. Camera Hoax for iOS can help you out there. The interface is pretty clunky (I’m seeing a lot of reviews that it’s broken and it’s definitely because the toolbar and camera button is hidden behind an ad banner that has to be closed with the tool icon on the top left) but it’s still a fun little app that gives you enough stuff to have a play without needing to make in-app purchases.
Keep it light
Of course, there are plenty of other apps that can be used for mischief, from prank encyclopedias to voice-changing apps reminiscent of the one used in the movie Scream. Be careful with the latter though, as the real evil is the expensive in-app purchase credits required to make a call with the voice changer on. Maybe the developers want to make money, maybe they want to keep people safe from masked serial killers; who knows?
Regardless, with a little creativity (or enough Google) you can come up with some pretty funny pranks on your own. Just remember that a good mischief-maker should aim for the bizarre, not the destructive or dangerous. After all, if you upset your friends too much, they probably won’t stay friends with you much longer.
What’s the best trick you’ve ever pulled off? Let us know in the comments.