For kids, Halloween is all about costumes and too much candy. Parents, on the other hand, are expected to combine the skills of a costumer, a set dresser, an event planner, and Stephen King. It’s almost enough to make you want to turn out the porch light and wait for Thanksgiving.

Despair not; it’s technology to the rescue. We’ve discovered a variety of easy ways to use your computer, your phone, your wireless speaker, and other devices to help you in your noble quest to create cool costumes, scary decorations, and ultimately, lasting Halloween memories.

1. Make Cosplay Costumes

How often do you actually make a costume? Once a year, tops, give or take a school play? Why not get advice from the specialists?

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Draw inspiration from Adam Savage of “Mythbusters” fame, who documented his build of a quick-and-dirty Doc Ock costume from “Spider-Man 2.”

The costume may be a bit dated, but Savage’s expert advice isn’t: Use lightweight materials, mount them to a comfortable backpack frame, find the right adhesives for the materials, and emphasize safety above all. (Accidents aren’t funny even before someone loses an eye.)

Doc Ock is just one idea. The internet is full of tips and tricks from actual costume designers, makeup artists, and special-effects experts who work in film and theater. One source of inspiration is the army of talented amateurs who engage in cosplay genre conventions. 

Many enthusiasts even post detailed instructions on how to make their favorite costumes.

2. Hide J.S. Bach in Your Mailbox

It takes a lot of effort to build a haunted house that looks really scary. But the right creepy noise at just the right time is not only bone-chilling but also easy to generate. Hide a wireless speaker in, say, your mailbox. Pair it to your phone, and when trick or treaters bounce up the stairs waiting for candy, have an accomplice groan, “Let me out of here . . . ”

If you just want mood music, try Bach’s pipe-organ classic “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor.” Or stream this creepy Tom Waits classic.  

Or just ask your smart speaker to play Spotify’s Ultimate Halloween Playlist, which goes from Louis Armstrong to Gnarls Barkley by way of Michael Jackson.

3. Take a Zombie Selfie

“The Walking Dead” might not be as popular as it once was, but kids still love zombies.

The Zombify app feeds that obsession by applying layers of virtual gore and blood over a selfie. That allows you to become the Greg Nicotero of your neighborhood without demanding that your subjects spends hours in the makeup chair. Even better? Zombify costs 99 cents for iPhone or Android (with some in-app purchases) and spares users the tons of ads that take the fun out of many of the free Zombie photo editor apps.  

4. Carve Your Pumpkin CNC-Style

Got a computer numerical control (CNC) router sitting around? Then go for it. If not, you can aim for a CNC-quality pumpkin using less spendy materials.

How about these free Emoji-style pumpkin stencils? Once you choose a stencil, simply blast through the paper template and the pumpkin with a Dremel tool. It’s faster than most pumpkin-carving blades—and probably safer, but remember to wear safety glasses to guard from flying pumpkin flesh.

Once your carving is done, consider some high-tech (and safer) alternatives to a candle for illumination, such as LED lights from a hardware store or a handful of disposable glow sticks.

5. Add Entrails to Your Cell Phone

Mark Rober was a rocket scientist fiddling with high-tech Halloween costumes when his hobby took on a life of its own. He quit his day job on NASA’s Mars rover program and now offers a free app that features freaky beating hearts and other animated gore and guts.

You run the app on a phone slipped into a costume that reveals just enough of the screen to bring the horror to life. You can order the outfit online or make one yourself.

6. Design a Flat-Screen Mirror of Horror

Don’t ever get a TV engineer into a discussion about the drawbacks of hanging a television over a fireplace. But any TV placed there, where you might expect to see an elaborate mirror or painting, is a particularly good candidate for this straightforward how-to.

Buy a cheap, old-fashioned wooden frame to cover the television’s plastic or metal bezel. Cover the screen with two-way mirror vinyl, which you can find at a craft store. Voilà! Your TV is transformed into an heirloom mirror. Then slip in a ghostly DVD that will show through the mirrored surface and you have a truly scary Halloween prop. 

7. Concoct Drinks That Glow in the Dark

Remember those trippy black-light posters from the 1970s? That retro technology can be frightening in an entirely different way on Halloween.

Replace a few ordinary bulbs with LED black lights, which you can buy online either in bulbs or strips. They’re much brighter than the old incandescent or fluorescent versions, which would still work in a pinch.

Fill a beaker or some test tubes with tonic water from the supermarket, then walk into your Halloween party carrying a glow-in-the-dark drink. (The quinine in the tonic water makes it fluoresce a bright blue under a black light.)

As with so many things, it’s all about the presentation. Cackle. Drink the glowing concoction. And then pretend to keel over.