10 Scary Horror Games for Your iPhone

iPhone horror game apps deliver a pocketful of frights

IPhone gamers who are preparing for a monster movie marathon, lacing up their sneakers for a zombie walk, or wishing every day was Halloween welcome spooky apps any time of year. If you like a good fright, check out this creepy cheat sheet for gamers who are in search of iPhone apps with things that go bump in the night.

Plenty of iPhone games offer jump scares, psychological terrors, and pure zombie-dodging fun. Here are 10 of the spookiest.

These scary apps aren't for the little ones. All of them are rated 12+ or older for their terrifying scenes. Keep these apps away from your children unless you want to spend your nights comforting nightmare-afflicted kids.

01
of 10

Five Nights at Freddy's (series)

Five Nights at Freddy's 4 game screenshot
Scott Cawthon

What We Like

  • Excellent escape game

  • Beautifully designed

  • All series titles share a common storyline

What We Don't Like

  • Free games are ad heavy

Five Nights at Freddy's is the king of all jump scare games. It has developed a cult-like following that can only be rivaled by slasher films of the '80s. A few minutes with this game app are all you need to understand why Five Nights at Freddy's developed its frightening reputation. Some moments make you jump right out of your skin. Set in a family-friendly pizza parlor with an animatronic cast of entertainers, players take up the role of new overnight security guards trying to survive until they can cash their first paycheck. It should be a quiet job, but as it turns out, those animatronic playmates have a life of their own in the evenings.

With limited power, players switch between security cameras and door locks to keep an eye on these metal-boned monsters as they try to live to see another day.

The series has spawned multiple sequels, each one revealing hints about a much deeper story. As a result, the internet is full of message boards discussing and deciphering Freddy's lore. Be sure to start with the first game and work your way through; that way you can join in the chatter and try to unravel for yourself the mystery that is Freddy Fazbear's Pizza.

The Rusty Lake website recommends you start with the first game app, Cube Escape: Seasons, which is free. Some of the Cube Escape apps are paid apps.

Five Nights at Freddy's is compatible with iOS 8.1 or later.

02
of 10

Dark Echo

Dark Echo game screenshot
RAC7

What We Like

  • Genuinely scary

  • Cool concept

  • Top-notch graphics and sound quality

What We Don't Like

  • Too short

  • Extremely challenging

  • Repetitive after 10 levels

The only thing more terrifying than the monsters you can see are the ones you can't. Dark Echo leans into this concept, offering an audio-first horror experience that's every bit as terrifying as your imagination allows.

While you can't see monsters in the traditional sense in Dark Echo, your footsteps create something akin to sonar. Like a bat seeing in the dark, the noise you make reveals what's in your surrounding area. Unfortunately, those same noises that help you see can alert the creatures near you of your location, changing the players from hunter to hunted.

There are a number of audio-only experiences on the App Store, but Dark Echo does something different — and very scary.

Dark Echo requires iOS 8 or later.

03
of 10

Lost Within

Lost Within game screenshot

Photo from Amazon

What We Like

  • Looks fantastic

  • Controls are easy to operate

  • Great survival game

What We Don't Like

  • Repetitive layout design

  • Relatively short game

Big, console-like horror experiences aren't common on mobile, and most of the games are largely forgettable. That's not the case with Lost Within, a game of asylum exploration from the master craftspeople at Human Head and Amazon Game Studios.

Taking up the role of a police officer, players investigate a disturbance at an abandoned insane asylum that plays home to its own urban legend: the Madhouse Madman.

As it turns out, some legends are based in fact, and players need to avoid former-inmates-turned-monsters as they unravel the story of what took place within the building's walls so many years ago.

Fans of console horror games like Outlast, be sure to check this one out. 

Lost Within requires iOS 8.1 or later.

04
of 10

Year Walk

Year Walk game screenshot
Simogo

What We Like

  • Style and atmosphere

  • Immersive settings

  • Eerie puzzle game

What We Don't Like

  • Confusing navigation

  • No instructions or map

While the woods provide an eerie setting in just about any horror scenario, it's not the things lurking in them that keep you on edge in Year Walk. Instead, you'll be unsettled by the silence, confusing landscape, and the discoveries you make.

Year Walk is a game based on Årsgång, a Swedish folk custom in which a person walks at night to a church, outside of which supernatural tests appear that, if passed, allows them to catch a glimpse of the future.

Year Walk is a surreal, creepy adventure set in the Swedish winter that's unlike anything you played before. Strange art, suffocating solitude, and an intentionally confounding navigation keep you questioning everything until you reach the end.

Year Walk requires iOS 8 or later.

05
of 10

Cube Escape / Rusty Lake (series)

Cube Escape: The Cave game screenshot
Cube Escape: The Cave.

 Rusty Lake

What We Like

  • Scary escape puzzle

  • Beautiful design

  • Laid back and fun gameplay

What We Don't Like

  • Free apps overwhelmed by ads

Room escape puzzle games are a dime a dozen on the App Store, but one room escape game forms only a small part of a bigger spooky series with nearly a dozen games that take place in different time periods, each one unraveling a little more of this location's mystery. This, in a nutshell, describes the Rusty Lake series.

Offering a "Twin Peaks" level of weird, the Rusty Lake series sees players in all sorts of peculiar situations, from being trapped in a box en route to the lake to receiving a mysterious birthday present as a child in 1939. 

In a neat twist, the series is broken into an assortment of free experiences and paid ones. The free stories, which greatly outnumber the paid ones, use the Cube Escape title, while the meatier paid titles go by the moniker of Rusty Lake. 

Wondering which order to play them in? The official website offers a suggested order, although you can dive in and start with any game you like. Hint: The first of the series is Cube Escape: Seasons.

The Rusty Lake games require iOS 8.1 or later.

06
of 10

Night Terrors: Bloody Mary

Night Terrors game screenshot
Novum Analytics

What We Like

  • Delivers on the heebie jeebies

  • Haunting via iPhone camera is super clever

What We Don't Like

  • AR doesn't work in total darkness

  • Huge 3.5GB download

Horror movies often scare viewers by showing the unseen things that might lurk in their house, but at the end of the day, it's somebody else's house, so it's easy to create a sense of distance. Night Terrors: Bloody Mary goes one step further, offering an augmented reality experience that puts those nightmares within the four walls you call home.

Bloody Mary "possesses" your phone and dumps you in the middle of a horror flick. Using your iPhone's camera, flashlight, and the disquieting nature of darkness, Night Terrors: Bloody Mary tasks players with exploring their home using only the screen of their iPhone to guide them. It's a good mix of tense waiting and unpleasant jump scares that ensure you'll never look at your laundry room the same way again.

Night Terrors: Bloody Mary requires iOS 10 or later.

07
of 10

Home — Unique Horror Adventure

Home game screenshot
Benjamin Rivers

What We Like

  • Multiple endings

  • Player actions direct gameplay

  • Good replay candidate

What We Don't Like

  • Repetitive dialog

  • Retro graphics

Pixel art isn't typically equated with an unsettling atmosphere, but indie developer Benjamin Rivers shows just how much can be accomplished when trying to establish a great deal with a limited art style.

Psychologically unsettling more than straight-up horrifying, Home leads players through an unfamiliar scene, interacting with the world as they try to understand what's happened and why. No answers are set in stone, and the choices players make help frame the way the story is viewed by the game's protagonist.

The game is so open to interpretation that players are able to submit their own theories directly to the game's website. Don't check it out unless you've played the game through to the end first. The discoveries you make will leave you absolutely shaken.

Home — Unique Horror Adventure is compatible with iOS 8.0 and later.

08
of 10

Walking Dead: The Game

The Walking Dead game screenshot
Telltale Games

What We Like

  • Reinvented the interactive adventure genre

  • Undead universe you won't soon forget

What We Don't Like

  • Popular characters die

  • Feels like it was not made with mobile in mind

There are more Walking Dead games on the App Store than you'd care to count, yet few offer the kind of scary tension that the series is known for. Walking Dead: The Game from Telltale Inc. delivers.

Over several seasons, Telltale has released episodic games that form a unique tale told in the world of the Walking Dead and starring original characters that you'll care for just as much as you do Rick and Carl. The zombies are terrifying, but more importantly, you have to make tough choices that could lead to the sort of regrets that haunt players long after they've finished playing.

Telltale is known for its high-quality story games, but none has offered quite the thrills, scares, and sense of responsibility that Walking Dead: The Game has.

Walking Dead: The Game requires iOS 6 or later and iPhone 4 and up. It does not run on earlier iPhone releases.

09
of 10

The School: White Day

The School: White Day game screenshot
ROI Games

What We Like

  • Solid graphics

  • Asian-type horror atmosphere and story

What We Don't Like

  • Must be online to launch app

Starting life as a South Korean PC game in 2001, The School: White Day is a remake that reminds us of just how unsettling Asian horror entertainment can be and why we love it so much.

Presented in the first person, The School: White Day is about students who are locked in a school overnight with an off-kilter janitor, ghosts, and absolutely no protection. This isn't the sort of game where you fight monsters and reign victorious; it's the sort of game where you try to find a place to hide and pray to survive until morning.

With seven different endings, The School: White Day offers plenty of replayability. If you missed it during its underground cult phase in 2001, you'll be pleased to know it's sharper and scarier on modern mobile devices than it ever was on desktops.

The School: White Day requires iOS 8 or later.

10
of 10

Into the Dead

Into the Dead game screenshot
PikPok

What We Like

  • Zombie-filled settings

  • Excellent but disgusting sound effects

What We Don't Like

  • Sound quality needs improvement

Sometimes horror is just about trying to survive. If you're on the hunt for an iPhone game that puts you squarely in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, Into the Dead is your best bet. It's an endless runner game played from a first-person perspective that has you dodging and weaving your way through an army of living corpses.

You'll start out with nothing but two feet and a heartbeat but quickly unlock weapons that help you survive a little longer, often upping the tension, thanks to limited ammo.

With only the sounds of the groaning zombies and your own panting breath to fill your ears, Into the Dead does a great job of creating an environment where you can lose yourselves.

Into the Dead requires iOS 7 or later.