Aug 29, 2016 I Brett Tingley

Creepy App Lets Ghosts Of Loved Ones Haunt Your Phone

All memorials to the dead are kind of creepy in some way or another. While visiting the decomposing remains of loved ones is a commonplace tradition in most Western societies, other cultures have developed elaborate ceremonies in order to communicate with the spirits of deceased loved ones and ancestors. Now, a new app released in Japan takes that idea a step further, allow ingyour departed friends and family members to communicate directly to you via prerecorded messages delivered to your smartphone in an augmented reality format.

"Hello son. I am still disappointed in you. Better luck next year!"

According to Japan Times, the new app called “Spot Message” works a lot like the sensational Pokémon GO augmented reality game currently occupying the waking moments of millions of players worldwide. That is, users will have to travel to real-world locations and then use their phones’ cameras to find and view the ghostly messages of their dearly departed. The video messages are recorded by soon-to-die users themselves, and will appear in whatever geotagged location at which they were filmed.

"Remember us like this forever: creepily foreshadowing our own deaths."

One of the app’s developers and president of Ryoshin Sekizai software firm, Yoshiyuki Katori, told the Japan Times that the idea for the app came to him when reminiscing about his deceased beloved uncle:

His death was so sudden, and it shattered the lives of his family. I also respected him a lot, so I would often visit his grave, consulting with him in my mind whenever I had issues concerning my business. I wondered how comforting it would be if he could talk to me at his grave, with messages like ‘How are you doing?’ and ‘Hang in there.’

The developers must have realized how creepy the whole thing is, because they quickly announced that the app has other purposes as well. A lover could leave cryptic messages for his beloved at their favorite spots, or tour guides could record automated messages at landmarks. 

Augmented reality apps might soon open up a sort of digital spirit world.

The app’s main intended purpose, however, remains to serve as a bridge between our world and a creepy digital ghost realm. Heading to the store for eggs? Say ‘hello’ to grandmother for me, and get a loaf of bread.

Brett Tingley

Brett Tingley is a writer and musician living in the ancient Appalachian mountains.

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