Electronic greeting cards have long been a popular way to send thoughts and good wishes to friends and family on birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, or other special occasions. The great thing about e-cards is that you can even send them at the last minute; no planning ahead is required.
So, don't stop with creating your own haunted house or haunted Mac this Halloween. Check out these cute, silly, spooky, or deliciously frightful Halloween e-cards. Some of the sources offer free e-cards, some charge a small subscription fee, and some offer both options.
The Hallmark web site currently offers three dozen colorful Halloween e-cards to choose from. The cards feature popular characters, including Maxine, Snoopy, Disney villains, and Star Wars villains, as well as dogs, cats, pumpkins, ghosts, haunted houses, and screaming banshees. Some of the cards are free; some require an annual subscription. In addition to adding a custom message, you can personalize some of the cards with your own photos or video.
Make sure you have some time to spare when you visit 123Greetings.com, because the site offers more than 140 Halloween e-cards alone. To make the task a little easier, you can browse the selection by the most popular cards, the newest cards, or by category, such as Spine Chilling Fun or Ghastly Invitations. The colorful cards are animated and interactive; some include simple games, mostly of the whack-a-monster variety. You can add a custom message, change the music, post a card to Facebook, and receive an alert when the recipient views the card. The greetings run the gamut from suitable for kids, to light-hearted frights, to just a tad bloody (but more tongue-in-cheek than gruesome). Best of all, they're all free.
Leanin' Tree offers a small but sweet and sentimental collection of Halloween e-cards. The cards feature photos or illustrations of cats, dogs, and kids, as well as pumpkins, witches, ghosts, and trick-or-treaters. Simple animations, stock music, ghostly voiceovers, sound effects, and text accompany the greeting. You can add a custom text message that will display below the card while the animation plays. A subscription is required to send most e-cards; a free 7-day trial is available.
As you might guess from its name, Sloppy Kiss specializes in cards for pet lovers. Although the Halloween selection is small (nine cards with your choice of dogs, cats, or other fabulous pet friends), you won't find anything exactly like them anywhere else. The cards feature animations, cheery music, and Halloween-appropriate messages. Once you select a card and a pet, you can customize the card with your choice of one of over 100 dog breeds, one of over 25 cat breeds, or one of 24 other pets, such as rabbits, horses, hedgehogs, or goldfish. Write a short message for the envelope, enter a pet's name, type in your message, and you're ready to send it off. An annual membership is required to send e-cards; a 30-day free trial membership is available.
JibJab takes Halloween e-cards to the next level. The cards don't just feature photos or videos; they feature photos or videos starring you, your friends, and your family (even your pets, if you choose). You can insert yourself into familiar stories, TV shows, or movies, such as Jekyll and Hyde, Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, the Headless Horseman, Dracula, or Ghoulblasters (a twist on Ghostbusters), as well as other Halloween themes, such as Math Camp Massacre, Zombie Party, and Monster Mash. You can even stick your head in a jar or see what you look like as a severed head, if you're so inclined.
Blue Mountain offers e-cards and printable greeting cards and postcards. The Halloween cards are organized by premium e-cards (subscription required), talking, funny, interactive, and suitable for everyone. The interactive cards include a rock-paper-scissors game, a monster match game, and a monster arcade shooting gallery game. The talking cards will speak your message (up to 600 characters) in your choice of voice and a U.S. or UK accent. There's no limit on the length of the text-based personal message that you can add to any of the cards. You can email a card, as well as post it to Facebook.
Jacquie Lawson is a popular illustrator, and her e-cards have a huge following. The interactive cards on the Jacquie Lawson web site feature the watercolors of Jacquie Lawson and other artists, as well as engaging and often humorous animations, plus holiday- or occasion-appropriate music. Although there are only six Halloween e-cards to choose from, the yearly subscription is low and includes a variety of e-cards and note cards. You can add a custom message, as well as receive an email notice when the recipient picks up the card. The site also offers a behind-the-scenes peek at how some of the cards are created.
American Greetings is one of the big names in the traditional greeting card industry, and its web site offers a wide range of e-cards for a wide range of holidays and occasions. Halloween e-cards are organized by category (cute, spooky, funny, new and popular). The cards feature illustrations or photos, animations, music, singing, sound effects, and text. If you're a dog lover, be sure to check out the new "Too Cute to Spook" card. You can add a photo to some of the cards, add a personal message to any of the cards, and send a card by email, to Facebook, or to a mobile phone. A free trial membership is available.
If you're looking for something just a little different in a Halloween e-card, check out E-MotionCards. The Halloween cards are primarily postcards, with still photos or illustrations, but the selection also includes one video card and several Flash-based animations. You can add a custom greeting from a long list of possibilities, as well as (for cards that include music) select a musical piece or sound effect from a long list of possibilities. Last but not least, you can enter a personal message in your choice of font, color, size, and style. Some cards are free; some require membership.
Our list of Halloween e-card sites just touches the surface of the possibilities. Heinz Tschabitscher, About.com Guide to Email, is also a fan of Halloween. Check out his list of favorite Halloween e-cards. You're sure to find something you like, whether your taste runs to cute (black cats dancing with pumpkins), goofy (a mummy doing the boogie), spooky (glowing ghosts), old-fashioned (vintage postcards), or macabre (a pumpkin massacre).