Microsoft gives Bing a Halloween makeover with references to famous horror movies

Microsoft has launched a new Bing homepage to celebrate the Halloween festive season. Taking full advantage of the real estate, the company has produced an interactive scene inside a haunted house. Visitors are exposed to freakish sound affects that create a spooky atmosphere as you search the Internet. 

What's more is Bing is paying tribute to a number of well-known movies. We won't publish any spoilers here, but they're easy to spot should you know the references. Fan of the best horror movies produced? You'll love the new Bing homepage. Oh, did we mention that this beats Google's interactive animation?

How are you celebrating Halloween today? "Hereeeeeee's Ballmer!"

Check out the festive on the Bing homepage.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • Saw that on lock screen!
  • In Australia we don't really celebrate Halloween, the new search screen freaked me out just before I was going to bed (time zones), reminds me of the shining. It is annoying, I'm sure those in the states will get their kicks out of it though...
  • Yeah me too. I almost shit bricks when trying to bing Ariana Grande
  • Haha yeah, I'm in Aus too and was shocked I had some trick-or-treat kids banging on my door this evening. Only one group though, haha. I didn't have any lollies so I just ignored them as I figured they wouldn't want old apples instead :P
  • Bing is the best. I've always liked the live homepage 1000000x better than Google.
  • Yeah, this is really cool.
  • As I'm currently obsessing over grammar and style, let me just say: THANK YOU for using "reference" as a noun! Makes me all warm inside.
  • You're obsessing over grammar, and yet you failed to put a subject in your last sentence. *tsk* *tsk* :)
  • The only bad thing about wpcentral is the fact that sometimes you guys are a huge spoiler alert.. :/
  • You shouldn't read sites that, you know, reports on stuff...
  • Friday the 13th part 3!
  • I love the Halloween theme today. However, and this is a HUGE however, Bing search is completely unusable for anyone using IE 8 or 9. Oh, but why would I know this? IE8 or 9 is what is currently deployed to all 70,000+ workstations at work. We'd be on a more current version, but the glorious promise of web-based applications working everywhere falls so horribly short yet again, and we cannot upgrade until some key big-name vended systems function properly on a current browser.   Sorry, Bing team, but epicly huge fail. I wanted to click Feedback, but that is broken until you finally manage to get out of Bing search. At least I brought my Surface Pro to work today.
  • when you say epic the company Epic :-)
  • No, but probably not surprisingly, one of their competitors.
  • Why not roll-out Chrome or Firefox instead? As a web dev I loathe IE. I also loathe it as a user when it loses all of my previously opened tabs for the 10th time. Oh, and Bing sucks no matter what browser you use (except, possibly, in the US) :P
  • As a web dev, you do not get the luxury of enforcing what your users choose. Stop being lazy and design your sites to work for all browsers using standards first, then test with each and TWEAK as necessary.
  • Of course - where did I say that I don't do that? Just because I loathe IE doesn't mean I don't build to the standards then tweak. IE has numerous non-standard, breaking changes. For example, IE10 broke a lot of my sites that required both code and server patching. My suggestion to use Chrome/Firefox was to wpguy to roll out to his company so they can use Bing search, and is unrelated to web development. IMO a corporation should not be using IE for anything.
  • Yes, you're right... I've had SEVERAL users at work complain that Bing isn't working today, and each has been using IE9. I've blocked IE10 from installing because of some government and healthcare sites that don't work with it even using compatibility view.   It infuriates me that in 2013 web developers STILL design sites without properly testing and designing for all browsers. I've done web design for 20 years, and I can't imagine doing such a half-ass job of it.
  • Those sites were likely done before IE10 was released. IE10 broke a lot of sites that worked perfectly fine in all flavours of Firefox (down to FF3.6), IE 6-9, Chrome, Safari, Opera etc. It is ONLY IE10 that does things differently.
  • Like the Kubrick stuff
  • Why is it that my Bing lockscreen will match some days and others not.  Instead of the above, I have some overgrown tree roots as my lockscreen.  I don't understand why this happens.  I would say that 1 out of 10 days it doesn't match.  Go figure.
  • Refresh if your WP is showing an old image
  • It's not an old image, but a different image.
  • OK.  That was my only thought.  I've seen that happen to me and swiping right and back left solved it.   If you're problem isn't as simple as that, then something weird and unique going on with your phone.  I don't think it's Bing.   I say that because  I've NEVER seen that happen to me and I've had my L920 for over a year and go to the Bing page 10 times a day.  Go to Bing probably another 20 times a day from my workstation and tablet.  So if there was some sort of sync problem happening, even once, I would have noticed it.   Wonder if anyone else has ever seen this happen to them too.    
  • Yeah, I don't know whats going on.  It will change everyday, and like I mentioned above, it does match the bing search screen most days.  But every so often, like today, it does not match.  I thought that maybe my region was not the US but some other country, but it is for the USA.  My Bing search screen is the Halloween one, but my lockscreen are the tree roots.
  • I think I can explain your mystery.  I just got to my office and logged on.   I see the tree roots!     I think you are confusing your "picture of the day" that is sent to your desktop versus the page in your browser (and other places where interactive scripts can run).     If you are seeing this tree root photo on your phones lockscreen then maybe your phone is just too old to run the program delivering the interactive content.  Maybe that same process is coded to simply display the "pciture of the day" when that happens
  • I have a 920.  My issue has nothing to do with a desktop PC.  My lockscreen on my 920 is the tree roots.  My Bing search on my 920 is the Halloween pic.
  • Exactly.  That's what I'm saying.  ALL our lockscreens are the tree roots.  You are confusing the Bing search page with the picture of the day that gets pushed to your PC's desktop and your phones locksreen.   On days when the picture is not interactive, they are the same thing.  On days like this, they are different.   Mystery solved.    
  • The windows 8 lockscreen ap, Awesome Lockscreen, gives you a screenshot of the animated It's a lot more accurate than anything that Windows Phone 8 does.
  • I love Awesome Lockscreen (formerly "Bing My Lockscreen"), have it on my Surface RT and desktop :)
  • By the way, it's not the "Lockscreen" on your phone where you get this interactive scene.  It's the Bing "Search Page" that you see when pressing the magnifying glass icon.   Try looking there.   Also, just go to on your browser
  • im in uk and even i have those overgrown trees as the lockscreen wallpaper
  • Yeah I have the same problem too. It always seems to be a day behind. I'm using the Lumia 822.
  • All the different countries have slightly different picture selections.  Overall the pictures match up mostly, but you'll have some pictures that are more localised, seeing as those might have more interest in each country.   You can see the pictures for the bing pictures of the day at the following site - you have a selection box at the top to choose which countries pictures you'd like to see at the same time. www. istartedsomething. com/bingimages   (I added spaces because I don't think links work) You'll quickly see that a lot of the images are shifted one day in some countries, and certain holidays will be represented in one country, but not another.  However, the site above is great for seeing some rarer bing pictures that aren't available in your own country.  And you can easily see pictures that are shifted by a day or a few days.  (Some are shifted due to time zones, while others are shifted because a national holiday/event in a country warranted a special picture, etc).  AND the pics all include the special 'moving' pics as well.  
  • The twins gave me a mini heart attack.
  • The twins gave me a mini heart attack.
  • I see what you did there. :)
  • I really love this!! Great design and thought out. BING ROCKS
  • I woke up this morning went on bing then jump up at off my seat due to a scary noise thinking my laptop had been taken over!
  • Any idea why Bing search on WP does not share new Bing logo?
  • The Bing team proably forgot to update the logo on the mobile page that sends you to WP's baked-in search, which probably requires an OS update for a new logo. Anyone know if GDR3 includes an updated logo?
  • Nope it's the old logo.
  • I'm from Romania and I still have the tree roots picture. How do I get the new one?
  • Talk to Walter above and share notes.   Maybe its a  regional thing?   Device dependent?   Carrier specific?  Who knows.  Not sure if its Bing doing it to you directly and on purpose.   I'm in Florida USA on AT&T and I don't recall seeing any "root" graphic recently.  yesterday it was some image of painted bricks or something like that as I recall  
  • Yeap, no haunted house in bing in Portugal. Not even when i turn off my location.
  • open bing home page click on prefrenece then change your country/region then select US
  • I saw it last night and this morning (in Australia). It's now 1/11 and it's changed to an ant on a flower anther.
  • OK, I'm not the most observant of people, for how long has the daily Bing picture been non-interactive on WP? Used to have little squares you could tap that would lead to some extra information about the subject...
  • That's odd. I've never had the tap squares not show up.
  • Interactive on WP for me
  • Strange. Not like it's causing me an issue, but it's no longer interactive. No squares for a while now, but as I upgraded to GDR2 & Amber (forced) and then did the early update to GDR3, there've been a few changes and I didn't notice when this feature disappeared for me.
  • Ah. Just seen further down the page it was removed in GDR2 for UK users and if I set my region to US, I'll get the squares back. Shame. Would be nice to have a consistent experience across the board, and hope Microsoft are working towards this. I'd appreciate podcast management within Xbox Music even more (again a US only feature)
  • I spent about 20 minutes last night messing with. Very cool
  • again this is not for all country got nothing here
  • Effects not affects. Affects is a verb as if you affected something.
  • If the effect does not effect the disired result, it may affect you the state of blunted affect.
  • What I think the mobile one more SCARY!!!
  • really creative work !! good job bing team if you click on the arrow above the twines you will see a type writer typing "all work and no play makes jack a dull boy"  haha
  • I was spooked out when I started hearing creepy noises until I located the source to be bing! God damn it I was scared. Here's a video I made showing all the spooks from the website . This is mainly for the people who don't really have that interactive home screen due to their location
  • No twins on mine, just flashing lights and stuff (still cool though)
  • Its cool, but go to on your WP8 and the effects don't work. You click on an object and it launches a 5 sec video clip animation as a separate app - that's poor. However, if you go to then their animations work within the search page. Come on MS get your integration working across all devices... what does the current Windows ad say... Anyway, its wonderful on the desktop!!!
  • oh the irony works on my chrome browser not on my IE9 at work
  • awesome home page
  • The Bing search in the UK lost the little info squares at GDR2. They are still there if you set your region to US plus a lot more info on swiping. Shame. It would be more useful if we all had the US functionality.
  • That's a lot of Flash.
  • ogv not flash.
  • Where's the links gone from the search screen!!
  • Didn't work on my ie browser. Didn't work on my ff browser. Worked on chrome. Sad really.