5 Spooktacular APIs for Your Next Side Project

It’s that time of year again. Some Americans are gearing up for Halloween and trick-or-treating. Or maybe it’s something else giving you the chills, like the nightly news or global warming. Whether you’re learning to code or facing your fears, here are five spooktacular APIs for your next side project.

1. Feces, needles, and condoms

Many cities now provide APIs to access a wealth of municipal data. You can create a personal safety notification system by combing through incident reports. Or create your own poo map by visualizing the City of San Francisco’s sidewalk evaluation results and filtering the results with the query parameter _251_feces_needles_condoms_y_n_where_y_none. After all, what’s scarier than an E. Coli outbreak resulting from sidewalk poo?

Make your own map by visualizing San Francisco sidewalk reports and other municipal data
Make your own map by visualizing San Francisco sidewalk reports and other municipal data

2. The dark

I’m afraid of the dark. But certain lighting can sometimes be more frightening than the dark. Since lots of home automation APIs, such as the Nanoleaf API, allow you to control smart lights, you can set the mood in your home. Update the required variables of the Nanoleaf API with your IP, port, and access token. Then create custom lighting themes, or program the timing of transitions to coincide with haunting audio effects.

Design a spooky ambiance with lighting themes and audio effects
Design a spooky ambiance with lighting themes and audio effects

3. Scary movies

Nothing gives me nightmares more than watching a scary movie (in the dark). The Movie Database (TMDB) API is one of many public APIs that allow you to sift through mountains of movies and television shows. Customize your own what-to-watch app or program a recommendation algorithm fueled by your friends’ ratings. Add your API key as a collection variable in Postman, and then make an API call to get movies in the horror genre or search for the best rated zombie flicks.

Make a call to the TMDB API to discover movies from different genres
Make a call to the TMDB API to discover movies from different genres

4. Fortune-telling

Some people get spooked by ouija boards, psychics, and other elements in the cybermystic realm. You can create an online fortune-teller with this Tarot Card API to answer questions about your past, present, and future outcomes. For an added challenge, find a computer vision API to read your palm and refine your predictions.

Create an online fortune teller with this Tarot Card API
Create an online fortune-teller with this Tarot Card API

5. Paranormal activity

Lots of people believe in ghosts and other supernatural beings. The Paranormal Database is a website that examines folkloric, paranormal, and cryptozoological locations in the United Kingdom and beyond. The website doesn’t provide a public API. However, you can create your own API, like I did, by scraping the HTML and then hosting the data on mock servers so that you aren’t negatively impacting the website.

Make your own mock API to fuel your side projects
Make your own mock API to fuel your side projects

Explore the Postman API Network for more ideas

Explore the Postman API Network for even more Jamstack ideas or transform your own datasets into consumable APIs. If these APIs got you spooked, grab a support buddy and build something fun this weekend. Recommend other spooktacular APIs and share your projects with the Postman community in the Community Showcase.


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