Gruesome Gotham

a ghost tour for the modern age

Firstborn wanted to show off their AR capabilities when ARKit arrived last fall—which, as luck would have it, coincided with the Halloween season.

With the help of augmented reality, we turned Manhattan's bloody history into the greatest ghost tour of the season.

Download the app: Gruesome Gotham


step inside six deadly scenes

From garden shear stabbings to deadly umbrella jabs, users travel to locations on the map to see the murders in the exact locations where they occurred.


at home or at the scene—
the newspaper feature gave all the gory details

The writing-style pays homage to the age of sensational journalism put out by the likes of the New York Post. They even seemed to like it.

Results Module.003.jpeg


Ulrika Karlberg, Creative Director

Lily Stockton, Creative

Joey McRobert, Creative

Florence Libbrecht, Art Director

Owen van Dijk, Senior Developer

Ron White, Supervising Technical Artist

Mike Bourbeau, Technical Artist 

Shayna Friedman, Producer




Fast Company - Innovation by Design Honoree "Best App or Game"

4A’s Smartbrief - AR App Brings New York's Most Infamous Murders to Life

AdAge - Explore New York’s Murderous History on Halloween in Augmented Reality

Arch Digest - Discover the Stories of Real-Life NYC Murders with a New Augmented Reality App

Black Box - Gruesome Gotham App is like Pokemon Go for Murders

Campaign Live -  New York's Historic Murders Come to Life in "Gruesome Gotham"

Chicago Egoist - Augmented Reality App Brings Old New York Crime Scenes to Life

The Drum - Creative Works: Gruesome Gotham by Firstborn

Fox News - This 'Gruesome' App is like Pokemon Go for Murders

Mixed Reality - Gruesome Gotham App is like Pokemon Go for Murders

LBBOnline - AR App Gruesome Gotham Maps New York Murders to Generate Horror for Halloween

The Line Up - "Gruesome Gotham" Transports You to the Scene of Six Historic Manhattan Murders

NY Post (& in print) - Appy H’ween! Tales of Old NY True-Crime Gore

Patch - A Free Halloween App that Explores NYC Crime

PRWeek - New York’s Historic Murders Come to Life in Gruesome Gotham

PSFK - AR Halloween App Lets Users Explore Historical Manhattan Murders

Secret NYC - A New App Invites You to Explore 6 NYC Murders in Terrifying Detail

Trendhunter - Gruesome Gotham Outlines the Murders That Occurred on New York's Streets

Untapped Cities - Augmented Reality App “Gruesome Gotham” Revives NYC’s Most Mysterious Murders

VR Insider - Explore New York’s Murderous History on Halloween in Augmented Reality