Skip to main content

Here’s how to throw a killer Halloween party in your smart home

With the spooky season just around the corner, you’re probably already thinking about how to throw the killer Halloween party — one that strikes a perfect balance between scary and delightful. Smart home tech can lend a hand and trigger effects that add to the atmosphere — or even send shivers down the spines of trick-or-treaters who dare to come to your doorstep.

Whatever your goal this Halloween, you don’t have to invest in a lot of gadgets to make it happen. If you have a basic smart home setup, you might already have everything you need to add some chills and fun to your next monster mash.

Use motion sensors to trigger spooky sounds

Have a smart home security system? Then you can probably rig up your motion sensors to play a spooky noise. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a motion sensor, either — your smart camera can trigger other devices in your smart home when it detects motion.

Just place a speaker on your porch, perhaps tucked away behind a pumpkin or a bit of straw. When a group of unsuspecting kids show up to ask for candy, they set off the motion sensor on the camera, which triggers the speaker to play the sound of a zombie’s moan or the cackle of a witch. Bonus points if you set up an animatronic hand to rise up out of the straw.

Let smart lights set the mood

Thanks to your smart lights, you can cast a ghastly glow over your entire home. The moment guests walk in the door, they’ll be greeted by the glow of your lights. You could even set up the lights in one particular room to glow red.

Smart lights let you take things even further. Almost all smart lights have special effects you can use to cause them to flicker. Implement these effects throughout your home to immerse party guests deeper into the theme of your party. If you have an individual smart light that you can plug in through an extension cord, you can even use them to light up your pumpkins.

Let Alexa suggest a movie for you

Your Echo can serve as the control center for your entire party, changing the lights as needed to keep up the mood. At the same time, you can ask Alexa to suggest a movie for you. If you’re not a fan of over-the-top scary movies and prefer something a bit more lighthearted, just ask.

There are numerous Alexa Skills like Movie Recommender, MovieBot, and others that can suggest a movie to you. If a Scooby Doo marathon sounds more up your alley than a Scream marathon, Alexa can help you find the perfect flick that won’t have you sleeping with the lights on.

spooky halloween lighting haunted house

Rock the night away with the Rocky Horror soundtrack

A good party is comprised of several different elements: Tasty food, the proper atmosphere, and great sound. You’ll want background music of some kind playing at your party, especially if you don’t have movies showing. It can be tough to find the right music for a Halloween party, but thanks to services like Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, and more, you can play the soundtracks of your favorite movies.

There are also numerous fan-made playlists you can tap into. After all, what’s a Halloween party without someone playing Thriller at max volume?

Use smart plugs to power up fog machines

It might not be a dark and stormy night in your neck of the woods, but it sure can be a foggy one. If you use a smoke machine to make the environment just a bit spookier, a smart plug is the perfect way to control the machine. You can activate it from your phone.

Even better, you could have the plug turn on when someone triggers a motion sensor in a different room. Imagine starting to walk down a hallway, only for it to be flooded with fog. It makes it easy for you to turn your home into a haunted house in the best possible way (minus all the actual ghosts.)

October is just around the corner, and with it comes the perfect time to celebrate your love of the macabre. Let your smart home help you throw the perfect Halloween party this year or make your porch the spookiest one in the neighborhood.

Editors' Recommendations

Samsung and Google partnership finds a shared home for SmartThings
The Google Nest Audio speaker on a table.

Matter — the interoperability protocol that will bring smart devices from different brands under a single umbrella of control — is less than a month away from its official launch. Ahead of the grand reveal, Samsung and Google have announced a partnership that adds a convenient element of interoperability to their respective smart home ecosystems.

Sounds confusing? Well, here’s the easy breakdown. Samsung, in collaboration with partner brands, sells a wide range of smart home devices, from doorbells and switches to lights and garage door openers. However, barely a few of those SmartThings gadgets worked seamlessly with Google’s Home app for controlling smart home gizmos.

Read more
Roku gets into the smart home business with Wyze and Walmart
Roku Smart Home camera feed

Roku officially is in the smart home business. The biggest streaming platform in the U.S. (thanks to its low-cost hardware) today announced a partnership that teams it up with Wyze Labs (maker of low-cost lights and cameras and such) to sell cameras, lights, doorbells and smart outlets, all under the Roku Smart Home name. And it'll all be available at Walmart starting October 17.

The news was partially outed earlier in the week by way of Reddit and some shipping manifests, as noted by Zatz Not Funny.

Read more
Is the Pixel Tablet a competitor to the Echo Show 15?
The Google Pixel Table and the Speaker Dock.

This past week's Google event showed off quite a few products, but none caught my attention quite like the Google Pixel Tablet. The device looks just like a Nest Home Hub, but that's by design. It can be detached from its base and carried around the house, but upon connection to the speaker dock, it transforms into a smart home device.

I've been asking for a new version of the Nest Hub, and Google delivered -- although not exactly in the way I expected. It also brought another, much-beloved device to mind: the Echo Show 15.

Read more