An Amazon Echo speaker on a colorful Halloween-themed background.
Amazon, Fotomay/Shutterstock.com

If you’re one of the millions of people with an Echo speaker, Ring doorbell, or both, there are plenty of smarthome tricks for you to take for a spin this Halloween.

“Alexa, Start Halloween”

There are two layers to this command. If you don’t have the Halloween routine installed, you can say “Alexa, start Halloween,” and it will enable a Halloween theme for the duration of October. (Alternatively, you can say “Alexa, enable the Halloween theme.”)

If you do have the official Alexa Halloween routine installed,  saying “Alexa, start Halloween” will trigger a creaky door sound, a Halloween welcome from Alexa, and whatever smart lights you have selected within the routine will toggle to the settings you specified (now’s a great time to take advantage of all the shades of orange and red your smart lights can display).

“Alexa, Play Some Halloween Music”

Need some tunes for your Halloween party or general October mood? If you ask Alexa to play some Halloween music you’ll be treated to a curated Halloween playlist with classic spooky-season tunes to set the scene.

“Alexa, Start Halloween Ambiance”

Sometimes you want Halloween jams and sometimes, you just want a properly spooky background track to lay down for partygoers or trick-or-treaters.

In that case, skip the Halloween music command and tell Alexa to “start the Halloween ambiance.” Instead of a “Thriller” and other October staples, you’ll get a proper backtrack for your Halloween antics like the wind whistling through the halls of a crypt, with creaking doors and rattling chains.

“Alexa, Open Ghost Detector”

If you have kids that are easily spooked, perhaps skip this one. There’s nothing intensely scary about it, but the idea that your smart home can detect spectral energy and confirm there are ghosts present in the home might be a bit much for little ones with vivid imaginations.

While you might find it cute or whimsical that Alexa announces confidently, after you say, “Alexa, open ghost detector,” that there is a level 3 spectral form floating behind you, your wide-eyed four-year-old might not. Still, it’s a fun little routine to try, and older kids will love it.

“Alexa, Tell Me a Story”

If you’re looking for a spooky-but-not-too-spooky story, ask Alexa to tell you a story after the Halloween theme is enabled. You’ll get a short story with kid-friendly twists and turns.

If, on the other hand, you want something a bit more interactive, a bit scarier, or both, keep reading to see what skill-based options you can load up on your Echo devices.

Add a Spooky Ring Doorbell Chime

A ring doorbell and smartphone, surrounded by Halloween decor.
Ring/Amazon

If you have a Ring doorbell as part of your Amazon-based smarthome ecosystem, you can take advantage of the Halloween quick replies and chimes.

There are a handful of quick replies you can turn on in the app, like a warning that the house is haunted or a spooky message that you’re on the way.

And you can set custom chimes inside so that instead of the same old ding-dong chime, you can enjoy a hearty cackle, a spooky sound effect, or a haunting howl.

Jump Scare Your Friends and Family

The “Spook Scream” skill is essentially a timer that ends in one of a variety of blood-curdling horror movie screams.

Enable the skill, and then say something like, “Alexa, ask Spooky Scream to start in 5 minutes,” then wait for your unsuspecting victim to get the screaming payload when the timer runs out.

Solve Mysteries with Scooby Doo

You’ll need to enable the skill, but once you have, you’ll be treated to a mystery romp with the crew of Mystery Inc.

You can launch it by saying “Alexa, tell Scooby-Doo I want to solve a mystery.” From there, you can navigate a choose-your-own-adventure-style mystery along with the gang.

Play a Horror Mystery Game

The Scooby Doo interactive game is great fun for everyone, but if you’d like your interactive game to have a bit more teeth to it, you might want to give Analog Memory a shot.

It’s definitely not for kids, and if you’re not a fan of really spooky things then there’s no shame in skipping it. But if you’re looking for an interactive Alexa activity that is a bit more hair-raising than the Mystery Inc. gang can provide, it’s a good fit.

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Profile Photo for Jason Fitzpatrick Jason Fitzpatrick
Jason Fitzpatrick is the Senior Smart Home Editor at How-To Geek. He has over a decade of experience in publishing and has authored thousands of articles at How-To Geek, Review Geek, LifeSavvy, and Lifehacker. Jason served as Lifehacker's Weekend Editor before he joined How-To Geek.
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