Let Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant spook you on Halloween - WBCB: The Valley's CW |

Let Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant spook you on Halloween

By Tyler Lacoma

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Packed with all kinds of spooky tricks, your Alexa or Google Assistant device can be a welcome companion for Halloween celebrations. With a little prompting, the voice assistants can serve as an idea generator, a much-needed distraction, a master of scary moments, and much more. Here are a few of our favorite ways to use Alexa and Google Assistant for all of our Halloween festivities and plans.

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Access your Halloween playlist

Alexa is ready and waiting to play all the creepy Halloween music you need. If you use Spotify, Alexa can connect to the music service and play all sorts of different Halloween playlists. Or you can create your own playlist on Amazon Music and have it ready at a moment’s notice.

Listen to your latest scary book

Maybe it’s not quite time for the party yet. What’s an impatient Halloween fan to do? Fortunately, Alexa works with Kindle and can read eBooks as well as play audiobooks. Do you have a spooky October story you haven’t quite finished yet? Ask Alexa to turn it on while you are setting for Halloween or working on your costume, and enjoy the best of both worlds.

Halloween apps

Play spooky Halloween sounds for your party or porch

Nothing creates Halloween ambiance like some spooky noises on play, especially when set up on the porch or as background sounds for haunted Halloween party. Alexa makes it easier than ever to get your spooky sounds ASAP. The Spooky Halloween Sounds skill is one of the highest-rated, but there are many other skills you can search for if you want to narrow your sounds down to screams, raven calls, witch cackling, and so on.

Guess horror movie taglines

Say, “Alexa, start Horror Movie Taglines,” and Alexa will immediately launch into a game of taglines (you hear the tagline and get a certain amount of time to guess the name of the movie) limited only to horror movies. It’s a brilliant, casual game that will quickly attract a crowd, and works especially with horror movie taglines, which range from hilarious to cryptic. If you’re looking for a fun party game to play (one that doesn’t require an extra hand or too much attention), this is your best bet.

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Start an interactive haunted house exploration

There are a couple different options for interactive haunted house adventures. The first is an audio Haunted House skill that you can start by saying, “Alexa open haunted house.” Alexa will then start a narration that will guide you through a haunted house, with plenty of options for making your own decisions and choosing what to explore next. It’s a great family-friendly game to play, especially if the kids are just a little too impatient for Halloween outings to begin.

However, if you have an Echo Show model with a screen, we suggest that you go with the Haunted House Screensaver. This plays an interactive exploration of a haunted mansion that lasts for more than an hour. You may have to put the Show in a more comfortable spot, but it’s a great activity when counting down to Halloween.

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Listen to a scary story

Alexa is happy to tell you a scary story, as long as you know how to ask. Boo Bot is a popular option for getting extra-creepy stories for your Halloween chills. The skill taps into the subreddit r/scarystories, pulls out a random story, and reads it aloud for everyone.

Since r/scarystories isn’t known for pulling punches, this is a great way to get some tales that are actually scary. However, that also means that this skill really isn’t appropriate for kids, which may limit times you can use it. Since the stories are random, it’s also hard to tell exactly what Alexa will pull out.

For a less random story time that’s still creepy, but more kid-friendly, you can try out the Curiosity Cabin skill for Alexa, which offers a number of different tales and spooky facts to explore. Radio Fear and Scary Tale are other popular options you may want to explore.

Use Alexa to control a smart device Halloween scene

With Alexa, you can create scenes that combine multiple smart device actions into one command. This is particularly useful when creating the perfect Halloween scene. With the right devices, smart bulbs, and smart plugs, you can instantly turn your house or yard into a festival of fear. Create a command that changes the color of lights, starts a fog machine, plays a ghost screech, pops a scare mask from behind a corner, and more. Let your imagination (and available smart devices) guide you.

Google Assistant

You can use Google Assistant (on your Google Home, Home Mini, Home Max, or Home Hub) as a particularly versatile solution for spooky Halloween ideas. Here are a few popular ways to incorporate Google Assistant into your last minute Halloween plans.

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Monster facts

Simply say, “Hey/OK Google, share facts about monsters.” Google will spill the beans on favorite horror movie monsters and their mythic origins. For example, GA might come back with the facts on werewolves by saying, “The werewolf legend may trace back as far as ancient Greece, but it became a popular and feared monster in Europe during the Middle Ages. Many people accused of witchcraft also found themselves accused of being werewolves.”

Halloween plan organization

If you have a few too many last-minute tasks to get done, let Assistant help out. You can give commands like, “Hey Google, add Halloween candy to my shopping list,” or “Hey Google, remember to turn on the porch decorations in an hour.”

Getting help with last-minute costume ideas

Say, “OK Google, what should I be for Halloween?” GA will run you through a quick quiz and end with a suggestion for your costume.

If you already have an amazing idea but are finding the cosmetics more difficult than you thought, you can turn to a Google Assistant smart display for help, too (or your phone, if you have GA on it). Ask, “OK Google, show me zombie face paint videos.” This command works for vampire face paint, skeleton face paint, general Halloween face paint…you get the idea.

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Play the trick or treat game

Say, “Hey Google, trick or treat,” to launch an interactive, kid-friendly story mode that’s perfect for passing the precious hours before trick or treating can happen in the real world. Here, you enter GA’s own haunted house to seek candy, which turns out to be missing.

The only thing to do is start a hunt/detective story to find out which guest made off with the candy – feature characters such as Mr. Mummy, Count Dracula, and Willow the Friendly Witch. It’s an excellent activity for the family while you are busy taking care of other details around the house.

Get the party started with music and sounds

Google Assistant can connect to your music playlists and online sources of music including Google Play music, Spotify and Pandora. Ask GA to start up a playlist while you are decorating or putting your costume on. Of course, you can also just say, “OK, Google, let’s get spooky,” and Assistant will play an hour of spooky sound effects and random flicker your connected smart devices, which may be exactly what you need to get in the mood.

Google Home Hub
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Control smart device scenes

Like Alexa, Google Assistant can control linked smart devices around your home, allowing you to make sure everything is as spooky as possible at just the right time. Think about creating scenes that change the color of lights, start playing music, activate Halloween decorations, and more.

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