Halloween may seem like an old-school holiday, filled with bedroom sheet ghosts, dollar-store candy corn, and fog machines that never seem to work right, but you couldn't be further from the truth. Halloween is a holiday where the bleeding edge of smart home tech proves that you don't need buckets of fake syrupy blood to scare your guests' socks off. Whether you're looking to scare trick-or-treaters away and keep all that candy to yourself or want to spook guests at your mysterious masquerade, there are a lot of tools at your disposal.
For blending into your spiderweb-covered foyers and controlling your "haunted" home, the new and improved Nest Mini is perfect. Google Assistant is compatible with over 10,000 smart devices, and the Mini has dozens of mounts, covers, and bases to hide it away or dress it up.
Pump the party
Amazon's updates have made the 3rd gen Echo sound almost as good as the Echo Plus while giving it a plusher look that blends in better with your decor. This speaker can easily keep the tunes flowing or some spooky sounds like a thundering storm.
Durable dead-raising beats
Few smart speakers are portable or waterproof, but they can pair with Bluetooth speakers that are both, like this one! We threw this one four stories into a pool, so it should be able to stand up to most of the undead insanity your party has planned. It also charges over USB-C, which is a real treat!
This smaller-than-a-soda speaker gets a surprisingly loud sound out of its waterproof little housing, making it perfect for pranks. Just hide it behind one of your skeletons and watch kids run away in terror when you broadcast your loudest evil laugh to it via a paired Nest Mini!
Let there be (creepy) light!
Philips Hue lights are easy to set up, easy to control via Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa, and this kit will give you a Hue Bridge and two A19 color bulbs to use in any standard socket. Ditch boring white for ghoulish green and poison purple glows in and out of your home.
Strip down your lighting
If Hue lights are a bit much for your wallet, no problem! This kit is more affordable, and strip lights are also easier to roll out your spooky lighting covertly, mounting them under the edge of your roof or under the edges of cabinets. They make great lights for cookie-making parties, too!
Old-school goes new-school
Smart plugs can control just about any old-school Halloween effect that operates off a traditional plug, and this name-brand smart plug is a two-fer. You get two smart plugs off one outlet, and its IP64 water-resistant for using with outdoor effects, like that inflatable hydra on the front lawn.
Light the way
Ring offers a variety of different Smart Light options that you can pick from, but the pathlights are especially useful for lighting up the walkway to your front door for kiddos in clunky costumes and vision-obscuring masks. Ring's smart lights are motion-activated and battery-powered.
Ding Dong DOOOOOOOM
The Google Nest Hello Video Doorbell is the smartest video doorbell you can buy. Aside from the Spooky Sounds package, Nest Hello pairs perfectly with Google Assistant, making it easy to watch tricksters and treaters through your smart displays or Chromecast.
Spooks, surprises, and sweet technological treats
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Lights are a surprisingly important part of a holiday that's all about the dark. Even if you don't want to go whole-hog with Philips Hue, the Nexlux strip lights are a fun way to spook up a room. You can evem control them with the new and improved Nest Mini speaker from across the room during your Halloween masquerade.
If you've got a Nest Hello doorbell, scaring trick-or-treaters is as easy as setting the new Spooky Sounds theme. Once Halloween's over, you'll be able to swap it out for one of four festive winter themes for Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years, or "generic winter sounds." A Nest Hellow doorbell is also a worthwhile investment as we head into the holiday shipping season, as Halloween pirates are cute, but porch pirates are not.
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Ara Wagoner was a staff writer at Android Central. She themes phones and pokes YouTube Music with a stick. When she's not writing about cases, Chromebooks, or customization, she's wandering around Walt Disney World. If you see her without headphones, RUN. You can follow her on Twitter at @arawagco.