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"Spooky" ways to use Alexa and Ring this Halloween

From ghost stories to seasonal sound effects, here's how to turn your smart home into a haunted house this Halloween.


Image: iStock/vasyldolmatov

Halloween is right around the corner and that means many are enjoying scary movies, costumed celebrations, and a little playful mischief for the season. While the coronavirus pandemic may have altered the standard trick-or-treating plans for many, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the Halloween season from the comforts of home. Earlier this month, Amazon released a list of ways to use Amazon devices this Halloween and we've detailed some of these tricks and tips below.

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Create a "spooky" story with Alexa

Ghost stories are synonymous with the Halloween season and Alexa has numerous stories prepared for the season. Those so inclined can create their own Halloween story using the Halloween Blueprint. "Spooky Story" offers a fill-in-the-blank template a la Mad Libs for the Halloween season. Individuals are able to change the names of characters throughout, adjust the audible sound effects, increase the dramatic pause between paragraphs, and more.

To do so, say ""Alexa, open My Spooky Story" and the voice assistant will guide you through the Halloween template, introducing each blank storyboard space and saving the information you suggest. The template and options allow for a wide range of customization and creative leeway. For example, rather than cueing the angry cat meow between paragraphs individuals could instead select ghost sounds, chains clanking, or the sound of a raven's caw.

Once completed, Alexa will read the story aloud as you've designed it.

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Listen to a ghost story

There are also Halloween storytelling options for those who prefer a ready-made Halloween tale without the template. As CNET previously reported, people can also have their voice assistant cue up a frightful tale, by saying "Alexa, tell me a spooky story." Then, Alexa will deliver a Halloween story.

Cue a 21st-century haunted smart home

For those with additional smart home products, it's possible to set a more elaborate Halloween stage at home. Individuals can dim compatible smart house lights, have these bulbs glow red, or schedule the lights to suddenly shut off when other members of the house "least expect it" and "you can blame it on the ghosts," Amazon explained.

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Capture "ghosts" at home

There are numerous Alexa Skills people can use to up the fright factor this Halloween. For example, the Ghost Detector Skill invites households to detect and apprehend digital ghosts drifting about the home. As part of these missions, people can only capture one ghost each day, but there are hundreds to capture in total.

Set a Halloween-themed doorbell

For homes with Amazon's video-enabled doorbell camera, Ring, there are a number of Halloween-themed chimes to choose from. These seasonal doorbell options include bat sounds, howling, screams, organ music, witch cackling, creepy laughter, a screeching cat, a creaking door, and more, according to a Ring representative. Those interested in adding one of these sounds will need to do so in the Ring app.

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