An Amazon Echo surrounded by Halloween decorations

Our 5 favorite DIY Halloween smart home projects

Alexa casting spells? Lights that flicker? That's easy with some inexpensive smart home gear and these DIY projects to haunt up your home. Here's how to get started.

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Sure you can drop hundreds of dollars on plug and play Halloween decorations. October 31st has turned into a big consumer spending day, with spending to hit $8.8 billion in 2019 according to the National Retail Federation. But who's to say that you can't dream up your own haunted decorations, that are sure to entertain the neighborhood.

These 5 projects, pulled from the best we've found online, rely on smart tech to create. You can certainly tap into more simple solutions like beaming ghostly images via a wireless projector. But for the intrepid with a spooky soul, consider these curated options — including one we designed ourselves — with plenty of time for you to gather all the necessary elements so you can conjure your own ghoulish trick before the Witching Hour strikes this month.

How to teach Amazon's Alexa to cast a spell this Halloween through Alexa

Make your own Alexa Skill

Nothing like a disembodied voice to terrifying people — and Amazon makes this super easy with the Alexa Blueprint. Just go to the Alexa Blueprint site, and make sure you're logged in with your Amazon's account. Then, click on Custom Q&A option. You can add to existing questions pre-written in the app, or you can write and create your own to build a custom conversation with Alexa when Trick or Treaters arrive. We wrote three different chats, enough to keep the kids entertained for a silly minute. Make sure you also wish Alexa a Happy Halloween, she's got a spooky trick up her own sleeve.

Enjoy the spookiest Halloween experience with Philips Hue in 360°

Philips Hue's Haunted House

Philips Hue designed a haunted home using its trademarked lights, which you can view in 360-degrees on YouTube. Lights flicker, change colors and glow in eerie tones. You can see light strips, outdoor bulbs and fixtures used through the quick video — all controlled through Philips Hue's bridge. FreshPorcupine Salad also has a nice display of how they put Philips Hue lights to work for their own Halloween display

Philips Hue Lily White & Color Outdoor Spot Light Base kit (Hue Hub required), 3 Spot Lights with power supply + mount, Works with Alexa, HomeKit & Google Assistant

How to make a Halloween Smart Home!

HomeKit Halloween

Shane Whatley's kitted out his entire home use Apple HomeKit, and also tapping into brands including iDevices to create flickering lights outside and inside as well. In the video, there are colored lights that flash against the walls, some that also create candle effects, which he sets up, and then controls, via scenes — while both showing off and explaining everything in this quick six-minute video.

IDEVICES IDEV0004ANP5 Outdoor Switch Wi-Fi Smart Plug, Works with Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant

Halloween Smart Home

iHome Halloween

Laura Laws walked through her Halloween smart home, where she automated her lights using just an iHome smart plug and the Wink app. Glowing orange and red lights create a scary image on her ceiling and walls — and she can also turn lights on and off. Many of these automations are as simple as downloading an app, and linking devices to them, which can take just minutes. A smart plug can also turn non-smart devices into connected ones, allowing you to control them through a smartphone or tablet.

iHome ISP6X Wi-FI Smart Plug , Use your voice to control connected devices, Works with Alexa, Google Assistant and HomeKit enabled smart speakers

Caught on Arlo: Spooky Halloween

Smart security camera sneaks

Arlo stitched together a few videos captured through the Arlo security camera of people getting scared by Halloween decorations. You can also put a Ring video doorbell or a Nest security camera to good use on Halloween — plus for Halloween, Ring and Nest have special holiday sounds available to download.

With Ring, when trick-or-treaters press the doorbell, you can take a look at them and even speak through the device — giving them a little scare before you appease them with candy. A Nest security camera too can be used to keep an eye on Halloween decorations to make sure they stay where you've left them, and a sneaky goblin doesn't wander off with anything before All Hallows Eve.

Ring Video Doorbell 2 with HD Video, Motion Activated Alerts, Easy Installation

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