8 Halloween tricks your smart home device can do
Here's how to celebrate Oct. 31 with Alexa and Google Assistant.
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Spooky jokes, eerie noises, and popular costume ideas—if you’re looking for help celebrating Halloween on Thursday, Oct. 31, your smart speaker has your back.
We’ve rounded up some of the top skills and ways Alexa and Google Assistant help you celebrate the creepiest day of the year. To enable these Halloween skills on your Echo, open the Amazon Alexa app, which is available for download on iOS and Android devices, tap "Skills and Games" in the menu, and search for the skill you want. For Google Home, you can find these actions in the Google Assistant app, which is also available for iOS and Android devices.
From recipes ideas to trivia games, here are eight ways Alexa and Google Assistant can help you celebrate Halloween.
1. Find the perfect Halloween costume
Not sure what to dress as for Halloween? Your smart speaker can assist with a spooky outfit for Oct. 31. Google Home users should check out Halloween Costume Quiz. The action gives you advice on how to get the “perfect homemade costume” idea. To begin, say, “OK Google, talk to Halloween Costume Quiz,” and answer a series of questions that follow.
Alexa users can also get ideas for what to wear on Oct. 31 by enabling the “Men’s Halloween Costume Ideas” skill or the “Women’s Halloween Costume Ideas” skill skill in the Amazon Alexa app. To find out what costume you should wear, say, “Alexa, ask Women’s Halloween Costume Ideas to give me a costume,” or “Alexa, ask Men’s Halloween Costume Ideas to give me a costume.”
2. Test your Halloween knowledge
Think you know everything about Halloween? The “Halloween Trivia Game” action on Google Home is loaded with all sorts of fun trivia about the spooky holiday. Test your knowledge of all things Halloween including questions like, “In which country did kids first use the phrase trick or treat?” and, “What was doctor Frankenstein’s first name?” To begin, say, “Hey Google, talk to Halloween Trivia Game.”
If you have an Echo, check out the “Halloween Trivia” skill to hear questions about Halloween. To learn more, say, “Alexa, open Halloween Trivia,” or, “Alexa, start Halloween Trivia.” You can play as a single player or enjoy the game with up to four players.
3. Find Halloween-themed recipe ideas
Candy may be the food of the season, but both Google Assistant and Alexa have plenty of Halloween recipes to offer. To find out what to make for Halloween using your Google Home, say, “Hey Google, give me Halloween recipes.” If you have a Google Nest Max Hub or Google Nest Max, you can get step-by-step recipe instructions right on the screen.
You can also get Halloween snack ideas on your Echo by enabling the “Halloween Treats Recipes” skill. The skill suggests simple recipes using common ingredients that you likely already have stocked in your pantry. For crowd-pleasing, spooky snack ideas, say, “Alexa, open Halloween Treats and give me a Halloween snack recipe,” or “Alexa, ask Halloween Treats to give me an idea.”
4. Hear spine-chilling stories
Grab the flashlight and get ready for Alexa to tell you a ghost story. The "Spooky Tales" skill plays a brief Halloween story when you say, "Alexa, open Spooky Tales." When Alexa is done telling you a story, she'll ask if you are ready for another, to which you can reply "yes" or "no." (Keep in mind that the "Spooky Tales" skill may not be suitable for children or those who are easily scared.)
Google Assistant has plenty of ghostly stories, too. When you say, “OK Google, tell me a Halloween story,” Google Assistant will begin reading a Halloween book from Google Play Books. If you’re looking for an eerie tale that’s short but sweet, say “Hey Google, tell me a spooky story.” Google Assistant rotates through a variety of scary stories that are 30 seconds or shorter.
5. Listen to frightening Halloween sounds
Setting up a spooky front porch display? Create a creepy ambiance on Halloween night by asking Alexa to "start Spooky Halloween Sounds” or "open Spooky Halloween Sounds.” The “Spooky Halloween Sounds” skill has a 5-star rating from 359 reviews and plays a continuous loop of Halloween sounds. When you’re done listening, say, "Alexa, stop."
Google Assistant doesn’t have a specific action for Halloween sounds, but you can still ask Google to “play Halloween sounds” or “play spooky sounds.”
6. Put on Halloween music
If you’re hosting a Halloween party or just want to get in the spooky spirit, ask Alexa or Google Assistant to put on some Halloween tunes like "Monster Mash" by Bobby Pickett or "Time Warp" from “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” To hear Halloween music on Google Home, say, “Hey Google, play Halloween music on Spotify,” or, “OK Google, play Halloween music on YouTube.”
Echo users can ask Alexa to “play Halloween music” from Amazon Music or request a previously linked music streaming service like Spotify or Apple Music to hear some Halloween hits. Additionally, you can create your own personalized Halloween playlist using Google Assistant or Alexa.
7. Count down the days until Halloween
October is already in full swing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t countdown the number of days until Halloween arrives. Find out how many days there are until Oct. 31 when you enable the “Halloween Countdown” skill for your Alexa-enabled device. To get the official count, say, “Alexa, open Halloween Countdown.”
If you have a Google Home Mini or another Google Assistant-enabled speaker, you can say, “Hey Google, how many days until Halloween?” You can also set a reminder for Google Assistant to remind you when it’s officially Oct. 31 by saying, “Hey Google, remind me on October 31 at 7 a.m. that today is Halloween.”
8. Watch a Halloween movie
Movies are a great way to get into the spirit of the season. If you're searching for suggestions, check out the "Halloween Movies" skill on Amazon. To discover a list of Halloween films, tell Alexa to "ask Halloween Movies to show me a movie," or "ask Halloween Movies to tell me a movie."
Google Assistant can also give Halloween movie recommendations when you say, “Hey Google, find scary movies,” or if you have a screen-enabled device, say, “OK Google, show me spooky movies.” You can scroll across the screen and click on a title to learn more about the film.
One thing Google Assistant and Alexa can’t do is bring you candy, which is an essential part of the Halloween holiday. If you’re looking for a delicious sweet to eat while you celebrate Halloween with Google and Alexa, we tested 16 popular candy bars to help you find the best bite.