Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Creepy lighting setups on Halloween

How to use gadgets to get in the Halloween spirit

Whether you partake in the trick or treating, there’s a good chance that kids will come a knocking, and if you have gadgets, you can have some fun with them.

With Halloween not far away, you might be gathering sweets to give out and preparing yourself for kids dressed up in all manner of things to partake in the regular chant of “trick or treat”, joining in a little bit of fun ahead of the holiday season.

But as fun as giving out chocolates and lollipops can be, you might be keen on leaving a lasting impression that your home is super spooky and closer to scary.

Fortunately, if you have a few gadgets in your home, you can employ a few tricks here and there for your very own treat.

Light up your home inside and outside with colourful smart lighting

Philips Hue lights talking to Spotify

When it comes to gadgets you can use over Halloween, the obvious place to start is the world of light, partly because it’s just so accessible, not to mention relatively inexpensive and easy to set up.

If you’ve started to embrace the world of WiFi-connected lighting in your life, you might have one or two smart lightbulbs working somewhere in your home. And if that’s the case, you might also have support for colours. That’s great, as you might want both.

If you have lights with support for lots of colours, such as the options from Philips Hue, Nanoleaf, and Lifx, you can set these to a creepy orange or red glow, or even have them animate as they fade between the colours, creating the look of flickering or random jumps in colour.

In rooms where you have these smart lights, consider switching the colours to off-putting reds and leaving scary props against them, delivering the look that something creepy is happening in this very home.

And if you have a smart lightbulb outside your house for your front light, you can set the mood right there, creating a slightly disturbing orange glow just for the night.

A creepy doorbell worth screaming about

Ring Video Doorbell Wired

After lighting up the outside of your home, the doorbell can another sign that you took the whole spirit of Halloween properly and had some fun.

If you have a Ring doorbell or a doorbell made by Google, you’ll find creepy sounds available for you to use. The only problem: your trick or treaters may not hear it.

There’s a solution for that, at least for the Ring. If you have one of the Chime or Chime Pro external ring plugs that delivers the sound of your doorbell to other parts of the house, you can plug it in near the door, either inside or using an outside power port, and basically make the sound closer to where someone pressing the door bell would be.

That means if you have an outside power connector at the front, you can temporarily move the Chime there and have the creepy doorbell play when someone comes knocking. Creepy.

Play spooky sounds over wireless speakers

Sonos Roam

Pretty much everyone has a wireless speaker, and that means everyone has a way of getting spooky sounds in parts of your home, or even out of it.

Want to mess with the minds of anyone walking up to your door? Hide a small wireless speaker like a UE Boom or Sonos Roam firmly within reach but close enough that it can run with creepy sounds, finding these on your regular music streaming service.

Be sure to use a service you’re actually paying for, as you’d hate for the illusion to be ruined if a Spotify free ad pops up in the middle of a trick.

You can also ask Google or Amazon’s Alexa to help you or, playing something spooky, which if you have a smart speaker may mean not even paying for a service at all.

Make a scary scene with a robotic vacuum

If you’re the proud owner of a robotic vacuum, or maybe the concerned owner of a vacuum that tries to throw itself off the porch on a regular basis, you might be able to use it to create something ghoulish and scary.

Grab your robot vacuum, leave the blinds open so people can see it, and attach something scary to the top, such as a blow-up spider, a doll, or maybe a small prop cat or hand.

If cats can sit on a Roomba and move around the place, you can probably fit a lightweight toy designed to creep people out. Just be aware: robotic vacuums aren’t built to hold a lot of weight up top, so while a cat or something else can sit on these automatic vacuums, it doesn’t mean they should, so make sure to keep your props light.

Project something spooky against the windows

Epson EF-100W

One final way to creep out would-be visitors is to play with some set decoration, and you can do that if you happen to have a projector.

This won’t be for everyone, and we can’t imagine that you’ll run out and grab a projector just for this spot of fun, but if you have one, you can project something creepy on curtains to make things feel that much more real.

You can find videos suitable for this with a simple search, looking up “haunted silhouette videos” or “take a look at YouTube’s results for ghost videos, playing these videos and running them on a loop, or even doing a quick edit yourself if you can download them and fading them into each other.

The result should be something that looks spooky from afar and leaves a lasting impression, especially once it has been combined with everything else.

Read next