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How to Have a Haunted Smart Home This Halloween

Transform your house for a spookier experience.
By Brett Jurgens
Oct 30, 2018

It's that time of year again. The old Blockbuster has transformed into a seasonal costume shop, your local haunted houses are finally open, and the kids have picked out the largest pillow case and are ready to give your dentist a heart attack come November.

But what are you doing to make this Halloween the most memorable yet? If you're part of the 90 percent of U.S. consumers who own some form of smart-home devices, then why not use them to transform your house into the scariest on the block?

Seventy percent of homes have a voice-controlled system in place, such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home, making it easier than ever to "spookify" your home this Halloween. Combine that with a few simple connected devices, and you've got yourself a creepy pad sure to scare off unsuspecting trick-or-treaters.

Let's Get Spooky
Take your in-home Halloween experience up a notch with Google Home. With a simple command, your Google Home device will create a kid-friendly haunted house. When you say "Let's get spooky," Google Home will play a scary organ theme and YouTube will launch via Chromecast and project haunted animations. If that weren't scary enough, Google Home can also flicker your smart lights to give the perfect ominous vibe in your abode.

Out of the Darkness
One of the simplest tricks to make your house fit for the damned is to get rid of those standard light bulbs. Switch them out for some Philips Hue bulbs that can be tuned to any color to give the inside of your house an eerie tint, or give it a facelift for your Halloween shindig. You can place these bulbs on the outside of your house and synch them up with an app like Hue Disco that will make them dance to whatever music or scary movie you have playing inside.

Trick, Treat and Run
Once you've got the inside of your haunted smart home sorted, it's time to create a bone-chilling approach for those trick-or-treaters. Using a Nest Hello video doorbell, pre-record a spooky saying that will give kids who ring for candy a scare. Or you can up the ante by asking Alexa to read your favorite horror audiobook from Audible to trick-or-treaters as they come upon your creepy smart house. Any of the classic Goosebumps books are sure to do the trick here.

Get Foggy With It
For the advanced smart-home owner, IFTTT recipes are a great way to create all kinds of spooky events that will make yours the scariest house on the block. By placing a Notion sensor on your front gate, you can switch on a fog machine using an IFTTT and SmartThings Switch. And if that's still not spooky enough, a command can make Halloween decorations dance in the darkness or skeletons pop up from the cold ground as trick-or-treaters make their way to the front door.

You no longer need full-sized candy bars to draw a crowd this Halloween. Give the neighborhood something to talk about this year as you transform your home into an automated house of horror thanks to the smart-home gear that you use regularly.

Brett Jurgens is the co-founder and CEO of Notion, the complete home-awareness solution, powered by a multi-purpose Internet of Things (IoT) smart-home sensor. Prior to founding Notion, Brett co-founded and ran Sway Marketing, which aimed to more effectively connect local area businesses with CU students. He went on to work as an analyst in the Private Placements Group at Piper Jaffray, where he helped private, growing companies raise growth capital from institutional investors. Brett was then hired as the first employee of Denver-based consumer product startup UrgentRx, running business development and operations; he helping the company launch six productions, sell into more than 30,000 retail locations (including Walmart and Walgreens) and raise multiple rounds of capital.

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