Halloween is just around the corner, which means it’s time to decorate. Ditch your run-of-the-mill paper decorations and invest in some animatronics to make your house the spookiest on the block.

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You make ask, what are animatronics? They are lifelike robots created solely for entertainment, and are often used in movies for special effects. You can level up your holiday decor with animatronics, creating a fun, festive, and in this case, scary scene. 

The Halloween animatronics below can make your home seem deeply haunted or simply Halloween-spirited, depending on your preference. ZDNET experts chose the best Halloween animatronics based on price, special features, and overall aesthetic.

pros

  • AAA battery-powered
  • Indoor or outdoor
  • LED lights, bulb included
  • Adjustable
cons

  • Batteries not included

Tech specs:

  • 6′ H x 2′ 6” W x 7” D
  • Weighs 1.5 lbs
  • Moves, speaks, and lights up
  • Needs 3 AA batteries

Wally the clown makes my heart pound in fear with just one glance. Wally is a gruesome animatronic, with flashing red eyes and an evil smile. Plus, he holds a doll in hand, combining two common fears — clowns and dolls — for the price of one! You can adjust his arms into a position that indicates “come closer” or straight up for a more playful position. 

Not only does the clown’s body move, but he also laughs and “speaks” four surprisingly lengthy phrases: 

  • “Hey, you look familiar. Maybe because I’ve been hiding under your bed!”
  • That’s it, come closer. I’ve got something for you, and it’s not a balloon!”
  • “Oh, did I scare you? Good. You taste much better when you’re scared.”
  • “Good, run away. I’ll catch up with you later in your nightmares!”

pros

  • AA battery-powered
  • Includes candy bowl, adapter, and instruction manual
  • Compatible with remote activator
cons

  • Batteries not included
  • Chair not included

Tech specs:

  • 54″ H x 15″ L x 17″ W
  • Weighs 6 lbs
  • Moves and makes noise
  • Needs 4 AA batteries

This scarecrow is the perfect porch-sitting animatronic for Halloween. Children are in for both tricks and treats this year! Guarding a bowl of candy, the motion-activated scarecrow looks up quickly and cackles when someone reaches into the bowl — it’s an absolute jump scare. The scarecrow’s clothes, hat and face are textured for extra spooky detail. Whoever braves his cackle and grabs some candy anyway is truly worthy of a treat.

pros

  • AA battery-powered
  • Five feet tall
  • Material: Heavy duty plastic
  • Non-toxic and safe materials
cons

  • Batteries not included

Tech specs:

  • 6′ H x 2′ 6” W x 7” D
  • Weighs 1.5 lbs
  • Moves, emits sound, and lights up
  • Needs 4 AA batteries

This five-foot-tall candelabra moves across flat surfaces and changes direction with bump-and-go technology when it hits a wall. With adjustable sound, you can switch the noise on or off depending on the indoor vibe you want. The Floating Candelabra seems person-like when it moves toward you, but luckily the candles are actually LED lights. Who controls the motion of the candelabra? It seems as though it moves wherever it pleases.

The gargoyle skull at the center of this decoration is creepy enough to be the centerpiece of your Halloween party. Add a fog machine, and you’ve set the scene for a spooky night.

pros

  • AA battery-powered
  • Six feet tall
  • Three spoken phrases
  • Stand included
  • Bendable limbs
cons

  • Not the scariest

Tech specs:

  • 6′ H x 43” W x 26” D
  • Weighs 3.5 lbs
  • Moves, speaks, and lights up
  • Needs 3 AA batteries

This animatronic cackles, rotates, and her eyes flash white — what more could you want in a Halloween decoration? The Talking Witch doesn’t look that frightening, but the fear factor is all in her voice. She has three phrases:

  • “Eeeheheehe, beware!”
  • “You’re not really scared, are you?”
  • “I would go back if I were you!”

Functional indoors and outdoors, this animatronic includes an optional plastic stand so you can create a broad Halloween display. Even though mounting accessories aren’t included with the purchase, you have the option to hang her in trees or on porches for full effect. 

Her arms bend too, and at six feet tall, she is greater than life-sized.