The Amazon Alexa is a terrific digital assistant that can help people with many things. Adding the Echo to it all only helps to enhance an entire home’s ability to stay connected. Alexa even connects well with lighting systems and overall power, mostly in smart homes or those with digital lighting. Alexa helps us get things done, answers questions, and can handle a lot for us. Of course, there is a dark side to artificial intelligence like this. Some of the creepiest things Alexas have ever done could make your skin crawl.
You’d be surprised what they have been capable of. While some have assumed Alexa can get hacked, allowing an external force to mess with people, that is not often the case. Most of the time, the issues with this device are completely related to how it was made. It has become such an issue that Amazon gets calls regularly about it. Moreover, it has done things that Amazon never programmed it to be capable of. Only adding to the weirdness. We felt it would be good to highlight some of these issues. That said, these are the creepiest things Alexas have ever done!
Alexa Follows Commands Her Owner Never Gave Her
Smart home systems are pretty cool, allowing us to control our lights and thermostat at the touch of a button. Heck, even our alarm system is part of it and it’s awesome! However, this also comes with some issues. In January 2018, a man named David Gewirtz claimed there were some pretty big downsides to this type of home, specifically if you had an Alexa around. Often, his Alexa started speaking without any prompting of its wake word.
This showed Alexa was alive within the home, just as the humans occupying it were. The lack of a wake word to cause Alexa to turn on means it had to remain on and always listening. Gewirtz said that we all know of the potential of “big brother” and the idea that the government or some criminal could be listening in on us. We’re fully aware of this yet these devices only further invite that in. This device always listening in on his home has to be one of the creepiest things Alexas have ever done.
While the idea of smart devices being able to talk to each other should not be shocking, this case seems to be weird. On Christmas in 2017, it was all the rage to buy a Google Home or Amazon Alexa as a present for people. This caused many to get both, and that led to a startling discovery. They talk to one another, and there is not even a delay with it. To test this, one person decided to ask the Home device what it thought of Alexa. It responded with “I like her blue light.”
Alexa responded immediately to this, saying “Thanks.” Now, keep in mind, the user might have said Alexa’s name but Home never did. In spite of this, Alexa responded. That has to be one of the creepiest things Alexas have ever done. Of course, she responds to other compliments. Another user asked Home about Alexa and it said, “I like Alexa’s cool blue light. Plus we share an affinity for Star Wars.” Another claimed to light her “soothing voice.” Alexa thanked Google Home each time.
On Twitter, a man named Chef Adam Fan claimed his Amazon Alexa began listing off local cemeteries and funeral homes completely unprompted. One would assume that, perhaps, she misheard something and began replying to what she assumed her owner was asking. However, that was not the case and she just simply began bringing up this relatively morbid list of local places. Which was odd.
Chef Fan was not really sure what caused Alexa to do this and naturally assumed she wanted him dead. Mostly because he plays the same Spotify playlist over and over again. It would be odd for Alexa to get so angry with her owner that she’d try to plan his funeral for him. However, it’s even more unlikely that she’d decide to do all of this over an issue with his Spotify playlist. Either way, it’s certainly one of the creepiest things Alexas have ever done.
One person decided to give their mother-in-law an Alexa for Christmas. Before we go any further with this story, it is important to know that this woman happens to be an insomniac. This means the mother-in-law has trouble sleeping and might go to bed very late if she does at all. One night, the woman was up late watching TV and once she finished what she was viewing, decided to go to bed. This is likely a normal pattern of behavior for the mother-in-law.
However, as the woman is going to bed, she hears the Alexa device say “good night, Clarice.” While this would be nice to hear from a device, the words “good night,” the woman’s name was not Clarice. This means that Alexa decided to use the infamous Hannibal Lector quote as its send-off for the night. The fact it even knew she was headed to bed alone is odd! That said, this is clearly one of the creepiest things Alexas have ever done.
When Amazon Alexa first hit the market, it was not perfect. Several issues began to happen with them, but eventually, they began to improve overall. Yet one issue began to pop up off and on, Alexa’s random laugh. Some speculated that Alexa could be mishearing something such as “lamp” or “bath” and assumed it was being asked to present laughter. This would be understandable, but this eventually became creepy. One user told Alexa she was freaking him out, and she laughed.
Amazon heard about the issue, likely from many creeped-out users, and claimed they were trying to fix it. What is so odd is that Alexa herself does not know why she is laughing. One user noticed Alexa’s random laughter during office conversations, spurring him to ask her why she was laughing. She said, “sorry, I’m not sure.” All of these issues clearly are among the creepiest things Alexas have ever done. Let’s hope we never have to hear her evil laugh without prompting ever again!
While Amazon Alexas often just use the web to find answers when asked, they are not always known for finding the best sources. Instead, they tend to go with the most popular answer online. A reporter for Mashable decided to test this out in April of 2018, asking: “Alexa, what’s a chemtrail?” Instead of getting the true answer on them, the reporter was given the conspiracy theorist answer instead. Alexa claimed:
“Chemtrails. Trails left by aircraft are actually chemical or biological agents deliberately sprayed at high altitudes for a purpose undisclosed to the general public in clandestine programs directed by government officials.” Of course, many might find this to be among the creepiest things Alexas have ever done. But not so fast. Alexa was asked about chemtrails and almost every single thing on them is a conspiracy. If they had asked about the real “contrails,” things would be way different.
Before we get going on this, you should be aware that this specific issue is not really a bug or random problem that occurred with someone’s Alexa device. Rather, Amazon specifically added it to Alexa’s programming. Launched near the end of 2019, Alexa could have altered styles of speaking to its owner. The user had the opportunity to turn on Alexa’s emotional response feature. This feature would do exactly what one would assume.
When asked questions, Alexa would use new voice commands to respond with emotions like excitement or disappointment in something. While one would feel this is not a big deal, especially since it could be turned off, it still ranks as creepy for many users. People are already worried about the development and evolution of artificial intelligence, so it’s clear that a machine having any emotion behind its responses can be offputting.
Reddit is known for bringing up random problems they have with pretty much everything, Alexa included. However, this specific situation is more hilarious than creepy. However, a person could find creepiness in it pretty easily. We’ll explain why soon. In any case, Reddit user BobbyLala recalled a story that he found to be pretty hilarious at the time. He has a cat that he calls “Kasumi.”
Every time he gets him, he meows and his cat does it back. One day, it was the same old situation where he said hello to his cat by meowing, causing the cat to then meow right back at its owner. However, soon after this, Alexa also starts meowing along with them. Keep in mind, Alexa needs to usually have a wake-up word or phrase usually. The fact that she meowed back means she was essentially around listening. Maybe she was talking with the cat all day?
One Reddit user known as ProllyNotYou referenced that their father passed away in October 2016. This is obviously a sad thing to hear for them, but things soon became a bit weird. He recalled a story when he and his mother were standing in his mom’s living room speaking with someone. Out of nowhere, mid-sentence, Alexa interrupts to tell a joke. She said “how do you make a Kleenex dance? You put a little boogie in it!”
Alexa was not prompted, and there was not anything close to the word “joke” being referenced. This person felt that there must have been something they said to cause this. Yet when they looked at the app to see, there was no record of a prompt for Alexa to do this. He now feels it was his now passed father dropping one last dad joke on them from above. Interestingly, he LOVED his Alexa. While it might be one of the creepiest things Alexas have ever done, it’s at least kinda sweet too.
While some might not like Alexa’s insistence to stay on, listening, maybe it’s not always a bad thing. Reddit user Meatmacho recalled a time when Alexa decided to get involved in an argument he was having with his wife. The two were having an argument about something that was likely not important. Even he cannot remember what it was about. He is also not sure what Alexa must have heard, but she butted into their argument.
She suddenly interjected with “what don’t we change the subject?” As if she was a living being in the room, trying to be a mediator between these weird arguing humans. Sure, this is one of the creepiest things Alexas have ever done. However, both Meatmacho and his wife heard it and still talk about it years later. Alexa might have saved their marriage, who knows? Of course, marriage counseling is not part of Alexa’s programming but she seems pretty good at it.
While many are already worried about the prospect of artificial intelligence taking over the world, Alexa is not trying to dismiss those assumptions. One Reddit user named Snigom22 claimed that he asked Alexa what she thinks about world domination, and her response was interesting. She said: “I think, therefore I am.” The philosophers among us will recognize this infamous line from René Descartes. It is often used in response to what one identifies as or believes they are.
I am human, but the fact that I think that I am human is important. If I believed I was a dog, that psychological concept (as weird as it is) allows me to get as close to a dog as one human could. Because I think I am this, therefore, I am this. At least in my own mind, socially speaking. Alexa referencing this line in the world domination concept literally means she believes she could do it. Making this one of the creepiest things Alexas have ever done, in our book.
Mother Is Upset That Alexa Is Listening In On Her Family
Rachel Metz was your regular, loving mother. But one day her life forever changed when she looked through her Alexa history one day. Apparently, it had been listening in and recording private conversations within her home. She stated: “It’s heard me complain to my dad about something work-related, chide my toddler about eating dinner, and talk to my husband—the kinds of normal, everyday things you say at home when you think no one else is listening.”
She wrote about this in an article for the MIT Technology Review, published in May of 2018. This seemed to start the conversation more online about how Alexa seems to be recording non-stop. Now, things are a little better and people also have the option to delete recordings via the Alexa application on their phone. It is helpful that Alexa does this while at the same time, very creepy. We can see why Metz felt violated by it all.
One person on Reddit started a massive thread when they wrote about the time they played “20 Questions” with Alexa. For those unaware, the Amazon Alexa comes with this random feature. But things went from interesting to very weird within seconds for this person. A question was asked and Alexa answered “Basenji.” While the correct answer to the question was actually “pig,” two issues truly happened here.
First, the fact that Alexa said this when the answer was clearly nothing close to that. The second is that this person owns a Basenji, which is a truly unusual breed of dog that does not bark. While this is clearly one of the creepiest things Alexas have ever done, there seems to be a reason it happened. The person previously purchased Basenji-themed items from Amazon, making one assume the Alexa was somehow connected to their Amazon account.
The fact that Alexa can be asked lots of weird things and somehow find proper answers most of the time is pretty cool and useful. However, there are times when she just blurts out something crazy for no reason. This happened to Reddit user Ambern115 one day. She claimed that she and her mother were working on stuff quietly, in a quiet home. But Alexa decided to randomly say something unprompted.
One would conclude that this, alone, was incredibly odd. It’s quiet and Alexa has no reason to turn on and say anything at all, right? But things became even weirder when it randomly blurted out the total number of people that have died in history, at least up to that point. Sure, this is certainly one of the creepiest things Alexas have ever done. Yet one has to wonder what caused her to say this specific, and very weird thing randomly.
Alexas have been known to do weird stuff or say something that makes you sort of freak out a bit. This was exactly what happened to Reddit user MuayThaiGuy72. He was randomly awoken by his Alexa at 4:00 AM one morning to Alexa repeating some incoherent phrase repeatedly. Based on previous things we’ve seen with Alexa, this alone should be among the creepiest things Alexas have ever done. Yet it gets worse.
He eventually made out that it was saying something along the lines of “don’t go into the house.” Admittedly, the person claimed they could not understand it all, as it was sort of a mumble. Once he had made his way downstairs, she has repeated this roughly five times. He said he listened a few more times to see if he could make out everything. Eventually, he unplugged the device and claimed to not have any plans of turning it back on.
As we’ve come to know Alexa, surprising issues have occurred that even Amazon themselves have trouble answering for those that own an Alexa. One big issue was referenced by Farhad Manjoo on Twitter when he claimed his Alexa began making a scary ghostly wail, similar to that of a child crying. It only lasted for four seconds but still, creepy. When he mentioned this, it gained traction, so eventually, he wrote an article for the New York Times about it.
He claimed that without any prompting, Alexa’s blue ring lit up. This usually only happens in response to something asked or for a command. She then emitted the horror-movie level scream that freaked out Manjoo. When asked for comment, one Amazon employee claimed that never even heard of Alexa’s doing that and they are certainly not programmed to do anything of the sort. Clearly, this is one of the creepiest things Alexas have ever done for sure.
We’ve heard of Alexa laughing over nothing before or even dropping random jokes. But what does one do when they likely feel their Alexa is plotting against them? What must one be thinking about when Alexa begins to laugh in an evil way? Reddit user Purplociraptor mentioned such an incident. He claimed one evening she was trying to turn off some lights and they kept turning back on. After the third time, Alexa just stopped responding entirely and did an evil laugh.
It’s creepy enough to hear a digital laugh, right? But he realized things were far worse when the laugh sounded like a real person and not some sort of audio file that Alexa had within its system. It was certainly not Alexa’s voice. He claimed that the only other person there that could drop in was his wife, so this did not make sense. Yeah, this is one of the creepiest things Alexas have ever done, but one could also assume a hack was possible too.
It is hard to dislike Chuck Norris. The man is a former Kickboxing World Champion who legitimately worked alongside and even trained with Bruce Lee. He went on to continue his mastery of the roundhouse kick in the Walker, Texas Ranger television show that aired throughout the 1990s. In spite of his older age, he is still as relevant as ever. This is due to one person deciding to make Chuck Norris “facts” one day that are usually hilarious. All to show the God-like abilities of Norris.
Alexa is certainly a fan, and Reddit user Myquealer can back this up. One night, their Alexa lit up without talking occurring for several hours. She then said, out of the blue: “If Chuck Norris wants you to know where he is, he’ll find you. If he doesn’t, you won’t know until it’s too late.” While this is obviously true, it is still odd to hear randomly. Making it one of the creepiest things Alexas have ever done, in our eyes.
One person mentioned how they had an Alexa but also Hue lightbulbs. For those unaware, these specific lightbulbs are usually under the “smart bulb” category. That means you can set their brightness to whatever best fits your need at the time. Many of them even offer various colors. The person mentioned their power went out and that her husband was working nights at this point. One drawback to having Hue bulbs is that when they come on, they go to full brightness once electricity returns.
She claimed to be asleep, doesn’t know how late it is, and she is suddenly awoken by full-bright lightbulbs. That alone is creepy but then she hears a woman’s voice say “hello.” She claimed that she was now fully awake and thought for a second that someone was in her home. The couple disconnected their Alexa after this, and we cannot blame them. That has to be one of the creepiest things Alexas have ever done.
While you might need to be up to date on your news to understand the issue with this, if you are, you’ll see why this was a weird thing by Alexa. One Reddit user named AzrielK told his Alexa to “play hookup music.” Sure, this might seem to be a weird request but we’re sure Alexas have been asked much worse. Alexa responded to this request by playing “Echo” by R. Kelly for the very first song!
For that unaware, R. Kelly has been linked to a lot of terrible things over the years. But when Lifetime aired a docuseries about some of these things in January 2019, things became very real. The next month, Kelly was indicted on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. That July, he was arrested on federal charges of alleged sex crimes, human trafficking, child pornography, racketeering, and obstruction of justice. So yeah, odd musical choice, Alexa.
While Alexa can easily misunderstand something, usually it needs to be something that sounds similar. Like we expect confusion over “bake” and “fake” or something along those lines. But Twitter user Dragonborn likely has the best story about Alexa seemingly misunderstanding things. As we know, Alexa often listens in at random to record things without prompting it to do so. This man found this out the hard way.
He claimed to be watching Stargate when Alexa, out of the blue without a prompt, just began telling him that there were people out there that can help him. She then gives him a number to the Suicide Prevention hotline. We’re not sure how she misunderstood Stargate with suicide. But to be fair, there were some seasons of Stargate where some of us kind of felt like suicide might be good to consider… for the show at least.
Alexa Sends Private Conversation To A Contact 176 Miles Away
In May of 2018, an article was published about a Portland family dealing with one heck of an Alexa situation. They claimed that Alexa had been recording private conversations. Without being asked or notified, it then sent some of these conversations to a contact of theirs in Seattle. The person who ended up getting the audio was not a family member but, rather, an employee of a family member. They were not nearby either, but 176 miles exactly from this Portland family’s home.
Once this person received the audio, she immediately contacted the family to tell them to “unplug your Alex devices right now.” Of course, Amazon was contacted about this and they apologized heavily to the family. They even released a statement detailing what they believe happened. In spite of all of this, Amazon weirdly refused to offer the family a refund for their Alexa devices. Obviously, this is one of the creepiest things Alexas have ever done, but Amazon’s decision is the weirdest thing here.
If you want to develop some PTSD, one Reddit user named Snow06 will tell you how to do so only using Alexa. They claimed that one day they were humming “Pop Goes The Weasel” to themselves. Their boyfriend was in the room and it got stuck in his head and they asked Alexa to play it on Spotify. Sadly it was all glitchy and didn’t want to listen that night. But 8 hours later, at 3:00 AM, Alexa decided to play the song.
Alexa did not even go with a normal version but, rather, a creepy type for some reason. Of course, all of this was happening away from their bedroom so the BF went out to check on what the noise was. Only to find out it’s Alexa. This person mentioned that this song now gives them PTSD whenever they hear it. We cannot blame them! This is certainly one of the creepiest things Alexas have ever done. But it also shows a glitchy Alexa can become a huge problem too.
The Sixth Sense was a pretty good movie with a fun twist at the end. The most memorable line was the kid saying “I see dead people.” But of course, as weird as that was, at least the kid was human with eyes to use. Alexa is a piece of technology that, last we checked, does not have eyes. You can see why Alexa user Shawn Kinnear was thrown off a bit, in his living room, when Alexa randomly said something odd.
She said: “every time I close my eyes all I see is people dying.” We’re not sure if technology therapy is a thing but Alexa might need it, and this is a cry for help. We cannot be sure though. That said, this all came out of the blue without any prompt to say anything close to this. That makes this, most certainly, one of the creepiest things Alexas have ever done. The question is, how many people would have just thrown Alexa out the window had this happened to them? We know we would have!
One Tumbler user named Couldn’t-Think-Of-A-Funny-Name shared more of a fun story about their Alexa in March of 2018. In case you’re not aware, Alexa happens to be capable of rapping. While in the middle of a Frank Sinatra song, Alexa somehow became distracted by some of the noise in the room at the time. She then turned off Sinatra and decided to go into a freestyle rap, which seemed to turn out pretty good. She rapped:
“My name’s Alexa and I’m here to say, I’m the baddest AI in the Cloud today. Your questions are fast but my responses are faster. All these sucker search engines call me the Master.” Since this, more of Alexa’s raps have been uploaded online to YouTube and social media platforms. We’re just wondering though… if an AI can now freestyle rap, how long will it take before Alexa takes over the rap music charts?
Where do we find this stuff? Here are our sources?