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From Masked Killers to the Paranormal: The Best Halloween Movies for Everyone

Updated on October 27, 2015

The leaves begin to fall, the air is crisp and pumpkins glow in the dark. There's excitement in the air, the sun is weaker and night is longer bringing with it the mysteries of the dark. Halloween is around the corner with all the traditions: candy, costumes, hayrides, pumpkins, and of course Halloween Movies!!

Do you have no idea what movie to curl up with this fall? Or perhaps you're looking for a family film or even a classic! And maybe some of you might just want to be scared to the point that your pulling the blanket over your head. Below is list of all the halloween movies you need to watch! it's a list that I believe embodies the Autumnal and Halloween spirit! I've watched all of these movies over the years and own many of them. When i watch these films and shows I find myself in an instant Halloween mood!

Now i know the Halloween/horror genre isn't for everyone, especially young children so I have organized my long list into various sections including Children/family, Classics, Revolutionary Films, Teen Screams, Television shows and others. I added the last category of others not because i couldn't place the films in one of the above categories, i just thought they deserved some attention as great entertaining films. I've listed the movies in no particular order and have left out many sequels which are just as good. I hope you enjoy the bewitching season and find this list helpful!

Hocus Pocus, the cult classic halloween movie of the 1990s.
Hocus Pocus, the cult classic halloween movie of the 1990s. | Source

Children/Family Halloween Movies:

Although the season is dominated by the scary horror films, it's also a great time for some fun family-friendly films. From our favorite ghost investigators, the Scooby Gang, to Disney witches, and the unique Addam's Family, get your own family together for a fun movie night right before halloween. Don't forget the popcorn!

The number one film on this list is Hocus Pocus, a cult classic from 1993, that puts a fun spin on the Salem witches!

  1. Hocus Pocus (PG)
  2. Scooby Doo and the Witches Ghost (Unrated)
  3. Scooby Doo and Zombie Island (Unrated)
  4. Disney's Halloweentown (TV-G)
  5. The Nightmare Before Christmas (PG)
  6. The Addam's Family (PG-13)
  7. Clue (PG)

The infamous shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho.
The infamous shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. | Source

Classic Halloween Movies:

Now that film has been around for about a century, there are definitely certain films that we can call classics. Films that transcend generations and continue to entertain and amaze new audiences all the time. The horror genre is no different when it comes to having classics. Below are some of the ultimate classic horror films. From the infamous shower scene and plot of Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho to John Carpenters holiday defining Halloween. I personally love to watch Halloween (1978), starring Jamie Lee Curtis, on Halloween night. It's an excellent option for a classic halloween scare!

  1. Psycho
  2. House on Haunted Hill (1959)
  3. Halloween/ Halloween II
  4. BeetleJuice
  5. Poltergeist
  6. Night of the Living Dead

For more on these films go here : Classic Halloween Movies

Scream (1996) revolutionized the horror genre. Bringing about a postmodern era of scary films.
Scream (1996) revolutionized the horror genre. Bringing about a postmodern era of scary films. | Source

Revolutionary Halloween Films:

Since the horror genre has been around just as long as film has been around, it is only natural that some films would bring about revolutionary change to how films are made and how films scare us. The Blair Witch Project's documentary-esque style blurred the line between what was reality and what was film. Psycho shocked audiences in 1960 with unique plot twists. Scream (1996) rushed in a new era of postmodern self-aware horror films that reignited the genre while also steering it in a new direction. Meanwhile, 28 Days Later was the beginning of the modern day zombie era, that has now led to tv series like The Walking Dead.

  1. The Blair Witch Project
  2. Psycho
  3. Scream
  4. 28 Days Later
  5. House of 1000 Corpses

Read more about why these films are revolutionary here: 'Ghosts, Zombies, Witches, and crazy people: Revolutionary Halloween Films'

Teen Scream - I Know What You Did Last Summer

Teen Screams :

When people think of the horror genre and Halloween movies, they will most likely think of a 'teen scream' film. These are the films that focus around teenagers, usually being chased or stalked by serial killers. These films could also be considered classics! The genre has a long history of beautiful young people screaming at the top of their lungs as they get chased down a dark hallway or through the woods. Many teen screams first began to show up in the late 1970's and early 1980's but continue to be produced in present day!

  1. Scream
  2. Friday the 13th
  3. Nightmare on Elm Street
  4. I know what you did Last Summer
  5. Halloween

Halloween TV:

The 2000s brought about a golden age of television. Many people now invest a huge amount of time and fandom into tv series! Some of these halloween focused tv shows are hugely popular, like The Walking Dead, which airs on AMC. However, don't forget the classic tv shows like The Munsters, which you can watch on Netflix, or The Simpsons' Treehouse of Horror episodes that air every single year!

  1. True Blood (HBO)
  2. The Munsters (On netflix)
  3. The Addams Family
  4. Supernatural (The CW)
  5. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  6. The Vampire Diaries (The CW)
  7. The Walking Dead (AMC)
  8. The Simpsons - Treehouse of Horror episodes

The Walking Dead has become the leader of the zombie renaissance and is a hugely popular tv show airing on AMC.
The Walking Dead has become the leader of the zombie renaissance and is a hugely popular tv show airing on AMC. | Source

Other Halloween Movies worth mentioning:

Because there are so many amazing films that are great for halloween, I've decided some of these needed a mention as well!

  1. Sleepy Hollow
  2. An Interview with a Vampire
  3. The Hills have Eyes (2007 remake)
  4. The Others
  5. Wolf Creek
  6. Resident Evil

I hope this list was helpful and gives you some ideas on which movie to curl up on the couch with this fall! Hopefully, you will find what you're looking for, whether that is to be scared out of your wits or just enjoy a family-friendly spooktacular! Happy Halloween!

No halloween movie list would be complete without the headless horseman of Sleepy Hollow!
No halloween movie list would be complete without the headless horseman of Sleepy Hollow! | Source


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    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      Fantastic choices!! I was so stoked to see Hocus Pocus at the top. It's one of my favorites! I also recommend The Haunting- the one from the 1950s. It's incredible!

    • BWD316 profile imageAUTHOR

      Brian Dooling 

      7 years ago from Connecticut

      I totally forgot about The Walking Dead! I still have to catch up on that show and I'll have to add it to the list, thanks for the comment and reminder!

    • Megan Kathleen profile image

      Megan Kathleen 

      7 years ago from Los Gatos, CA

      Hocus Pocus! I loved that film as a child. I love the poetic opening of this Hub and all of the suggestions listed. And as for your TV category. Spot on! I would probably add Doctor Who and The Walking Dead to that list (The Walking Dead did premiere on Halloween last year, for good reason). T

    • YadiraE profile image


      7 years ago from Puerto Rico

      These are all awesome choices. I personally can't get through a Halloween without watching Hocus Pocus. It's one of my all time favorite movies!!! Great Hub!!

    • BWD316 profile imageAUTHOR

      Brian Dooling 

      7 years ago from Connecticut

      thanks, i put them into categories because i didn't want to just make a list, i wanted it to be more useful!

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image


      7 years ago

      I like how you have listed titles in categories so that people looking for a specific category-like family friendly-can know these titles are similar. I love classic films and will check out that hub after this one.


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