ByMark Shonka, writer at
I have so many hobbies that it stresses me out.

Well, friends, it’s finally here…October! Or as I like to call it, Halloween month. Filled with creepy costumes, devilish decorations, and, of course, frightful flicks. This is one of my most favorite times of the year, and as an outlet for my excitement, I went ahead and compiled a list of some of my favorite movies and shows to watch during the Halloween season. Read if you dare…[insert evil laugh]

1) Halloween

Plot in a sentence - Michael Myers, a demented little boy who murdered his own sister, escapes from an insane asylum several years later to continue his killing spree in a quiet Illinois town on Halloween night.

Why see it – This one is pretty damn obvious. After all, it shares the same name as the holiday. It holds up well and is still super creepy after all these years. That and it has one of the first pair of on-screen hooters that I ever saw.

2) Are You Afraid of the Dark?

Plot in a sentence – The Midnight Society, a group of nerdy virgin teenagers, sit around a campfire and tell scary stories.

Why see it – AYAOTD is probably the most important show to come out of the 90’s. The intro alone was enough to make for a spooky Saturday night for every small child who grew up with Snick. It was way better than Goosebumps.

3) Ernest Scared Stupid

Plot in a sentence – Continuing the goofy saga of Ernest P. Worrell, our hero must stop a troll from stealing the souls of children and prevent an ugly monster uprising in a sleepy little town.

Why see it – This movie has everything: gnarly trolls, a badass clubhouse, comic relief, and a grown man who spends an inordinate amount of time hanging out with young children. This is one flick I always make an extra effort to watch every October.

4) Celebrity Ghost Stories

Plot in a sentence – Celebrities recount their experiences with the paranormal.

Why see it – I could watch this show for days on end. Oh wait. I have done that. They are super fun and genuinely spooky tales that give a little insight into what some of these celebrities are actually like. Either more people do drugs in Hollywood than I originally thought, or famous people are more susceptible to ghosts because there are certainly a lot of them with stories to tell.

5) Dawn of the Dead (Old and New)

Plot in a sentence – A group of survivors seek shelter in a shopping mall in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by the living impaired (zombies).

Why see it – What’s Halloween without some reanimated, flesh-eating corpses am I right? Both new and old versions of Dawn of the Dead are two of my favorite movies of all time. They are packed with action, social commentary, and, of course, a bunch of people getting their faces eaten off.

6) Twilight Zone (TV Series and Movie)

Plot in a sentence – Rod Sterling takes the audience on a journey to explore weird, ironic, and downright scary scenarios in an alternate dimension.

Why see it – Only recently have I begun to explore what the Twilight Zone has to offer, and I have been pleasantly surprised. I figured the episodes that were made several decades ago would be too outdated for me to enjoy, but there are some genuinely creepy and interesting stories in there. The 80s series and the movie are great too.

7) Return of the Living Dead

Plot in a sentence – Employees at a medical supply company accidentally unleash a deadly virus that cause the dead to rise from their graves and attack a small band of survivors holding out in a mortuary.

Why see it – The best way to describe this movie is simply “fun.” It’s a horror comedy that provides legitimate laughs and some good scares. Complete with a totally 80’s vibe and a mention of Wichita (represent!), I highly recommend giving it a watch.

8) Simpsons: Treehouse of Terror

Plot in a sentence – Funny Halloween tales as told through the characters of the Simpsons.

Why see it – Man, I used to love these things. The newer ones don’t seem to be as great, but the older ones are pure classics. My favorite of the bunch is when Homer and co. have to fend off hordes of zombie neighbors, and he’s “forced” to shoot zombie Ned Flanders.

Bart: “Whoa, Dad! You killed zombie Flanders!”

Homer: “He was a zombie?”

9) House on Haunted Hill (1999)

Plot in a sentence – A millionaire mogul invites a group of apparent strangers to survive the night at a haunted mental institution in order to win a cash prize.

Why see it – Another enjoyable movie, House on Haunted Hill knows what it is and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Halloween wouldn’t be complete without a haunted house/insane asylum movie, and this one happens to be my favorite. The gal who played Sonya Blade in the Mortal Kombat movie has a role in it, and I used to have a huge crush on her when I was in 2nd grade. So yeah, it’s good because of that too.

10) Paranormal Witness

Plot in a sentence – Based on true events and told in a duel interview/re-enactment format, this show recounts the stories of everyday people in extraordinarily scary scenarios.

Why see it – Several shows have tried to tell scary stories in this same format, but I find them to be cheesy and lame. Paranormal Witness, however, has found a way to capture the fear and tension these people experienced and keep an audience captivated…and scared.

11) Event Horizon

Plot in a sentence – A crew of astronauts searches for a lost ship, but when they locate the vessel, they realize it has brought back something evil from another dimension.

Why see it – Space is creepy. You know what else is creepy? Encountering a bunch of possessed demon people in a ship that’s recently visited hell. While in space.

12) Tales from the Crypt

Plot in a sentence – Basically an adult version of Are You Afraid of the Dark, this series tells spookily ironic tales of corruption and sleaze with the help of the Crypt Keeper.

Why see it – The image of the Crypt Keeper alone was enough to keep me up at night when I was a kid. Now I see him as a loveable, grossly enthusiastic pal who tells me fun stories. Like some of the other titles mentioned in this post, this show is a lot of fun. It’s definitely a good option if you’re looking for a quick and easy Halloween fix.

13) The Conjuring

Plot in a sentence – Based on a true story, a family who moves into a house in which the former occupants practiced witchcraft and devil worship begin experiencing dangerous demonic phenomena.

Why see it – Not gonna lie, this movie scared the bejesus out of me. Anything with demonic possession or devil worship always gives me the Heebie Jeebies, but this one is truly terrifying. It’ll have you clutching a Crucifix and saying your prayers by the end. It also inspired a spinoff movie about a possessed doll, Annabelle. I thought that flick was every bit as scary. Check them both out!


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