The ultimate list of frightful films and shows for this Halloween season


Photo credit: Thea Leimone

Lawn decorations in celebration of upcoming Halloween. Some other fun ways to celebrate the season are baking or watching shows and movies for the season.

By Thea Leimone, Features Editor

The Halloween season is upon us and the chilly weather and early evenings give the air a spooky feeling. In a dream world, our days are filled with pumpkin bread, warm blankets and, most important of all, Halloween movies and shows.

While we may not have all the free time in the world, in your down moments make sure to watch some of these seasonal and downright scary movies and shows to get in the seasonal mood.

“The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina”

The epitome of a Halloween show, Sabrina, a spinoff of 1996 sitcom “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” takes a darker spin on the orphaned magical adolescent played by . Set in the ever-spooky town of Greendale, the four-season show follows Sabrina, managing a double life as a teen girl and witch. Episodes follow stories of demons, the devil and reincarnation. The witty, feminist lead, costume and set design will keep you hooked and excited for the rest of the Halloween month.


A classic blast from the past, “Beetlejuice” is a must watch for everyone; and if you’ve already seen it, be sure to rewatch it this Halloween season. Filled with songs, possession and a cast of big names, the 1988 film is a hilarious depiction of an evil spirit invading the world of a ghost couple and human girl. The film is filled with bright colors and highly entertaining practical effects, with a spirit of hauntings and Halloween.


 “Hocus Pocus”

This Disney film is a quintessential Halloween film appropriate for ages one to 100. The story of the Sanderson Sisters and their return to Salem, MA, is campy and quippy. Three witches are brought back to life and terrorize the town seeking the souls of children after Max, a virgin from Los Angeles, lights the black flame candle. The film is set on Halloween night and is filled with a score of holiday classics, trick-or-treating and extravagant costumes.

“Nightmare on Elm Street”

Lock your doors and don’t fall asleep. This classic horror is great for a year-round scare, but extra special in the month of October. Alongside Jason and Michael Myers, Freddy Kreuger and his striped sweater is known nationwide as a figure of Halloween, but have you actually seen his film. Arguably superior to “Friday the 13th” and “Halloween,”  this nail-bitting movie follows it-girl, Nancy Thompson, as she pieces together Kreuger’s plot to murder his killers’ children, in their dreams.


For the more faint-hearted, or those looking to dip their toes in the world of horror, this one’s for you. The brilliance of “Scream” lies in its sharp satire of the the classic horror film while an edge-of-your seat murder spree and mystery is taking place. The film stars Neve Campbell, a badass teenage girl being specially targeted by our killer; the finale is filled with so many twists and turns, you won’t be sure everything is over until the final credits roll. Not to be forgotten are the second and third installments in the scream franchise, unusually good for sequels, that make for a perfect Halloween movie binge session.

“The Shining”

Kubrick’s brilliance is highlighted in the unsettling and twisted adaptation of Steven King’s book, “The Shining.” Make sure to settle in with a blanket and bowl of popcorn because this film is a long one. The two hour and 26 minute movie is a slow build that spirals into insanity. The incredible music score is haunting, and Jack Nicholson’s method acting creates a subtle yet jarring performance.

“The Conjuring”

Incredibly popular, and rightfully so, “The Conjuring” is the perfect mix of jump scares and scary buildup. A story based on true events in which paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren encounter their most challenging case from a family moved into an old farmhouse. Almost riffing off of “The Exorcist,” the film encounters classic demonic possession tropes, but the effects and filming bring the story to an entirely new level of scare. The film is best watched with someone and preferably on a cloudy or foggy day.

“The Autopsy of Jane Doe”

Under appreciated but certainly not for the faint of heart, the story of Jane Doe is perfectly paced to maximize fear and mystery. Mortician father and son duo are given a Jane Doe body found buried under a house. The seemingly untouched body grows stranger as she is cut apart and the storm outside grows to a flood watch. To maintain to mystery, not much more of the plot can be shared. This one will have you sleeping with the lights on; a real spook for the season scares.

“American Horror Story”

The show that took over teen pop culture by storm. Ryan Murphy‘s absurd and grotesque 10-season, and growing show is set in drastically different locations, with different plots each time, but the list of recurring actors, including Kathy Bates and Evan Peters, and the strange connections between stories keep fans running back for more. Recommended seasons for the Halloween month are season three: “Coven” and season one: “Murder House.” “Coven” is an aesthetically pleasing story of witches, corpses and killings, while “Murder House” tells a twisted story of family feuds upon an ancient burial ground. Great for when you don’t have time for an entire movie, the 12-episode seasons are a must watch.

“Gilmore Girls”

Great for now and the months to come, the heartwarming mother-daughter duo and picture perfect town of Stars Hallow is guaranteed to make you want to bake some pumpkin bread and lay in the leaves. The charmingly cheesy sitcom follows young single mother, Lorelai, and her bright daughter, Rory, as they navigate the ins and outs of teenage years with dry humor and endless cups of coffee. Recommended for Halloween-time are any fall episodes and “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life,” “Fall”  episode.