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30 classic Halloween movies for a spooky night in

With options ranging from silly to scary.
Hocus Pocus
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When Halloween comes around, it's reasonable to want to get comfy and watch some movies that match the vibe of the season. But what is the vibe you're looking for, exactly?

While some love a good fright and actively seek out thrills, others prefer Halloween movies that are decidedly not scary. When it comes to Halloween movies, there are countless options for daring viewers and for those seeking family-friendly fare from Disney and beyond.

You might be looking for classics, or a more recent Halloween movie that you haven't seen yet. Or a ghost movie, a witch movie, an alien movie, a serial killer movie, or animated options.

This is why we've compiled a list of movies for Halloween lovers. Behold, find the best Halloween movies of all time streaming on Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu and beyond.

'It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown' (1966)

If, at any point, you were in an elementary school classroom in late October, you've probably seen this holiday special starring Peanuts characters. The jazz music, combined with the characters' now familiar quirks, is instant nostalgia.

'The Shining' (1980)

If you've seen this classic flick directed by Stanley Kubrick, and starring Jack Nicholson, you understand why we put this movie on our list. Between the evil twins, the hallway flooded with blood and Jack Nicholson saying, "Here's Johnny!" this is a thriller you won't want to miss. Consider it an essential item on your cinematic bucket list.

'The Ring' (2002)

If you're browsing to find a movie to watch with a group of people and talk out loud at the screen as it unfolds, then you have arrived at a very good option. A remake of a Japanese film, "The Ring" is one of the scarier flicks on this list. In it, characters are condemned to die after watching a cursed videotape. You'll probably never want to be near a VCR player again.

'Scream' (1996)

"Scream" is both a satire of the slasher film genre and a terrifying slasher film. High school student Sidney Prescott (Campbell) and her friends are terrorized by a masked killer. Jump scare after jump scare, the movie worked well enough to inspire multiple sequels included one that came out in 2022.

'Halloweentown' (1998)

Are you tempted to keep up your Halloween decor year round? If so, this Disney Channel original movie probably speaks to you. Marnie Piper (Kimberly J. Brown) discovers she has ties to an enchanted town where Halloween creatures are real — and she's one of them. The movie's co-stars announced their engagement in 2022.

'Halloween' (1978)

"Halloween" is perhaps the ultimate Halloween movie for more reasons than the title. Yes, the movie is set on the holiday. But more importantly, it sets the mold for the slasher film. Jamie Lee Curtis' Laurie Strode is one of cinema's most enduring final girls — she returned to the franchise recently.

'The Nightmare Before Christmas' (1993)

Is "The Nightmare Before Christmas" a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie? The debate rages on. But for the sake of this list, we'll classify it as a Halloween movie — it stars a skeleton and a bunch of his Halloween cronies. The Tim Burton stop-motion classic follows what happens when Jack Skellington leaves Halloweentown for the stringed lights of Christmastown.

'Child's Play' (1972)

A list of Halloween movies certainly wouldn't be complete without a mention of our favorite (or least favorite?) scary doll, Chucky. This 1980s horror film definitely has its fair share of gruesome and gory moments — so beware.

'Beetlejuice' (1988)

Consider watching "Beetlejuice" a rite of passage. Weird and wonderful, the movie is difficult to categorize. Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin play a newlywed couple who die in a tragic accident. To make matters worse, they're trapped in their house for eternity. The spirits hire a demon to help them move on. This classic Halloween flick is weird, wonderful and a right of passage Halloween movie to boot. You also will be singing "shake, shake, shake, señora" all day long after viewing. No, we will not elaborate.

'Friday the 13th' (1980)

This is another Halloween film that just oozes nostalgia. If you're looking for a gory slasher film to watch with a group of friends that'll leave you screaming at jump scares (thanks to Mr. Jason Vorhees himself), pick this one.

The Amityville Horror (1979)

Ah, yes: The classic trope of "house is haunted by a former tenant who was possessed by the devil and a priest comes in to exorcise the spirit." This 1979 movie and its 2005 remake put a supernatural twist on real crimes that happened in the New York house.

'Carrie' (1976)

Have you ever had a full vat of pig's blood dropped on you at a school dance? No? Carrie (the main character of this classic movie based on the Stephen King novel, played by Sissy Spacey) has. We promise you don't want to miss this movie during spooky season.

'Coraline' (2009)

"Coraline" is about the stark divide between the world of children and adults and what happens when adults lose their imagination. It's also about people with buttons for eyes. Bored in her new house, Coraline goes through a secret door and meets her "other mother," who is nurturing, caring and thoughtful — and not quite right.

'Sleepy Hollow' (1999)

"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" was originally a story by Washington Irving. Then, director Tim Burton reimagined the classic Gothic story for this film, which sees Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp) as a rational doctor who certainly doesn't believe in legends like the Headless Horseman.

'Rocky Horror Picture Show'

Do the time warp again and again. While "Rocky Horror" is best enjoyed in a movie theater, this cult classic also makes for fun movie night fare, especially when viewed with other fans. Brad (Barry Bostwick) and Janet (Susan Sarandon) stop by Frank-N-Furter's (Tim Curry) mansion for help after they get a flat tire, and end up drawn into the mysterious man's world of song and strange experiments.

'It' (2017 and 2019)

If you're not already afraid of clowns, get ready to be. This classic Stephen King novel features a millennia-old antagonist who, most commonly, adopts the guise of a clown to scare the children of Derry, Maine every 27 years. The preteen members of the Losers Club do the impossible by beating "It," but then have to return years later to do the same trick.

'A Quiet Place' (2018)

This place may be "quiet," but it sure is scary. The movie and its sequel are set in a world taken over by alien creatures that hunt by sound. Using ASL, the Abbott family manages to survive in silence but their tenuous peace is threatened when Evelyn (Emily Blunt) becomes pregnant. A collaboration between married couple Emily Blunt and John Krasinski, "A Quiet Place" is really a movie about the lengths we'll go to for love.

'Paranormal Activity' (2007)

If you're looking for a movie marathon, consider this franchise. "Paranormal Activity" and all of its green-tinged movies that follow are great to watch if you crave jump scares and ghost activity. There are lots of both.

'Poltergeist' (1982)

If ghost movies are your thing, then add this classic, written by Steven Spielberg, to the list. The Freelings begin to hear messages from the beyond through their television set.

'The Blair Witch Project' (1999)

"The Blair Witch Project" is filmed in a way that will make you wonder: Is this real? Three young filmmakers attempt to find a local legend the Blair Witch in the woods.

'The Conjuring' (2013)

Instead of calling the Ghostbusters, try calling Ed and Lorraine Warren, paranormal investigators. The characters in the extended "Conjuring" universe turn to Ed and Lorraine's abilities to investigate the sounds and spooks in their creaky New England homes.

'Nightmare on Elm Street' (1984)

The effects may seem a bit dated in this classic Halloween film, released in 1984. But the concept is evergreen in its creepiness. Freddie Krueger preys on people in their dreams.

'Young Frankenstein' (1974)

Exchange scares for silliness with this Mel Brooks movie, which stars Gene Wilder as Dr. Frankenstein looking to create his own monster. Nothing, of course, goes to plan.

'Hocus Pocus' (1993)

"Hocus Pocus" was beloved when it premiered on the Disney Channel in 1993, but only became more popular since then. The Salem-set movie follows three witches awakened from slumber by unwitting children. Now, they're desperate to reclaim their youth. Hocus Pocus 2" is set to release on Disney+ on Sept. 30, 2022 with the original Sanderson sisters in tow.

'Bram Stoker's Dracula' (1992)

You know the drill with this one — "he's come to drink your blood" and all that. Except, this time, he's in love! This movie, starring Winona Ryder and Gary Oldman and directed by Francis Ford Coppola, exudes macabre vibes without being too scary.

'The Haunting' (1999)

In this haunted house movie based on a novel by Shirley Jackson, Liam Neeson plays a professor studying fear — yes, apparently that's a job. He has been conducting research in a mansion called Hill House, and along with three of his students, learns he's not alone in the house. Talk about case work!

Ghostbusters (1984)

Who you gonna call? Your friends — to come over and watch this unmistakable 80s movie, filled with ghost fighting and lots of great music.

Edward Scissorhands (1990)

We couldn't possibly compile a list of Halloween movies without mention of our favorite scissor-handed dude, Edward Scissorhands himself. This Tim Burton movie, like many Tim Burton movies, has a bit of a following for the creepy-but-not-scary vibes Johnny Depp brings to the titular role.

'The Witches' (2020)

Like the 1990 movie before it, this 2020 film is a riff on Roald Dahl's children's book (though it's scary enough to spook adults). A boy and his grandmother (Octavia Spencer) are deceived by a clan of cunning witches.

'The Addams Family'

"The Adamms Family" is a macabre yet kid-friendly watch. Once a TV show in the '60s, the ghoulish family was introduced to a new audience in this popular movie.