10 Movies/Shows to Watch When You Want to Get into the Halloween Spirit, but Don’t Like Scary Things

With Halloween fast approaching, everyone’s making plans for what horror movies they’re going to watch. But what if you want to get into the Halloween spirit but don’t like scary things? If you’re a wimp, like me, and you enjoy things that are spooky but won’t scare your pants off, here is a list of ten movies/shows for you to watch this Halloween. It ranges from most scary, to least.

  1. Stranger Things – This Netflix show about monsters lurking in an “Upside Down” alternate reality, that break through to our world to terrorize a small town, is definitely the scariest item on the list. When a boy goes missing, and his friends and family go looking for the monster that did it, you will be kept on the edge of your seat with suspense. You’ll come for the thrills, but stay for the adorable bonds between the characters, as they have each other’s backs, and the awesome 80’s vibe. It’s scary, but if I can watch it, so can you. The second season even takes place on Halloween.

    Dustin, Mike, Lucas, and Will in Stranger Things 2
    Dustin, Mike, Lucas, and Will dress up as the Ghostbusters for Halloween in Stranger Things 2. Photo courtesy of Netflix.
  2. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina – The other Netflix show on this list, Sabrina just came out on Friday, and already has everybody tuning in. While it stems from the Archie Comics, same as the classic Sabrina the Teenage Witch, it is not a comedy. As Sabrina prepares for her 16th birthday, which falls on Halloween and a blood moon eclipse, she questions whether she should fulfill her legacy and pledge her soul to the Dark Lord, or walk her own path between the mortal and witch world. It’s got an awesome horror aesthetic, and a spooky tone as Sabrina navigates the perils of the witch world, but isn’t scary in the slightest.

    Kiernan Shipka as Sabrina in The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
    Kiernan Shipka as Sabrina considers eating an apple of knowledge in The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Photo courtesy of Netflix.
  3. Hocus Pocus – This classic 90’s film was a favorite of mine as a child, and is replaying in many theaters this Halloween. While it can be comedic and over the top at times, the creepiness of the witches going after young children to drain their life force is enough to give you the chills. At the end of the day though, it’s a children’s film, and replays every year on Disney Channel, so it won’t give you any nightmares.
  4. Scream Queens – This horror comedy aired on Fox for two seasons with an all-star cast, including Emma Roberts, Jamie Lee Curtis (of Halloween fame), Arianna Grande, Nick Jonas, Abigail Breslin, and Lea Michele. After twenty years, it seems a serial killer, under the disguise of the Red Devil mascot, has returned to haunt a sorority and the university it belongs to. People drop like flies in this murder mystery that’s far too campy to ever truly be scary. *Currently available on Hulu. 

    The Red Devil Mascot on Scream Queens
    The Red Devil Mascot on Scream Queens. Photo courtesy of Hulu, screenshot by Linda Maleh.
  5. Buffy the Vampire Slayer – It doesn’t get better than this 90’s series about a blonde high school student who’s chosen as the Slayer, to protect the world from demons, witches who use their magic for evil, and most importantly, vampires. It ran for seven seasons, and even spawned a spinoff series about Buffy’s doomed vampire ex-lover, Angel. With another spinoff coming soon about a new slayer, it’s time to catch up on the original and watch Sarah Michelle Gellar kick some butt.

    TV-Shows-Like-Buffy-Vampire-Slayer.png
    Image Source: Everett Collection
  6. Supernatural – This CW series follows two brothers as they criss-cross the country battling demons, monsters, evil spirits, and basically every bad supernatural being they can find. They also save the world from time to time. It’s an understatement to say that this show is popular as it’s on its 14th season, with no end in sight.

    Sam and Dean on Supernatural
    Sam and Dean on Supernatural. Photo courtesy of Netflix, screenshot by Linda Maleh.
  7. Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas – Is it a Halloween or a Christmas movie? According to the various movie theaters playing it this Halloween, it’s the former. As Jack, the skeletal king of Halloween Town gets bored of the same old thing every year, the day after Halloween one year he ventures off, and finds a portal into Christmas Town. Fascinated by the holiday, Jack tries to explain it to the rest of Halloween Town and take over the holiday themselves, but it has disastrous effects. Tim Burton’s animation is creepy and strange as ever, but this is a children’s movie, and isn’t in the slightest bit scary. * Currently available on Hulu. 
  8. Halloweentown – There are four films in this amazing series of Disney Channel Original Movies. When Marnie discovers she’s a witch, and her entire family is magical, she gets sucked into the world of Halloweentown, which houses the magical world, and her powerful witch grandmother played by the late Debbie Reynolds. The catch is that the  portal  between Halloweentown and the mortal realm only opens on Halloween, and seals at midnight. Throughout the different movies, Marnie, her family, and her friends have to save Halloweentown and the mortal realm from those who wish them harm. I can recommend the first three movies, which all feature Kimberly J. Brown as Marnie, but the third film recast Marnie as Sarah Paxton, and was significantly lower in quality. My personal favorite is the second film, Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge. *All four films are currently available to rent with Amazon Prime.

    halloweentown
    Picture Source: Singer-White Productions (Halloweentown)
  9. Ghostbusters – This 80’s classic is about a group of outcasts who form a team to hunt and trap New York’s ghosts. It’s a comedy rather than a horror film, and even has a 2016 reboot, with a female version of the team. * Currently on Amazon Prime until November 1st. 
  10. Casper Meets Wendy – There have been many iterations of Casper, including multiple different film adaptations of the character from Harvey Comics. This one aired on Fox Family, and starred a young Hilary Duff as Wendy, a witch. When Casper and Wendy meet, they immediately become friends, and work together to reconcile ghosts and witches, who are mortal enemies, and fight against the evil warlock tracking Wendy. It’s a cute friendly tale, and as low-key as it gets.
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Author: Linda Maleh

Entertainment writer, feminist, and New York City native. Personal blog is tvtotalkabout.com.

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