The 50 Best Halloween Movies of All Time
Halloween is almost here, which means it’s only a matter of time before our TV guide is filled with spooky classics. Whether you’re more about stringing spider webs or visiting haunted houses, we compiled a complete list of our all-time favorite films, which includes options for everyone in the family—even the scaredy cats.
1. “Practical Magic” (1998)
Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman are primo on their own. Together? Playing nonpracticing witches who try to use their hereditary gift for magic to fix their love lives? Solid gold. (Same goes for the Stevie Nicks soundtrack.)
2. “Hocus Pocus” (1993)
More witches! These—played by Kathy Najimy, Bette Midler and a pre-Sex and the City Sarah Jessica Parker—are resurrected after three centuries and just in time for trick-or-treaters.
3. “Beetlejuice” (1988)
Before she was a mom spooked on Stranger Things, Winona Ryder was a teenager spooked by ghosts (Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin) in this comedy about a husband and wife haunting the new owners of their beloved house.
4. “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” (1975)
This cult musical about a couple (Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick) forced to rap on the door of a wacky scientist (Tim Curry) after their car breaks down is a must-watch for the soundtrack and costumes alone.
5. “Young Frankenstein” (1974)
In Mel Brooks’s masterpiece, Dr. Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) inherits his grandfather’s estate in Transylvania and resumes his monster-making experiments with the help of servants Igor (Marty Feldman), Inga (Teri Garr) and Frau Blücher (Cloris Leachman).
6. “Ghostbusters” (1984)
If you loved the 2016 version, you will definitely love the hilarious 1984 classic—starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Sigourney Weaver—about a group of professors turned ghost removers.
8. “Little Shop of Horrors” (1986)
Rick Moranis plays Seymour, a flower-shop assistant pining away for his coworker Audrey (Ellen Greene), who happens to have a boyfriend (Steve Martin). But when he discovers a plant that prefers to feed on human flesh and blood—boom, problem solved.
9. “The Addams Family” (1991)
Anjelica Huston was nominated for an Oscar for her role in this film about a group of con artists who try to pull a fast one on the famously eccentric family.
10. “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (1992)
No, not the TV show. This 1992 teen hit is what inspired the TV show. Kristy Swanson plays a flighty teenager who discovers she’s blessed with vampire butt-kicking powers. (Beverly Hills, 90210 heartthrob Luke Perry also stars.)
11. “Casper” (1995)
Christina Ricci is back at it when a friendly ghost falls in love with her. Too bad Casper's also-transparent relatives don’t approve.
13. “Ernest Scared Stupid” (1991)
Seriously, the ’90s knew how to do Halloween. In this silly take on the holiday, Ernest accidentally unleashes an army of trolls on a small town on October 31. And to be honest, it holds up.
14. “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (1993)
It’s one of Tim Burton’s best: When Jack Skellington, the king of Halloween Town, gets bored scaring people every year, he moves on to Christmas Town—and his plan goes awry.
15. “Corpse Bride” (2005)
The other animated Halloween movie from Tim Burton, this one is about a shy groom (voiced by Johnny Depp) practicing his wedding vows in front of a dead woman (Helena Bonham Carter) who, confused, assumes she’s now his bride.
16. “Halloween” (1978)
As the first movie in the Halloween franchise, it introduces viewers to serial killer Michael Myers (Nick Castle) as he terrorizes the innocent residents of Haddonfield, Illinois.
17. “Halloweentown” (1998)
On her 13th birthday, Marnie (Kimberly J. Brown) learns she’s a witch. Join her as she follows her grandma to Halloweentown, a magical city where warlocks, trolls and zombies reside year-round.
18. “A Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984)
Director Wes Craven incited fear with this classic slasher film, which follows Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) as he stalks teenagers in their dreams.
19. “Coraline” (2009)
A family flick that follows a young girl named Coraline (voiced by Dakota Fanning), who ventures into an alternate world after discovering a secret door.
20. “Scream” (1996)
A small town is on edge after someone commits a series of murders while wearing a Ghostface costume. The slightly comical horror scenes make it the perfect introduction to slasher films.
21. “The Shining” (1980)
When a struggling writer becomes a caretaker at an isolated hotel, he uncovers secrets about the property’s dark past. (Creepy children included.)
22. “The Conjuring” (2013)
Two paranormal investigators are enlisted to help a family who recently moved into a new house. The problem? It has a supernatural presence. Cue the nightmares.
23. “Carrie” (1976)
Based on Stephen King’s namesake horror novel, the movie follows Carrie as she discovers her supernatural powers.
24. “The Exorcist” (1973)
When Regan (Linda Blair) starts acting bizarre, her parents seek medical attention only to realize she’s been seized by the devil.
25. “Hotel Transylvania” (2012)
Introducing Hotel Transylvania, a lavish resort run by Count Dracula that serves as a vacation-like escape for monsters.
26. “Night of the Living Dead” (1968)
The O.G. zombie movie. It’s filmed in grainy black-and-white, which automatically makes everything 100 times scarier.
27. “The Haunted Mansion” (2003)
Jim (Eddie Murphy) and his family visit a mansion that’s unknowingly haunted by Master Gracey (Nathaniel Parker).
28. “Goosebumps” (2015)
Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnette) is thrilled when he learns that his neighbor’s dad is a renowned sci-fi author. Things take a dramatic turn when he accidentally unleashes the franchise’s fictional monsters.
29. “Paranormal Activity” (2007)
Katie (Katie Featherston) and Micah (Micah Sloat) move into a new home only to discover they’re not the only residents.
30. “The Babadook” (2014)
A single mom is trying to help her son get over his fear of monsters—that is, until she comes face-to-face with the sinister presence itself.
31. “Monster House” (2006)
Three kids are convinced there’s a creature living in the house next door...but no adults will believe them.
32. “The Craft” (1996)
When Sarah (Robin Tunney) transfers to a new school, she meets a coven of witches who are keen on taking advantage of her telekenetic powers.
33. “Poltergeist” (1982)
The members of the Freeling family are in for a scare when they learn ghosts can access the house via their television set.
34. “Double Double Toil and Trouble” (1993)
In an attempt to save their family home, the Olsen twins team up to outsmart their evil aunt (Cloris Leachman), who’s after a magic moonstone.
35. “The Invitation” (2015)
When a man (Logan Marshall-Green) attends a dinner party, he soon learns that his ex-wife (Tammy Blanchard) is planning revenge against the guests (including himself).
36. “Boogeyman” (2005)
As a child, Tim (Aaron Murphy) is haunted by the memory of his father being dragged away by the boogeyman. Years later, he’s forced to face his fears as an adult (Barry Watson).
37. “It: Chapter 2” (2019)
It’s been 27 years since the first Pennywise encounter. Watch The Losers Club reunite in this terrifying sequel.
38. “Sleepy Hollow” (1999)
Based on Washington Irving’s classic tale, it follows Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp) as he investigates a series of murders in the small village of Sleepy Hollow.
39. “Pet Sematary” (1989)
Another Stephen King adaptation. The movie is a modern-day take on the fictional story about a couple who discovers a haunted burial ground near their home.
40. “Trick 'r Treat” (2007)
The lives of several strangers become intertwined on Halloween. Can they extinguish the Jack-o-Lantern before midnight?
41. “The Nun” (2018)
When a nun takes her own life, the case is sent to the Vatican for investigation, where they uncover an unholy secret. Dun dun dun.
42. “House on Haunted Hill” (1999)
Stephen Price (Geoffrey Rush) is offering a million dollars to anyone who can stay the night in a former insane asylum. He soon learns the haunted tales are more fact than fiction.
43. “The Sixth Sense” (1999)
Cole (Haley Joel Osment) is too scared to tell anyone about his supernatural abilities. That is, until he meets Dr. Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis), who uncovers the truth.
44. “The Blair Witch Project” (1999)
Through archived footage, three film students embark on a wild journey as they search for answers about a local murderer named Blair Witch.
45. “The Witches” (1990)
When Luke (Jasen Fisher) accidentally eavesdrops on a convention of witches, he’s forced to flee before they turn him into a test subject.
46. “Rosemary's Baby” (1968)
A young couple is desperate to conceive a baby. When they finally do, the young mother suspects an evil cult is plotting to steal the newborn.
47. “Scooby-Doo: The Movie” (2002)
Meet Mystery Incorporated, a group of four adults (plus one dog) who reunite to investigate a series of incidents at a popular resort.
48. “The Witch” (2015)
It’s 1630 in New England. A family encounters a dark force near their home after the youngest son, Samuel, suddenly goes missing.
49. “Us” (2019)
Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o) returns to her childhood home with her family only to be greeted by masked strangers who look exactly like them.
50. “Truth or Dare” (2018)
It’s the childhood game we all know and love. But this time, it triggers an evil demon that forces a group of friends to confront their biggest fears.