You will “fall” in love with these five not-so-scary Halloween movies this spooky season


Walt Disney Pictures

Sarah Jessica Parker, Bette Midler, and Kathy Najimy portray the witchy, comical, and chaotic Sanderson Sisters in Walt Disney’s 1993 film, “Hocus Pocus.”

Anna Claire Willmore, News Editor

#5. It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)

When it begins to feel chillier outside and the leaves begin to change into vibrant colors, many Americans are filled with autumnal nostalgia. From trips to the pumpkin patch to trick-or-treating to pumpkin carving, every family has certain reminiscent traditions that they love to keep alive each year. 

For some, these annual rituals include cozying up on the sofa with fuzzy blankets and popcorn with “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” on the television. 

With trick-or-treating (and only receiving rocks), bobbing for apples at a Halloween party (with a dog), and waiting in a pumpkin patch all night long for a magical being called The Great Pumpkin, what does this little film not have to offer?

#4. Goosebumps (2015)

Typically, one would love for the characters of their favorite stories to come to life. Who wouldn’t enjoy witnessing people such as Harry Potter or Katniss Everdeen springing forth from the pages of their novels and into our world? 

Well, when a certain big city boy by the name of Zach Cooper moved to the mysterious little town of Madison, Delaware, he accidentally stumbled upon such an event, and it was not at all what he expected.  These books happened to be the infamous R.L. Stine’s collection of horror novels: “Goosebumps!” 

From werewolves to evil garden gnomes, Stine’s monsters had been unleashed onto the unsuspecting town, terrorizing the inhabitants of it. It was up to Zach, Stine’s daughter Hannah, Zach’s friend Champ, and Stine himself to capture the beasts and place them back into the books where they belong. 

Though the monsters are not all that scary, this comical and action-packed film is sure to leave you with, you guessed it, goosebumps!

#3. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Many people will ask, What is your favorite holiday? Halloween or Christmas?” For those that cannot decide between these two enjoyable times of the year, sometimes it can be difficult to find films that appeal to both. However, “The Nightmare Before Christmas” allows viewers to experience both holidays at once! 

In this chilling, yet charming, tale by none other than Tim Burton, audiences see a town in which every day is Halloween! Halloweentown is led by the ambitious Jack Skellington, also known as the Pumpkin King, who dreams of things beyond Halloween. 

Through many misadventures, Jack stumbles upon Christmas Town: a magical, warm, and colorful world centered solely around Christmastime. Here, Jack realizes how merry and bright Christmas is and wishes to take over Christmas rather than Halloween. 

How does he plot to accomplish this feat, might one ask? Why, by kidnapping and becoming Santa Claus, of course!

#2. The Ghostbusters (1984)

After viewing so many gory horror movies this time of year, many feel the need to watch something to raise their “spirits” this Halloween. Look no further than “The Ghostbusters” from 1984! Starring comedy kings of the 80s such as Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd, this hilarious classic is not only enjoyable but also adventurous with that same disturbing, paranormal feel nearly any Halloween movie contains. 

When they are let go from their positions as professors at Columbia University, three parapsychologists, Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz, and Egon Spengler, decide to open their own business investigating and ridding New York City of supernatural activity. Calling themselves the spiffy name “The Ghostbusters,” the trio soon makes national headlines with their famed abilities to capture these ghastly figures. After The Ghostbusters’ corporation begins to really take flight, the threesome becomes a foursome when Winston Zeddemore joins the group. 

Though The Ghostbusters were shunned by the government, along with many other skeptics, it seems they are the only hope left for New York City when a gigantic paranormal phenomenon brews inside an apartment building downtown. Will this goofy, ghost-hunting guild be able to save the city, or will the evils that lurk within reveal themselves and conquer the world?

#1. Hocus Pocus (1993)

Do you ever dismiss a superstitious theory as “just a bunch of hocus pocus?”  Has a chill ever crept up your spine, yet you disregard the thought of what may be lurking behind you?  

Well, in this classic Halloween comedy often considered one of the most remarkable Halloween films of all time, Max, the protagonist, does just that, and he does not have a clue what is in store for him because of it.

The California-native teen reluctantly moves to the mysterious, myth-shrouded Salem, Massachusetts with his family. Desperate to impress Allison, a beautiful yet superstitious girl he recently met, and for something interesting to happen in the quiet little town, Max and his little sister, Dani, breaks into an extremely old, abandoned house, previously owned by the infamous Sanderson Sisters.  

The wicked Sanderson Sisters, Winifred, Mary, and Sarah, had been rightfully convicted as witches known for sucking the life out of children in order for them to remain young. They were hanged for their crimes 300 years prior; however, if a virgin were to light the Black Flame Candle on Halloween night during a full moon, the Sisters would return once more to resume their evil deeds.

“Oh, come on!  It’s just a bunch of hocus pocus,”  Max, who happens to be a virgin, says with a casual shrug and naive grin. He then, to the dismay of Dani and Allison, lights the magical candle, bringing the chaotic witches back to life.  They are now ready to wreak havoc upon Salem again!  

With the help of Dani, Allison, a zombie named Billy, and, funnily enough, an immortal, talking black cat named Thackery Binks, Max must stop the Sanderson Sisters before it is too late, before they, too, become immortal through the use of the souls of all the children of Salem!

The sequel to “Hocus Pocus” is to be released on the streaming platform Disney+ on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022.

For all of the fellow scaredy-cats out there, hopefully these not-so-scary films will bring you Halloween cheer this spooky season, without the utter terror horror movies can bring.