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31 Movies to Get into the Halloween Spirit

In honor of Halloween, I've listed 31 horror or Halloween themed movies, in no particular order, that I recommend with a short synopsis. (Don't worry, no spoilers!) They range from classics to new arrivals, independent to foreign, and terrifying to family friendly.

The main difference between this film list and other ones is that all these films are my favorites, so they aren't based on how many awards they've won, when they were made, or how many stars people gave them. This is literally just a list of movies I recommend, from me to you.

There is one for every day in October, so feel free to watch them with the ghosts living in your house or snuggled up alone in your coffin. Enjoy!

1. Babadook (2014)
When a single mother's son begins acting out at school, she finds a strange new children's book in his room with a disturbing story inside. An amazingly filmed movie with lots of creepy moments and a sense of dread that follows you for the full two hours.

2. Beetlejuice (1988)
What happens when you're a ghost but people move into your house and won't leave? Get help from a master poltergeist, obviously! A classic ghost story with creepy animations and an interesting story from the other side of most ghost stories. (Not a horror movie, but might be scary for young kids.)

3. Black Death (2010)
Who doesn't love Sean Bean? Especially when he is in bubonic plague infested England, searching to discover the truth behind rumors of a witch that can bring people back to life. The movie has lots of suspense and mystery behind it, so you can't really go wrong.

4. Children of the Corn (1984)
Based off of Stephen King's book by the same name, ‘Children of the Corn’ is about a small rural town where the children have disposed of the adults and have established a new religious order following 'He Who Walks Behind the Rows'. It's definitely creepy at times, but overall this movie is great to watch with new comers to horror because some of it's darker scenes come out quite a bit silly now-a-days.

5. The Descent (2005)
Some gal pals decide to go spelunking in some caves after one of their husbands pass away. What could go wrong, right? With caves already being creepy and mysterious enough, ‘The Descent’ it also full of jump-scares and scenes that involve all other hosts of fears besides the dark, such as heights, claustrophobia, etc. Great.

6. Devil (2010)
A group of random strangers are trapped in an elevator together with the devil himself. Death ensues. This follows classic horror film style with gory deaths and everyone trying desperately to prove their own innocence. May make you feel slight discomfort the next time you ride an elevator.

7. Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2010)
A remake of the classic film where a family moves into a new house with strange small creatures that live in the basement. Guillermo del Toro was one of the writers for this movie and you can tell by how creepy and amazing it is. This movie, while being truly terrifying to the point where I could not sleep, also shows the amazing bond of familial love.

8. Halloweentown (1998)
One day you're a normal teenager, the next you're a witch from one of the most powerful families around. This is a classic Disney film that is both adorable and reminds kids that everyone can make a difference.

9. The Woman in Black (2012)
Daniel Radcliffe is a lawyer sent to a small town with a rumor that whenever someone sees the spirit of the "Woman in Black", a child in the town will die. Check out for Daniel, stay for the spooks.

10. Hocus Pocus (1993)
Three witches in search of immortality are awakened on Halloween and plan to steal the souls of all the children in Salem. It's another classic movie that is fun for any age. It just isn't Halloween if you don't watch Hocus Pocus.

11. House of Wax (1953 or 2005)
Ever thought wax mannequins were creepy? Well what if they were made of your friends? The classic version of this movie has the King Of Horror, Vincent Price, and the remake has Paris Hilton. You can't really go wrong with either.

12. Housebound (2014)
After trying to rob an ATM, the protagonist is put on house arrest at her old family home with her parents. Meanwhile a ghost seems to be in the house as well. It's a light horror comedy that leaves you wondering if you would be going insane if you had to live with your parents for 8 months too. This is also technically a foreign film since it was made in New Zealand.

13. Ju-on: The Grudge (2002)
An angry spirit hunts and kills anyone who enters its house. This movie was made in Japan and features dark, disturbing scenes that make you double check if you are really alone.

14. 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)
A woman wakes up to find she is in an underground bunker with two men she doesn't know both of which say the US is under nuclear attack. She isn't sure if she believes them and tries to discover the truth of what is happening. Unsettling as hell.

15. The Little Vampire (2000)
A young boy moves to a new country and makes friends with the local vampires. This film is too cute for words and is great to show family members and friends of any age. It reminds you what its like to be a kid and just have fun hanging out with your supernatural best friends.

16. The Mist (2007)
A strange storm covers a small town in mist while creatures they can't see roam through it, killing anyone who goes outside. A group of citizens hold up in a supermarket to try and save themselves. Based on a book by Stephen King, this film is basically a sci-fi version of ‘The Lord of the Flies’ where the viewers get to see what happens when people are scared for their lives.

17. The Orphanage (2007)
After she moves her family into her old house, her son begins talking with an imaginary friend. Made in Spain, this film is one of Guillermo del Toro's best pieces ever. It has ghosts, an orphanage, creepy kids: every thing you could want from a horror film.

18. Poltergeist (1982)
A family's new home turns out to be haunted by a lot of ghosts. This movie is actually rated PG if you can believe it. It's not overtly scary, but gets really creepy at parts. My mom saw this when she was a young adult and still refuses to watch it again.

19. Population 436 (2006)
A census-taker investigates a small town that has had the same number of residents for 100 years. An independent film that I assume most people have never heard of, as I only accidentally found it. A good movie to watch to prove that you have heard of obscure horror films.

20. Psycho (1960)
A young woman trying to escape her problems stops for the night at a small motel on the side of the road. This movie is not just a classic horror film, but also a classic film overall. Alfred Hitchcock's masterpiece easily makes it on any classic movie list. (Definitely watch the original over the remake, or at least watch both.)

21. Scary Movie 3 (2003)
A young reporter begins investigating crop circles and mysterious videotapes to try and save the world. Most of the Scary Movie franchise is ok, but this one is hysterical. My sister and I still quote parts of the film when we are together, and the best part is you don’t have to watch any of the lack luster prequels to understand this one.

22. Scream (1996)
After her mother was murdered, a young girl attempts to cope but is being stalked by a masked killer who seems to want her and her friends dead. This is a great film to show to friends who aren't into horror films because it's much more a teen scream than a slasher. You also then immediately have to follow up with all the sequels to this film, because they are all terrific and give you a good laugh along with a fright.

23. The Shrine (2010)
A reporter decides to investigate strange disappearances in Europe only to discover something far worse than she expected. You won't really get that invested in the characters of this film or their constant stupidity, but the plot makes up for it by giving you an interesting story that is hard to turn away from.

24. The Sixth Sense (1999)
A young boy begins seeing a psychologist because he has found that he can see dead people anywhere he goes. If you've lived your life this long without watching The Sixth Sense, I am both amazed and sad. You need to watch this movie right now! It is a classic film with brilliant acting and one of the best endings I have ever seen.

25. The Skeleton Key (2005)
A hospice nurse working at an old plantation begins to find clues about the past of the house as well as it's owners, not all of which seem pleasant. Personally, I still can't sleep sometimes when I think about it. The ending will leave you wondering what you believe.

26. Sleepy Hollow (1999)
A new take on the classic story of Ichabod Crane. It stars Johnny Depp as Crane, a detective from New York investigating the strange murders in Sleepy Hollow. It mixes magic and science, as well as mystery and horror. A solid choice any time of the year.

27. A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)
This film is from South Korea, although an American version was made, but this one is much better. It focuses on a family who is suffering through some recent tragedies as they try to cope. It is honestly one of the best horror films I have ever seen. If you were to only watch one film from this list, I would hope it would be this one.

28. Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (2010)
Ever wonder why hillbillies get such a bad wrap? Well now you can hear their side of the story in this film where two best friends try to enjoy their vacation but get attacked by some teenagers instead. It's a horror comedy done well that will leave you laughing with joy and fear simultaneously.

29. The Village (2004)
A peaceful village is trapped by disturbing monsters that live in the forest surrounding the town. This movie has a slow build up, but it is definitely worth it. While not one of the best films ever made or one of the scariest, it has an ending that you will never forget.

30. When a Stranger Calls Back (1993)
My sister and I accidentally happened on this sequel to the original When a Stranger Calls, and boy is it scary. Seriously. It takes place a few years after the prequel with the heroine getting another creepy call and attempting to get the police involved. My sister and I actually have an agreement to never mention this movie again because of how creepy it was.

31. Wolf Town (2011)
When some college kids end up trapped at an abandoned town by wolves, they will have to try and figure out a way to out smart the wolves and escape. This is possibly one of the best films on this list, solely because of how terrible it is. The set looks brand new, the acting is pretty bad, and the wolves supposedly understand how cars work. What? You should watch this film just to have a good laugh.

Enjoy the spooks!

Until next time,

Caitlin