17 of the Best Funny and Scary Halloween Movies

Sometimes the best way to get in the mood for Halloween is to watch Halloween movies, wouldn’t you agree? Pick one of the Halloween movies below and turn it on while you’re “studying” for your college midterm — you’ll get ideas for costumes, have an excuse to snuggle with the hottie on your floor, and give yourself a good scare at the same time.

  1. Sleepy Hollow (1999). Johnny Depp plays Ichabod Crane, a doctor who is called in to investigate decapitations by the legendary Headless Horseman.
  2. The Witches (1990). Adapted for film from the Roald Dahl’s children book, The Witches is about a young boy whose grandmother tells him about witches that live in every city in the world that hate and seek to destroy young children like him. On a vacation, he encounters a convention for witches led by Angelica Houston, the Grand High Witch. 
  3. The Shining (1980). Based on a Stephen King novel, a family moves into an abandoned hotel for the winter where an evil spirit possesses the father and tries to murder his family. Meanwhile, his son develops psychic powers which allow him to see past and future things things to come as well as the ghosts living in the hotel.
  4. Ghostbusters (1984). Three unemployed parapsychologist professors open a unique ghost removal business in New York City. Ghost viewings increase and the Ghostbusters thrive, becoming local celebrities in the process.
  5. Bride of Frankenstein (1935). With roots in Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, Dr. Frankenstein builds his monster a wife. As you see the Bride of Frankenstein, it will give you inspiration for a brilliant Lady Gaga-esque costume!
  6. Dawn of the Dead (1987 | 2004). When a worldwide apocalyptic plague turns humans into flesh-eating zombies, a handful of people take refuge in an abandoned shopping mall.
  7. Alice in Wonderland (2010). Tim Burton’s Disney’s rendition of Alice in Wonderland is bizarre and rich with creative costume ideas! Helena Bonham Carter makes a delightfully wicked Queen of Hearts.
  8. Monster House (2006). The grumpy old man in DJ Walter’s neighborhood turns out to have a house that is really a real live monster.
  9. The Addams Family (1991). Based on the cartoon, con men pose as the estranged Uncle Fester to target the eccentric Addams Family vast riches. You won’t go wrong dressing up as any of the Addams Family members!
  10. The Exorcist (1973). After her teenage daughter becomes possessed by a demonic influence, a mother seeks out two priests to bring her back through exorcism.
  11. Goonies (1985). A group of kids living in Astoria, Oregon (the same place The Ring was filmed) find a Spanish treasure map and set off on an adventure to uncover long-lost pirate treasure.
  12. Monsters, Inc. (2001). A monster population uses the energy produced from scaring children to power their city. When a child accidentally enters Monstropolous, she wreaks havoc on their order and way of life.
  13. Edward Scissorhands (1990). Yet another Tim Burton film, Johnny Depp plays a sensitive human-like boy with scissors for hands whose inventor died of a heart attack before finishing his hands. Edward Scissorhands gains acceptance within the community by his hair cutting and hedge trimming skills.
  14. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). This film boasts a huge international cult following and is based off the British rock musical, The Rocky Horror Show. A couple’s car breaks down and leads them to the home of the outlandish Dr. Frank-N-Furter, a self-proclaimed transvestite.
  15. The Others (2001). Nicole Kidman stars in a movie about a woman who moves to an old mansion with her two children to await her husband’s return from the war. Three servants quit and strange things start to happen, making them think their mansion is haunted.
  16. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971 | 2010). The mysterious Willy Wonka starts a worldwide “Golden Ticket” contest which will allow five children to tour his candy factory. Get wacky costume ideas from Willy Wonka and the Oompa-Loompas.
  17. Harry Potter. After being orphaned, Harry is raised by an emotionally abusive aunt and uncle when he finds out he is a wizard and enrolls in Hogwarts to develop his skills where he meets Ron Weasley and Hermoine Granger. His attempted murder by Lord Voldemort elevates him to celebrity status at Hogwarts.
BONUS! While these movies aren’t necessarily Halloween oriented, they are creepy and involve costumes. Signs, the Village, and Mystery Men are three extras you may want to check out this spooky Halloween season. 

What’s your favorite Halloween movie?

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About Sarah Ward

Sarah is a social media manager and image consultant originally from Vancouver, Canada. After executing her first makeover in the seventh grade, she has been helping people look and feel their best ever since. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys practicing yoga, shopping on Etsy, and watching Grey's Anatomy.

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  • Great list! Can’t believe I forgot to mention Ghost Busters and The Witches on mine.

    Comment by Dylan — October 19, 2011 @ 5:12 pm
  • Good call on including the Witches and Ghost Busters! 2 movies that are missing from my list.

    The Goonies is also an amazing movie, great job!

    Comment by Dylan — October 21, 2011 @ 11:24 pm
  • Ive seen Misery and The Shining, and thats about it. Are there anymore good Stephen King horror movies?

    Comment by King — October 25, 2011 @ 3:54 am
  • Thanks Dylan! I know that feeling — checking out other lists of Halloween movies kept giving me ideas of films I’d missed. Appreciate the feedback.

    Comment by Sarah Ward — October 27, 2011 @ 5:41 pm

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