Let’s all get into the Halloween spirit with some spooky movies and creepy books! I shared my top Halloween entertainment picks with Serene Branson on the CBS2/KCAL9 morning show. And yes, I wore an awesome witch hat because I’ll use any excuse to dress up in costume! This is a mix of old and new suggestions and since I’m not a huge fan of gore and terror, you won’t see many of those types of books and movies on this list. I prefer a Halloween with a side of silly.
I really wanted to find a nice range of options for young kids and big kids that hopefully won’t give them nightmares. And I’m adding some lighthearted options for adult movies because honestly scary movies well, scare me! I love this holiday but I embrace the fun side of it as well. Hope you enjoy my picks! Feel free to leave a message in the comments below with your favorite Halloween suggestions. Thanks CBS2/KCAL9 for having me on your show. The new set is beautiful!
Halloween Books For Kids 2-5
- Peppa’s Halloween Party It is the spookiest time of year! Peppa and her family play outside in the leaves, carve pumpkins, and dress up in costumes for a Halloween party with all of their friends! This picture perfect party was adapted from the Halloween episode of the show and would be a great addition to your Halloween bed time reading list.
- Disney Parks Presents: TheHaunted Mansion (Book & CD) – This book is part of a new series from Disney Publishing called “Disney Parks Presents”. On the inside cover, readers will find a CD containing a uniquely created 5-minute and 32-second musical tour through the attraction. The track includes the classic “Grim Grinning Ghosts” song by Buddy Baker and Xavier Atencio that plays during the ride.
- Trick ARRR Treat: A Pirate Halloween-We’ve been reading this every day since we got it from our awesome Aunt Mary. A group of pirate kids go swashbuckling through the streets demanding loot and treasure. As their world transforms into a pirate’s lagoon, will they be brave enough to defend their treats, er, treasure?
Halloween Movies For Kids 2-5
- Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest – This adorable movie is a great way to introduce fall concepts and Halloween ideas to little kids as George gets into trouble at the annual Boo Festival. It’s airing on PBS Kids and is available on Netflix and Amazon Prime. This is the first feature length Curious George Halloween movie.
- Room on the Broom (also a book!) – A 2012 British-German 3D stop motion computer animated short TV film based on the picture book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. The film was nominated for the Best Animated Short Film at the 2014 Academy Awards. It’s a wonderful story about a witch who makes room for others on her broom, and they in turn help her when she needs them most.
- Hotel Transylvania – Very silly and the little kids will enjoy it! Hotel Transylvania is an Adam Sandler-voiced Dracula loses his wife and castle to a torch-wielding mob of humans. Forced then to raise his daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) alone, Dracula vows to never let a similar fate befall his family, creating a monster-only refuge where he hopes he and Mavis can stay together forever.
Halloween Books for Tweens/Teens:
- Goosebumps is a very popular series by R. L. Stine – The first book was Welcome To Dead House. Also turned into a movie starring Jack Black and a TV series on Netflix. I picked the latest in the “Most Wanted” series, and it will also be the last. Kids who enjoy the suspense of a good scary story will love this series of books.
- Scary Stories To Tell In the Dark by Alvin Schwartz is a collection of spooky tales based on ghost stories and urban legends. It also teaches kids how to sit around the campfire and tell and really good scary story.
Halloween Movies for Tweens/Teens:
- The Nightmare Before Christmas by Tim Burton is a Halloween classic! Most people have seen TNBC, but I included it on this list because it’s generally a movie everyone can agree on. Plus that song is so damn catchy! “This is Halloween, This is Halloween…”
- Teen Witch directed by Dorian Walker – Teen Witch is a staple movie at Halloween in our house. What 80’s girl didn’t want to be Louise at some point and wish she had magical powers to get the boy of her dreams to fall in love with her? The perfect Halloween movie. Top That.
- Hocus Pocus directed by Kenny Ortega – The story of a boy who is charged with keeping an eye on his nosy little sister on Halloween night when he accidentally unleashes the Sanderson Sisters (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy)—three witches from the Salem witch trials that suck the youth from little girls. Now, with the help of a magical cat, the kids must steal the witches’ book of spells to stop them from becoming immortal.
Halloween Books for Adults:
It by Stephen King – Okay I know people are terrified of clowns right now, but you can trace it all back to this book. One of the most terrifying horror books in existence. Read it with the lights dimmed, candles lit, and playing this song. The terror in this horror novel is enough to haunt you way past Halloween.
- Dark Harvest by Norman Partridge – This book is definitely for older teens as it deals with darker subjects surrounding Halloween. It’s set in 1963, and follows the story of October Boy, and how he rises from the cornfields every Halloween. Armed with a butcher knife, he makes his way toward the nearest sleepy Midwestern town where a group of teen boys are waiting to confront him.
Adult Halloween movies:
- Scream directed by Wes Craven– I’ve never jumped out of my seat in a movie theater like I did in Scream. The Ghostface killer that reappears in the subsequent movies makes its first appearance in this movie, killing teenagers living in a small town. A girl and her friends set out to find him, but not everyone survives!
- Young Frankenstein – Hilarious parody of the original Frankenstein movie.
- Ghostbusters (original) – Because, obvi. Ghostbusters is one of the best ghost movies of all time. Plus it’s hilarious so it’s on my list!