Some of my most vivid memories stem from helping my grandmother decorate her house for Halloween. A lover of all holidays, my precious Nanny paced the floor just waiting for the first orange leaf to fall from the oak tree towering in her front yard. Before that orange piece of foliage hit the ground, Nanny had unpacked the storage closet and boxes upon boxes of decorations littered the living room floor. She placed her hands on her thin hips and says with determination, “Alright. Let’s get going.”
We buzzed about for hours, stringing orange lights around every doorframe and setting miniature scarecrows on every open table space. After an afternoon full of decorating, we would settle onto our couch with bags of candy corn to participate in our second favorite Halloween activity—watching: Halloween movies and TV shows.
Even though I’m much older now and I spend Halloween with my friends rather than my Nanny, I still scour the TV Guides every October for these Halloween classics. And while life now isn’t as carefree as it was sixteen years ago, there are still a few things that are on my must-see list every year.
Here is my list of the Top 5 Halloween Films/TV Shows.
5. Buffy the Vampire Slayer “Halloween” Season 2, Episode 6
In the first Halloween episode of Joss Whedon’s girl-power infused action-dramedy hybrid, the group is forced to volunteer at a school-sponsored Halloween event for younger children and costumes are required. Buffy and her friends head to a new Halloween store to purchase their costumes. After Giles’s old frenemy Ethan Rayne casts a spell on the costumes, the gang suddenly becomes the characters they were embodying for Halloween. Buffy becomes an English noble woman, Xander turns into an army soldier, and Willow emerges as a ghost of herself. Tracking down Rayne without the slayer makes this episode a hilarious Halloween television episode.
4. Hocus Pocus (1993)
I was four-years-old when this movie was released way back in the days before DVRs. During this dark time, we recorded things on VHS tapes. I had Hocus Pocus on an old Polaroid VHS that I watched and rewatched so many times the tape eventually broke. Hocus Pocus stars Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy as the Sanderson sisters, witches who were hanged in the seventeenth century after the kidnapping and murder of two children. However, before their death, they cast a spell on a black-flame candle that when lit by a virgin would resurrect the sisters so they could wreak havoc. When skeptic and new kid on the block Max Dennison hears the legend, he can’t resist lighting the candle, putting himself, his little sister, and his crush in direct path of three very reanimated witches.