I like spooky movies, ghosts, supernatural stuff, and if the movies have more laughs than blood, that's good too. I've titled this list "Family Friendly Halloween Movies," but of course the age of the kids in your family can effect just how friendly these titles are. I didn't forget the Harry Potter Movies, but with eight titles, the series would fill my list, and I'd rather bring to your attention some titles you might have forgotten.
Here's my top 13 list, with a few side-trips along the way. I've listed a few TV series as "Bonus" titles, and a couple extra movies I thought you might like.
The Haunted Mansion I'm a big fan of the Disney parks, and the Haunted Mansion ride was my favorite as a kid, and remains so today. Here's the fright-filled comedy adventure loaded with hair-raising laughs and eye-popping special effects! Eddie Murphy stars as a real estate agent whose family comes face-to-face with 999 grim, grinning ghosts in the creepy old Gracey Manor! Now with the help of supernatural psychic Madame Leota (Jennifer Tilly) they must hilariously battle to break the mansion of its age-old curse. I enjoyed the new version of the song, Grim Grinning Ghosts by Barenaked Ladies
Hocus Pocus You're in for a devil of a time when three outlandishly wild witches -- Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy -- return from 17th-century Salem after they're accidentally conjured up by some unsuspecting pranksters! It's a night full of zany fun and comic chaos once the tricky 300-year-old trio sets out to cast a spell on the town and reclaim their youth -- but first they must get their act together and outwit three kids and a talking cat!
Beetlejuice (20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Michael Keaton. Say his name once, twice and three times nice! A fantastically imaginative comedy about a couple of recently deceased ghosts who contract the services of a bio-exorcist" in order to remove the obnoxious new owners of their former home. 1988/color/92 min/PG/widescreen.
Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit Taking a chapter from classic horror films, a giant were-rabbit is soon on the prowl, and the town is up in arms, what with the annual vegetable contest close at hand. Never content to do something simply when the extravagant will do, W&G's lives are filled with whimsical Rube Goldberg-style devices, and the opening number showcasing their alarm system is pure Aardman Animation at its finest.
Blackbeard's Ghost In the moody prologue, amid a raging storm that evokes Hollywood golden-age high-seas swashbucklers, a foreboding scroll recounts the legend of one of the bloodiest pirates in the history of the Caribbean. Leave it to Disney to turn him into a fun-loving old prankster with a whimsical side. Peter Ustinov is the bombastic but harmless apparition who renounces his wicked ways to become the mischievous school spirit of the local college, much to the annoyance of straight-arrow track coach Dean Jones. Also stars Suzanne Pleshette.
The 'Burbs Tom Hanks portrays suburbanite Ray Peterson, whose plans for a peaceful vacation are disturbed by a creepy new family on the block. To the disappointment of his wife Carol (Carrie Fisher), Ray decides to spend a relaxing week at home, and soon gets into trouble with his neighbors as they observe the strange happenings next door at the Klopek's bizarre residence. When a neighborhood grouch suddenly disappears, the men are convinced the ramshackle house hides some hideous clues and they decide to see for themselves exactly what is going on in the Klopek place. Set in an average neighborhood that is anything but average, The 'Burbs blends slapstick comedy and spine-thrilling mystery with the type of humor that has made Tom hanks one of today's most popular stars.
Ghostbusters Double Feature Gift Set (Ghostbusters / Ghostbusters 2 + Commemorative Book) Prepare to spend some quality "slime-time" with Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters 2, together for the first time in this exclusive DVD gift set. These spooktacularly successful films captured the imagination of audiences around the world and redefined the action-comedy genre in the process. Because when it comes to supernaturally classic comedy, Who you gonna call?
The Monster Squad You know whom to call when you have ghosts. But who do you call when you have monsters? The Monster Squad - A group of young kids devoted to protecting their suburban neighborhood from monsters and ghouls. Count Dracula (Duncan Regehr) escapes Van Helsing (Jack Gwillim) and adjourns modern day Earth, accompanied by Frankenstein's Monster (Tom Noonan), the Wolfman (Carl Thibault), the Mummy (Michael MacKay) and the Black Lagoon's Gillman (Tom Woodruff Jr.). The ghouls are in search of a powerful amulet that will grant them power to rule the world. Standing in their way - The Monster Squad!
The Addams Family - The Complete SeriesThe Addams Family TV series was inspired by Charles Addams's New Yorker cartoons, The Addams Family is fiendishly funny, with a dead-on cast that indelibly embodies Addams's characters. John Astin brings a demented glee to eccentric, Gomez Addams. Carolyn Jones is bewitching as his wife, Morticia, Jackie Coogan is the electrifying Uncle Fester, with Ted Cassidy is the monstrous butler Lurch, whose "You rang?" entered the pop culture lexicon.
The Munsters: The Complete Series Has its own stormy weather and fire-breathing housepet named Spot, but the mansion at 1313 Mockingbird Heights is otherwise like any other American sitcom home. Developed by Leave It to Beaver team Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher, the series was a standard sitcom, except that the Ward Cleaver character was a reanimated corpse. Herman (Fred Gwynne) was a Frankenstein's monster, mom Lily (Yvonne DeCarlo) and Grandpa (Al Lewis) were vampires. Young Eddie (Butch Patrick) goes to school and acts like any other kid except, well, he isn't. And lovely Marilyn (Pat Priest) is convinced by her Uncle Herman, Aunt Lily and Grandpa that she's an unattractive woman who scares away potential suitors.
Abbott & Costello Meet FrankensteinAbbott and Costello, as railroad baggage clerks, receive a strange shipment - the last remains of Dracula and Frankenstein's monster. But this deadly duo is still very much alive. So when the shipment arrives at the House of Horrors, the Monsters are not in their crates but have disappeared to a secret hideaway island. Blamed for the disappearance, Abbott and Costello follow their trail to the island, where not only do they meet up with Dracula (Bela Lugosi) and the Monster (Glenn Strange), but a Mad Scientist (Charles Bradstreet) who wants to switch Costello's brain with that of the Monster. With everyone chasing each other, the Wolf Man (Lon Chaney, Jr.) shows up to scare them all. In the end everything works out: Costello finds romance and the Monsters find their final resting places...or do they?
Halloweentown / Halloweentown II: Kalabar's Revenge (Double Feature) In a place called Halloweentown, good and evil look very different than one might expect. Thanks to a visit from Grandmother Aggie (Debbie Reynolds), Marnie (Kimberly J. Brown) and her family's tradition of ignoring the Halloween holiday are about to change in the extreme. Marnie's mother Gwen (Judith Hoag) has been hiding a big secret from her children--all of them possess supernatural powers. Now that it's Marnie's thirteenth birthday, she must begin her training as a witch or lose her powers forever. This is good Disney Halloween fun and special effects, a wholesome message about the power of family, cooperation and perseverance, and ghouls that, though creepy looking, aren't likely to inspire nightmares in younger family members. (Ages 5 and older)
Hotel Transylvania Welcome to Hotel Transylvania, Dracula’s lavish five-stake resort, where monsters and their families can live it up and no humans are allowed. One special weekend, Dracula (Adam Sandler) has invited all his best friends – Frankenstein and his wife, the Mummy, the Invisible Man, the Werewolf family, and more – to celebrate his beloved daughter Mavis’s (Selena Gomez) 118th birthday. For Dracula catering to all of these legendary monsters is no problem but the party really starts when one ordinary guy stumbles into the hotel and changes everything!
The Nightmare Before Christmas Now digitally restored and remastered with state-of-the-art technology, The Nightmare Before Christmansis deeper, darker and more brilliant than ever -- just as Tim Burton originally envisioned it. Can Christmas be saved? Bored with the same old scare-and-scream routine, Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, longs to spread the joy of Christmas. But his merry mission puts Santa in jeopardy and creates a nightmare for good little boys and girls everywhere!
Casper A "Ghost therapist" Dr. James Harvey (Bill Pullman) and his daughter Kat (Christina Ricci) arrive at drafty, old Whipstaff Manor. Its greedy owner has hired Dr. Harvey to exorcise the house's apparitions: a friendly but lonely young ghost named Casper, who's just looking for a friend, and his outrageous uncles Stretch, Stinkie and Fatso (The Ghostly Trio). If the plan works, she and Dibs (Eric Idle), her partner-in-slime, can get their hands on the manor's fabled treasure. With dazzling special effects from many of the creators of Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Jurassic Park, Casper is adventure comedy for the whole family.
Tim Burton's Corpse Bride Set in a 19th century European village, this stop-motion, animated feature follows the story of Victor (voiced by JOHNNY DEPP), a young man who is whisked away to the underworld and wed to a mysterious Corpse Bride, while his real bride, Victoria, waits bereft in the land of the living. Though life in the Land of the Dead proves to be a lot more colorful than his strict Victorian upbringing, Victor learns that there is nothing in this world, or the next, that can keep him away from his one true love.
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (Remastered Deluxe Edition) Peanuts, pumpkins and pleasure for the whole family! Will this Halloween be the one when the Great Pumpkin comes? Longtime believer Linus thinks so - and keeps watch all night in the pumpkin patch to welcome him. Charlie Brown gets into the spooky spirit too, dressing up as a ghost with more eyeholes than needed - but not scaring up the usual kinds of Halloween loot when trick-or-treating. A beloved perennial with improved picture and audio. Good grief, you can't help but have a happy Halloween!
Young Frankenstein If you were to argue that Mel Brooks's Young Frankenstein ranks among the top-ten funniest movies of all time, nobody could reasonably dispute the claim. Spoofing classic horror in the way that Brooks's previous film Blazing Saddles sent up classic Westerns, the movie is both a loving tribute and a raucous, irreverent parody of Universal's classic horror films Frankenstein (1931) and Bride of Frankenstein (1935). Filming in glorious black and white, Brooks re-created the Frankenstein laboratory using the same equipment from the original Frankenstein, and this loving attention to physical and stylistic detail creates a solid foundation for nonstop comedy. The story involves Frederick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) and his effort to resume experiments in re-animation pioneered by his late father. Assisting him is the hapless hunchback Igor (Marty Feldman) and the buxom but none-too-bright maiden Inga (Teri Garr), and when Frankenstein succeeds in creating his monster (Peter Boyle), the stage is set for an outrageous revision of the Frankenstein legend. With comedy highlights too numerous to mention, Brooks guides his brilliant cast that also includes Cloris Leachman and Madeline Kahn.
The Ghost and Mr. Chicken Figuring the answers to a mystery lie in the old Simmons mansion, Luther Heggs (Knotts) visits the estate at the witching hour of midnight. Certain he's seen a ghost, Luther writes a story which makes front page news - and brings on a libel suit from the mansion's owner. When the trial judge orders an investigation - and no apparition appears - Luther is branded a fraud. That is, until he and his devoted girlfriend team up to uncover the mystery of the hauntings - and the true murderer - in this timeless comedy classic, and my number one pick.