10 Scary Movies Everyone Can Enjoy

Wake up and smell the apple cider, my friends, it’s finally (Finally!) Fall. We made it through another sweltering summer, the kids are back in school and now it’s time to bust out the cable knit sweaters, jack-o-lanterns, and daily struggle where I try not to make Halloween candy a food group. I kid (but not really).

October is also an excellent movie month. No matter which channel or streaming service you choose, Halloween movies abound for every age group. But if you’re looking for something the entire family can watch together, I’ve got you covered. These 10 movies are all favorites in the Holderness home and all free of gratuitous violence and nightmare-inducing gore.

Grab your popcorn (and those miniatures chocolate bars I know you bought already) and settle in for one of these spooky classics:

  1. Hocus Pocus (1993)
    Name a better trio than the Sanderson Sisters? When we’re talking about Halloween, you just can’t beat the three witches summoned back from the dead in search of a way to live forever played by Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy. What valuable spooky lessons did this movie teach us? Virgins should never light candles, family sticks together and nobody really wants a Clark bar.
  2. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
    Everyone’s favorite dark, stop-motion animated musical love story. Tim Burton gave us two of the season’s most iconic characters: Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King who becomes obsessed with Christmas, and Sally, a rag doll who reluctantly helps him bring his vision to life. When Jack tries to put a black-and-orange spin on the holiday, things go terribly wrong, but ultimately show him exactly where he belongs. 
  3.  The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)
    Two classic works of children’s literature are brought to life in this groundbreaking Walt Disney animated film. Split into two segments, the first is a telling of The Wind in the Willows, about the wealthy but reckless Mr. Toad. The second half is based on the ghostly tale The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, where Ichabod Crane, the new schoolmaster of this small town, finds himself at odds with the Headless Horseman of local lore. 
  4. Casper (1995)
    Ghosts don’t get much cuter than Casper. [“Can I keep you?!” Come on.] When paranormal therapist James Harvey (Bill Pullman) and his daughter Kat (Christina Ricci) arrive at Whipstaff Manor in Friendship, Maine to investigate paranormal activity, it isn’t long before they come face to face with the Friendly Ghost himself and the Ghostly Trio. Terror-free mayhem ensues in this hilarious Halloween caper.
  5. The Addams Family (1991)
    If Halloween had a first family, it would have to be the Addams. Led by Anjelica Huston as Morticia and Raul Julia as Gomez, they reside in a macabre mansion sure to make any goth jealous. And who could forget Christina Ricci as the straight-talking, humor-as-dry-as-a-piece-of-cardboard Wednesday Addams? Be sure to follow it with a screening of the 1993 sequel, Addams Family Values.
  6. Goosebumps (2015)
    If you were a child of the ‘90s (and doesn’t everyone want to be these days), you remember Goosebumps. R. L. Stine’s children’s book series was just creepy enough to keep you flipping the pages and still able to sleep afterward. Most of the time. In this comedy, Jack Black plays Stine, who calls on the help of his young neighbor (Dylan Minnette) when the monsters from his books escape and begin terrorizing their town.
  7. Beetlejuice (1988)
    I know this is starting to look like a Tim Burton appreciation post but I can’t help it, the man knows how to make a spooky flick. Michael Keaton stars as the title ghoul, helping a pair of ghosts (played by none other than Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis) torment the new owners of their former home. It’s campy, hilarious fun. Just don’t say his name three times or well, you know.
  8. Coraline (2009)
    When a bored little girl finds a mysterious door in her new home, she has no idea what’s waiting for her on the other side. Dakota Fanning is the voice of Coraline Jones, who discovers an alternate dimension that at first seems better than her real life, but turns out to be something far more sinister. Another stop-motion animated favorite everyone is sure to enjoy.
  9. Ghostbusters (1984)
    Nerd power. A trio of parapsychologists may not be what you imagine when you think of heroes, but when you’ve got a bunch of supernatural menaces running wild, Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), and Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) are definitely who you want to call. Be sure to check out the 2016 female-led remake that reunites Bridesmaids co-stars Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig afterward.
  10. The Witches (1990)
    Let’s just call Anjelica Huston the queen of Halloween, shall we? This time around, she plays Eva Ernst, leader of all of the world’s children-hating witches. But in her quest to turn all youngsters into mice, she meets her match in the form of a boy named Luke (Jasen Fisher) who uncovers her plot and vows to stop her. Tune in for the prosthetics and stay for the 2020 remake starring Anne Hathaway.

What is your favorite Halloween flick? Let us know in the comments!