17 of the Best Classic Movies to Watch This Halloween

These scary flicks (plus your favorite seasonal snacks) make for the perfect night in on October 31.

Watching scary movies is something many people like to do all year long, but it's a must-do activity when fall rolls around. One of our favorite things to do indoors during the spooky season is cozying up on the couch with a good Halloween movie playing. (A classic film paired with your favorite comfort food—is there a better combination on a chilly autumn evening?) The next time you need something to watch that's appropriate for the holiday, take a look at these scary movies. Some are frightening, others are family-friendly, and some are even comedies, so there is a flick for everyone to enjoy.

jack and sally the nightmare before christmas
Sunset Boulevard/Getty Images
01 of 17

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Watch Freddy Krueger terrorize the town of Springwood, Ohio. Krueger invades the dreams of a young girl named Nancy Thompson and her group of friends and ends up murdering everyone except for Thompson. Eventually, she conquers Krueger once she stops being afraid of him and getting him out of her dreams.

Buy It: $10, Walmart

02 of 17


Tim Burton directs many beloved Halloween-themed films, including this one. The movie tells the story of Barbara and Adam Maitland, a couple who dies and ends up haunting their old house. Their journey also features a comedic ghost named Betelgeuse.

Buy It: $5, Target

03 of 17


This movie, which premiered in 1931, is one of the most classic options on this list. If you don't already know, this film is about a mad scientist who puts together body parts from corpses. He creates a being known as Frankenstein's monster.

Buy It: $9, Amazon

04 of 17

Ghostbusters (1984)

Who ya gonna call? Join three friends in New York City as they run a ghost capturing business. If you like the original film, make sure to check out the 2016 version of the same name that features an all-women cast.

Buy It: $6, Best Buy

05 of 17


This movie is based on the children's books by R.L. Stine. It shows kids battling monsters and other supernatural creatures. Although the film might be a little scary for young ones, it also has some funny moments.

Buy It: $6, Target

06 of 17


This franchise is about the serial killer Michael Myers and his stalking of Laurie Strode (played by Jamie Lee Curtis). There are a handful of sequels to the original made in 1978, including the most recent movie with the same name that premiered in 2018.

Buy It: $8, Walmart

07 of 17


Kids will love this Disney Channel Original Movie. It's about siblings Marnie, Dylan, and Sophie Piper, who don't understand why they're not allowed to go out on Halloween. They find out their mom Gwen, and their aunt, Aggie, are actually witches.

Buy It: $9, Target

08 of 17

Hocus Pocus

This one about the three Sanderson sisters is a must-watch every fall for me. The comedy is about a teenage boy who accidentally awakens the trio of witches on Halloween in his hometown of Salem, Massachusetts.

Buy It: $14, Best Buy

09 of 17

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Everyone in the family will enjoy this beloved short film from 1966. Join Charlie Brown and his Peanuts crew as they get ready for Halloween. It plays every year on ABC, so make sure you check your local listings for this year's airing date.

Buy It: $10, Target

10 of 17


Even if you haven't seen the movie, you probably know the music. This thriller premiered in 1960 and was produced by famed director Alfred Hitchcock. It tells the story of a secretary named Marion Crane, who steals money and makes a run for the infamous Bates Hotel.

Buy It: $9, Walmart

11 of 17

Rosemary's Baby

This award-winning motion picture stars Mia Farrow as Rosemary Woodhouse. It follows the story of Woodhouse and her husband, who are trying to get pregnant, and their struggles after moving into a strange, haunted house.

Buy It: $10, Target

12 of 17


Join Sidney Prescott and her high school classmates in Woodsboro, California. A mysterious creature known as Ghostface begins stalking Prescott and threatening her. Although the film has scary scenes, there are also some funny moments, too.

Buy It: $15, Best Buy

13 of 17

Sleepy Hollow

Tim Burton is also responsible for this movie starring Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci. Depp plays Ichabod Crane, who travels to Sleepy Hollow to look into murders committed by the infamous Headless Horseman.

Buy It: $10, Walmart

14 of 17

The Addams Family

Make sure you watch this funny flick about the Addams clan with your family. Filled with funny bits, this movie follows the Addams family members as they try to rescue their Uncle Fester whose new wife just wants him for his money.

Buy It: $7, Target

15 of 17

The Nightmare Before Christmas

This animated feature is another one of Tim Burton's movies. It's about Jack Skellington, the King of Halloween Town, who's suddenly transported Christmas Town. He never thought it would happen, but he ends up falling in love with the December holiday. He also meets his love, a rag doll, along the way.

Buy It: $8, Walmart

16 of 17

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Calling all fellow musical lovers: You must check out this movie. It's a musical, comedy, and horror film all in one. It follows the story of a young couple whose car breaks down on a rainy night near a castle owned by a mad scientist. They're held captive by the owner until the servants of the home set them free.

Buy It: $13, Target

17 of 17

The Shining

It's not Halloween without Stephen King. This film is based on King's novel starring Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance. Torrance, an author, brings his wife and son to a remote hotel in Colorado in hopes of curing his writer's block. Instead, Torrance goes insane and tries to murder his family.

Buy It: $6, Target

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles