My favorite Halloween movies

Everyone has their go-to holiday movies. I think most people pick a Christmas movie they watch with the family, but I’ve never been one for Christmas movies for a variety of reasons, not least of which is my disinclination to celebrate any kind of traditional Christmas. No, my favorite holiday movies are always Halloween movies.

I have to admit that this year I have had a hard time getting into any holiday spirit. Perhaps it was the 90 degree weather in October (happily gone now) or perhaps it is just the sheer amount of work I’ve been doing from day to day, but I have really had a hard time doing more than decorating my mantel. Nevertheless, these Halloween movies are my favorites not because they are scary, but because they are comforting. They’re my go-to diet of spooky, lovely tales, and the year isn’t right without watching at least one of them.

Hocus Pocus

In my professional opinion, it’s impossible to have a Halloween movie list that does not include Hocus Pocus. I mean, it’s set on Halloween, has some amazing Halloween costumes and traditions featured. Plus there are evil witches, ghosts, a talking black cat, and one of the most iconic broomstick scenes in cinema.

Kiki’s Delivery Service

This is not really a Halloween movie. There’s no Halloween happening – most of it takes place in what appears to be a lovely summer. But I always find myself revisiting Kiki’s Delivery Service at this time of year. Who doesn’t love black cats and cute little witches? I think any Miyazaki movie has enough magic in it to be a Halloween movie, especially Howl’s Moving Castle and Spirited Away, but Kiki’s Delivery Service is my go to this time of year.

Practical Magic

This is one of my favorite movies of all time, and while it doesn’t precisely happen during Halloween either, this movie has enough spooky magic, ghostly possession, and whipped cream to keep the party moving. Plus bonus points for true love and unbreakable sisterly bonds.


This is a new favorite, but I think it’s going to become a perennial one. There’s nothing that captures the aesthetic of my childhood in the Southwest quite like Coco’s lovely animation of Dia de Muertos. While these are two distinct holidays in many ways, there is a shared history of respect for the dead that makes this the perfect film to enjoy this time of year with a cup of spicy hot cocoa and a warm blanket. Also, please include several tissues – if you don’t cry in this movie I don’t know if I trust you.

Do you have a favorite Halloween movie? Chime in and let me know all about it.

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