Movie Monday: Halloween Movie Traditions for ‘Fraidy Cats

Halloween Movies for fraidy cats

As much as I love and adore Halloween, it comes with a side effect: hordes and hordes of people suddenly wanting to scare the bejeezus out of themselves AND me.

I am a ‘Fraidy Cat, and I am not afraid to say it. I can NOT handle horror movies, and I avoid them at all cost. The ones I have seen, even the bad ones, managed to scare me, and/or give me a nightmare or two. No thanks!!!

So for this month’s Movie Monday, I stand fast and strong with my fellow ‘fraidies and offer you this list:

Halloween Movies for ‘Fraidy Cats!

Halloween Movies for Fraidy Cats

Naturally, I have movie traditions, things I watch every year. This holds true for Halloween and Christmas, though there are certain movies I love to watch at other times of the year. Of course, this year I also shared my 6 Flicks for Fall, so you get the idea.

Well, let’s get right to it!

Halloween Movies for fraidy cats

The Addams Family

Oh, come on, you saw that one coming!

This 90′s take on the sitcom and comic strip classic is a classic in its own right, as far as I’m concerned!  I love pretty much everything about this film, from casting to costumes to screenplay. In high school, I paid an unfathomable amount of money (aka $70) for a slinky, spandex-y black dress to dress as Morticia. FYI, even on my skinny teenager body, I don’t recommend anyone except 90′s Anjelica Huston try these outfits.

Halloween Movies for Fraidy Cats

Addams Family Values

One of the few occasions where I think a sequel rates as high or higher than its original film! I love this sequel, which thankfully adheres to good continuity rules – no replacement actors!! It was sad indeed when Raul Julia (Gomez) passed away the year after the film’s release.  :(

Halloween Movies for Fraidy Cats

The Corpse Bride

Anyone who is a fan of Nightmare Before Christmas needs to see this movie. I love to joke about the whole Burton/Depp/Bonham-Carter love fest, how they make all their movies together, but there’s a good reason – IT WORKS. At the very least,  it definitely works for this film. I love the stop action films, and Corpse Bride delivers.  The soundtrack is equally catchy!!

Halloween Movies for Fraidy Cats

Hocus Pocus

I actually don’t feel a great need to explain why this film is in this lineup. If you don’t already know Hocus Pocus, you need to run out and buy/rent/borrow/steal it. (I do not advocate stealing. Usually.)  This movie comes on TV every year, and – despite owning it – I’ll pretty much always watch. Bette Midler is allegedly quoted as saying this is her favorite of all her films – no small feat – and that should tell you how wonderful it is. If you need more convincing, Probe aka McGee from NCIS is in it!

Halloween Movies for Fraidy Cats

The Worst Witch

Who said witch? You may or may not have ever heard of this, and that’s ok. I’m fairly confidant it would be hard won as a cult classic. That doesn’t stop me from LOVING IT. Every part of it. When you watch it now, the graphics are horrific, the story is silly, and yet it is WONDERFUL. The Pre-Harry Potter.  This movie is actually based off a book series by Jill Murphy,

Halloween Movies for Fraidy Cats

The Witches

I said witches. I said book. DUH!!! Roald Dahl’s “The Witches”  is – well – ok, I’m not really sure. Similar to The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth (Neither of which are on this list, sorry), this movie runs borderline on the family friendly line. It could scare the BEJEEZUS …. out of your kids. This list is for fraidy cats adults, and, YOU should be able to handle it. Just maybe while the tots are napping. (I won’t show it to my son, at three. I like my nightmare-free sleepy time.) In any case, I’ve loved this movie for years upon years, and I DO recommend reading the book. See if you can find the differences!

Halloween Movies for Fraidy Cats

Garfield’s Halloween Adventure

I don’t think they even show this anymore, which is such a shame. I’ve NEVER understood why, for any show or film. Why wouldn’t you want to continue to show something? I hate having to hang on to outdated VHS recordings because I love watching my childhood, and I SUPER LOVE sharing my childhood with my son.  He was spellbound, watching this. That warmed my heart – until I became nervous the pirate ghosts would scare him – because they SCARED ME. (I told you – WUSS!!!)

Halloween Movies for Fraidy Cats

Disney’s Halloween Treat

Yeah, nostalgia has nothing on me.  I’m kinda crazy with it. If I become a hoarder, it will be of classic cartoons/movies, and you’ll find me bricked into a room endlessly watching old Disney specials that for some silly reason they don’t show or release on DVD anymore.  Which I find stupid.

Soapbox over. Sorry.

Do you remember this special? You might, but by a different name, since it essentially got reworked as Disney’s Halloween Special, Disney’s Unsung Villains, and other things. Technically, MY version is a rework from the 50′s.  This I remember from sitting on shag carpet, surrounded by family, and enjoying classic Disney cartoons. I still love it, and I show my VHS/crappy copy to my son.

Halloween Movies for Fraidy Cats

Our Unsung Villains

See above. Love, Love, this little special.  The Hans-Conried-as-The-Mirror version, not the Jeffrey-Jones-as-The-Mirror-remake. (Not sure WHEN that happened, but don’t care for it.)

Halloween Movies for Fraidy Cats

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

‘Nuff Said.

Halloween Movies for Fraidy Cats

Once Bitten

When speaking of the out-there and the random, I have to include an old 80′s favorite of mine, featuring a young Jim Carrey. (Even pre-Living Color, which I FREAKING LOVED growing up.) This movie is as campy as it gets and is all the better for it; even throws in a fun dance sequence amongst all the teen angst. Just roll the dice and watch it,  I think you’ll enjoy.

Halloween Movies for Fraidy Cats

Witch’s Night Out

Nostalgia, ASSEMBLE!!! Oh..there you are.  I can’t pretend to know when this first was shown. (That is what Google is for.) I remember watching this as a child. and something about it stuck with me long enough to give me a reason to look for it as an adult. I bought this DVD two years ago. I’m 32. It isn’t great animation, or a great story.  But it resonates.

Halloween Movies for Fraidy Cats

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

I only just learned this year that the Disney version of Sleepy Hollow is classic to my mother for nostalgic reasons. She told me that she and her family (my five aunts, one uncle, Nana, and Pa) used to pull up to the fireplace and watch the Disney special, which – according to Mom- almost always included The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow. Mom tells it that popcorn balls and Ichabod Crane were the heralds of Halloween. I kinda wish I were a fly on that wall.

Halloween Movies for Fraidy Cats

Sleepy Hollow

Ok, so there is ONE scary-ish movie I do like.  I wasn’t excited about a Sleepy Hollow remake live- action, but I DO like this Burton/Depp/Bonham-Carter version.  I mean, seriously, Christopher Walken!?! That alone bears watching. However, I would only rate this one Family Friendly if you have teenagers…I would NEVER show this to my 3 yr old son.

Well, that kind of does it. I know later I will think of things I missed, but I assume I’ll use them next year. I also realize I squeaked into Movie MONDAY by only West Coast standards. Life as a full-time-working-mom-blogger.

FYI: I do occasionally like scarier movies ,but of the “thriller” not “horror” variety. Post to come soon.

What is your favorite Halloween Movie?


  1. I hate to admit it, but I haven’t seen any of these you listed. I must be living under a rock or something. I should pick one out and just watch it..

  2. Love this post! Since my kids don’t have school Friday we’re planning on letting them stay up late and watch a movie with us. But they are scardey cats! Going to try and find Hocus Pocus somewhere online since so many people have recommended it.

  3. I love most of these! The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown is my all time favorite cartoon. I remember waiting for it to come on tv when I was little – before DVR’s and even cable. It was so awesome.

    • Me too! I love that ABC does those nights of Halloween and Christmas where they show these kinds of things – reminds me of the excitement of waiting for the cartoon specials each year! :)

  4. My son is 3 years old and really into Halloween, but I think that we have to be careful with him now because he woke up last night crying and then again at school from nighttime. He saw someone in a wolf mask and it has scared him dramatically! I didn’t even think anything of it until he woke up scared. I look forward to when he is a little older to watch some of these movies because I enjoy them myself.

  5. I used to love The Adams Family in my younger days wow that brings back memories! x

  6. You have a lot of the classics that we always watch around Halloween on your list. Definitely Hocus Pocus, and Witches! So much fun!

  7. I want to see The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown! I missed it last year and that’s my fave. :)

  8. Seen most of these great choice of classics do not know what i am going to watch this year :-)

  9. Your list is exactly what i need. I do not like watching scary movies. I need to add the Worst Witch to my list though i do not think I have seen that one.

  10. My kids also have night mares and we try to be careful what they watch. As they get older I can see my son loving scary movies.

  11. We have a set of the original Adams family series on DVD. I love that show! I am not much of a scary movie person either.

  12. There are more family friendly ones than I realized. We have only ever watched Charlie Brown. I will see if some of the others are playing so we can see them.

  13. I love Garfield’s the best! It’s adorable!

  14. I love your movie list! Definitely a great list for scaredy cats like me!

  15. After The Nightmare before Christmas, Hocus Pocus is my favorite Halloween movie. And I love scary movies.

  16. Oh my gosh you have just brought back so many memories for me! I have a lot of this stuff from where my mom recorded it for us from Disney on VHS and I’m going to be showing it to my son! Thanks for the reminder!

  17. We usually spend the month watching so-so scary movies but this year, it got away from us. Bummer! I love these picks!

  18. oh wow – i just realized my kids have never seen the great pumpkin charlie brown. i may need to find it online for them!

  19. My daughter came over to hang out with me yesterday and we watched Hocus Pocus and Practical Magic :)

  20. I’m such a sap, I love watching movies that are themed along with the holidays. Since I’m a big fan of horror movies, I enjoy the movie marathons that they have for Halloween.

  21. You listed some GREAT movies! I definitely love Hocus Pocus and The Adams Family – such classics!

  22. I love The Witches! I haven’t seen that movie in years! It’s about time to change that. Going to the video rental later anyways, maybe I find it there :)

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