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Halloween Classics to Get You in the Mood

October 28, 2011 9:01 AM

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(Photo credit: ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo credit: ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images)

halloween movie1 e1317832641310 Halloween Classics to Get You in the Mood

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Young boys and girls turn their thoughts to ghouls, ghosts and candy this time of year. But kids of all ages, even those of us too old for trick-or-treating, can also have a little fun. There are plenty of gory horror films to help celebrate the holiday, but nothing beats the Halloween classics. We’ve collected some of the fun and spooky stories, songs, cartoons and movies to get you in the mood.

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

One of the all-time classic holiday specials, Charlie Brown and the gang’s trick-or-treating adventures are almost half a century old now. But some things will never change. Charlie ends up with a bag full of rocks. And Linus believes in the power of the Great Pumpkin. It’s a touching display of naive stubbornness that speaks just as well for kids today as it did back then.

Trick or Treat

The first-ever trick-or-treating on screen happened with none other than Donald Duck. Nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie try and get candy from their uncle, who decides to prank them instead. In turn, the boys get help from a friendly witch and payback with interest on their stubborn uncle.

The Haunting

Modern horror movies rely on the gruesome, but shock, blood and gore don’t necessarily make for more chills. In this 1963 classic horror, four people spend a few nights in a house to determine if it’s haunted. Scary sounds, a woman losing her sanity and only one special effect make this movie’s creepiness pretty timeless.

scary stories Halloween Classics to Get You in the MoodScary Stories to Tell in the Dark

This classic collection of stories is comprised of familiar tales, or new spins on old concepts. While Alvin Schwartz does a terrific job with the phrasing, it’s up to you (or whoever is brave enough to be the storyteller) to really get the whispers, the long pauses and the big scary shouts just right. Stephen Gammell’s extra scary pencil drawings add another layer of terror for your audience.

nightmare before christmas e1317745824967 Halloween Classics to Get You in the MoodThe Nightmare Before Christmas Soundtrack

There’s plenty of tired old music choices for you to listen to. Thriller? You know the moves by heart. “Monster Mash“? Not again! But Danny Elfman’s terrific score for The Nightmare Before Christmas stands the test of time.

The Pumpkin King Jack Skellington’s discovery of Christmas and his completely distorted take on it make for a great musical concept. “What’s This” combines a Christmas tune with spooky lyrics like “there’s children throwing snowballs/instead of throwing heads/they’re busy building toys/absolutely no one’s dead!” Danny Elfman adds new life to the Halloween song.

halloween pumpkin drawing Halloween Classics to Get You in the Mood

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Dan Morgridge is a writer from Chicago. He has switched to pumpkin butter and jelly sandwiches for the fall.

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