This time of year, we’re all about watching Hocus Pocus, Casper, and our other favorite Halloween movies on repeat. But what about those Halloween movies that time forgot?
Halloween is just behind Christmas, it seems, when it comes to how many movies and special programs are made specifically for the holiday. Theatrical films, made-for-TV movies, special holiday episodes… It’s so hard to keep track of all of the new Halloween programming that comes out every year.
Like all kinds of media, some Halloween programs sink and some swim. That’s just the way it is. So while Hocus Pocus and The Nightmare Before Christmas became instant fan-favorites, other movies and things fell by the wayside and off of the Halloween television programming schedule. Sad day.
From Disney Channel to ABC Family, Cartoon Network to Fox Family (please tell us you know what that is and miss it as much as this writer does), here are some of the most entertaining Halloween movies that you (most likely) forgot existed!
‘The Witches’ (1990)
Based on the novel of the same name by Roald Dahl, this movie totally used to freak us out. Between the main character, Luke, being punished by being turned into a mouse to the nightmare-inducing “real faces” of the witches (seriously though, we STILL can’t look at them without wanting to shriek), sometimes we had a hard time watching this movie. Obviously, now that we’re older, we can really appreciate it more (and keep ourselves from being as scared as we used to be) so we’d really like to see it come back to the Halloween TV schedule rotation.
‘When Good Ghouls Go Bad’ (2001)
So apparently the Fox Family Channel wasn’t all that popular with people (evidenced by the fact that it was bought out by ABC), which is a real shame because they originated the 13 Nights of Halloween and had a pretty great schedule every year. Unlike the current one, the Fox Family 13 Nights of Halloween schedule actually had relatively eerie and strange Halloween programming (and programming that was actually Halloween-y). It wasn’t at all at the level of a horror or slasher movie, but it was much more in the spirit of Halloween than a lot of things on ABC Family currently. But, we digress…
When Good Ghouls Go Bad was a Fox Family original movie based on an R.L. Stine book. Essentially, like in Hocus Pocus, the main character moves into this town that has a strange superstition about Halloween. Instead of worshipping and celebrating it, the town celebrate Halloween because of they’re afraid of an urban legend. The legend goes that a bullied outsider-like student gets locked in the art room’s kiln while trying to create a sculpture on Halloween night and is incinerated. His ashes then say that if anyone celebrates Halloween ever again, he’ll come back to exact revenge. Spooky right? It has just the right amount of scariness to it with a really great ending. Plus, Christopher Lloyd’s in it! If we could bring one movie back to Halloween programming, it would be this one.
‘Disney’s Tower of Terror’ (1997)
Before Disney made movies based on The Pirates of the Caribbean and The Haunted Mansion (haha, remember when that happened?), they actually made a movie based on the Tower of Terror. The movie was called, you guessed it, Disney’s Tower of Terror. It was one of the coolest movies because it gave more of a story to the classic attraction, especially considering that a lot of it was actually shot at the attraction in Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida. We don’t understand why it hasn’t been given another chance or why so many people have never heard of it. It’s more “action/adventure” than “scary,” which would make it perfect for the 13 Nights of Halloween lineup. Just sayin’.
‘Double, Double, Toil and Trouble’ (1993)
Remember the days where the Olsen twins were not only still acting but also churning out a ton of adorable movies centered around the shenanigans that the could get into as twins? Yeah, us too. Double Double, Toil and Trouble was a Halloween favorite for a while. We remember seeing it multiple times during the Halloween season every year and really took that for granted. After all, who could forget the storyline about their Great Aunt Sophia and evil Aunt Agatha (after we just reminded you about it)? We really wish that we could see this movie on our TV screens again.
‘Don’t Look Under the Bed’ (1999)
Even though this movie made our list of the top ten Disney Channel Original movies, you don’t really see mention of it elsewhere. When it comes to Halloween buzz (or DCOM buzz), it’s like this movie never existed. For a DCOM and a family movie in general, this movie was pretty scary to sit through! The Boogeyman wasn’t messing around, especially with the glowing light that he makes happen under beds. It’s because this movie was so frightening that the Disney Channel removed it from their Halloween (and even DCOM) rotation. But, you know, a lot of time has passed and ABC Family has a slightly older audience than the Disney Channel. It should totally make the jump because we want to watch it again.
‘Under Wraps’ (1997)
Have we mentioned how much we love Halloween Disney Channel Original Movies? Seriously though. Don’t Look Under the Bed, Phantom of the Megaplex, Halloweentown… The Disney Channel hit it out of the park every time with their pre-2005 Halloween movies, this one especially. Who wouldn’t want a fun mummy friend and an ancient mystery to solve? Because it was one of their very first DCOMs ever, Under Wraps is often over-looked and forgotten. The Disney Channel will play this movie, but it’s usually only once or twice a year at ungodly hours. We’re hoping that one day, this gem is brought back into the primetime rotation. It’s just so much fun.
‘Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School’ (1988)
No, it’s not a great movie nor is it one of the best Scooby-Doo stories ever. However, we can’t help but remember seeing this movie play almost on repeat on Cartoon Network when we were growing up. Paired with Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers (1987) and Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf (1988), this movie followed Shaggy, Scooby, and Scrappy-Doo as they investigate mysteries that are actually supernatural (unlike the other mysteries Mystery Inc. gets involved in). The three characters are hired as gym teachers (because, of course) at an all girl’s school that ends up being an all ghoul girl’s school (with the girls being the daughters of classic monsters) and have to save them from harm. This movie was just fun and we’re sad that we forget about it a lot.