Classic Halloween Films

If you're like me, you love Halloween but the blood and gore side of it might not be your thing.  Classic films are great alternatives to modern horror films because they can strike a spooky tone without going overboard.  Here are a few of my favorite classic Halloween flicks...enjoy!

I Married A Witch - 1942

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A delightful romantic comedy, this film stars the glamorous Veronica Lake as a witch freed after 270 years of imprisonment to exact her revenge upon the descendants of the puritans that had her burned at the stake (but don't worry, that gruesome bit of business is over and done with long before the opening credits!). This movie is complete with all the fun Halloween staples like witches, black cats, broomsticks, spells, and potions.  Basically everything except anything scary!

Young Frankenstein - 1974

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Mel Brooks's timeless spoof on Frankenstein is a a good way!  Gene Wilder and Marty Feldman are a perfect comedy team, and the movie is full of double entendres and sight gags that will leave you in stitches.  

Nosferatu - 1922


This is one of the earliest surviving vampire films, but the 1922 special effects and the fact that it is a silent film make it safe enough for a squeamish viewer the get the thrills of a horror film without being horrified.  Having seen this early version of Dracula will also get you points with your cinema-snob friends, as it's considered one of the most influential early horror films.  If you're throwing a Halloween party, Nosferatu can provide great atmosphere playing in the background with title cards like these:

"Is that your wife? What a lovely throat!"


"Blood is life!  Blood is life!"

House on Haunted Hill - 1959

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How much more Halloween can you get than Vincent Price, the "voice" of Michael Jackson's Thriller?  Price stars as a millionaire who offers $10,000 to five strangers if they agree to be locked in for a night at his spooky mansion.  The 1960s special effects are pretty tame by today's standards, making it fun & spooky to watch without seeing anything too disturbing.  Fun Fact: The actual house from the title is the famous Ennis House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in Los Feliz.

Alfred Hitchcock Presents

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Aside from Psycho, which has a pretty gory shower scene, any Hitchcock film is great for Halloween.  As the Master of Suspense, Hitchcock's gift is creating said suspense without showing anything too nightmare-inducing.  I couldn't pick just one Hitchcock film, so instead I recommend binge-watch Alfred Hitchcock Presents for the entire month of October to get into the Halloween spirit!

What are your favorite classic Halloween films?