Halloween Movies for Kids

October is a month that dreams are made of. Children everywhere bask in the anticipation of a night of costumes, treats, merriment, friends, and magic. Pumpkin-flavored everything fills stores and homes, Halloween parties abound, and houses everywhere are decorated with jack-o-lanterns, ghosts, goblins, and more.

The month of enchantment, which culminates in a night of trick-or-treating, is also filled with a host of fun and frightening Halloween movies. Everyone, from young to old, loves putting on something spooky as the holiday draws near. In fact, there’s almost nothing better than turning off the lights, snuggling on the couch with the kids, grabbing a bowl of popcorn and candy corn, and putting on a Halloween movie.

The only problem with watching a Halloween movie together with the family is that most of the movies aren’t particularly kid friendly. Many Halloween movies have blood, gore, disturbing and frightening images, and sometimes, nudity. Not really the type of thing you’re going to want to watch with the entire family.

Finding Halloween movies that are safe and fun for adults and kids alike can be a bit tricky. Here’s a good list of some of the best Halloween movies for kids to get you going:

Hocus Pocus (1993)

Bette Midler stars as one of the Sanderson sisters in this classic 90s Halloween film. When a teenager spits in the face of a local urban legend by doing exactly what the legend warns against (being a virgin that lights the Black Flame Candle on Halloween), three witch sisters come back from the dead and try to steal the town’s children. There’s a whole lot of humor and a little bit of spook, making it a fun, enjoyable Halloween movie that everyone will love.

Hotel Transylvania (2012)

Who doesn’t love a good Adam Sandler flick? While most of his movies probably wouldn’t be on a “best for kids” list, this one makes the cut. This funny and creepy animated movie is great for everyone. A fun spin on classic movie monsters, Hotel Transylvania stars Dracula and his daughter as the owners of a monsters-only hotel. In the story, a human makes his way into the hotel and falls in love with Dracula’s daughter, causing a little bit of conflict and a whole lot of spooky adventure. Hotel Transylvania and it’s two sequels, are quickly becoming family-favorite, Halloween classics.

Halloweentown (1998)

A Disney Channel original movie, Halloweentown is a goofy and delightful film that kids will love. A young girl who has always been obsessed with Halloween, follows her grandmother, and ends up in Halloweentown, a town where it is Halloween every day. There are many surprises and adventures that take place in this fun movie and the others in the trilogy.

Goosebumps (2015)

Based on the classic books by R.L. Stine, Goosebumps stars Jack Black as the author himself. In this clever movie, a couple of kids unwittingly release the monsters from the Goosebumps books out into the world. As the monsters wreak havoc, Stine and the kids try to catch them and send them back into the books. It’s a bit frightening and a whole lot of Halloween fun.

ParaNorman (2012)

A bit more of a horror movie than the rest of those on the list, Paranorman is a stop-motion animation film that centers around a boy named Norman who can talk to the dead. The movie has ghosts, zombies, spooks, and an old town curse that is on the cusp of coming to fruition. As he communicates to the dead, it becomes clear that Norman is the only one who can save the town. This horror-themed Halloween movie has some scares and creepy themes but is a great film for most anyone.

Beetlejuice (1988)

Hands down, Beetlejuice is one of the best Halloween classics and it’s fun for all ages. The movie takes place in the home of a recently deceased couple. After accidentally driving off a bridge, they wake up at home and find that things seem just a bit off. Eventually, they learn that they died and cannot leave their home, so they agree to make the best of things. That is, until their house is sold and a new family moves in. Trying to figure out how to scare this new family off, they call on Beetlejuice, a crazy, wacky dead guy in fancy pin-stripe suits. There are antics, monsters, ghosts, spooks, and an ending everyone will love.

Gremlins (1984)

Gremlins may not take place on Halloween, but the little monsters and jump-scares make it a Halloween favorite. In this 80s classic, a teen is given a gift from his dad. In the box, there’s a cute, furry little creature named Gizmo. There are some rules that come along with Gizmo, including not to get him wet and not to feed him after midnight, both of which are soon broken. When the rules are broken, things start popping out of Gizmo and turn into creepy, mischievous, murderous monsters known as Gremlins. It’s a scary, fun adventure like no other. The kids will love it.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

“This is Halloween, this is Halloween.” Most anyone will hear that song and immediately think of The Nightmare Before Christmas. This animated Tim Burton film finds itself in the odd place of both a Halloween AND Christmas classic. In this movie, every holiday has its own land. When Jack Skelington of Halloweentown starts feeling down, he sneaks out of his land and into Christmastown. Discovering a place of magic, joy, color, and presents, he kidnaps Santa and is determined to take over Christmas. There are monsters, songs, and lots of creepy things that make The Nightmare Before Christmas one of the best Halloween movies for kids.

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