How to Have the Spookiest Halloween Movie Night at Home

What’s the happiest season of all? In my house, it’s Halloween. My kids look forward to one night of dress up, candy galore and mischief all year long. They are planning next year’s Halloween costume during every other holiday time. Just like the Twelve Days of Christmas, we have our own rituals that help us to enjoy and anticipate the spook and ghoul festivities. Our favorite tradition is to have a Halloween movie night, and these are the essential elements for that perfect spell.

Movies and films

Family friendly Halloween movies (and ones we watch on repeat): The Addams’ Family and Hocus Pocus.

For young kids: It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest

For the 8-12 year old crowd: Goosebumps 2 and Coraline both on Netflix

Classic Halloween films your teenager might not have seen: Scream, The Sixth Sense, and Carrie all on Netflix

If you’re looking for a good scare: The Witch on Netflix

Or a good laugh: Tucker and Dale vs. Evil on Netflix

Adults can appreciate the fun of these classics: Wait Until Dark with Audrey Hepburn and Beetlejuice

If you are going to have a mixed crowd, like older teenagers and younger siblings’ friends, you can split up the guests for more fun. A small, intimate space for younger kids can feature a blanket fort with mood lighting and a kid-friendly film. For teenagers, convert a covered porch area or a large play room where you can set up a projector and speakers with a large white sheet as a screen. Adults can take over the couches and main TV area. This makes it easier to choose films that are best for viewing ages. 

Food and decorations

I’ve been to a lot of Halloween parties where kids just get more candy, which seems like overkill at this point. Instead, make the food table an edible horror show with savory dishes. My favorite is baked intestines (filled puff pastry), which is a step above mummies in a blanket. I make this recipe savory by filling with chicken curry or BBQ chicken and cheese. 

Toxic Waste Mac and Cheese is a crowd pleaser. 

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For Halloween decorations, simple works best. Spooky is not an extravagant decoration. Pumpkins, dim lights and strategically placed, blood-dripping candles can really set the mood. 

What are your favorite Halloween traditions? Do you prefer a little fright or trickster fun?

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