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Fantasy and Fright: Top 10 October Movies!

From spooky childhood throwbacks to serious nail-biters, check out our list of movies and shows that will be sure to get you in the Halloween spirit!

1. Hocus Pocus

Set in Salem, Massachusetts, Hocus Pocus is arguably the most festive Halloween movie known to man. On Halloween night, teenager Max Dennison takes his sister Dani and his crush Allison to explore an abandoned house. Though Allison warns Max about the legend of three soul-sucking witches who used to live there, he does not listen. By accident, and in combination with a curse the witches cast before their demise, Max brings the Sanderson Sisters back from the dead. After 300 years, the witches are parched for immortality and have one night to attain it.

Cuddle up next to someone with a hot cup of cider and see if Max, Dani, Allison, and their talking cat Binx can save all of the children in Salem before sunrise! Seriously watch it – it’s the best Halloween movie ever. 

2. Halloweentown

Marnie Piper just wants to celebrate Halloween with her friends like any other teenage girl. But to her frustration, her mother has never let her or her two siblings out on Halloween. What Marnie doesn’t know is that she is actually a witch, a witch who needs to begin learning magic before her powers disappear.

On Halloween night, Marnie’s grandmother visits in the hopes of taking her back to Halloweentown, a land inhabited by supernatural creatures. Though their mother disagrees, Marnie and her two siblings accidentally follow their grandmother on the return bus to Halloweentown, and chaos ensues as a villain attempts to suck the magic from the land.

It is never too late to view this childhood classic! With lovable characters and supernatural suspense, Halloweentown is the perfect movie to rekindle your fascination with all things magical.

3. When a Stranger Calls


On to the scary stuff.

It’s the night of a big party. All of Jill Johnson’s friends will be attending. But where will Jill be? Like many of us have, Jill went over on her cell phone bill and needs a way to pay back her parents. So she’ll be babysitting. The house is extremely large, isolated, technologically advanced, and Jill has access to thousands of television channels and all the food that she can eat. The kids are already asleep. Sounds like easy money, right?

That’s until Jill begins receiving strange calls from an unknown man. As the calls become increasingly more menacing and sound less like a childish prank, Jill alerts the police so that they can trace the call. Where it’s coming from? INSIDE THE HOUSE.

If you don’t ever want to babysit again, watch this movie.

4. The Purge

It’s 2022. After years of poverty and violence, the American government has sanctioned a 12-hour period where all crime is legal. In these 12 hours, gruesome violence ensues and ensures that the crime rate will be down for the rest of the year.

The Sandin family locks down for the night like they do every year, in their highly secure home. Unfortunately, their son Charlie gets a bit curious about what is going on outside and discovers a homeless man begging for shelter. Charlie momentarily disables their security system, allowing the man to seek refuge within their labyrinth of a home. But a group of creepily masked, upper class, murderous teenagers wanted to take out their aggressions on the homeless man. So they promise to make the Sandins pay.

The scariest part about this movie is that if you have a bit of an imagination, the scenario doesn’t seem too far-fetched. A must watch this October.

5. The Blair Witch Project

Children have reportedly been disappearing in the woods of a local Maryland town for decades. According to locals, the “Blair Witch” is responsible. Three film students seek to find and document evidence of this witch, and set out for a two-day hike in said woods. But they never return.

One year later, the students’ footage is discovered. And you, the viewer, get to see what happened to them from behind the eyes of the camera.

This is a cult classic that lives up to its disturbing reputation, leaving you feeling very unsettled. Definitely watch if you like to be scared!

6. The Scream Movies

One year after her mother’s death, Sidney Prescott is simply trying to graduate from high school in peace. But two of her classmates are found brutally mutilated, and terror begins to blanket the small California town of Woodsboro. We soon discover that the killer is targeting Sidney, as she begins to receive threatening phone calls. Sidney must try to stop the murderer before all of her friends die.

And (spoiler alert) Sidney is still targeted for three more movies.

The Scream movies are entirely necessary. They are a MUST WATCH. But seriously, why does everyone want to kill Sidney?

7. A Nightmare on Elm Street

We have all had nightmares. But Nancy and Quentin may not wake up.

A group of young adults are haunted by Freddy Krueger, who greets them in their dreams with his knife-covered hands and gruesomely murders them. As Nancy and Quentin’s friends are picked off one by one, they attempt to discover Krueger’s motives while keeping themselves awake for as long as possible.

Long story short, have fun sleeping after this movie!

8. Paranormal Activity

After moving into a suburban home, Katie and Micah begin to experience strange nightly disturbances. Katie admits to Micah that she experienced supernatural activity as a young child, but he is skeptical. As they feel more and more uneasy, Micah sets up cameras to catch whatever may be bothering them.

The viewer watches their story unfold from behind the many household cameras. Paranormal Activity is the perfect movie for those who fear that which goes “bump” in the night. Do not watch it alone!

9. Halloween

Michael Meyers was committed to a mental hospital as a ten year old boy for the murder of his entire family. 17 years later, Michael escapes and returns to Haddonfield in search of a Laurie Strode. He will kill anyone who gets in his way. But why?

Whether you watch the original or the remake, you are guaranteed to be scared! Halloween is a perfect movie to get you in the Halloween spirit!

10. The Conjuring

Ed and Lorraine Warren are paranormal investigators, helping to rid people of poltergeists and the like. In 1971, they receive a call from the Perron family who just relocated to an old farm house in Rhode Island. Strange things have been happening to the Perron family, and they are very concerned. The Warrens investigate the home, discovering a daunting demonic presence.

The case becomes one of the most difficult the Warrens will ever face, as they attempt to convince the Church that an exorcism needs to occur.

This movie is not for the faint of heart, and should not be watched alone. Maybe watch it while it’s still light out... it’s that scary. And the creepiest part about The Conjuring? It’s based on a true story.

Happy haunting from Her Campus!

Hi! My name is Sam and I am a senior at UC San Diego! What I love most about San Diego are the beautiful sunsets, the carefree atmosphere, and of course, the beach! I am double majoring in Communication Studies and Political Science with the hope of pursuing a career in marketing! I joined the HerCampus team because I have a passion for writing and I want to share my ideas! Thank you! Email: slpaul@ucsd.edu Instagram: @sammipaul
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