Spooky season is upon us, and what better way to spend these long nights than to submerge yourself in the terrifying world of scary movies? To best prepare you for your movie nights this season, here is our list of the top 13 spooky movies to watch this October.


1. The Shining

Based on the Stephen King novel, The Shining is a mystery/horror that follows the story of Jack Torrence, a writer hoping to cure his writer’s block by becoming the winter caretaker at the Overlook Hotel in Colorado. He brings along his wife Wendy and his son Danny, who begins having disturbing visions about horrors that lie within the hotel’s walls. Jack slowly gets angrier and more violent, slowly slipping into insanity, and attempts to murder his family. This movie is an undeniable classic, and Stephen King fans will not be disappointed by the book to movie adaptation. As a result of its popularity and mystery-driven thrill, The Shining tops the list at number one. 


2. Beetlejuice

The beloved Tim Burton film, Beetlejuice, follows the story of Barbara and Adam Maitland, who die in a car accident and find themselves stuck haunting their former residence. As a new family, the Deetzes, move into the home, the Maitland ghosts attempt, to no avail, to scare these new inhabitants out of the house. This prompts a mischievous spirit named Beetlejuice to try assisting the Maitland’s in their endeavor. His help quickly becomes dangerous however, for both the Maitlands and the Deetze’s young teenage daughter, Lydia. A spooky movie for those that aren’t quite ready for horror movies, Beetlejuice is a fun watch for anyone in the mood to have a lighthearted movie night.


3. Paranormal Activity (1-6)

Paranormal Activity is a six part film series that are based around a family that is being haunted by a demon that follows, scares, and often murders several members of the family as well as some of their friends and neighbors. The films are shown through the eye of security cameras and other recording devices that are being used in an attempt to find proof of the demon that terrorizes the protagonists. These recordings are presented as “found footage” of a seemingly true story based around fictional characters. While the film series has mixed reviews, all six components deliver on their promise to surprise and terrify its viewers, earning it a place at number three. 


4. Donnie Darko

Taking place in 1988, a teenager named Donnie Darko sleepwalks out of his house and finds himself coming in contact with a giant, demonic looking rabbit named Frank, who tells him that the world will end in twenty eight days. When he returns to his house, he finds that a jet engine had crashed in his room, and would’ve killed him if he had not slept walked out of the house. Throughout the course of the movie, Donnie needs to figure out: Is he hallucinating? Is he stuck in a parallel universe? Or will the world really end in twenty eight days? The science fiction thriller is not your traditional horror movie, but Donnie Darko’s suspense and of course, Jake Gyllenhaal, puts it at number four. 


5. Scream

In the middle class suburbia of Woodsboro, a killer stalks the streets. The odd thing is, they quiz their victims with trivia questions before shredding them to a bloody pulp. The varied cast of characters keeps the audience wondering who the next victim will be. This movie is gory, self-parodic, and sardonically humorous, while still being scary. Scream is a good first horror movie for those who are trying to ease into the world of horror.


6. Final Destination (1-5) 

About to take off on a school trip to Paris, Alex Browning has a preliminary vision of the plane exploding, killing everybody on the flight. He panics and flees the plane, along with several other students. As the plane explodes in a fiery ball of flames, Alex and a few of his classmates have barely escaped death. So what happens when the survivors mysteriously die one by one? The film series has five separate installments, and each follows a similar storyline. Final Destination is a must see, and with its dark humor and gory death scenes, this terrifying slasher leaves viewers at the edge of their seats, earning it a place at number six. 


7. Halloween 

After brutally murdering his 17-year-old sister on Halloween night in 1963, 6-year-old Michael Myers is sentenced to a 15 year jail sentence. On Halloween night, 1978, 21-year-old Myers is transferred for a court date, but steals a car and escapes to his hometown Haddonfield, Illinois to find his next victim. Receiving a 96% on Rotten Tomatoes, Halloween is an undeniable horror classic worth the watch for any scary movie enthusiast.


8. Psycho 

The famous Alfred Hitchcock film, Psycho, takes place as Phoenix secretary, Marion Crane, steals 40,000 dollars from her employer to run away with her boyfriend, Sam Loomis. Stopping to rest at the ramshackle Bates Motel, she meets the nervous but personable motel owner, Norman Bates. After Marion and Norman share a pleasant dinner, Marion returns to her room. Little does she know, Norman’s interest in taxidermy may not be as innocent as it seems, and he possesses a spare key to her room. Arguably one of the most famous horror movies of all time, Psycho is a must see for just about everyone, horror movie fan or otherwise.


9. The Nightmare on Elm Street

A classic horror slasher film, The Nightmare on Elm Street follows the story of several midwestern teenagers who are preyed upon in their dreams by the disfigured killer, Freddy Krueger. This mangler brutally murders teens in their sleep, which then kills them in real life. A young woman named Nancy begins to investigate the situation, and begins to suspect a dark secret being kept by her own and her friend’s parents, putting herself in danger to solve the mystery. This film is a classic for any scary movie fan, and has stood the test of time and remained one of the most widely known horror movies of all time.


10. Friday the 13th

At Crystal Lake, a history of murders doesn’t deter a group of young counselors from establishing a summer camp on the property. Despite the warnings of the locals, the counselors push on, only to find themselves stalked by a brutal killer. As they are picked off, one by one, the counselors must fight to survive Friday the 13th. Yet another incredibly well known horror film, Friday the 13th is a classic gorefest type horror film. If that’s your scene, this movie is 100% up your alley.


11. Carrie (1976) 

Number 11 of the list is another Stephen King adaptation, and is revered as one of the best supernatural horror films of its time. Carrie follows the story of Carrie White, a bullied high school girl with telekinetic powers. She uses these powers to terrorize those who have wronged her, and in turn cause one of the most catastrophic disasters her fictional hometown of Chamberlain Maine has ever seen. This thriller is scary, violent, and is the perfect addition to your horror movie binge watching list. 


12. The Conjuring

In the Conjuring, demonologists Ed and Loraine Warren are hired to cleanse the secluded country home of Carolyn and Roger Perron and their five daughters. The Perrons describe a supernatural presence that has made itself known to them, benignly at first, but slowly, the actions escalate as the Warrens discover the house’s disturbing history. A more recent addition to this list, The Conjuring series has not lost any of its scare factor as years have gone by, and has allowed many new installments to be added to its cinematic universe.


13. Spooky Buddies

After a long night of terrifying and murderous scenes filling your screen, number 13 is the perfect opportunity to cool down and (hopefully) not have nightmares. Spooky Buddies is a family friendly comedy that follows the halloween adventures of the Buddies Budderball, B-Dawg, Buddha, MudBud and RoseBud, as they race to stop Warwick the Warlock and his evil hound from completing their evil deeds. 


Honorable Mentions: 

  • The Ring
  • IT
  • The Exorcist
  • Get Out
  • A Quiet Place
  • The Cabin in The Woods
  • Poltergeist
  • Spookley The Square Pumpkin

By: Emily Chambliss and Ashley Rich, Feature Writers

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