The 20 best kids Halloween movies

The only problem? They’ll want to watch them over and over again.

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Halloween is a magical time for children. They get to dress up, eat delicious treats and indulge in all things spooky and scary. All these thrills, however, can be a little much. So if you're in need of a more low-key activity, watching a movie together is both relaxing and entertaining.

But what to pick? That's where we come in. Gather the children, grab the popcorn and get settled in for a spine-tingling movie marathon. Here are the best Halloween movies for kids. Don't worry adults we've got you covered too, here are 15 new horror movies to watch this Halloween.

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Muppets Haunted Mansion


Year: 2021

Cast: Ed Asner, Dave Goelz, Bill Barretta, Matt Vogel

Age recommendation: 9+

More musical or comedy special than a movie, this delightful Muppets extravaganza is nonetheless a treat for kids around Halloween. It's also the Muppets' first Halloween special, so it's a bona fide event.

The plot is straightforward: on Halloween, Gonzo is challenged to spend a night in the same haunted mansion where his favourite magician disappeared 100 years ago. Will he be up for the challenge? As he makes his way through the spooky house, he has to reach a mysterious room to get answers.

Muppets Haunted Mansion features notable guests, including Taraji P. Henson, Will Arnett, John Stamos, Darren Criss and Yvette Nicole Brown. Goofy and hilarious, this special is not to miss.

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Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone


Year: 2001

Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson

Age recommendation: 7+

Does this iconic movie even need any introduction by this point? Fine: it's about a young orphan boy who finds out that he is a wizard. He is then invited to study at Hogwarts, a special school for witches and wizards. Once there he makes friends, learns to use his abilities and comes face-to-face with a dangerous enemy.

Magical from start to finish, the first movie in the Harry Potter series stands the test of time as a memorable introduction to the wizarding world. While visually dazzling and filled with positive messages, the film also boasts scary and intense moments, which makes it a fine choice for Halloween.

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Coco


Year: 2017

Cast: Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Alanna Ubach

Age recommendation: 7+

Pixar's wonderful Coco revolves around Miguel, a boy who dreams of becoming a singer in spite of his family's ban on music. When he accidentally finds himself in the Land of the Dead, he seeks help from his deceased great-great-grandfather who used to be a musician. Miguel only has a limited amount of time to make it back to the living, otherwise he'll be stuck in the Land of the Dead forever.

Inspired by the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead, Coco is vibrant, beautifully animated and affecting. The movie is also about the power of family, making it a fitting watch for viewers of all ages.

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Monsters, Inc.


Year: 2001

Cast: Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Mary Gibbs, Steve Buscemi

Age recommendation: 5+

Welcome to Monsters Incorporated, the largest scare factory in the monster world. Sullivan is one of its top scarers, an intimidating monster with blue fur. His assistant and best friend Mike, meanwhile, is green and very opinionated. Enter Boo, a tiny girl who goes where no human has ever gone before and disrupts the monster world, to unexpected consequences.

Another glorious piece of work from Pixar, Monsters, Inc. isn't as scary as it is inventive, clever, hilarious and charming. Still, it has monsters, so it's acceptable for Halloween.

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Hocus Pocus


Year: 1993

Cast: Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy

Age recommendation: 10+

A family comedy that's more silly than scary, Hocus Pocus centres on a curious youngster who moves to Salem. Once there, he struggles to fit in before awakening a trio of diabolical witches that were executed in the 17th century. The witches have one shot to secure their continuing existence… unless the new kid has something to say about it.

With an excellent cast and a kooky plot, this cult favourite remains an appealingly old-school Disney comedy even all these years later. And Halloween is the perfect time to share it with the kids.

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The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad


Year: 1949

Cast: Bing Crosby, Basil Rathbone, Eric Blore

Age recommendation: 6+

The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad is made up of two segments. While the first is an adaptation of children's novel The Wind in the Willows by British author Kenneth Grahame, the second is based on the short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by American author Washington Irving.

In the first part, Mr. Toad sets out to get an automobile any way he can. In the second, gangly schoolmaster Ichabod Crane is caught in a love triangle and fears a local legend called the Headless Horseman. As a whole, the feature is a witty adaptation of classic literature, making these stories significantly more appealing to young viewers.

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The Haunted Mansion


Year: 2003

Cast: Eddie Murphy, Marsha Thomason, Jennifer Tilly

Age recommendation: 10+

Eddie Murphy stars in this supernatural comedy as workaholic real estate agent Jim, who takes his family to a sinister mansion he thinks he can sell. They soon discover that the house is haunted and that the inhabitants require help to break an old curse.

The Haunted Mansion is cheesy and spooky, making for a pleasant family-friendly flick. The sets in particular are striking. Fitting, given that the movie is based on Walt Disney's popular theme park attraction of the same name.

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Frankenweenie


Year: 2012

Cast: Winona Ryder, Catherine O'Hara, Martin Short

Age recommendation: 9+

When a boy's beloved dog passes away suddenly, he brings the animal back to life through a dangerous science experiment. All goes well until fellow students steal his secret and use it to resurrect other dead animals, with terrible results.

Frankenweenie was originally a black-and-white short until director Tim Burton decided to turn it into a full-length feature. Both a parody of and homage to the 1931 Frankenstein, the movie is a great introduction to the horror genre for older kids.

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The Nightmare Before Christmas


Year: 1993

Cast: Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O'Hara

Age recommendation: 7+

This visually stunning treat follows Jack Skellington, Halloweentown's beloved Pumpkin King, who has become bored with his routine. When he accidentally stumbles upon Christmastown, all bright colours and warm spirits, he gets a new lease on life. Consequently, he decides to take control of Christmas by kidnapping Santa Claus and taking over. Seems easy enough, right?

Gorgeously animated and with an engaging plot, The Nightmare Before Christmas is both heartwarming and horrifying. Oh, and it counts as a Christmas movie as well, so repeat viewings between October and December are perfectly reasonable.

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Halloweentown


Year: 1998

Cast: Debbie Reynolds, Kimberly J. Brown, Judith Hoag

Age recommendation: 7+

A movie that perfectly captures the spirit of the holiday, Halloweentown centres on a young girl, Marnie, who learns that she is a witch. Not only that, but her grandmother lives in a mystical place where monsters of all sorts coexist in peace.

The bigger problem? Citizens of Halloweentown are disappearing and it's up to Marnie to help keep the peace. Shenanigans ensue. If the little ones enjoy it, we recommend checking out the three sequels as well.

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Hotel Transylvania


Year: 2012

Cast: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Andy Samberg

Age recommendation: 7+

Where do monsters go when they need a break from their everyday existence? To Hotel Transylvania, a resort run by none other than Dracula himself. Once there, they can be themselves without pesky humans bothering them.

But when an ordinary boy unwittingly crashes a monster party and falls in love with Dracula's daughter, the Count goes into overprotective mode. Zany and clever, the movie is a good time for kids and adults alike.

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Casper


Year: 1995

Cast: Bill Pullman, Christina Ricci, Cathy Moriarty

Age recommendation: 8+

Casper is a kind young ghost who peacefully haunts a mansion in Maine. When a paranormal specialist comes by to communicate with Casper and his fellow spirits, he brings along his teenage daughter. The young ghost quickly falls in love with the girl, but their budding relationship is complicated – especially when Casper's less than friendly relatives get involved.

Viewers on the younger side will enjoy the special effects, while older folk can appreciate the thoughtful themes, including the sweet depiction of the father/daughter relationship. All in all, it's one of the most underrated Halloween movies for kids out there. We strongly recommend you give it a stream.

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Goosebumps


Year: 2015

Cast: Jack Black, Dylan Minnette, Odeya Rush

Age recommendation: 9+

After moving to a new small town, teenage Zach meets the cute girl next door, Hannah, and is surprised to learn that her father is a famous young adult horror author. But when the writer's imaginary demons are set free in the town, it's up to Zach to team up with Hannah and her dad to send them back between the pages, where they actually belong.

Based on R.L. Stine's children's books, Goosebumps has plenty of action and humour, with great special effects and monsters thrown in for good measure. The entire family will be thoroughly entertained.

The Addams Family


Year: 2019

Cast: Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloë Grace Moretz

Age recommendation: 7+

Members of the mysterious Addams family – including Gomez, Morticia, Pugsley, Wednesday, Uncle Fester and Grandma - are preparing for a visit from their even creepier relatives. But trouble arises when a shady TV personality realises that the Addams' eerie mansion is standing in the way of her dream to sell all the houses in the neighbourhood.

Stylish and creepy, the movie is all about the importance of accepting those who are different, which is an important message for humans of all ages. If your children are a bit older, we recommend the 1991 live-action Addams Family movie as well.

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Super Monsters Save Halloween


Year: 2018

Cast: Erin Mathews, Elyse Maloway, Vincent Tong

Age recommendation: 4+

In this short movie that ties in with the Netflix Super Monsters series, the Super Monsters use their powers to get their neighbours into the Halloween spirit. Then, they help a nervous friend see that there's really nothing to be afraid of.

A great feature for young viewers who are scared of the holiday, Super Monsters Save Halloween will ease their anxiety and prove that Halloween is all about having fun. What's not to love?

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Monster House


Year: 2006

Cast: Mitchel Musso, Sam Lerner, Spencer Locke

Age recommendation: 10+

Three teens discover that their neighbour's house is really a living, breathing, scary monster. Yikes! And with Halloween approaching, the trio must find a way to destroy the structure before innocent trick-or-treaters meet ghastly ends.

Offering a perfect mix of goofiness and spookiness, Monster House has a terrific voice cast and wildly inventive visuals. The kids will be glued to the screen.

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Ghostbusters


Year: 1984

Cast: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Harold Ramis

Age recommendation: 11+

Ghostbusters is a classic and Halloween is the perfect time for a rewatch. The plot follows three former professors who set up shop as a unique ghost removal service. When they stumble upon a gateway to another dimension, they have to save New York from complete destruction.

The movie is well-acted and we can guarantee that it will repeatedly make you laugh. Not only that, but it features some chilling moments as well. All in all, Ghostbusters is a hoot. We bet your kids will agree.

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E.T. the Extra Terrestrial


Year: 1982

Cast: Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore, Peter Coyote

Age recommendation: 7+

If your children need a break from the typical monster/witch/ghost story, a movie with an adorable alien is a suitable palate cleanser. Produced and directed by Steven Spielberg, E.T. the Extra Terrestrial centres on a little kid who decides to help a stranded alien find his way back home.

E.T. was an instant blockbuster and stands the test of time as a polished sci-fi fairytale with plenty of heart and stellar visuals. One can only hope that all aliens will be this friendly when they eventually decide to drop by.

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Scooby-Doo


Year: 2002

Cast: Matthew Lillard, Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, Linda Cardellini

Age recommendation: 10+

Scarier than the original cartoon, the 2002 Scooby-Doo sees the gang back together after a bitter break-up. They are individually brought to an island resort to investigate strange goings-on. But while they each attempt to work on their own, they'll soon discover that the best way to get to the bottom of things is together.

Scooby-Doo is best enjoyed with a side of your favourite Scooby Snacks. The plot is compelling and there's a mystery element that will keep you guessing. Plus, there are plenty of jokes that fans of the franchise will appreciate.

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Corpse Bride


Year: 2005

Cast: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Emily Watson

Age recommendation: 10+

When a shy groom practices his wedding vows nearby a deceased young woman, she rises from the grave and assumes he has married her. She whisks him off to the land of the dead, and he must find a way to return home before his fiancée marries someone else. Or does he? After all, he is sympathetic to the sweet bride's loneliness.

Despite the morbid premise, the movie is uplifting and enchanting, with tremendous visuals. A beautiful, dark fairytale.

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