Growing up, I think most of us would agree that Halloween specials were essential viewing throughout the month of October, but as time has gone on, a lot of those specials have faded with the passing years, only coming out unofficially online, on VHS (which in some cases were very limited releases), or as early DVD releases that can now run you upwards of $100 just to snag a copy.

I put together this list of five obscure Halloween specials for horror fans to dig up and enjoy. Of course, there are thousands of amazing retro finds to watch, so this list should at the very least help you get started and put you in a macabre mood as you prepare for October 31st!

Halloween is Grinch Night (1977)

In this animated sequel to 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas', in the mystical town of Whoville, on a night known as "Grinch Night" (that being October 31st... Halloween), which commences when a "Sour-Sweet Wind" blows and a chain of events causes the Gree-Grumps and Hakken-Krakks to annoy The Grinch into terrorizing the Whos. The Grinch leaves his cave home on Mt. Crumpit (overlooking Whoville) with his loyal, but long-suffering dog, Max, to Whoville to unleash terror upon the town.

Vincent Price’s Once Upon a Midnight Scary (1979)

In this made-for-TV Halloween special, Vincent Price introduces three chilling tales for children: "The Ghost Belonged To Me" by Richard Peck, Washington Irving’s classic "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" (with Rene Auberjonois as Ichabod Crane) and John Bellair’s "The House With a Clock in its Walls."

Halloween with the New Addams Family (1977)

A revival of the popular ’60s TV comedy series, "The Addams Family" has them preparing for Halloween in their own inimitable way.

Bunnicula: The Vampire Rabbit (1982)

When strange accidents happen at the factory where Mr. Monroe works, and vegetables are drained of their juices, the neighbors as well as Harold the dog and Chester the cat suspect that the new-found family bunny is really a vampire.

The Worst Witch (1986)

This HBO movie stars Fairuza Balk as Mildred, a hapless witch in training who appears to have little talent for the craft. She's hopeless at potions, terrible at casting spells and completely clueless about the appropriate witch accoutrements. With competitive Ethel (Anna Kipling) nipping at her heels, life is made even worse, especially when Mildred makes a fool of herself in front of the Grand Wizard (Tim Curry).


In case you missed them, check out Heather's previous seasonal special features with great ideas to get you in the Halloween spirit:

  • Heather Wixson
    About the Author - Heather Wixson

    Heather A. Wixson was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs, until she followed her dreams and moved to Los Angeles in 2009. A 14-year veteran in the world of horror entertainment journalism, Wixson fell in love with genre films at a very early age, and has spent more than a decade as a writer and supporter of preserving the history of horror and science fiction cinema. Throughout her career, Wixson has contributed to several notable websites, including Fangoria, Dread Central, Terror Tube, and FEARnet, and she currently serves as the Managing Editor for Daily Dead, which has been her home since 2013. She's also written for both Fangoria Magazine & ReMind Magazine, and her latest book project, Monsters, Makeup & Effects: Volume One will be released on October 20, 2021.