It’s that time of year again, when the leaves change color and the air picks up a slight chill. Halloween’s right around the corner and we’re all in the mood for something spooky to watch! Sure, you’ve got your Halloween classics like Freddy vs. Jason, Ghostbusters, and The Nightmare Before Christmas; that’s all good, but maybe you’re looking for something a little different this year? Maybe something involving your favorite comic book and sci-fi universes? We might just have what you’re looking for, so read on…IF YOU DARE!
Jack and the Haunted House!! (Samurai Jack)
On his quest to stop the evil Aku, the wandering Samurai Jack runs into a little girl who accidentally drops her teddy bear. Jack follows the child into an old house to return the toy to her, but he soon discovers the house is anything but ordinary. The place is haunted by a demonic soul-eating spirit that now hunts the Samurai! Can Jack overcome the beast’s illusions and lift the curse or will he become another one of its victims?
Samurai Jack is an amazing series that’s often praised for its atmosphere, but this episode pushed how far it could go. Everything in this episode is chilling from the sounds to the animation. It all made it feel like an animated horror movie! Then there’s the demon itself and its haunting illusions that fill you with a sense of genuine terror. We see this thing use its previous victims to trick Jack and then see it violently twist them out of control as it tries to steal his soul! It amazes me that some of this imagery was able to make it past the Cartoon Network censors. I’m glad it did though, because this is a really creepy episode, and it’s perfect to watch on Halloween.
Fear Itself!! (Teen Titans)
One night, the Teen Titans decide to rent a horror movie. Soon after they’re done watching, something makes its way into Titans Tower and starts picking off the Titans one by one! Seems their movie has come to life, but what’s behind this and can the Titans stop it before it’s too late?!
This was a good episode for 2003’s Teen Titans, still as haunting now as it was back then. It’s pretty terrifying to watch our favorite teen superheroes get consumed by this unstoppable monster that can be everywhere at once. They even get taken out in the order of a cliched horror movie (as Beast Boy points out)!
This episode offered some great character development for Raven and had a good message the about denial of fear. You could also say it’s a bit of buildup for the Trigon arc that would come later. Fear itself is an episode that gives you this feeling of being trapped with a creature that can find you no matter how fast or far you run.
Only a Dream!! (Justice League)
A new villain known as Doctor Destiny has appeared and he’s out to get the Justice League! Using his power to control dreams, he traps the League in never-ending nightmares. With everyone else unable to wake up, it’s up to Batman and Martian Manhunter to put an end to Doctor Destiny’s scheme and save their teammates.
This two-parter is a good look into the psyche of the Justice League as we see just what scares DC’s greatest heroes! Doctor Destiny is good at being both creepy and threatening as he tortures the Justice League (he’s kinda like a supervillain Freddy Krueger), and you have to be if you’re capable of invading the mind of Superman himself! It’s also cool to see Batman fight him both physically and mentally; a man who controls fear versus a man who surrounds himself with fear! Two sides of the same coin, in a way.
A two-part episode full of terror, “Only a Dream” will make you think twice about going to bed tonight!
The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances!! (Doctor Who)
The time-traveling Doctor and his companion travel to 1940’s London, but all is not what it seems. A strange child in a gas mask is wandering the city asking “Are you my mummy” and turning other people into gas mask-wearing zombies with the slightest touch! Can the Doctor find the answers to this strange virus before London is taken over by the empty child?
Trust me when I say this, but there were a lot of choices for Doctor Who when it came to compiling this list. I could actually fill a separate list of creepy Doctor Who episodes! To me though, this was one of the spookiest episodes in the Doctor’s history (though I recommend also watching “Fear Her” and “Blink”). Sure, “The Empty Child” wasn’t a Weeping Angel or a Dalek, but it was really creepy! Sometimes a missing face can be really scary.
Every moment in these two episodes feels tense, like anyone could get turned by the child at any moment. The grotesque way people transform into those gas mask zombies still haunts me to this day. There may be many Doctor Who episodes worthy of a Halloween screening, but this one takes the cake for me!
DC Showcase: The Spectre!!
A producer killed in his home, his money stolen, and his murderers get away scot-free…or do they? Seems an angry ghost is following them and is all too eager to make the criminals suffer! He is the spirit who punishes the wicked for their terrible deeds; he is The Spectre!
There just isn’t enough media outside of comic books that portray the Spectre, but this is damn near perfect. This animated short fully captures the essence of this ghostly character and we see him do what he does best: torturing bad people with violent, cruel, ironic punishments!! The short’s animation is also good, having this nice 1970s detective film look, and the music does well to accompany it. It’s not long, but if you’ve ever wanted a good ghost story then DC Showcase: The Spectre has what you’re looking for!
The Puppet Master!! (Avatar: The Last Airbender)
As Aang and his friends continue their journey, they stop at a small village to rest. They even find a friendly old waterbender, who is eager to teach Katara some of her techniques. But the gang soon finds out that this village is hiding something sinister; something has been making villagers disappear by forcefully controlling their bodies! Where are they being taken and just who is this mysterious puppet master?
Avatar: The Last Airbender has been good at giving us eerie moments, but this episode dialed up the creepiness factor! The mystery of the disappearing villagers is creepy enough, but it’s the way that they were taken that turned things up to eleven! This episode introduced bloodbending to the Avatar universe, which still sends shivers up the spines of fans to this day. Seeing people being controlled through bloodbending is just freaky from the way they move to the obvious pain in their eyes. You can really tell just how scary this technique really is!
On top of that, I have to give props to Tress MacNeille for really bringing the puppet master to life. Her voice acting ranges from making this character sympathetic and wise, to downright terrifying. It’s great when a well-written character has an equally good voice actress to give the character depth.
A creepy episode that truly left a mark on Avatar’s lore, “The Puppet Master” will make you think twice about going out on the night of a full moon!
Legacy of Terror/Brain Invaders!! (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)
Jedi master Luminara is missing, and it’s up to Obi-Wan and Anakin to find her! As her trail leads to a mysterious lair, they find something more ominous right under their noses: the Jedi must fight through an undead army, controlled by parasitic worms! Meanwhile, Padawan Ahsoka finds that the mind controlling worms have made it onto a supply ship, infecting the crew. Can she prevent the outbreak from spreading across the galaxy?
These episodes do great at giving us what a zombie plague would be like in the Star Wars Universe. There’s a great use of shadows and darkness that really give you a chill as the Jedi battle the undead. Then there’s the Geonosian worms themselves. Sci-fi’s full of nasty alien parasites, but the worms prove that size isn’t everything. Despite how small they are, they’re a force to be reckoned with, and the way they take over their hosts is nothing short of terrifying.
And in case you were wondering, no, Force users are not immune to these little monsters. For once, I’m glad all of this was “a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away!”
The Batman vs. Dracula!!
Dracula has been revived, and is set loose on the streets of Gotham! The count wreaks havoc across town, but he didn’t expect to face the Batman! It’s a face-off for the ages between the Dark Knight and the Lord of Vampires! Can Batman save the city from this vampire’s curse or will Gotham truly become a city of bats?
There are some out there that really didn’t like Kids’ WB’s The Batman cartoon, but this movie was actually pretty good. Having Batman use brains and brawn to defeat someone as powerful as Dracula is as cool as it sounds! You really get that Batman’s a bit out of his league but, as per usual, he figures out a way to overcome the impossible. Not to mention, this movie actually has a few moments that really make you jump! The angles and lighting in the animation make the whole thing seem like an actual horror movie. There’s also a cool fight scene between Batman and a vampire Joker!
Sure, it’s not perfect, and sure, some of the dialogue is cheesy, but I think it still works. If you have to watch one thing from this series, I recommend this!
Tell Tale’s The Walking Dead!!
The zombie apocalypse begins in full swing, throwing the whole world into chaos! Our story begins with a small group of survivors, including Lee Everett and a girl named Clementine. On their journey to find shelter they will face many challenges; they will have to make tough decisions, where lives could hang in the balance! Whether they survive or succumb to the zombies, it all comes down to a choice!
Okay, I’m kind of cheating with this one since it’s technically a video game. But a lot of this game relies on its story, so I figured it deserved a spot on this list. It’s like having a completely new season of the show that you can actually influence, and in a way that might make things more intense, since your actions control where the story goes. As the player, it’s your responsibility to make choices in the story, and some of them could spell certain doom for you and your group!
The game makes you care about a lot of these characters, and you want to see everyone get through it. Unfortunately, not every choice is an easy one and sometimes you’ll have to live with the consequences of that choice. Of course, there all the terrifying zombies and enemy survivors to get through.
If you’re fan of The Walking Dead then I definitely recommend this game. It’s a story-rich, zombie-filled, emotional roller coaster that puts you in the driver seat!
Ash vs. Evil Dead!!
[WARNING: THIS NEXT ENTRY IS FOR MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY!]
The awesome, demon-slaying Ash Williams comes out of retirement when evil is set loose on the world yet again! The Deadites are coming, and this time Ash will need a few friends to finally end this once and for all! Together, they’ll slay monsters left and right while trying to find a way to rid the world of the Necronomicon. Time to grab a boomstick and rev up the chainsaw hand!
Ash is back and it is glorious! Blending humor with horror and over-the-top violence, Ash vs. Evil Dead is the kind of show that was made for Halloween. Ash, played by Bruce Campbell, is his normal, awesome (but egocentric) self and his friends also get a bit of the spotlight, too!
Spinning out of the Evil Dead movies doesn’t mean it turned down the blood and gore, either. If anything, it actually upped the ante. Without spoiling too much, lots of people die in this series and each death is more gruesome than the last. Normally, I’d recommend popcorn with any of these entries, but with this you might just lose your lunch! Still, if you’re looking for some humor this Halloween, then Ash vs. Evil Dead is as hilarious as it is violent and gory!
Did you like my entries for this list? What do you like to watch on Halloween? Any suggestions? Let me know below!