Halloween is usually when sci-fi, fantasy and horror TV shows take the terror up a notch. In celebration of this—and for the 7th of our 31 posts for the 31 days of Halloween—here are 51 of our favorite special Halloween episodes of beloved TV shows.
1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, "Halloween"
Halloween is a huge night for Slayers accidentally attacking children.
2. Charmed, "All Halliwell's Eve"
Halloween is also the time for horrific puns.
3. The Addams Family, "Halloween with the Addams Family"
This sounds a lot more fun than "St. Patrick's Day with that murderous leprechaun."
4. Knight Rider: Halloween Knight
This episode has many shout-outs to Psycho, but we never get to see K.I.T.T. buried in a swamp.
5. Monsters vs. Aliens, "Mutant Pumpkins from Outer Space" (2009)
In a show with monsters and aliens, does introducing pumpkins really up the stakes?
6. Chuck, "Chuck Versus the Sandworm" (2007)
We thought "Chuck Versus the Sandworm" was just going to be about how lonely Chuck is.
7. Chuck, "Chuck Versus the Aisle of Terror" (2010)
An even scarier aisle is the one with the useless $50 cables at the electronics store.
8. Kim Possible, "October 31"
Fans tuned in to find out if this was the episode where Kim finally became ashamed of going out in public wearing nothing but a cropped tank top.
9. Sabrina the Teenage Witch, "Murder on the Halloween Express" (2001)
Anyone else notice that Sabrina stopped being a teenager about halfway through this series?
10. Invader Zim, "Halloween Spectacular of Spooky Doom" (2001)
We imagine the creators of this show trick-or-treated for psychedelics.
11. MacGyver, "Ghost Ship" (1987)
"Did you know that combining peanut butter and chocolate creates a powerful explosive"?
12. MacGyver, "The Secret of Parker House" (1988)
Teri Hatcher reprises her role as "that gorgeous lady who MacGyver never hits on."
13. MacGyver, "Halloween Knights" (1989)
MacGyver negotiates a series of traps. Fortunately, they are needlessly complicated enough for MacGyver to disarm them.
14. Sabrina the Teenage Witch, "The Halloween Scene" (2000)
Was anyone else disappointed when Sabrina didn't get accepted to Hogwarts?
15. Amazing Stories, "Mummy, Daddy" (1985)
Sometimes we wonder if the writers make up the punny title, first, then write the episode around that.
16. Dark Angel, "Boo" (2001)
This was probably about the time Jessica Alba realized she could make a good career playing comic book characters.
17. Dead Like Me, "Haunted" (2004)
On Halloween, don't die on somebody's lawn. You could be there for days before someone realizes you're not a decoration.
18. Sabrina the Teenage Witch, "Episode LXXXI: The Phantom Menace" (1999)
It's sad that, in twenty years, no one will know what the title is referring to. Maybe it's not that sad, actually.
19. FlashForward "Scary Monsters and Super Creeps" (2009)
When you have a show based on a book about advanced particle physics, the kid-themed episodes must be a hard sell.
20. Freddy's Nightmares "Freddy's Tricks and Treats" (1988)
This show was not as disastrous as Freddy's late-night talk show, "Up All Night (So We Don't Die), with Freddy Kreuger."
21. Friday the 13th: The Series, "Hellowe'en" (1987)
This show has no connection to, nor does it feature Jason Vorhees. This is the second time this has happened to us, the other time being when we saw "Avatar: the Last Airbender," and were disappointed with the lack of blue people.
22. Ghost Whisperer, "Head Over Heels" (2009)
I wonder if the friends of Jennifer Love Hewitt's character like to dress up as dead people and whisper to her, as a joke.
23. Sabrina the Teenage Witch, "Good Will Haunting" (1998)
We kept waiting for the episode where Sabrina gets blood poured on her and destroys the prom.
24. Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, "Mummy Dearest" (1996)
Hercules was that show people watched because, for a minute, they thought it was Xena: Warrior Princess
25. Medium, "Bite Me" (2009)
Despite the title of this episode, nobody travels back in time 20 years to when people actually said, "bite me."
26. Millennium, "The Curse of Frank Black" (1997)
Oddly enough, this episode has nothing to do with the lead singer of the Pixies.
27. Quantum Leap, "The Boogieman" (1990)
This episode features many references to Stephen King novels, but still nothing's scarier than Al jumping at you out of nowhere.
28. Reaper, "Leon" (2007)
Halloween must be depressing for Satan. You work for centuries to make your holiday all scary, and then it just becomes a sugary kid-fest.
29. Star Trek, "Catspaw" (1967)
How does one bring about Halloween themes on a space show? Nobody knows, so they put the crew on a planet with a haunted castle.
30. Supernatural, "It's the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester" (2008)
Behold the scariness that was the WB's 2008 programming lineup.
31. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, "Band Candy" (1998)
If only Sunnydale residents would give out garlic-flavored candy, this whole Hellmouth mess could be done with.
32. Bewitched, "The Witches Are Out" (1964)
Halloween night is the one night of the year Samantha can go out without being called, "Jeannie."
33. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, "All the Way" (2001)
The next morning, all citizens who gave out raisins instead of candy were found mysteriously dead.
34. Angel, "Life of the Party" (2003)
A little-known side benefit of being a vampire is never needing to shop for a Halloween costume.
35. Bewitched, "Twitch or Treat" (1966)
As a witch, Samantha must constantly resist the urge to lure trick-or-treaters into her oven.
36. Charmed, "Kill Billie: Vol I" (2005)
When you're a witch you still need a Halloween costume, because "hag" just doesn't look sexy.
37. Ghost Hunters, "Stanley Hotel Halloween Special" (2006)
You'd think there would be one or two "fame whore" ghosts that would want to appear on camera as much as they could.
38. The Vampire Diaries, "Haunted" (2009)
Perhaps the biggest horror is how vampires have been totally nerfed in the last five years.
39. Bewitched, "The Safe and Sane Halloween" (1967)
The use of "safe and sane" in the title makes us wonder if a tipsy Samantha recently crashed her broomstick.
40. Sabrina the Teenage Witch, "A River of Candy Corn Runs Through It" (1997)
Beth Broderick played a 500-year-old, but she didn't look a day over 55.
41. The Vampire Diaries, "Masquerade" (2010)
Do vampires even like Halloween candy? We would expect tooth decay to be a top concern for them.
42. 3rd Rock from the Sun, "Scaredy Dick" (1997)
How come aliens in TV shows always want to observe us? Are they trying to learn the secrets of not having interstellar travel?
43. Ghost Hunters, "Waverly Hills Sanatorium Halloween Special" (2007)
This celebrates the year when, instead of treats, everyone gave each other tuberculosis.
44. The New Addams Family, "Halloween With the Addams Family" (1998)
Even with turn-of-the-millennium technology, we still can't give a body to Thing.
45. Sabrina the Teenage Witch, "A Halloween Story" (1996)
Instead of decorating for Halloween, witches can just let the spiders in their house run free, spinning webs for the sixth months prior to the holiday.
46. Wizards of Waverly Place, "Halloween" (2009)
It takes bewitched magic to have a residential place in Greenwich Village.
47. The Addams Family, "Halloween, Addams Style" (1965)
The best costume is when Cousin It pulls his hair into a ponytail, and no one recognizes his real face.
48. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, "Fear, Itself" (1999)
Self-loathing slayers dress as vampires for Halloween.
49. Bewitched, "Trick or Treat"
The entire show's premise is dated: Anyone with sorcery powers would obviously get their own reality TV show, today.
50. Ghost Hunters, "Fort Delaware Halloween Special" (2008)
They try to track down the ghosts that spirited all of the fun out of Delaware.
51. Bewitched: "To Trick or Treat or Not to Trick or Treat" (1969)
If you're talking about Samantha's house, the answer is, "Not to trick or treat." All you get is astronaut ice cream and eye of newt cookies.