Let’s be real – this is by no means a definitive list of best – but these are 5 (ish) Halloween episodes of TV that we highly recommend you get around to watching this season.
Read on to find out what’s on our Halloween must watch list!
Buffy the Vampire Slayer “Fear, Itself”
We agreed that Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a must on this list but initially couldn’t decide between two. We quickly decided that “Fear, Itself” would be the the one to make the list.
By its nature, Buffy dealt a lot in fear. Often fear was represented by external forces creating both literal and metaphorical obstacles for our characters to confront, or run from, or both really. In “Fear, Itself”, the greatest fears of the Scooby Gang manifested on Halloween, reeking havoc on their emotional and physical well-being and. It’s a great example of the show utilizing its privileges of fantastical elements to communicate the internal fears, conflicts and motivations of our main characters while minimizing clunky expositional dialogue.
Let’s not get too bogged down in all that – this is still season 4 and therefore the ratio to deep character stuff and trademark Whedon-Wit is far more balanced to the funny. “Fear, Itself” brings campy horror fun with a haunted house frat party at its central set piece. Plus, Anya as a Bunny and Giles in a Sombrero eating candy (and later wielding a chainsaw).
Community “Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps”
This also came down to a close call between two great Halloween themed episodes; season 2’s Zombie outbreak in “Epidemiology” and season 3’s “Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps”.
Trust us, we’ve watched Britta major in psychology at Greendale College, we know what we’re talking about.
In “Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps”, Britta’s psych experiment leads her to believe one of the group is a psychopath and decides that to suss out the psycho by having the group take turns telling a horror story. Community has mastered leveling up the bottle episode, and this one is a ton of fun. Passing the narrative baton gives us seven stories, varying on a theme all from the unique perspective of the teller. Plus, what beats telling scary stories on Halloween?
The Simpsons “Treehouse of Horror”
With so many great Treehouse of Horror episodes, The Simpsons had to make our list. From the repeat appearances of the aliens Kang and Kodos to the insertion of creepy names to replace producers in the credits, Treehouse of Horror sketches were always fun and freaky, and got viewers in the mood for Halloween.
Castle “Vampire Weekend”/”Demons”
At this point in the list we’ve clearly given up on making the tough decisions. It seems that a show that knows how to do a good Halloween outing will do it more than once, so we’re giving Castle two.
I’m fairly certain that during the first 7 minutes of this episode fan girls and boys around the world squeed and tweeted uncontrollably as the geeky references went flying left, right and right into space culminating with Rick Castle costuming as the one and only Captain Mal. Sometimes moments like these read far too meta – but Rick Castle and the show Castle worked this bit into the tone of the show perfectly. Add the Underworld and Buffy references and you’ve got a nice intro to the Halloween spirit.
When a ghostbuster is found dead in New York haunted house, who ya gonna call? “Demons” let loose and had fun with the characters in a fourth season that was getting pretty heavy. The supernatural tinged case gave Beckett a chance to let down her walls enough to let her mischievous side out, play with Castle’s willingness to believe. Playing a skeptic against a believer is a classic trope for a reason, and when it’s done with characters who have as excellent chemistry as Kate & Castle it highlights their personalities and compatibility. For those who aren’t 100% into the ships, the haunted house sets and mystery is a lot of fun to watch the detectives suss out. It’s a little bit creepy without being too scary and mixes up the pairings giving us Beckett/Esposito and Castle/Ryan for a fresh dynamics.
Pushing Daisies “Girth”
Really, any excuse to revisit the crew over at the Pie Hole is a good one. On a chilly October eve, curling up with a slice of pear & gruyere and an episode (or two, or more) of Pushing Daisies. The Pushing Daisies Halloween outing delves into little Olive Snook’s dark past in the sordid world of horse jockeying. Is that enough? There is Olive front and centre with fair helpings of Chuck, Ned, Emmerson as they crack the case of the ghostly horseman.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer “Halloween”
Dead Like Me, “Haunted”
Did we include your favourite – did we miss it – tell us what you love to watch this time of year!
Happy Halloween! – S, J, & H.