It is customary in many cultures to honor the dead and celebrate their life. These cultural celebrations come in many forms and hold many names. In America, we call it Halloween. Halloween is a spooktastic holiday that comes only once a year and falls on October 31st. Halloween embodies an eerie feel and possesses a flare for all things that go bump in the night. In order to properly identify an American Halloween it must possess one or all of the following characteristics: creatures and monsters, magic, myth, legend, spooky ookys, and (of course) candy.
In Germany, they put away their knives in an attempt to reduce the risk of harm (from those alive or the returning spirits). Asian countries make offerings or sacrifices while also hosting festivals to honor those that have passed. The South American, Spainish and Mexican populace celebrates Día de los Muertos, a holiday that combines the more western tradition of fun and frivolity with the more meaningful homage to the dead.
Halloween is a combination of the terms Hallow, meaning “to honor as holy,” and eve, which is the evening before a special day. In this instance, the special day in question is November 1st. Halloween falls on the eve of All Saints Day which is a Roman Catholic holiday hallowing the holy saints. It is also the mark of the end of the harvest season and the transition into the winter months.
Just How Much Do I Love Halloween?
As a fanatic for all things spooky, creepy, thrilling, and dark (a trait that goes back generations in my family), Halloween is my favorite holiday. I mean, I am creepy and spooky all the time but Halloween makes it normal and socially accepted behavior. Because of this, I simply cannot justify taking a singular day out of the 365 in each year to celebrate the spooky. One? That’s it, that’s all I get? Lame. So instead, I use the entire month of October as my Halloween.
The Eves of All Hallows Eve
After taking into account my considerable fondness for the Halloween time of year, it is only fitting that I create something to pay homage to this multi-cultured tradition. I call it “The 31 Eves of Halloween.” Which is also referred to as All Hallows Eve. Every year, for a few years now, I have compiled a list of 31 movies that I feel are absolute must-watch films for the Halloween season. Since its inception, I have shared it with family and friends, and now I will be sharing it with you. Here are the rules comin’ at ya!
The Rules of the Game
Each day (31 Days) has been given a film. The game is scored according to how many films you watch. If you watch a film from the list of the 31 films that is one point for each film you watch. If you watch that film on its designated day then you get two points. You can also create bonus films within the horror, thriller, or general creepy category that can count for additional points (usually 3 points). The final film, Halloween, is the biggest point reel which earns you 5 points for watching it on Halloween (just 1 point if watched any other day). The person with the most points on November 1st is then crowned The Hallowed of All Hallows.
The 31 Eves of Halloween
Here is the film list along with the corresponding dates for the Hallowed Films:
October 1st: Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
Directed by Tobe Hooper. Starring Marilyn Burns, Edwin Neal, & Allen Danziger. Two siblings and three of their friends en route to visit their grandfather’s grave in Texas end up falling victim to a family of cannibalistic psychopaths. Watch Trailer.
October 2nd: Fright Night (1985)
Directed by Tom Holland. Starring Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale, & Amanda Bearse. A horror-obsessed teenager discovers that his next door neighbor is a murderous vampire. He tries to convince the police, his family, and friends but to no avail. Now, he must take matters into his own hands. Watch Trailer.
October 3rd: Carrie (1976)
Directed by Brian de Palma. Starring Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, & Amy Irving. Carrie White, a shy, friendless teenage girl who is sheltered by her domineering, religious mother, unleashes her telekinetic powers after being humiliated by her classmates at her senior prom. Watch Trailer.
October 4th: Poltergeist (1982)
Directed by Tobe Hooper. Starring JoBeth Williams, Heather O’Rourke, & Craig T. Nelson. A family’s home is haunted by a host of ghosts. Watch Trailer.
October 5th: Coraline (2009)
Directed by Henry Selick. Starring Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, & John Hodgman. An adventurous 11-year-old girl finds another world that is a strangely idealized version of her frustrating home, but it has sinister secrets. Watch Trailer.
October 6th: The Exorcist (1973)
Directed by William Friedkin. Starring Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, & Linda Blair. When a teenage girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter. Watch Trailer.
October 7th: Edward Scissorhands (1990)
Directed by Time Burton. Starring Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, & Dianne Wiest. A gentle man, with scissors for hands, is brought into a new community after living in isolation. Watch Trailer.
October 8th: IT (2017)
Directed by Andy Muschietti. Starring Bill Skarsgård, Jaeden Lieberher, & Finn Wolfhard. In the summer of 1989, a group of bullied kids band together to destroy a shapeshifting monster, which disguises itself as a clown and preys on the children of Derry, their small Maine town. Watch Trailer.
October 9th: A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Directed by Wes Craven. Starring Heather Langenkamp, Johnny Depp, & Robert Englund. The monstrous spirit of a slain janitor seeks revenge by invading the dreams of teenagers whose parents were responsible for his untimely death. Watch Trailer.
October 10th: Beetlejuice (1988)
Directed by Tim Burton. Starring Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, & Michael Keaton. When a recently-deceased ghost couple find their now-vacant home invaded by an obnoxious family, they hire a sleazy ghost who gets rid of humans to help them. Watch Trailer.
October 11th: Corpse Bride (2005)
Directed by Tim Burton and Mike Johnson. Starring Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, & Emily Watson. When a shy groom practices his wedding vows in the inadvertent presence of a deceased young woman, she rises from the grave assuming he has married her. Watch Trailer.
October 12th: Hotel Transylvania (2012)
Directed by Genndy Tartakovsky. Starring Adam Sandler, Kevin James, & Andy Samberg. Dracula, who operates a high-end resort away from the human world, goes into overprotective mode when a boy discovers the resort and falls for the count’s teenaged daughter. Watch Trailer.
October 13th: Friday the 13th (1980)
Directed by Sean S. Cunningham. Starring Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, & Jeannine Taylor. A group of camp counselors are stalked and murdered by an unknown assailant while trying to reopen a summer camp which, years before, was the site of a child’s drowning. Watch Trailer.
October 14th: Saturday the 14th (1981)
Directed by Howard R. Cohen. Starring Richard Benjamin, Paula Prentiss, & Jeffrey Tambor. A family moves into a house inhabited by scary creatures and a number of close calls ensue. Watch Trailer.
October 15th: Young Frankenstein (1974)
Directed by Mel Brooks. Starring Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn, & Marty Feldman. An American grandson of the infamous scientist, struggling to prove that his grandfather was not as insane as people believe, is invited to Transylvania, where he discovers the process that reanimates a dead body. Watch Trailer.
October 16th: Hocus Pocus (1993)
Directed by Kenny Ortega. Starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, & Kathy Najimy. After three centuries, three witch sisters are resurrected in Salem, Massachusetts on Halloween night, and it is up to two teenagers, a young girl, and an immortal cat to put an end to their reign of terror once and for all. Watch Trailer.
October 17th: Halloweentown (1998)
Directed by Duwayne Dunham. Starring Debbie Reynolds, Kimberly J. Brown, & Judith Hoag. After learning she is a witch, a girl helps save a town full of other supernatural creatures. Watch Trailer.
October 18th: Ghostbusters (1984)
Directed by Ivan Reitman. Starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, & Sigourney Weaver. Three former parapsychology professors set up shop as a unique ghost removal service. Watch Trailer.
October 19th: The Conjuring (2013)
Directed by James Wan. Starring Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, & Ron Livingston. Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren work to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in their farmhouse. Watch Trailer.
October 20th: Child’s Play (1988)
Directed by Tom Holland. Starring Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon, & Alex Vincent. A single mother gives her son a much sought-after doll for his birthday, only to discover that it is possessed by the soul of a serial killer. Watch Trailer.
October 21st: Practical Magic (1998)
Directed by Griffin Dunne. Starring Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman, & Stockard Channing. Two witch sisters, raised by their eccentric aunts in a small town, face closed-minded prejudice and a curse which threatens to prevent them ever finding lasting love. Watch Trailer.
October 22nd: The Addams Family (1991)
Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld. Starring Anjelica Huston, Raul Julia, & Christopher Lloyd. Con artists plan to fleece an eccentric family using an accomplice who claims to be their long-lost uncle. Watch Trailer.
October 23rd: The Shining (1980)
Directed by Stanley Kubrik. Starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, & Danny Lloyd. A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future. Watch Trailer.
October 24th: Psycho (1960)
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Starring Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, & Vera Miles. A Phoenix secretary embezzles $40,000 from her employer’s client, goes on the run, and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother. Watch Trailer.
October 25th: Nosferatu (1922)
Directed by F.W. Murnau. Starring Max Schreck, Alexander Granach, & Gustav von Wangenheim. Vampire Count Orlok expresses interest in a new residence and real estate agent Hutter’s wife. Watch Trailer.
October 26th: Casper (1995)
Directed by Brad Silberling. Starring Bill Pullman, Christina Ricci, & Cathy Moriarty. A paranormal expert and his daughter bunk in an abandoned house populated by three mischievous ghosts and one friendly one. Watch Trailer.
October 27th: The Craft (1996)
Directed by Andrew Fleming. Starring Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk, & Neve Campbell. A newcomer to a Catholic prep high school falls in with a trio of outcast teenage girls who practice witchcraft and they all soon conjure up various spells and curses against those who even slightly anger them. Watch Trailer.
October 28th: The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
Directed by Jim Sharman. Starring Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, & Barry Bostwick. A newly engaged couple have a breakdown in an isolated area and must pay a call to the bizarre residence of Dr. Frank-N-Furter. Watch Trailer.
October 29th: Saw (2004)
Directed by James Wan. Starring Cary Elwes, Leigh Whannell, & Danny Glover. Two strangers, who awaken in a room with no recollection of how they got there, soon discover they’re pawns in a deadly game perpetrated by a notorious serial killer. Watch Trailer.
October 30th: The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Directed by Henry Selick. Starring Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, & Catherine O’Hara. Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town, discovers Christmas Town, but his attempts to bring Christmas to his home causes confusion. Watch Trailer.
October 31st: Halloween (1978)
Directed by John Carpenter. Starring Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, & Tony Moran. Fifteen years after murdering his sister on Halloween night 1963, Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield to kill again. Watch Trailer.
There may be those who want to play but are a loner ghost like Casper. That’s perfectly okay, Geek Insider created a Bonus Play option. Or, for those peeps who want a side of Halloween to go with their main course of Halloween. Follow Jason by clicking to get to the 31 Eves of Halloween Bingo Card. Each card is auto-generated from the 31 films above. P.S. It can also be used as a drinking game in case that is something you are into (I am).