Halloween Movies Collage with A Babysitter's Guide to Monster Hunting, Night Books, Hocus Pocus 2, and We Have a Ghost

The Best Halloween Movies to Watch if You Love ‘Hocus Pocus’

Spooky season is here, which means viewers across the globe will be watching reruns of the cult classic Halloween movie Hocus Pocus. When Disney debuted Hocus Pocus in 1993, it didn’t perform very well commercially or critically. However, with Disney Channel annually playing reruns of Hocus Pocus every Halloween, the film was rediscovered and gained a loyal fanbase. The film has grown so much in popularity over the years that Disney+ released a long-awaited sequel, Hocus Pocus 2, in 2022.

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Hocus Pocus is family-friendly, a little off-kilter, and wildly hilarious, with just enough spookiness, witches, and spells to fill viewers with the Halloween spirit. The film is perfect for viewers looking for something less gritty than the typical horror film to ring in the Halloween season. Here are more classic, spooky, and silly Halloween movies like Hocus Pocus to add to your Halloween traditions.

Hocus Pocus 2

Kathy Najimy, Bette Midler, and Sarah Jessica Parker as the Sanderson Sisters in Hocus Pocus 2

Hocus Pocus 2 successfully tells a new tale while bringing back all the best elements of its predecessor. Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy slip seamlessly back into their roles as the Sanderson sisters as if no time has passed at all. They are absolutely delightful, hilarious, and heartwarming. The younger cast is also quite compelling, especially in paralleling the Sanderson sisters. In addition to the humor and fun Halloween elements regarding witches, black cats, and zombies, it packs an emotional punch in the end, making it perfect for anyone looking for a family-friendly and entertaining film that delves emotionally into the bond of sisters.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Jack Skellington in The Nightmare Before Christmas

No one ever really agrees about whether The Nightmare Before Christmas is a Halloween or Christmas movie, so you’ll just have to watch it for both holidays. The Nightmare Before Christmas is a stop-motion animated film from the brilliantly dark and gothic mind of Tim Burton that premiered on October 13, 1993. The film follows Jack Skellington (Chris Sarandon & Danny Elfman), the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, who becomes enthralled with Christmas after learning about the holiday. His preoccupation with Christmas leads to him getting Halloween Town to take over Christmas.


The cast of Disney's Halloweentown

Halloweentown is a family-friendly film that celebrates the spirit of Halloween—filled with the typical witches, broomsticks, and magical spells. However, it is also the tale of a family learning to embrace the magic and spirit of Halloween. In the beginning, the Piper matriarch, Gwen (Judith Hoag), is very averse to anything Halloween or magic-related. As time passes, though, she grows more understanding of her daughter’s unique abilities and how unreasonable it is to shield her children from Halloween. Halloweentown is a whimsical and sweet film that reminds parents to let their kids experience the joy of the holiday.


michael keaton
(Warner Bros.)

Over the years, Beetlejuice has risen to attain cult status and is a film enjoyed year-round, not just on Halloween. Still, considering its dark and gothic tones, it is a bizarre and comedic horror film perfect for the spooky season. The performances are strong; Keaton’s performance as Betelgeuse is one of his best, and the film is surprisingly funny and poignant despite the dark material. Meanwhile, Beetlejuice turned pretty much every film convention of the time on its head with its unique premise. Beetlejuice is the perfect Halloween film for viewers looking for something moderately macabre and a bit bizarre (while still boasting depth).

Addams Family Values

Addams Family Values

What Addams Family Values does right is that it does away with the earlier films’ more lighthearted, comedic tones and truly celebrates a family that enjoys being macabre and off-kilter. The film is a dark comedy that puts a comedic spin on topics of murder, torture, and vengeance. Also, the cast, especially Anjelica Huston and Raul Julia, boast solid performances. Ultimately, if you’re looking to celebrate Halloween with a classic film filled with macabre glee, Addams Family Values fits the bill.

Haunted Mansion (2023)

Rosario Dawson as Gabbie, Tiffany Haddish as Harriet, LaKeith Standfield as Ben, and Owen Wilson as Father Kent in Haunted Mansion
(Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Although Haunted Mansion was largely panned by audiences and flopped at the box office, it was an underrated film. Its storyline is surprisingly deep as it delves quite poignantly into grief. In the film, Ben Matthias (LaKeith Stanfield) is grieving the loss of his wife, and much of the storyline focuses on how he finds the power to resist spirits’ calls to the other side and finds comfort and companionship with an unexpected group of strangers. Even though there are many funny antics with ghosts roaming the Haunted Mansion, the film is careful to respect and speak to those grieving. The sophisticated storyline will appeal to older audiences, but there are also a lot of hilarious moments from the film’s vibrant and wildly talented cast to keep those of all ages intrigued.

We Have a Ghost

David Harbour as Ernest and Anthony Mackie as Frank in We Have a Ghost

We Have a Ghost is a very fun movie, elevated by the performances of Anthony Mackie, Harbour, and Tig Notaro. It has more comedy than horror elements and even plays out more like a mystery as the family works backward to discover what happened to Ernest. Given that it’s about someone rediscovering their life when they were living, there are a few emotional moments. The humor sometimes outweighs the horror, drama, and mystery, though, making it difficult to take it seriously and see what the film truly wants to be. However, the cast is strong enough, and the premise is unique enough to make it an entertaining Halloween film.


Winslow Fegley as Alex and Lidya Jewett as Yasmin in Nightbooks

Nightbooks boasts a dark and unique premise and actually succeeds in being scary while still being safe for young viewers. The dark fairy tale elements are very intriguing, and its lead cast—Fegley, Krysten Ritter, and Lidya Jewett—are immensely talented, allowing for compelling and charming characters. With horror elements, strong performances, and a touch of fairy tale magic, Nightbooks is quite the Halloween film that will resonate with audiences of all ages.

A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting

Tamara Smart as Kelly, Ian Ho as Jacob, Oona Laurence as Liz in A Babysitter's Guide to Monster Hunting

A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting is a very fun, lighthearted, and imaginative Halloween-esque film. It captures those Halloween elements like monsters and nightmares without ever delving too far into scary territory. Hence, it’s enjoyable for all ages and has some of that same campy and humorous charm as Hocus Pocus. Ultimately, it’s a mild but entertaining film, perfect for families to get into the Halloween spirit.

Hubie Halloween

Adam Sandler in Hubie Halloween

Hubie Halloween isn’t for everyone, but if you’re a Sandler fan looking for a family-friendly Halloween comedy, the film will prove quite enjoyable. Sandler is as funny as ever in his role as Hubie, which almost seems like a reprisal of his role as Bobby Butcher in Waterboy. Meanwhile, the film is practically bursting at the seams with cameos. Seriously, Hubie Halloween stars nearly everyone in Hollywood, from big-time actors like Ray Liotta and Ben Stiller all the way to former Disney channel stars like Karan Brar and Bradley Steven Perry. It boasts great nostalgia, typical Sander antics, and a lovely Halloween setting rife with treats, tricks, and silly costumes.


Matilda (Mara Wilson) celebrates overthrowing the tyrannical Ms. Trunchbull in Matilda.
(TriStar Pictures)

As a family-friendly cult classic that delves into all things magical and odd, Matilda makes a perfect Halloween film. The film is a tad bit dark yet funny, magical, and relatable. This film validates the feelings of any child who has been untreated unkindly by adults and who maybe wished they had the power to teach certain people a lesson. However, it also has smidgens of hope, as a neglected child realizes she isn’t alone in the world. Matilda is dark and offbeat but still manages to be a surprisingly poignant and sweet film.

Casper (1995)

a ghost makes eyes at christina ricci in casper
(Universal Pictures)

Casper is the kind of family-friendly Halloween film that appeals to children and holds deeper themes to appeal to adults. The CGI in the film is also incredible for its time period, and it was one of the first films to feature an entirely CGI lead character. Meanwhile, the film is filled with silly, ghostly antics and hauntings. At the same time, the story is actually surprisingly dark, dealing with topics of death and grief. Ultimately, it’s a Halloween movie that features typical spooky fun while also being a bit sentimental.


Three of the original Ghostbusters all suited up hunting ghosts.
(Columbia Pictures)

Ghostbusters expertly blends comedy and horror genres to create a film that appeals to nearly everyone around the Halloween season. The special effects were compelling for the time, the performances were excellent, and the premise was unique and entertaining. Not to mention, the catchy theme song will live rent-free in your mind for eternity after seeing the film. It has good humor and the right mixture of silliness and creepiness to make it an enjoyable Halloween film, year after year.

(featured image: Netflix / Disney+)

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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.