October is finally upon us — and that means the witching hour has officially begun!
For those of you who like to get in the spirit of the Halloween season, TV offers options aplenty, from new original frightfests, to high-brow classic masterpieces, to re-airings of your favorite cheesy slasher flicks. There's something for every fan coming along this month.
Here's a handy guide for what to watch this October in preparation for Halloween — no tricks, just treats.
It's time to return to Hawkins, Indiana for another round of frightening fun as Stranger Things returns for a second season on October 27. The pastiche program will revisit the Hawkins kids (and the adults) as they grapple with the fallout of Eleven's (Millie Bobby Brown) disappearance after defeating (?) the Demogorgon in Season 1.
Netflix will also add a few new horror flicks to the menu this month, including Raw, Cult of Chucky, and Donnie Darko. Check here for a full list of Netflix's October offerings.
The Simpson's Treehouse of Horror XXVIII
Even the most casual viewer of The Simpsons knows that the show's "Treehouse of Horror" specials are worth the watch. This year marks the 28th animated adventure into the macabre, and it looks like the show will be drawing some button-eyed inspiration from Coraline, in addition to having Maggie endure an exorcism. The special will air at Fox on October 27.
The David S. Pumpkins Halloween Special
Tom Hanks will be reprising his smash hit Saturday Night Live role as "David S. Pumpkins" for a full-on special at NBC, with an assist from Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage. If you loved learning all about haunted elevators and such the first time around, this one will be a must-see on October 28.
Michael Jackson's Halloween
If Michael Jackson's "Thriller" is your go-to musical anthem for this time of year, then you are in luck. This year brings an hour-long animated special devoted to that song and others, titled Michael Jackson's Halloween. The special will feature the King of Pop's music as the soundtrack to the story of two kids and a dog who accidentally embark on a haunted hotel adventure. The kicker? We can expect to see MJ's moves in cartoon format by the end of this special, which lands on CBS on October 27.
SpongeBob SquarePants: The Legend of Boo Kini Bottom
For those with little ones, the Halloween-themed episode of SpongeBob SquarePants might be a suitable alternative to all the gore and grit as well. The episode will feature the title character and his sea pals celebrating the season with some choice costumes and neighborhood decorations ... until the ghost of the Flying Dutchman comes along. The special will air on Nickelodeon on October 13.
AMC will bring back its "Fearfest" marathon series this year, with film series like Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Child's Play, Leprachaun, and Dawn of the Dead informing this year's cinematic lineup, which launches on the network starting October 23 and lasting up until Halloween day.
Syfy's 31 "Days of Halloween"
Syfy will also be celebrating the spooky season with its "31 Days of Halloween" run, which will feature new original content like Channel Zero: Candle Cove and Day of Reckoning as well as the airing of creepy films like The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Drag Me to Hell, Silent Hill, and Trick 'R Treat. Unlike some of the others of its ilk, Syfy's occupying the whole month of October with its Halloween-friendly fare, starting today, October 1.
Freeform's "13 Nights of Halloween"
There's something for everyone, and ABC's Freeform will be offering up some of the more family-friendly Halloween movie mainstays, like Hocus Pocus, The Addams Family, Sleepy Hollow, and Frankenweenie. during its "13 Nights of Halloween" run, which kicks off on October 19.
Disney Channel's "Monstober"
For those little ones who are still young enough to agree to a pudgy pumpkin costume, the Disney Channel will also be participating in the festivities this year with "Monstober," with programs like Girl Vs. Monster, Monsters University, and The Scariest Story Ever: A Mickey Mouse Halloween Spooktacular.
TCM's "Classic Horror: Tuesdays in October"
Turner Classic Movies will give film buffs some serious satisfaction with a week theatrical throwback series devoted to the decades spanning from the '30s to the '60s. The line-up for the network's "Classic Horror: Tuesdays in October" schedule includes films like Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, House on Haunted Hill and more. The network will also devote Sundays to the "Monster of the Month," Dracula, which means the litany of bloodsucker-centric films will be aired on that day each week, from the 1897 pic Dracula on up to 1972's Dracula A.D.