Guyssssss! Halloween is right around the corner! I have been indulging in a wide variety of spooky stories throughout the month, films, books, podcasts, shows, the whole nine yards. And I want to share some of the creepy goodness with you. Because, even though we likely can’t party this Oct. 31st (please be safe and smart and don’t go clubbing or bar hopping or any of it), that’s no reason not to celebrate the most frightful night of the year.
I have recently finished The Haunting of Bly Manor. Its ghostly story has made me think about all the other series that center around monsters, witches, and whatever else lurks in the dark. Maybe you’ll find something on here to watch in your blanket fort with a bowl of candy this spooky season.
Happy bingeing and Happy Halloween!
- Monsters: Supernatural
If this isn’t a re-watch for you, then you have at least heard of one of the most popular tv series in history. What started out in 2005 as a monster-of-the-week detective dramedy gradually raises the stakes (no pun intended) until, in later seasons, we put the fate of the entire world in the hands of Sam and Dean Winchester (played by Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles). The brothers are on a mission to find their missing father and later take on his job as full-time monster hunters and supernatural crime detectives all over the continental US. The cast is insanely charismatic and even though the show likes to mix a wide variety of genres, there is always a distinct Supernatural atmosphere to it. Whether you like ghouls, ghosts, wendigos, demons, or literal Lucifer, this series has you covered. Personally, I think season 7 has some of the most creative stories to offer and damn, I’m kind of hyped to watch it again. Like, right now.
- Witches: The Secret Circle
More a blip on the radar of spooky shows than an actual staple, The Secret Circle is not remembered particularly well. But for some reason it has stuck in my mind since its release in 2011. Only half of season one actually aired on American tv but I honestly couldn’t tell you why. It has a similar feel to The Vampire Diaries, there is some seriously unnecessary romance drama, dumb but entertaining protagonists, and a bad boy™ to get teen hearts aflutterin’. When Cassie (Britt Robertson) moves to small-town Washington, she discovers she’s a witch and part of a coven involved with several families’ sordid histories. Some parts are genuinely creepy and, as opposed to TVD, I did actually watch it for the plot. Shame it only has one season. BUT! It is based on a book series, so maybe a cheeky watch will lead to a cheeky read for you.
- Vampires: True Blood
One of my all-time favorite tv series despite (or maybe because of) its blatant trashiness. And dare I say, it is probably the best live-action vampire show in recent history. Here are a few of my thoughts on vampires as a genre, if you’re interested. True Blood takes place in rural Louisiana – which should be a genre in itself – shortly after the existence of vampires has been revealed to the human public. But not in a strictly monstrous way, rather the goal is to have vamps integrate into human society. Human protagonist Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) gets swept up in vampire dealings and, well, it’s blood, fangs, and rock’n’roll from there on. My favourite is season 3, where the gang goes up against a pompous older vamp (played by Denis O’Hare) before splitting apart, which makes for a great cliff hanger. Little disclaimer though, this is an HBO show, so expect some explicit sex scenes and maybe don’t watch it with your parents. True Blood is also based on a book series, the Southern Vampire Mysteries aka the Sookie Stackhouse novels. I have read four of them and they’re pretty good but follow a different storyline than the show after book/season 4.
- Werewolves: Teen Wolf
Ok fine, this show isn’t scary. Like, at all. But there are some wild, disturbing elements in it (hello, chimera) and season 4 is legit creepy – well done, Dylan O’Brian! It’s a fluffy, funny teen dramedy with some of the best friendships and character relationships in the young adult genre. The show follows average-Joe high school boy Scott McCall (Tyler Posey) after he was bitten by a werewolf and has been thrown into the dangerous supernatural underbelly of Beacon Hills. Now, he and his group of friends have to battle it out with a cornucopia of monsters and monster hunters for 6 seasons. The writing is hella creative and the core characters truly lovable. You don’t even need to be in a spooky mood to watch it, so keep this one in the backlog for literally every other month of the year. That’s how convinced I am of this series’ underappreciated greatness.
Honorable mention: Beyond Belief – Fact or Fiction
Most recent anthology shows deal with one story per episode. Not Beyond Belief (among German viewers better known as X-Factor). Four different stories crammed into each episode, all narrated by Jonathan Frakes, made you question the very fabric of reality… or at least made you laugh out loud at the ridiculousness of the whole low-budget paranormal mystery shebang. Honestly, most people probably only watched for the host and his interrogation after each segment – a compilation of which I got right here (beware, it feels a lot like speed-dating).
If you don’t feel like committing time and energy to an entire season of a series, why not turn to this oldie-but-goldie? Some spooks, some chuckles, what more could you want from a chill October evening?
Have a fantastically happy Halloween, dear ghoulish, ghostisch, goblinish readers and don’t forget to do the Monster Mash at midnight!
And tag us in your photos if you give any of these recommendations a go this Oct 31st! (@ scapegraceheroine on IG)