For the final part in my “Series Saturday’s” for 31 Days of Halloween, I wanted to compile all my favorite spooky television episodes. I always looked forward to the Halloween specials—still do—and some remain a must-watch for me every October. So here are some of my picks!
Big Wolf on Campus (1999 to 2002)
We’re starting the list off strong with an entire series since there’s no Halloween-centric episode in Big Wolf on Campus. Because every day is Halloween when you’re a teen wolf! This was my absolute favorite show as a kid, and one I’d run home after school to watch.
The series followed high school football captain Tommy Dawkins (Brandon Quinn) who after being bitten by a werewolf, befriends the school outcast and goth king Merton J. Dingle (Danny Smith). The two go up against a ton of classic monsters and ghouls, from Medusa to vampires to werewolf slayers, while hilarity ensues. It’s peak 90s/early-00s and I was thrilled to recently find every episode available on YouTube.
Supernatural – “Monster Movie” (Oct 16th, 2008)
Moving onto another favorite series of mine Supernatural. While it had a fantastic Halloween episode in season 4 titled “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester“, they had an even better spooky tale a couple of weeks prior.
As Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) investigate murders during Oktoberfest, they are stunned when reports seem to mimic Universal Classic Monsters, like The Mummy and Dracula. It’s a hilarious episode where everyone seems to be having the best time. I also love that it’s completely in black and white, really embodying the films it’s referencing.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer – “Halloween” (Oct 27, 1997) & “Fear Itself” (Oct 26, 1999)
The Scooby Gang dealt with a lot of spooky things over seven seasons on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but these two episodes were some of the best. First was the season 2 gem aptly titled “Halloween” where Buffy, in a bid to impress her mysterious vampire boyfriend Angel, dresses like a noblewoman. But when a spell turns everyone in Sunnydale into their costumes, The Slayer is unable to fend off the swarms of monsters. Season 2 is filled with stellar episodes, but this trick-or-treat mischief is perfection.
But the series didn’t only provide one great episode for All Hollows Eve. In season 4, Buffy and friends head to their first college costume party in “Fear Itself” where again, a spell creates mayhem as the house transforms into the ultimate haunted dwelling. It’s creepy, a little funny (Anya’s “scary” bunny costume), and another shining episode in a fantastic show.
Are You Afraid of the Dark – “The Tale of the Dead Man’s Float” (Oct 7, 1995)
I don’t think a more terrifying episode of children’s television exists than “Dead Man’s Float”, the season 5 premiere of Are You Afraid of the Dark. After finding an abandoned swimming pool in his school, and petitioning for it to be reopened, geeky Zeke and his crush Clorice uncover the horrifying reason it was closed in the first place. While not a Halloween-themed episode per se, it kicked off October ’95 with the most frightening creature.
Boy Meets World – “And Then There Was Shawn” (Feb 27, 1998)
The wholesome series took on the slasher genre with its Scream-inspired episode, with guest star I Know What You Did Last Summer‘s Jennifer Love Hewitt as the iconic Jennifer Love Fefferman. There are plenty of references throughout and though (again) not a Halloween episode, it’s a spooky one I’ll forever remember fondly.
Goosebumps – “Attack of the Jack-O’-Lanterns” (Oct 26, 1996)
Now I know most will pick a certain monstrous mask as their favorite from Goosebumps, but this one is just so underrated in my opinion. Every kid dreams of endless trick-or-treating with massive amounts of candy, but that quickly turns into a nightmare for Drew and her friends. While not the scariest one, this episode is one I still have to watch every year.
The Vampire Diaries – “Haunted” (Oct 29, 2009)
I’m not the biggest Vampire Diaries fan—I was one of those people who quickly tuned out once Nina Dobrev left—but I did enjoy most of the first few seasons, including episode 7 with the Mystic Falls Halloween party. I’ll admit it’s mainly fueled by immense jealousy over their school putting on such an epic bash.