Halloween is near which means only one thing – it’s time to get spooky! How does your family get into the Halloween spirit? Here at Playtimes, we love to read books with our little ones and watch movies with our older kids. Check out these family-friendly films and bewitching books to share with your clan this Halloween. We’ve broken them down by age to help you more easily navigate our guide!
Halloween films & TV specials
Find some great age-appropriate spooky movies and TV specials that won’t give the kids nightmares.
Below age 4
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey’s Monster Musical
Mickey, Minnie, and Pluto find themselves stranded after their car breaks down so they head to an old castle and meet Count Mikula. Together, they seek to solve the puzzling mystery of the castle’s haunting banging sound.
Running time: 43 minutes. Suitable for ages 3+.
Super Monsters Vida’s First Halloween
The Super Monsters – little ones who transform into friendly monsters at moonrise – share their Halloween traditions with newcomer Vida. In turn, she brings them to their first Día de los Muertos celebration. For more heartwarming adventures with the mini monsters, tune in to Super Monsters Save Halloween and Día de los Monsters.
Running time: 24 minutes. Suitable for ages 3+. Watch it on Netflix.
True: Tricky Treat Day
After a hungry Yeti eats a forbidden tricky treat, it’s up to True to stop the whole kingdom from being filled with Howling Greenies by feeding them good treats before the moon becomes full.
Running time: 23 minutes. Suitable for ages 4+. Watch it on Netflix.
A Go! Go! Cory Carson Halloween
Up for some daring trick-or-treat adventures, Cory, Chrissy and Freddie head over to the spooky side of town to search for king-sized candy bars.
Running time: 22 minutes. Suitable for ages 4+. Watch it on YouTube.
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
Follow the Peanuts gang in this Charlie Brown classic as they head to a pumpkin patch, go trick-or-treating and stop by (or in Snoopy’s case, crash) a Halloween party.
Running time: 25 minutes. Suitable for ages 4+. Watch it on Apple TV+.
A little girl named Boo finds herself at Monsters, Inc., where monsters generate power by processing children’s screams. Now it’s up to monster friends Sulley and Mike to get her home before it’s too late.
Running time: Suitable for ages 5+. Watch it on Amazon Prime.
Toy Story of TERROR!
The Toy Story gang go out for an adventure when their owner stays overnight at a motel. But when Mr. Potato Head goes missing, they realize that danger lurks just around the corner.
Running time: 21 minutes. Suitable for ages 6+. Watch it on Amazon Prime.
Oddbods: Party Monsters
When a magician unleashes a spell that turns all the Oddsville party guests into their costumed alter egos, Slick has to channel his costume’s inspiration, Sherlock Holmes, to solve the case of breaking the spell.
Running time: 23 minutes. Suitable for ages 6+. Watch it on YouTube.
Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween
Three teens spend their Halloween trying to stop a magical book, which brings characters from the “Goosebumps” novels to life.
Running time: 1h 29m. Find it on Netflix.
Though not traditionally a Halloween movie, Spirited Away tells the story of 10 year old Chihiro Ognio who moves with her family to a new neighbourhood and enters the world consisting of spirits from Japanese Shinto Folklore.
Movie length : 125 minutes. Watch it on Netflix.
The puppy buddies must stop a no-good Halloween hound from sacrificing the souls of five puppies and unleashing evil on the world.
Movie Length: 98 minutes. Watch it on Disney+
Muppets Haunted Mansion
There are high stakes as Muppets Gonzo and Pepe try to stay in a haunted mansion overnight and overcome obstacles.
Movie Length: 49 Minutes. Watch it on Disney+
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Having grown weary of using the same bag of tricks to scare humans every Halloween, “Pumpkin King” Jack Skellington plots to kidnap Santa Claus and take over Christmas. But these plans quickly turn into a nightmare for everyone involved…
Running time: 76 minutes. Suitable for ages 7+. Watch it on Amazon Prime.
The Spooky Tale of Captain Underpants Hack-A-Ween
Best friends Harold and George discover that Melvin has made Halloween illegal, so they decide to take matters into their own hands and hack the holiday with the help of Captain Underpants.
Running time: 46 minutes. Suitable for ages 7+. Watch it on Netflix.
Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician. Following a mysterious chain of events, he finds himself in the stunning and colourful Land of the Dead, unlocking the real story behind his family history.
Running time: 105 minutes. Suitable for ages 7+. Watch it on Amazon Prime.
Hotel Transylvania series
Hotel Transylvania: For his daughter Mavis’s 118th birthday, Dracula has invited all his monster friends to his lavish human-free Hotel Transylvania to celebrate. But when one ordinary human stumbles into the party and falls in love with Mavis, Dracula has to play overprotective dad while protecting his reputation.
Running time: 91 minutes. Suitable for ages 7+. Watch on Netflix.
Hotel Transylvania 2: Mavis and her human husband Jonny have a new baby, Dennis. Dracula looks for proof that his grandson is a vampire and battles with Mavis’ contemplations of raising Dennis away from Hotel Transylvania.
Hotel Transylvania Summer Vacation: When the whole monster crew leave for a Monster cruise ship vacation, it is quickly love at first sight for Dracula when he meets Captain Ericka who proves to be rather mysterious.
Hotel Transylvania 4: Trandormania It’s an unexpected switcheroo when a new invention goes wrong leaving Drac and the Hotel crew as humans and Johnny becomes a monster. Everyone must team up to find a cure to unswitch the switcheroo.
All with an average running time of about 90-100 minutes.
Widower Cedric Brown struggles to handle his seven rambunctious children, who have chased away all their previous nannies. But when the mystical Nanny McPhee arrives, things start to take a turn for the magical.
Running time: 97 minutes. Suitable for ages 7+. Watch it on Amazon Prime.
The Addams Family (2019)
Thirteen years after the kooky Addams family comfortably settle down in their New Jersey mansion, evil reality TV host Margaux Needler discovers their house and stops at nothing to shoo the family out of the neighbourhood. For more spooky entertainment, catch the sequel, The Addams Family 2, in theatres starting October 9.
Running time: 87 minutes. Suitable for ages 7+. Watch it on Amazon Prime.
When afterlife therapist Dr. James Harvey and his daughter Kat move into Whipstaff Manor, they encounter Casper, the friendly ghost, and his three not-so-friendly mischevious uncles.
Running time: 101 minutes. Suitable for ages 8+. Watch it on Amazon Prime.
Shortly after Zach Cooper moves to a small town with his mother, he becomes smitten by next-door neighbour Hannah. Little does he know, Hannah is actually the daughter of bestselling Goosebumps series author R.L. Stine, whose locked manuscripts are filled with monsters that are about to be unleashed into the real world.
Running time: 103 minutes. Suitable for ages 9+. Watch it on Netflix.
Scooby-Doo: The Movie
The Mystery Inc. gang have been apart for two years, but they’re reunited when they each receive an invitation to Spooky Island. Now the crime-solving friends must use their abilities once again to investigate a series of paranormal incidents. Running time: 86 minutes. Suitable for ages 10+. Watch it on Amazon Prime.
Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride
Just as he is about to be married to Victoria, Victor is whisked away to the Land of the Dead by a corpse bride named Emily. Will he make it back to the Land of the Living in time to marry his human love?
Running time: 77 minutes. Suitable for ages 10+. Watch it on Netflix.
Young Norman is the only one in his town who has the uncanny ability to speak with ghosts, so it’s up to him to use his gift to save everyone from a 300-year-old witch’s curse.
Running time: 92 minutes. Suitable for ages 10+. Watch it on Amazon Prime.
Three friends set out to explore their neighbour’s creepy house, only to realize that the house itself is an actual living and breathing monster who has no qualms about attacking people.
Running time: 91 minutes. Suitable for ages 10+. Watch it on Amazon Prime.
A trio of parapsychologists establish a ghost-exterminating business, saving New York City from being overrun by supernatural activity.
Running time: 105 minutes. Suitable for ages 12+. Watch it on Amazon Prime.
PG 13 movies
The following are rated PG-13. They are wonderful movies and not too scary but for you to decide if it’s suitable to watch with your children.
A supernatural comedy film that tells the story of Max, a young boy recently moved to Salem, Massachusetts who accidentally resurrects three evil resurrected witches leaving the children of Salem to steal the witches’ book of spells and stop them from immortality.
Running Time: 96 minutes. Find on Disney+
The Spiderwick Chronicles
Based on the book series by Tony Diterlizzi, this movie follows the Grace children who have just moved into Spiderwick Estate and unravel the hidden world of fairies and other magical creatures after finding a field guide to fairies.
Running Time: 96 minuets. Find on Apple TV.
Books at bedtime with just the right amount of spine-tingling suspense.
The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid Of Anything by Linda Williams and Megan Lloyd
Once upon a time, there was a little old lady who was not afraid of anything, until one autumn night, while walking in the woods, she heard…clomp, clomp, shake, shake, clap, clap… With bouncy refrains and classic art, this timeless Halloween story is perfect for reading aloud.
Available from Book Depository. Suitable for ages 2+.
Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson
We couldn’t overlook this classic and brilliant witchy wonder. A funny tale of quick wits and friendship in which the witch and her cat fly happily over forests, rivers and mountains on their broomstick until a stormy wind blows away the witch’s hat, bow and wand.
Available from Bookazine. Suitable for ages 4+.
The Monsters’ Monster by Patrick McDonnell
What happens when the biggest, baddest monsters decide to build a huge monster of their own? Well, surprisingly he’s happy, he giggles and he’s just grateful to be alive. In fact, the very BIG monster shows three very BAD little monsters the power of boundless gratitude.
Available from Book Depository. Suitable for ages 6+.
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
This critically acclaimed gothic fiction story has just enough spookiness to keep slightly older children hooked, although some might find it a little too creepy. Within her family’s new home, Coraline discovers a hidden, dark world – but through her surreal and strange adventures, she also discovers her own inner bravery.
Available from Bookazine. Suitable for ages 8+.
The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier
Irish orphans Molly and Kip travel to England to work as servants in a crumbling manor house where nothing is quite what it seems. The Night Gardener is a dark and creepy story complete with a supernatural creature, and several characters meet a gruesome end.
Available from Bookazine. Suitable for ages 10+.
The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls by Claire Legrand
Kids who like scary books will devour this thrilling tale about a spooky boarding school where, in addition to teachers who torture the imprisoned students, there are strange creatures and many sinister goings-on.
Available from Book Depository. Suitable for ages 12+.
We hope that this guide of the best books and films for Halloween inspires you to get spooky!
Why not try: Ghoulish Halloween Cupcakes
Read More: The History of Halloween
Got a pooch at home? 7 Ways to celebrate Halloween with your dog
Looking for ways to make your Halloween more eco-friendly? https://retykle.com/blogs/retykle-blog/how-to-have-a-more-eco-friendly-halloween