13 Halloween TV Episodes That Are Both Classic and CreepyEdit

By Indiewire | IndiewireOctober 30, 2014 at 12:11PM

If you'll pardon the pun, these are all treats. 3.cms-textAlign-left{text-align:left;}.cms-textAlign-center{text-align:center;}.cms-textAlign-right{text-align:right;}=="American Horror Story"== Frank Ockenfels/FXZachary Quinto in 'American Horror Story: Asylum'"Halloween" (Season 1, Episodes 3/4): This first season two-parter brimmed with genuinely uncomfortable, terrifying moments, interspersed with camp melodrama -- par for the course, when it comes to Ryan Murphy’s wicked creation.

The two-episode scarefest kicked off with a flashback to Chad (Zachary Quinto) fighting with his lover Patrick (Teddy Sears) before their deaths, accompanied by an appearance from the Rubber Man. Flash-forward to present day, where the blossoming couple of Tate (Evan Peters) and Violet (Taissa Farmiga) get down with a ouija board while Tate proceeds to give the eerie backstory of the house's original owner Charles Montgomery (Matt Ross), who was an abortion doctor during the 1920s. The boyfriend of one of Charles' female patients gets revenge in the sickest way possible -- kidnapping and dismembering Charles's infant son -- and driven mad by grief, Charles too calmly sews together the limbs of his deceased child. (Cue the crescendoing ’80s B-grade horror music accompanying Tate’s narrative).

Meanwhile, Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange) has to confront the death of her own daughter who is ran over by a car during a bout of trick or treating and the nature of Tate’s dark past starts to come to light -- because what is a Halloween without the vengeful spirits of the death stirring trouble?

Available on Netflix and Amazon (Streaming)

READ MORE: The 13 Best New Indie Horror Movies to Watch at Home on Halloween

"Bob's Burgers"Edit

TCFFC/Fox"Bob's Burgers" Season 4"Full Bars" (Season 3, Episode 2): The Halloween episode from Season 3 of "Bob's Burgers" is a blast to watch, because it really gets to the heart of the show's engagement with the debate (or lack thereof) about class in America. In "Full Bars," when Tina, Louise and Gene decide to go trick-or-treating in a wealthy neighborhood nearby, they come face-to-face with the class debate after being harassed by a group of rich teenage bullies. Because children are not conscious of class differences in the same way that adults are, their naivete actually enables them to pursue action when class tries to get in the way of what they are trying to achieve -- the Belcher kids have nothing to lose and everything to gain when they decide to face off against the rich kid bullies. When it comes to financial issues, though, adults -- even Bob and Linda, who have occasionally demonstrated wiles when confronted by a threat -- do not have the same luxury of throwing caution to the wind the way children might, because they have a lot more at stake. Needless to say, "Full Bars" does an excellent job of balancing an enjoyable, adventure-filled storyline with just enough of a progressive flavor to make you, dare we say, think critically.

Available on Netflix, Amazon (VOD) and iTunes

"Buffy the Vampire Slayer"Edit

"Halloween" (Season 2, Episode 6): Joss Whedon's iconic vampire dramedy loved to set up its own rules for not just the vampire mythos, but the supernatural world in general. So in this first episode to take on the holiday most thematically appropriate to the show, it's established that Halloween is considered a "day off" for creatures of the night -- but that doesn't keep the Scooby gang from getting into trouble when their magically treated costumes transform them into their personas (Xander becomes Army Guy, Willow literally becomes a ghost). What could be light fun gets a strong emotional hook thanks to Buffy's (Sarah Michelle Geller) choice of costume: Worried that love interest Angel (David Boreanez) doesn't think she's feminine enough to be desirable, she dresses up as a classy old-timey lady. While she's completely useless when transformed, in the end it does bring her and Angel closer together, as he reassures her that he prefers her as the modern and strong woman she is.

Available on Amazon (Streaming), Hulu Plus, Netflix, Amazin Video, iTunes, Vudu


"Vampire Weekend" (Season 2, Episode 6): "Castle," appreciated on its own merits, is a fun show, if only because it knows better than to take itself too seriously. Case in point -- the below extremely meta reference to star Nathan Fillion's old job as a "space cowboy."

For the non-nerds in the crowd, this was just a cute scene between Richard and his daughter, but if the only reason you started watching "Castle" is because you were a "Firefly" fan, it was epic in its hilarity. The rest of the episode is standard procedural detective drama (albeit with vampire references), but the reaction of Alexis (Molly Quinn) to seeing her father in that costume "you wore five years ago" is worth the whole thing.

Available on Amazon (VOD), iTunes, Vudu


"Horror Fiction in 7 Easy Steps" (Season 3, Episode 5): While Dan Harmon's post-modern sitcom isn't afraid of obscure references, it's really the show's diverse characters who sell this endearingly ridiculous comedy. And that stood out in the Season 3 Halloween episode "Horror Fiction in 7 Easy Steps," when Britta discovers that someone in the group who took her anonymous psychology test has homicidal tendencies. She sits everyone down to find out who it is, resulting in a great Halloween celebration that takes the "Community" characters we love and turns their personalities into the horror stories they tell -- all of which poke fun at the Halloween movies clichés being celebrated.

Available on Hulu Plus, Amazon (VOD) and iTunes

"Don't Trust the B in Apartment 23"Edit

Karen Neal/ABC'Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23'"Love and Monsters" (Season 2, Episode 2): Taken from us far, far too soon, ABC's short-lived comedy was a master class in making you love truly terrible people, and it turns out that terrible people are at their best on Halloween. For years, against the backdrop of a deliberately non-scary Halloween party thrown by James van der Beek (James van der Beek), Chloe (Kristen Ritter) has ruined the lives of those she finds mildly annoying, until the year her worst fears come true. Because this is "Don't Trust the B," this also means that she might have found true love -- and really, what's scarier than that?

Available on Netflix, Amazon (VOD), iTunes, Vudu

"The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air"Edit

"Hex and the Single Guy" (Season 4, Episode 7): Hilary (Karyn Parsons) drags everyone to a psychic named Scorpius for a family séance to say goodbye to her dearly departed finance, Trevor. Will (Will Smith) doesn’t believe the psychic (played by an awesomely creepy Glenn Shadix) is for real and continually mocks the guy. Scorpius, not down with big Willy’s style, puts a curse on the poor Fresh Prince and terrible things begin to happen to him and the entire family, including Geoffrey getting arrested and Hilary inexplicably falling in love with Jazz (Jeffrey A. Townes). Though Shadix and Smith play well off of each other, the best part of the episode is probably seeing Carlton (Alfonso Ribero) dressed up as his idol: Macaulay Culkin.

Available on Amazon (VOD), iTunes, Vudu


NBC"Friends""The One With the Halloween Party" (Season 8, Episode 6): It took "Friends" eight seasons to have a Halloween episode. Let that sink in for a second. Sure, it did its fair share of holiday episodes, but it waited until it was the most popular sitcom on television to finally cave and give audiences what they wanted: Ross dressed up like doodie. Not only did they build a memorable bottle episode around six friends, who only hang out with each other, pretending to know enough people to fill a massive New York apartment, but they brought in one of the show’s most special of special guests, Sean Penn.

Yes, Sean "Jailbird" Penn was on "Friends." I know, I’m giving you a lot to roll over in your mind. Penn couldn’t have been more sheepishly playing against type as Phoebe’s love interest with a slight sweat problem. He even managed to pull off some brief but effective chemistry with Lisa Kudrow, effectively carrying the B-plot while we waited to see if Ross or Chandler would win the arm-wrestling challenge. Ah, the glory days of the sitcom.

Available on Amazon (VOD), iTunes, Vudu

This article is related to: The Simpsons, How I Met Your Mother, Castle, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Bob's Burgers, Parks and Recreation, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, American Horror Story, Community, Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23, Friends, Happy Endings, Louie, New Girl


AngieOct 30, 2014 11:59amClassic and creepy? Nope and Nope.nikkiOct 30, 2014 7:48pmRe: How I Met Your Mother episode - "elusive" is the word you are looking for, not "illusive"LizOct 31, 2014 11:17amThanks so much!

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