Happy weekend everyone! We're finally in the best time of the year, autumn! Not only are the leaves turning gorgeous shades of orange, red and yellow, not only is everything tinged with apple, cinnamon, maple and pumpkin spice deliciousness, but it's also time to get spooky and scary just in time for Halloween. The holiday season has begun (because let's face it, the holidays don't stop until mid-January) and it's time to curl up with your friends, significant others, or just your pets or yourself and watch some Halloween classics, whether they be movies or shows. If you guys want I can make a separate list for books and podcasts-just let me know! So here are my recommendations, and I would love to hear from you as well.

Over the Garden Wall

Led through the mist, by the milk-light of moon, all that is lost, is revealed... We're going to start off with my personal favorite Halloween tradition, which is the annual rewatch of the 2014 animated miniseries, Over the Garden Wall. If you know me, you know I am an animation fanatic and OTGW is one of my all-time favorite shows. It's an incredible blend of mystery, folk lore, folk art, atmosphere, gorgeous fall visuals, nods to classic animation and Dante's Inferno, and incredible music, storytelling, and of course animation. The amount of depth and visual beauty they put into ten 11-minute episodes is insane. If you have an hour of time and any of this sounds interesting, I HIGHLY recommend this show.

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Halloweentown

In memory of the great Debbie Reynolds, give a rewatch to this wonderful Disney classic. Halloweentown has the maturity, humor, and creativity that gives it rewatchability, despite it being a Disney Channel Original Movie. A lot of DCOMs fall apart with time due to being too childish and a marketing ploy, but Halloweentown remains fresh, funny and wildly creative almost twenty years later. (I'm the same age as this movie- turning twenty is the scariest part!) Curl up with your friends, relive some 90s nostalgia, and catch Kalabar with Marnie and Aggie Cromwell.

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It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

Halloween just wouldn't be Halloween without the Peanuts, would it? Great Pumpkin is one of my favorite Charlie Brown specials, only topped by the Easter special. ("Marcy! You made egg soup!") Some of my favorite memories with my family is curling up and watching and laughing along with the Peanuts gang in the days leading up to Halloween, quoting every line. The Charlie Brown specials are enduring classics that are quick, fun, lighthearted, and always in tune with the season. They're always poignant, honest, and a perfect reflection of a child's mind as he goes through the holidays. They still make me laugh and put me in the spirit, and always leave me in a good mood to cozy up and get spooky. Watch this gem before you head out trick-or-treating, but don't dress up like a ghost unless you want a rock.

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The Rocky Horror Picture Show

It's just a jump to the left! The Rocky Horror Picture Show is THE enduring Halloween classic. It's a perfect blend of spooky, campy, and just plain weird. Every spooky weird kid since the mid seventies has embraced Rocky Horror as their own. I love musicals, B-Movies and all things weird, and Rocky Horror is funny, crazy and enjoyable. To me, it is truly a crazy little piece of film history, made by and for the creative weird ones in an era of originality. It's a perfect movie to dim the lights, pop some popcorn, grab your glitter and get crazy and vintage to. Its bizarre nature and fearlessness to be itself is truly what has made it endure for generations. The movie is played and performed every year by schools, theatre troupes and movie theatres all across the country, so gather up your friends this Halloween and let's do the time warp again!

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The Nightmare Before Christmas

Tim Burton and Henry Sellick are the masters of Halloween animation, and The Nightmare Before Christmas is truly the pinnacle of their work. Stop motion is creepy and incredibly impressive, and this movie is the expert example of just how technical and visually stunning it can be. Everyone knows and loves this movie, or at least knows its famous songs, characters and scenes. Grab your friends and the karaoke mic and sing some amazing songs like This is Halloween and Kidnap the Sandy Claws.

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Coraline

Remember Henry Sellick? This is personally my favorite work of his. A dark, bizarre movie that will give you creepy Alice in Wonderland vibes, but I assure you it is a completely original work all its own (though it is based on a novel). I don't think I've ever seen a movie as creative and original as this one. The stop motion is absolutely fluid and gorgeous, with extremely bright colors and devastatingly dark blacks. The characters and story are immensely creative and captivating. I only saw this movie for the first time this summer, and regret not watching it sooner. It's absolutely incredible. If you haven't yet, give it a watch! But don't let the Other Mother watch you...

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The Shining

This Stephen King/Stanley Kubrick masterpiece is one of my top ten favorite movies. I'm not much for scary movies, but this Halloween, I want to start watching more of the horror classics from the 70s and 80s. But of course, a look back at The Shining is an absolute must. This movie is scary, it is chilling, but what makes it great is the thrill of it, the wonder it causes you when you wonder if it's all in Jack's head, the dread and isolation you feel, and the fact that it is a psychological thriller. To me, that's what's truly scary. So get yourself a cat to cuddle and a blanket to hide under, and watch out for little girls in the hallway and doors that say REDRUM.

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Friday the 13th

Well, it's only fitting, seeing how this October does have a Friday the 13th. One of the small amount of horror movies I've seen, and one of my favorites (not that I have a lot to base it off though). This movie will definitely teach you a lesson in staying pure and keeping your eye on your job! Yes this is a slasher movie, so if your vibe is more cute/autumn aesthetic, I'd suggest staying away from this one. But if you like all things gory and creepy about the season, or enjoy a mix of both like I do, this one is an absolute must.

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Twilight Zone episodes

The Twilight Zone is one of my favorite shows, and I believe it's something you can watch all the time, but it's especially fun in the fall. This is a show to watch on a foggy, rainy fall evening with a cup of tea and a blanket. If you're ever alone or even with a few friends, pull it up on Netflix or YouTube. Every episode is unique in its own way- some are fun, some are creepy, some are imaginative, some are futuristic, and some are downright scary. Just know that when you hear that iconic theme music playing, you're in for a treat and a gem of television.

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Stranger Things

A modern classic based in good ol' nostalgia. I love to see how Halloween progresses as time goes on, but as you can see from my list, I'm a lover of nostalgia and classic, vintage aesthetics. This is a modern TV show, but it is based on, set in, and heavily inspired by 1980s horror, thrillers and mysteries. It's a TV show, but with episodes clocking in about an hour apiece, each episode is its own mini-movie. If you haven't seen it already, give it a binge; it is a Netflix original after all! With a second season coming out this month, now's the perfect time to settle in, catch up, and defeat the Demogorgon.

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Wanna watch with me? Here are my faves, but I also have a list of movies I haven't watched yet that I definitely will this year! Here they are:
-Hocus Pocus (gasp! I know, I can't believe it either)
-Nightmare on Elm Street
-Psycho
-Universal Horror Classics
-Beetlejuice
-Edward Scissorhands
-Corpse Bride
-Halloween
-The Addams Family
-It
-Psycho
-The House on Haunted Hill
-Sleepy Hollow

Watch along with me! Tell me which ones are your favorites/Halloween traditions in messages here or on twitter @lesterspines. I'd love to hear from you and discuss more ideas for fun movie nights!

xoxo and spooky scary skeletons,
danielle (june haverly)