Ready or not, October is upon us!
The year has flown by like a witch on a broomstick (or vacuum, if you’re a Hocus Pocus fan). But you better believe it’s time to embrace the season of scary. Think pumpkins at the front door, a 12-foot skeleton in the front yard, a haunted house-themed Zoom background, and, of course, something appropriately seasonal cued up on your TV.
To get your Halloween mood on, we’ve combed through Netflix’s catalog and selected 13 of the best spooky movies and TV shows to stream right now. These aren’t exclusively horror movies (though we do have a best horror movies on Netflix list for that), but rather a collection of titles specifically geared toward holiday festivities. Happy haunting!
Whether you love R.L. Stine or blame him for your lifelong night terrors (guilty), Goosebumps is the perfect pick for a little hair-raising nostalgia. Evil puppets, creepy piano teachers, mud men, and more abound in this ’90s series I still cannot believe was marketed toward children. Here’s looking at that reboot, whenever it gets here. Please be just a little less terrifying. Please. —Alison Foreman, Entertainment Reporter
2. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Sabrina and Salem 4 eva
Credit: Diyah Pera / Netflix
Netflix’s Riverdale spin-off centered on Sabrina the Teenage Witch — as portrayed by Mad Men‘s Kiernan Shipka — never quite took flight as we’d hoped. Still, you can’t ask for a better spooky show to throw on in the background. The costuming is great. The music is fun, and the plot — while complex — is entertaining enough that popping in and out of it shouldn’t bother you much. Plus, there’s Salem the cat. No one can say no to a magic cat. — A.F.
3. Gerald’s Game
Mike Flanagan strikes again.
There are number of Stephen King adaptations now streaming on Netflix, including 1922(opens in a new tab), In the Tall Grass, and Mr. Harrigan’s Phone. But our favorite has to be Gerald’s Game. Starring Carla Gugino and Bruce Greenwood, this horrifying story of a couple seeking alone time is a totally engrossing (and spectacularly feminist) outing unlike any other in the genre. Good luck with…”that” scene. You’ll know it when you see it. — A.F.
4. The Midnight Club
Mike Flanagan does it again — this time breaking the Guinness World Record for the most jump scares in a TV episode! If you’re in the mood for a coming-of-age thriller crossover experience, The Midnight Club is worthy of a binge-watch for the Halloween weekend. Given just how scary some of Flanagan’s previous projects are (The Haunting of Hill House and Midnight Mass, for instance), we wouldn’t watch this one in the dark. —Kyle McWilliams, Entertainment Intern
5. Old People
Were you procrastinating on calling your grandmother back? This German film should have you hitting speed dial. Ella (Melika Foroutan) and her two children return to Ella’s hometown for her sister’s wedding, but what should have been an idyllic trip turns into something far more gruesome. For starters, the retirement home Ella’s father is in is pretty grim. Plus, there’s a creepy relic in the woods. Soon enough — and this isn’t a spoiler, this is the whole dang point of the movie — the elderly folks everyone wrote off and forgot about are on a murderous rampage. —K.M.
The home-invasion thriller comes back in style with Hush, which was directed and co-written by Mike Flanagan. Kate Siegel, who co-wrote the script, stars as Maddie, a horror writer who is unable to speak or hear; her solo writing retreat in the woods goes horribly awry when a terrifying masked man (John Gallagher Jr.) begins tormenting her. Keep your eyes peeled for a cool Midnight Mass Easter egg! —K.M.
7. All of Us Are Dead
The zombie apocalypse gets the K-drama treatment in this addictive series about a viral outbreak at a high school, pitting freshly turned zombies against teens and school teachers. The show also addresses (with some controversy) regular high school problems like bullying and being let down by the adults around you. The Season 1 finale will leave you ugly crying, though thankfully a second season is already in the works for this easy-to-root-for cast. —K.M.
8. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022)
A face only a mother could love (ba dum tss)
Following in the footsteps of the 1974 original, this over-the-top sequel gives Leatherface a chance to terrorize a group of millennials hellbent on gentrifying a Texas ghost town. While critics and fans alike were pretty hard on the flick — though appreciative of the spectacular gore Leatherface’s antics produced — there are already rumors of sequels on the horizon. If you’re looking for spooky vibes, TCM 2022 has plenty to spare. —K.M.
Daniel Goldhaber’s CAM isn’t really that Halloween-y, but what’s the harm in reminding you about this hidden gem while we’re here? Starring the always-awesome Madeline Brewer, this psychological thriller brings body-snatching terror to the world of professional cam modeling. It’s so good and so underrated. You’re welcome in advance! —A.F.
How to watch: CAM is now streaming on Netflix.(opens in a new tab)
10. Stranger Things
Long live, Queen Erica.
Sure, binging Stranger Things can feel like more of a summer thing, considering that’s when we last got a season. But there’s no reason Netflix’s beloved sci-fi series can’t help get you pumped for fall. Season 2 has an especially great Halloween-themed episode worth enjoying as part of a marathon or on its own. You know you want to see those little Ghostbusters again. — A.F.
11. The Walking Dead
Solidifying itself at the top of my gross-but-good list, The Walking Dead has something for everyone: There’s the horrific zombie apocalypse, complicated romantic subplots, and then the Steven Yeun, of course. There’s a reason why everyone raves about the series, which definitely lives up to the hype of its 11-season run. —K.M.
12. The Haunting of Hill House
Remember the Bent Neck lady? Yeah….we do too.
An updated but still horrifying take on Shirley Jackson’s 1959 novel of the same name, The Haunting of Hill House is an atmospheric nightmare as binge-worthy as it is heartbreaking. Following a family struggling with all kinds of trauma, the ghosts in the background aren’t even the spookiest bits. Filled with powerful performances, eerie set pieces, and twists that’ll knock your neck out of whack, this series firmly planted Mike Flanagan as Netflix’s resident horror master. —Kristy Puchko, Film Editor
The amount of times you could find the Pennywise dance GIF from my 2017 Twitter feed would probably horrify you more than the movie itself. Nevertheless, It, based on the Stephen King novel, brings book lovers an ultimately unsettling visual narrative that leaves audiences in awe every time. Featuring Pennywise, the sinister dancing clown himself, and a group of ragtag kids you can’t help but root for, this scary movie satisfies all the horror-hunger appetites October brings! —K.M.
UPDATE: Oct. 22, 2022, 5:00 a.m. EDT This post has been updated to reflect current streaming options.