Today, I’m sharing movies and tv shows that set an appropriate mood for Poe-tober. I’m not a big fan of gore and blood so most of these are mysteries and psychological thrillers.

This post is the second in a 3-part series of media for you to read, watch, and hear as we creep up on Halloween.

Hocus Pocus (1993)This comedy is now 25 years old and I’ve never seen it. Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy star as a trio of witches from the 17th century. It’s high on my list of movies to watch this month.

Coraline (2009)Based on Neil Gaiman’s perfectly haunting book, Coraline is about a little girl who moves into a spooky new house. Her parents are too busy to pay attention to her so she explores – and finds a portal to her Other Mother and Other Father who love her very much. Maybe too much. The book is great, but Tim Burton’s visualization adds another dimension. I would rarely say a movie is better than a book, but both are worth your time.

The Trouble with Harry (1995): I celebrate Poe-tober but many instead participate in Hitchcocktober. I’m a big fan of Hitchcock’s work so I’m adding this classic to my watchlist. According to IMDB, “The trouble with Harry is that he’s dead, and everyone seems to have a different idea of what should be done with his body.” Sounds like a problem to me!

Donnie Darko (2001): I’ve seen this at least twice but it’s been awhile. This one’s my husband’s pick. It features a troubled teenager (Jake Gyllenhaal) who commits a series of crimes encouraged by visions of a man in a creepy bunny suit. Bonus: The soundtrack is amazing.

The Others (2001): 2001 was a good year for scary movies! Back in the good ole days before the real world was scarier than fiction. Nicole Kidman stars as the mother of two young photosensitive children living in a large manor house while her husband is off at war. The home is kept in darkness to protect the children but a series of events leads her to believe the home is haunted. This movie is one of my favorite ghost stories.

Identity (2003): The cast for this movie is amazing. Ray Liotta, John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Alfred Molina, John C McGinley, Rebecca De Mornay and many other recognizable faces star as strangers stranded at a lousy motel due to a terrible storm. Then they start dying, Agatha Christie And Then There Were None style.

The Haunting of Hill House (2018): This Netflix original will be released October 12. It’s related to Shirley Jackson’s novel but jumps between past and present as a family explores the history of their home.

Haunted (2018): Debuting on Netflix October 19, this docuseries talks to real people about their scary stories. Dramatic re-enactments turn up the drama.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (2018): I have fond memories of the TGIF show Sabrina the Teenage Witch but this looks less family-friendly. Kiernan Shipka (from Mad Men) is Sabrina and it looks super dark.

Harper’s Island (2009): This summer series aired on CBS so despite the body count, there’s more scare than blood. The island was the site of a series of murders in the past. Now, childhood friends are returning to the island for a wedding. Somewhat similar to the above-referenced Agatha Christie story (and Identity), they start dying, one at a time. It’s not exactly a film critique’s dream, but there are some beautiful and terrible moments (see Cal and Chloe).

What are you watching this month?

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