Every October, television wears a costume. As the sun shifts and the leaves litter our neighborhood streets, living rooms across the world similarly take on a new glow. First, the ghoulish commercials arrive, then the networks roll out their creepy programming, and soon enough all you can see is orange, purple, and green across every station.
Looking around, it doesn’t take a die-hard horror fan to relish this part of the year. After all, with Halloween comes an easy excuse to indulge in the sweet part of life. This could be a bite-sized Reese’s Pumpkin, a breezy walk through an autumn day, or simply seeing your favorite characters dropped into a completely perfunctory, spooky situation.
By now, the Halloween Episode is a TV tradition. Hell, even the most serious shows find a way to carve their own pumpkins — and for good reason. The holiday affords writers an opportunity to shake things up creatively, which most of the time boils down to characters either being outside of their comfort zones or embellishing their own quirks.
More often than not, though, it’s about timing. Look at the calendar: Halloween arrives right as shows are beginning their annual stretch from Fall to Spring, and the Season of the Witch gives networks an easy event to sell. Needless to say, they’ve sold aplenty over the past few decades, and we’ve gathered 31 of our favorites in the pages ahead.
So, grab your McDonald’s bucket and trick or treat with us.
Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief