"Must See" Halloween Movies

Published Sunday, October 18, 2020

I have been a movie buff since I was a kid and my dad shared his love of the Golden Age of Hollywood with me. Over the years I have found that there are certain movies I believe are “must see” for anyone serious about cinema history, or just plain loves a good movie.

For Halloween, I’ve come up with a list of “must see” movies that you can find in our library system. These are not slasher flicks – in fact I chose them based on creative gothic atmosphere and for sheer creepiness. I love these movies and watch them over and over every year. If you are willing to travel back in time a bit I think you will find the trip well worth it.

Nosferatu
1922

Count Orlok's move to Breme bring the plague traceable to his dealing with the realtor Thomas Hutter, and the Count's obsession with Hutter's wife, Ellen, the only one with the power to end the evil.

Available digitally:
Hoopla
Kanopy

Request in Catalog
The Phantom of the Opera
1925

A mad, disfigured composer seeks love with a lovely young opera singer.

Available digitally:
Hoopla
Kanopy

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Dracula
1931

After a naive real estate agent succumbs to the will of Count Dracula, the two head to London where the vampire sleeps in his coffin by day and searches for potential victims by night.

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The Old Dark House
1932

Seeking shelter from a storm, five travelers are in for a bizarre and terrifying night when they stumble upon the Femm family estate.

Available digitally:
Kanopy

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The Mummy
1932

An Egyptian priest who was buried alive comes back to life after an archaeological dig and searches for his lost love.

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The Wolf Man
1941

Larry Talbot returns to his father's castle in Wales and meets a beautiful woman. One fateful night, Talbot escorts her to a local carnival where they meet a mysterious gypsy fortune teller.

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The House of Wax
1953

An associate burns down a wax museum with the owner inside, but he survives only to become vengeful and murderous.

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The House on Haunted Hill
1959

Vincent Price portrays the owner of a haunted house who offers five strangers ten thousand dollars if they can last out the night in his house.

Available digitally:
Hoopla
Kanopy

Request in Catalog
House of Usher
1960

Upon entering his fiancée's family mansion, a man discovers a savage family curse and fears that his future brother-in-law has entombed his bride-to-be prematurely.

The Haunting
1963

Hill House has stood for about 90 years and appears haunted: its inhabitants have always met strange, tragic ends. Now Dr. John Markway has assembled a team of people who he thinks will prove whether or not the house is haunted.

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The Legend of Hell House
1973

A physicist and his assistant, along with a medium and a survivor of an apparently paranormal attack are hired to investigate the case of a haunted mansion, which has already claimed the lives of prior investigators.

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Bram Stoker’s Dracula
1992

The centuries old vampire Count Dracula comes to England to seduce his barrister Jonathan Harker's fiancée Mina Murray and inflict havoc in the foreign land.

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Shadow of the Vampire
2000

This riveting suspense thriller is about the filming of Nosferatu and the difficult relationship between F.W. Murnau and Max Schreck. As cast and crew begin to disappear, it seems that Murnau has made a devil's bargain with Schreck, whose performance is too authentic.

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About the Author

Cary is our Development & Outreach Librarian. Her “perfect” day is reading or watching British crime fiction with a cup of hot tea close at hand and her cats Clio & Ash on her lap.