10 Childhood Halloween Specials No Longer on TV

Published 1 year ago by , Updated March 18th, 2014 at 10:14 am, This is a list post.

10 Childhood Halloween Specials No Longer on TV

Childhood Halloween Staples

Halloween has become a time for horror movie sequels about a demon with a silly name. But it wasn't always that way. Many of us remember a time when Halloween entertainment was rife with specialty programming - some that we only saw once a year. Although television still continues the trend of special Halloween episodes (originally started by Roseanne), there are more than a few iconic Halloween specials which have fallen to the wayside. Covering many generations in this single list, those who grew up in the '80s and '90s will likely remember these Halloween specials more than others. Even so, most people should fondly remember at least one of these from their childhood. New or old, love 'em or hate 'em, all of these Halloween specials have one thing in common: you will not find them airing on a television near you anytime soon.

Mr. Boogedy (1986) & Bride of Boogedy (1987)

Mr. Boogedy

If you grew up in the generation of Boogedy, this Halloween staple is something that you definitely remember - even if those memories are skewed by childhood. Originally airing as the Disney Sunday Movie, Mr. Boogedy follows a novelty gift salesman as he and his family move into a new house haunted by the spirit of a colonial ghost. While "beware the Boogedy man" may have once terrified an entire generation enough to garner a sequel, Bride of Boogedy, it's almost impossible to be frightened by the movie nowadays. Still, owning a gag-gift store would be pretty fun - and not just because they can be used to battle ghosts. Hear that, Toby from Paranormal Activity? That's how we made waste of evil spirits back in the day... with rubber vomit and whoopie cushions. Where to watch it: Vimeo and YouTube

The Halloween Tree (1993)

The Halloween Tree

Based on the Ray Bradbury novel of the same name, The Halloween Tree finds four friends chasing after their friend Pip's spirit, in an attempt to prevent his death while his body lay in the hospital. As you can tell, this cartoon was a bit dark for children looking to get into the candy-collecting mood. But it was still a great Halloween movie. With Bradbury as narrator and Leonard Nimoy as the spirit dealer Mr. Moundshroud, The Halloween Tree takes the four friends on a time-traveling journey into the past to the learn the history of witches, skeletons, mummies and monsters, leading them to make an important decision about the future of their friend's life. Where to watch it: MySpace

The Worst Witch (1986)

The Worst Witch Movie

Growing up isn't easy… The Worst Witch used to be The Christmas Story of Halloween for the Disney Channel, airing constantly in October during the '90s. Now you have to turn to Amazon to purchase a copy for your own enjoyment. Based off of the popular Jill Murphy children's books, Worst Witch not only told the tale of Mildred Hubble's attempt to pass witch school, it also used Tim Curry singing (now-)iconic songs to do it. Remember, anything can happen on Halloween. Harry Potter fans may be surprised to hear that name first associated with magic in this movie, twenty-one years before the first book came out. Witchcraft perhaps? Where to watch it: YouTube

Witch's Night Out (1978)

Witch's Night Out

Gilda Radner heads up this former Halloween staple, Witch's Night Out. Putting its iconic theme song aside, Witch's Night Out is about a witch who brings two children and their babysitter to her Halloween party and transforms them into real-life versions of the creatures they're portraying, allowing them to party with real monsters at her house. After the rest of the town catches wind of real monsters being around, they begin to chase after them - including those who were previously transformed. In the end, the witch shows the town that Halloween is their chance to be anything they want for one night. Back to the theme song: it's great! Where to watch it: Veoh

Mad Monster Party (1967)

Mad Monster Party

Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass may be known best for their Christmas special, but they did much more than spread tales of Rudolph, Kris Kringle, and the Miser Brothers. Serving as a full-length feature-film, Rakin and Bass bring their stop-motion animation to the familiar monsters of Halloween, along with the voices of Boris Karloff and Phyllis Diller. When Boris von Frankenstein decides to retire, his nephew, Felix, is set to take over his uncle's monster business. Unfortunately for Felix, his kind, human demeanor forces the rest of the monsters to team up against him in order to use Frankenstein's latest machine for their own bidding. Just put one foot in front of the other... and kill Frankenstein's nephew. Where to watch it: YouTube

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1949)

Disney Sleepy Hallow

The tale of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman is almost as iconic as Halloween itself. Another piece of holiday fare from Disney, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is based on the Washington Irving tale of the same name, which follows the terrifying adventure of Sleepy Hollow's new schoolmaster, Ichabod Crane, battling the town's ghostly Headless Horseman. Like some of the other Halloween specials on the list, the ending of this tale was anything but happy for Crane - which probably wouldn't sit well with viewers wanting to see Halloweentown II: Kalabar's Revenge, even with Bing Crosby narrating it. The Legend of Sleep Hollow was originally the second-half of The Tale of Ichabod Crand and Mr. Toad. Where to watch it now: YouTube

Once Upon A Midnight Scary (1979)

Once Upon A Midnight Scary

Once Upon A Midnight Scary was a children's horror anthology Halloween special that aired on CBS in 1979. Similar to such horror anthologies as Creepshow, Tales from the Crypt and V.H.S. (as of recent), Once Upon A Midnight Scary depicted three different literary horror stories during its hour-long run. However, unlike its adult counterpart, this CBS special was meant to encourage children to read the original books - so only an excerpt of each story was shown. Still, each story was introduced by Vincent Price as a vampire. Can't beat that. Where to watch it now: YouTube

The Midnight Hour (1985)

The Midnight Hour

Before television had Rick Grimes and The Walking Dead, it had LeVar Burton and dancing zombies. Maybe not the best way to deal with the undead, but that's how they did things in the '80s. The Midnight Hour follows four friends who unwittingly wake one for their deceased ancestors, who just happens to be a witch hellbent on bringing back the dead. With a '50s cheerleader ghost by their side, it's up to the group of kids to return things to normal. Where to watch it: YouTube

Tower of Terror (1997)

Tower of Terror

Pirates of the Caribbean may have made theme park ride-based films popular, but it was Tower of Terror that kicked things off. Starring Kirsten Dunst and Steve Guttenberg, Tower of Terror successfully creates a backstory for the hotel guests you see while on the Disney ride. As ridiculous as the premise might be, Tower of Terror, like Pirates of the Caribbean, is actually pretty entertaining. Plus there are creepy old people - and Steve Guttenberg! Hey, at least they're not playing Battleship. Where to watch it: YouTube

The Flintstones Meet Rockula and Frankenstone (1979)

The Flintstones - Rockula

The Flintstones may have met many strange characters in their day, but this is the first time where Fred and Wilma's relationship almost came to an (albeit brief) end.  As the title suggests, Rockula and Frankenstone are The Flintstones version of the iconic horror monsters - just with more "Yabba Dabba Do!" After Fred wins the big prize on a game show, the Flintstones and the Rubbles find themselves in Rockula's castle, with Rockula and Frankenstone now wandering around. Rockula wants to take Wilma as his bride, and she agrees. But when Wilma asks Rockula to move to Bedrock and do daily chores around the house, Rockula decides to ditch his "long-lost love" for the bachelor life with Frankenstone. Where to watch it: YouTube (not in English)

Conclusion

Childhood Halloween Staples

So there you have it… There's no doubt that this list brought back some childhood memories for everyone, and it's unfortunate that most of these are difficult to obtain copies of. Hopefully our "suggestions" helped point you in the proper direction to relive some of those classic Halloween specials. Are there any specials we should have included in the list? Let us know your favorites in the comments below.

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  1. SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES! Brilliantly scary and awaiting an unaltered remake.

  2. The Ichabod Crane one has always been one of my faves and I still watch it every year on dvd. My other Halloween fave that wasn’t mentioned is Halloween is Grinch Night, which I don’t think is shown anymore and I’m pretty sure they just call it Grinch Night now.

  3. I LOVE THIS ONE!!!! Actually I just interviewed Richard Masur (star of the films Mr. Boogedy and Bride of Boogedy) on my show and we talked about how this needs to come to DVD.

  4. Bride of Boogedy is on demand right now with Movie Pass. Who knows how long it will last, but it’s the best quality I’ve seen in years.

  5. Some of these are still online, people upload to Putlocker for free.

  6. Disney’s Halloween Treat with the talking pumpkin. The music at the beginning creeped me out, but I loved that special when I was little. Also, Garfield’s Halloween Special with the old grandpa and the pirates. That one scared the crap out of me, but I loved it!

  7. Also, if I may mention one of the weirdest and coolest Christmas specials ever is Nutcracker Fantasy (Sanrio) circa 1979. Claymation has never told the Nutcracker Story better…such a bizzare storyline. The Sandman at the beginning was enough to convince me never to get out of bed at any time, ever again, and he still gives me nightmares. Nutcracker Fantasy has been criticized for being too dark and scary, but I’ll take it over any sugar coated Christmas special they make now.

  8. Raggedy Ann & Andy: The Pumpkin Who Couldn’t Smile, is adorable and one of my all time favorites. It is on YouTube.

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