10 Childhood Halloween Specials No Longer on TV

Published 2 years 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. huh, the only one I know is the Ichabod Crane one. And it was great!!

    • same here

    • Me as well. That’s probably due to the fact I lived in the middle of no where. And had only the three major networks until I went to college in 93′. Loved that rendition of sleepy hollow.

    • Same here. Born 1980, so most of these were my time frame. I will say that I think I can remember The Worst Which, but I don’t think I ever watched it.

      Since I have long decided that the Tower of Terror doesn’t actually exist, I can’t confirm having ever watched it or remembering it.

  2. Wow, some things I wasn’t familiar with and some things that I have permanently ingrained in my memory. I loved this time of year as a kid, especially with all my favorite cartoons back then airing Halloween specials of their own.

  3. I only know halloween tree from watching it on vhs, it is horrifying as a kid.
    I also liked disneys sleepy hollow as a kid.

  4. this list was pretty awful… Way better Halloween specials…that aren’t around anymore… Boogedy Boogedy boo!!

    • @The Ritty – Well, you’re always welcome to generate your own list for us to read.

      Go ahead…we’ll wait.

  5. What’s with the “next’ button taking me to a spam site??????

    There’s one Disney movie I have always loved and that is “Under Wraps.”

    • Oh yeah, the one about the mummy. I liked that one too. It was great.

    • Oh my god, I love that movie! I love all the old Disney channel original movies. One that I liked, but always terrified me, was Don’t Look Under The Bed. The imaginary friend was so scary! It really sucks that Disney is so lame now. They need to bring the old Disney back.

  6. Def. dug the Halloween Tree as a kid, loved the idea of them going back in time to learn about the beginnings of Halloween and all the traditions, it dropped educational history into it.

  7. Do they still play Charlie Brown?

    • Yep every year. makes me so happy lol

  8. how about that one episode of Scooby-Doo where they race count dracula and other ghouls?

    • scooby doo and the reluctant werewolf

  9. My Favorite was “The Devil and Daniel Mouse”

  10. Tower of Terror! I loved that one when I was a kid

  11. They weren’t tv shows but here in the UK, we always got the Ernest movies, especially “Ernest Scared Stupid” for several Halloweens running (just like we always had World’s Strongest Man and a James Bond movie on TV every Easter).

    • Now you get Most Haunted Live. ;-)

  12. Mad Monster Party is the only one listed that I in any way miss. It goes along with all the stop motion X-Mas specials.

    • it’s also on netflix right now.

  13. Sleepy Hollow in the Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Crane and Tower of Terror are both available to buy via Disney’s various movie websites. They also sell ToT in the gift shop of the ride here in Florida

  14. The Halloween that Almost Wasn’t (aka how the witch saved Halloween). I loved that special. Judd Hirsch as Dracula. Who would have thought witches only want to be loved and taken disco dancing!

    • I loved the Halloween that almost wasn’t with Judd Hirsch! Great TV specials for the kids of the 70′s & 80′s! Another one is Love at First Bite (movie with George Hamilton & Susan St.James)

  15. I had no idea that Flintstones met them… Kinda like Abbot and Costello meet Dracula or the invisible man I would imagine…

  16. The Garfield Halloween special should be on here. That old man telling the story scared the hell out of me!

    • Hey, I use to love Garfield. But I think I might have missed that one. Was it a part of the old Garfield and Friends cartoon?

      • Not to my knowledge, there were several garfield specials as in him going to hawaii, a thanksgiving special, a christmas special, and several others all during the 80s and 90 or 91. I found a torrent with them why i can say pretty much they are not part of garfield and friends for i liked that show but only wanted to see garfield not the farm animals lol.

        • LOL…yeah I didn’t care about the farm animals either. As far as the Garfield specials they used the same voice actors as they did in Friends. So in a way you could kind of consider it part of Garfield and Friends. I actually have the Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Garfield specials all on one dvd. Bought a copy at Meijer a few years back. Not sure if you can find it in any store now but you can always track it down online. Shouldn’t be much. I just paid $10 for my copy. May be able to find it cheaper online than what I paid.

    • Was going to post a comment about that special and it still sends chills to me when i watch it…love it much

  17. I have Mad Monster Party on VHS or DVD (I forget which, but it’s upstairs in my den and I’m too lazy to go look and see which it is, but it’s up there), and the last time I watched it, it was as entertaining as I remembered from the first time I saw it! Corny but cute!

  18. you forgot – The Wickedest Witch starring Rue McClanahan -
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0404553/

  19. I’m not sure what this means, “Although television still continues the trend of special Halloween episodes (originally started by Roseanne)”

    How does one continue originally with anything? (maybe Im wooshed)

    I remember Son of Svengoolie doing great seasonal programming. And I suspect the original Svengoolie might have. Halloween on local Chicago channel 9 WGN always had great classics during this season when I was a kid in the 70′s.

  20. To clarify, Roseanne was much later than a lot classic halloween special programming.

    Anyway, my watch list this year which Im half way through is Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, The Incredible 2-Headed Transplant (Bruce Dern lol), The Last Man on Earth, The Fly (1986), The Frankenstein Syndrome (2010) (love this one!), Ive gotten through all those so far,…………..so tomorrow it starts with Audition, Thirst, and Cabin in the Woods (again).

    I want to try to fit Hellraiser, Silk, and Re-Animator in there if I can but heck they’re great viewing anytime. :)

    • Holy crap, when do you have time to sleep?!

      and the Re-Animator….what a great piece of 80′s movie making horror :D

  21. Has anybody seen my tambourine!

    Still my favorite line-from-a-song-sung-by-Tim-Curry EVEH, RHPS be darned!

  22. I was born in 1990, so the only film I remember from this list is “tower of terror”. I watched “Icabod Crane” because I had the VHS. I don’t remember it ever on tv. I do wanna check out Halloween Tree now

  23. Watcher in the woods, that was another great scary movie. You don’t see much anymore.

  24. My memory of ‘The Midnight Hour’ was too vague to let me track it down. Now I can, so thank you. I don’t know if I’ll still be grateful after I watch it again.

  25. Mad Monster Party is great.All I have this year is Charlie Brown

  26. LOL I guess I’m the old fart here because I remember all of them..

  27. Id love to see Trilogy of Terror again with Karen Black. That happened to be a Tuesday night Movie of the week on ABC. The littel zunie fetish doll was bizarre and scary.

  28. MAD MONSTER PARTY is a classic in itself. I grew up in the 1960′s watching this shown on Halloween. It should be brought back for all generations of children. But since it is now available on DVD, it is probably easier to just purchase it for home viewing!!

  29. Another special left off the list is The Fat Albert Halloween Special. The sight of the gang in homemade, straight from the junkyard, costumes was hilarious.