The 13 best spooky titles on Netflix for Halloween season

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13. Goosebumps Seasons 1-4

 This brings me back...in all the best/worst ways.

This brings me back…in all the best/worst ways. Credit: cartoon network

Whether you love R.L. Stine or blame him for your lifelong night terrors (guilty), Goosebumps is the perfect pick for a little hair-raising nostalgia. Evil puppets, creepy piano teachers, mud men, and more abound in this ’90s series I still cannot believe was marketed towards children. Here’s looking at that reboot, whenever it gets here. Please be just a little less terrifying. Please.

How to watch: Goosebumpsis now streaming on Netflix.

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Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado

Netflix

During the 80s and 90s, Walter Mercado was a fixture of Latin American life. Every day he would appear, flamboyantly swirling his bejewelled capes and sporting impossibly feathery hair, to read people's horoscopes on TV. Then he suddenly vanished. The androgynous Puerto Rican astrologer, whose personal life was a complete mystery, used the force of his self-conviction to climb his way into millions of people's living rooms. Like Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, he ended up isolated in his mansion, surrounded by paraphernalia of his glory years (including dozens of capes and bizarre paintings of his own face) and guarded by a protective assistant called Willie. Unlike Desmond, his ending isn't tragic. When the 80-year old, once described as "bigger than Jesus Christ" appears on camera for this documentary, he sparkles, but seems smaller and vulnerable. He doesn't want to talk about death ("how depressing") or ageing ("I'm just like Dorian Gray"). But in front of his fans, who he truly loves, he grows larger than life. This loving tribute to Mercado is rather too indulgent at times, but does something unique. It shows that the man under the cape was just the same as the man on screen: wonderful, weird and the real deal.

4. Stranger Things Seasons 1-3

 Long live, Queen Erica.  Credit: netflix

Long live, Queen Erica. Credit: netflix

Sure, binging Stranger Things can feel like more of a summer thing, considering that’s when we last got a season. But there’s no reason Netflix’s beloved sci-fi series can’t help get you pumped for fall too. Season 2 has an especially great Halloween-themed episode worth enjoying as part of a marathon or on its own. You know you want to see those little Ghostbusters again.

How to watch: Stranger Things is now streaming on Netflix.

A Haunted House (2013)

Boy, a lot of these horror films kinda sound like bummers, don’t they? If you need a break from the pure gore, why not have a little laugh at the silliness of it all? In the grand tradition of parody movies—many of which star a member of the Wayans family—A Haunted House stars Marlon Wayans in a madcap sendup of horror movies. Not specifically a parody like the Scary Movie franchise, it’s instead a silly plot all its own, a found-footage film with characters behaving in goofier ways than normal horror movies.

Is it timeless entertainment? Not exactly. But it’s silly fun, and that’s what Halloween’s all about.

Watch A Haunted House on Netflix

Challenger: The Final Flight

Public Domain/NASA/Netflix

In 1986 the space shuttle Challenger suffered total disaster, breaking up 73 seconds after launch and killing all seven crew members on board. The tragedy reshaped the space programme. In this four-part documentary, the crew’s surviving family paint a picture of the astronauts which was one of the most diverse crews ever created and included school teacher Christa McAuliff who was picked to be the first private citizen in space. The series retells the disaster and dives into the mechanical failures and decision making process, speaking to former Nasa engineers and officials who worked on the mission and had raised safety concerns before the launch.

13. The Staircase

Netflix What is it about? The wife of author Michael Peterson was found dead on the stairs of her house. He said he didn’t kill her, but the police believe otherwise. This documentary follows the resulting case. What’s so scary about it? It’s not only about all the dark secrets related to the case, but also just how every detail of one family’s life becomes made public.

The Addams Family (1991)

 																								Photo: Everett Collection
Photo: Everett Collection

Now, if you really want to talk classics, let’s talk The Addams Family. It’s hard to convey what a big deal this movie was when it came out—a big-screen adaptation of the 1960s television comedy about a family of supernaturally spooky characters. The casting is pitch-perfect, with each actor seemingly born to play their role, from Raul Julia’s Gomez to Anjelica Huston’s Morticia to Christina Ricci’s Wednesday to Christopher Lloyd’s Uncle Fester. It’s hard to imagine the roles having ever been filled by anyone else.

They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky, they’re altogether ooky—there, good luck getting that out of your head the rest of the month.

Watch The Addams Family on Netflix

8. Evil Genius: the True Story of America’s Most Diabolical Bank Heist

Netflix What is it about? This four-part documentary begins by telling the story of a pizza delivery boy who died while committing a robbery. The cause of death? A bomb tied to his neck. And it only gets crazier from there. What’s so scary about it? It will make you unable to anyone — including the person who is sitting next to you right now.

What Makes Documentaries Bone Chilling?

Documentaries, as opposed to fictional horror films, are bone chilling due to their real-life nature. The vampires and zombies of fictional horror films may not be plausible, but documentaries tell the story or capture what took place in real life. It can sometimes be more difficult to grasp the evil things that take place in the real world or to comprehend the actions of an evil person. Sometimes the evilest of people are your next-door neighbors. Truth, as they say, is, in fact, stranger than fiction.

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