Best Halloween Movies For Kids

ItstheGreatPumpkinCharlieBrownFor parents wishing to keep Halloween in check for the younger ones, here is aMickeys-house-of-villians helpful list containing some suggestions of the best scary films for children to watch during the Halloween holiday week or weekend. Some of these films are not appropriate for some of the younger children, so please use your discretion. Film ratings have been provided.

In reverse chronological order of release, the following few films are commonly referred to as the “Best Kids Halloween Movies” from a small collective of ‘family friendly’ websites that include Common Sense Media, About.com and FamilyManagement.com

  • 2008 >> Igor (Rated PG)Haunted-Mansion
  • 2006 >> Monster House (Rated PG)
  • 2005 >> Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were Rabbit (Rated G)
  • 2005 >> Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie (Rated G)
  • 2003 >> The Haunted Mansion (Rated PG)
  • 2002 >> Mickey’s House of Villains (Not Rated)
  • 2001 >> Monsters, Inc. (Rated PG)
  • 2000 >> Scooby Doo’s Creepiest Capers (Not Rated)
  • 1998 >> Halloweentown (RatedPG)
  • 1995 >> Casper (Rated PG)
  • 1993 >> Hocus Pocus (Rated PG)escape to witch mountain
  • 1993 >> The Nightmare Before Christmas (Rated PG)
  • 1991 >> Ernest Scared Stupid (Rated PG)
  • 1989 >> Little Monsters (Rated PG)
  • 1983 >> Something Wicked This Way Comes (Rated PG)
  • 1982 >> E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (Rated PG)
  • 1981 >> The Watcher In The Woods (Rated PG)
  • 1975 >> Escape To Witch Mountain (Rated G)
  • 1971 >> Bedknobs and Broomsticks (Rated G)
  • 1966 >> It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (Not Rated)
  • 1939 >> The Wizard of Oz (Rated G)

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All Things Halloween

Here you will find virtually all things relating to and dealing with Halloween including…

MusicMovies Ghost Stories

Facts Legends Myths

HistoryTraditions Around The World

Legendary Haunted HousesActual Ghost Towns

Haunted Places & AttractionsHalloween Safety

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Simply click on each link to take you directly to each site. The first five links are located directly within this blog — the last seven are links to excellent sites outside of this blog around the net.

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Halloween Traditions Around The World

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Courtesy of author & illustrator, Neecy Twinem. Click for more info

As one of the world’s oldest holidays, Halloween is still celebrated today in several countries around the globe, but it is in North America and Canada that it maintains its highest level of popularity. Every year, 65% of Americans decorate their homes and offices for Halloween… a percentage exceeded only by Christmas. Halloween is the holiday when the most candy is sold and is second only to Christmas in terms of total sales.

Austria

In Austria, some people will leave bread, water and a lighted lamp on the table before retiring on Halloween night. The reason for this is because it was once believed such items would welcome the dead souls back to earth on a night which for the Austrians was considered to be brimming with strong cosmic energies.

Belgium

The Belgians believe that it is unlucky for a black cat to cross one’s path and also unlucky if it should enter a home or travel on a ship. The custom in Belgium on Halloween night is to light candles in memory of dead relatives.

Canada

Modern Halloween celebrations in Canada began with the arrival of Scottish and Irish immigrants in the 1800s. Jack O’Lanterns are carved and the festivities include parties, trick-or-treating and the decorating of homes with pumpkins and corn stalks.

China

In China, the Halloween festival is known as Teng Chieh. Food and water are placed in front of photographs of family members who have departed while bonfires and lanterns are lit in order to light the paths of the spirits as they travel the earth on Halloween night. Worshippers in Buddhist temples fashion “boats of the law” from paper, some of which are very large, which are then burned in the evening hours. The purpose of this custom is twofold: as a remembrance of the dead and in order to free the spirits of the “pretas” in order that they might ascend to heaven. “Pretas” are the spirits of those who’ve died as a result of an accident or drowning and whose bodies were consequently never buried. The presence of “pretas” among the living is thought by the Chinese to be dangerous. Under the guidance of Buddhist temples, societies are formed to carry out ceremonies for the “pretas,” which includes the lighting of lanterns. Monks are invited to recite sacred verses and offerings of fruit are presented.

Czech Republic / Slovakia

In the split countries formerly known as Czechoslovakia, chairs are placed by the fireside on Halloween night. There is one chair for each living family member and one for each family member’s spirit.

England

At one time, English children made “punkies” out of large beetroots, upon which they carved a design of their choice. Then, they would carry their “punkies” through the streets while singing the “Punkie Night Song” as they knocked on doors and asked for money. In some rural areas, turnip lanterns were placed on gateposts to protect homes from the spirits who roamed on Halloween night. Another custom was to toss objects such as stones, vegetables and nuts into a bonfire to frighten away the spirits. These symbolic sacrifices were also employed as fortune-telling tools. If a pebble thrown into the flames at night was no longer visible in the morning, then it was believed that the person who tossed the pebble would not survive another year. If nuts tossed into the blaze by young lovers then exploded, it signified a quarrelsome marriage. For the most part however, the English ceased celebrating Halloween with the spread of Martin Luther’s Protestant Reformation. Since followers of the new religion did not believe in Saints, they saw no reason to celebrate the Eve of All Saints’ Day. However, in recent years, the American “trick or treating” custom, together with the donning of costumes for going door-to-door, has become a relatively popular pasttime among English children at Halloween, although many of the adults (particularly the older generations) have little idea as to why they are being asked for sweets and are usually ill-prepared to accommodate their small and hopeful callers.

France

Unlike most nations of the world, Halloween is not celebrated by the French in order to honor the dead and departed ancestors. It is regarded as an “American” holiday in France and was virtually unknown in the country until around 1996.

Germany

In Germany, the people put away their knives on Halloween night. The reason for this is because they do not want to risk harm befalling the returning spirits.

Hong Kong

The Halloween celebration in Hong Kong is known as “Yue Lan” (Festival of the Hungry Ghosts) and is a time when it is believed that spirits roam the world for twenty-four hours. Some people burn pictures of fruit or money at this time, believing these images would reach the spirit world and bring comfort to the ghosts.

Ireland

In Ireland, believed to be the birthplace of Halloween, the tradition is still celebrated as much as it is in the United States. In rural areas, bonfires are lit as they were in the days of the Celts and children dress up in costumes to spend the evening “trick-or-treating” in their neighborhoods. After the visiting, most people attend parties with neighbors and friends. At these parties, many games are played, including “snap-apple,” in which an apple on a string is tied to a doorframe or tree, and players attempt to take a bite out of the suspended apple. In addition to bobbing for apples, parents often arrange treasure hunts with sweets or pastries as the “treasure.” The Irish also play a card game where cards are laid face-down on a table with sweets or coins beneath them. When a child selects a card, he or she receives whatever prize might be found there. A traditional food is eaten on Halloween called “barnbrack.” This is a type of fruitcake which can be baked at home or store-bought. A muslin-wrapped treat is baked inside the cake. It is said that it  can foretell the future of the one who finds it. If the prize is a ring, then that person will soon be wed and a piece of straw means a prosperous year is forthcoming. Children are also known to play tricks upon their neighbors on Halloween night. One of which is known as “knock-a-dolly,” where children knock on the doors of their neighbors but then run away before the door is opened.

Japan

The Japanese celebrate the “Obon Festival” (also known as “Matsuri” or “Urabon”) which is similar to Halloween festivities in that it is dedicated to the spirits of ancestors. Special foods are prepared and bright red lanterns are hung everywhere. Candles are lit and placed into lanterns which are then set afloat on rivers and seas. During the “Obon Festival,” a fire is lit every night in order to show the ancestors where their families might be found. “Obon” is one of the two main occasions during the Japanese year when the dead are believed to return to their birthplaces. Memorial stones are cleaned and community dances performed. The “Obon Festival” takes place during July or August.

Korea

In Korea, the festival similar to Halloween is known as “Chusok.” It is at this time that families thank their ancestors for the fruits of their labor. The family pays respect to these ancestors by visiting their tombs and making offerings of rice and fruits. The “Chusok” festival takes place in the month of August.

Mexico / Latin America / Spain

Among Spanish-speaking nations, Halloween is known as “El Dia de los Muertos.” It is a joyous and happy holiday…a time to remember friends and family who have died. Officially commemorated on November 2 (All Souls’ Day), the three-day celebration actually begins on the evening of October 31. Designed to honor the dead who are believed to return to their homes on Halloween, many families construct an altar in their home and decorate it with candy, flowers, photographs, fresh water and samples of the deceased’s favorite foods and drinks. Frequently, a basin and towel are left out in order that the spirit can wash prior to indulging in the feast. Candles are incense are burned to help the departed find his or her way home. Relatives also tidy the gravesites of deceased family members, including snipping weeds, making repairs and painting. The grave is then adorned with flowers, wreaths or paper streamers. Often, a live person is placed inside a coffin which is then paraded through the streets while vendors toss fruit, flowers and candies into the casket. On November 2, relatives gather at the gravesite to picnic and reminisce. Some of these gatherings may even include tequila and a mariachi band although American Halloween customs are gradually taking over this celebration. In Mexico during the Autumn, countless numbers of Monarch butterflies return to the shelter of Mexico’s Oyamel fir trees. It was the belief of the Aztecs that these butterflies bore the spirits of dead ancestors.

Sweden

In Sweden, Halloween is known as “Alla Helgons Dag” and is celebrated from October 31 until November 6. As with many other holidays, “Alla Helgons Dag” has an eve which is either celebrated or becomes a shortened working day. The Friday prior to All Saint’s Day is a short day for universities while school-age children are given a day of vacation.

Here are a couple more Halloween related posts (links) from this blog:

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Fascinating Facts Legends & Myths About Halloween

halloween-blkcat-blue-moonFor centuries Halloween has had it’s share of folklore, mystery and deep-rooted tradition.  However, I bet there are a few things about the celebration that you may not have known about. Here are a few fascinating facts and legends as well as a few myths associated with Halloween that you may not have necessarily been aware of…..october31-calendar

  • Halloween is historically and traditionally celebrated on October 31st.

  • Halloween is one of the oldest celebrations in the world, dating back over 2000 years to the time of the Celts who lived in Britain.halloween-jackolantern
  • Halloween is also known by a few other names…

* All Hallow’s Eve
* Samhain
* All Hallowtide
* The Feast of the Dead
* The Day of the Dead

  • About 99% of pumpkins marketed domestically are used as Jack O’Lanterns at Halloween.3jack-o-lanterns
  • In the United States, 65% of Americans decorate their homes for Halloween.
  • halloween-candyMore candy is sold just prior to Halloween than any other holiday during the year. Halloween also ranks second, in terms of total sales, just behind Christmas… which has $$$ dancing into merchants cash registers.Houdini
  • Legendary magician Harry Houdini died in Detroit of gangrene and peritonitis resulting from a ruptured appendix on Halloween in 1926.
  • Did you know that in the dictionary there are no words that rhyme with orange?
  • halloween-cartoon-costumesThe tradition of “Trick or Treating” is believed to have originated in Ireland. In preparation for All Hallow’s Eve, Irish townsfolk would visit neighbors and ask for contributions of food for a feast in the town.halloween-movie-michael-myers
  • The original 1978 Halloween film classic directed by John Carpenter cost just $320,000 to produce, however it ended up making over $50 million at the box office worldwide.
  • People have believed for centuries that light keeps away ghosts and ghouls. Making a pumpkin lantern with a candle inside is suppose keep you safe from all the restless spirits flying around on Halloween.
  • Halloween traditionally is correctly spelled ….. Hallowe’en.
  • When Christianity came to England and the rest of Europe, November 1st became known as “All Saints Day” – a day dedicated to all those saints who didn’t have a special day of their own. They performed a mass called “All hallows mass”. The night before became known as “All Hallows E’en” (translated in America as “All Hallow’s Eve”) and eventually became Hallowe’en or Halloween.
  • halloween-costume-parade

  • When the Romans conquered England, they merged ‘Samhain’ with their own festivals, a harvest festival called ‘Poloma’, and a celebration for the dead called ‘Feralia’.
  • In Mexico, as well as several other Latin American countries, they celebrate ‘El Dia de los Muertos’ or the Day of the Dead starting on the evening of October 31.
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  • It is thought that the colors, orange and black, became Halloween colors because orange is associated with harvests (Halloween marks the end of harvest) and black is associated with death.black-cat
  • Black cats were originally believed to protect witches’ powers from ‘negative forces’.
  • A pumpkin is really a squash, and comes from the same family as the cucumber.
  • The biggest pumpkin in the world tipped the scales at a whopping 1,446 pounds. This biggest-pumpkingigantic gourd was weighed in October 2004 at a pumpkin festival in Port Elgin, Ontario, Canada.
  • The record for the fastest pumpkin carver in the world is Jerry Ayers of Baltimore, Ohio. He carved a pumpkin in just 37 seconds!
  • The very first jack o’ lantern was made out of hollowed out turnips.spiderandweb
  • Folklore has it that ringing a bell scares away evil spirits.
  • Legend claims that if you see a spider on this particular night, it could be the spirit of a deceased loved one who is watching over you.
  • Another folklore tale states that if you care to encounter a witch, put halloween-witch-on-broomyour clothes on inside out and walk backwards on Halloween night.
  • Supposedly if your pumpkin lantern shrivels up, you can restore it by soaking it in water overnight to re-hydrate it.

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Here are a couple more Halloween related posts (links) from this blog:

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Here’s another fun and informative post on Thanksgiving: