'The Walking Dead,' 'American Horror Story,' 'Modern Family' and more: This week's Halloween TV treats
As people of all ages get ready to celebrate, with or without costumes, various television networks will be doing the same. Here's a sampling of some of the offerings intended to be treats more than tricks.
"The Good Witch's Destiny" (Sunday, Oct. 27, Hallmark Channel): Repeating from its premiere the previous week, the sixth of Catherine Bell's fantasy movies makes the birthday of her supposed-sorceress character Cassie quite memorable.
"Paranormal Activity" (Sunday, FX): Which forces are causing a young couple ( Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat) great alarm in their home? They use video equipment to find out in this cost-effective 2007 horror hit.
"Hocus Pocus" (Sunday, ABC Family): The first of the last five of the channel's "13 Nights of Halloween" includes this seasonal movie favorite, the 1993 comedy-fantasy starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy as sibling witches who are up to no good.
"The Walking Dead" (Sunday, AMC): If you think it's random that this series starts new episodes again as Halloween nears, think again. Andrew Lincoln stars as Season 4 continues.
"Secrets of the Tower of London" (Sunday, PBS; check local listings): A setting for some famous horror tales, the tower gets an examination in this new special, encompassing its use as a site for executions.
"Witches of East End" (Sunday, Lifetime): This relative-newcomer series certainly is Halloween-appropriate; Julia Ormond, Madchen Amick, Rachel Boston and Jenna Dewan-Tatum are among the stars.
"Halloween Wars" (Sunday, Food Network): As the third season of the limited-run show concludes, the two remaining teams compete to create edible "Nightmares."
"Curious George: A Holiday Boo Fest" (Monday, Oct. 28, PBS; check local listings): The animated character appeals, as usual, to younger viewers by going the "Sleepy Hollow" route in pursuing a ghost known as No Noggin.
"Friday the 13th Part 3" (Monday, AMC): The fearsome Jason is back in full force this Halloween, as this 1982 entry launches a marathon of the hockey-masked villain's exploits.
"Scare Tactics" (Monday, Syfy): A cemetery isn't necessarily the calmest place to be at Halloween, as proved in the course of a marathon of new episodes of the Tracy Morgan-hosted, "Candid Camera"-like series.
"Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas" (Monday, ABC Family): Stark animation makes the Burton-produced saga of Jack Skellington (voiced by Danny Elfman, also the film's composer) all the more memorable.
"The Blair Witch Project" (Tuesday, Oct. 29, IFC): Countless parodies were launched by the style of this ultra-low-budget 1999 thriller, tracing the fates of several film students through the lens of their video camera.
"Ravenswood" (Tuesday, ABC Family): The new, supernaturally inclined "Pretty Little Liars" spinoff gets an extra airing of its premiere episode, followed by the debut of its second story.
"Trophy Wife" (Tuesday, ABC): There's little question Malin Akerman and company will get into the spirit of the season, since a new episode is subtitled ... "Halloween."
"War of the Worlds: American Experience" (Tuesday, PBS; check local listings): On the eve of its 75th anniversary, Orson Welles' legendary radio broadcast that threw much of America into a panic is recalled by interviewees including Welles' daughter Chris Welles Feder and filmmaker and close Welles friend Peter Bogdanovich.
"Naked Vegas" (Tuesday, Syfy): Zombies are the models for Las Vegas-based body painters in this series premiere, as the artists try to satisfy a couple who want their whole wedding party to resemble the undead.
"Twilight" (Wednesday, Oct. 30, ABC Family): Otherworldly elements are bountiful in the story that launched the saga of heroine Bella ( Kristen Stewart), vampire Edward ( Robert Pattinson) and werewolf Jacob ( Taylor Lautner).
"Halloween" (Wednesday, AMC): Well, of course this would be among the week's attractions. Director John Carpenter's 1978 classic made a so-called "scream queen" of Jamie Lee Curtis, playing the prime target of homicidal Michael Myers.
"Modern Family" (Wednesday, ABC): A repeat of last year's Halloween story, "Open House of Horrors," finds Claire ( Julie Bowen) determined to send a chill up Phil's ( Ty Burrell) spine.
"American Horror Story: Coven" (Wednesday, FX): It's also no coincidence this franchise has started its season shortly before Halloween. Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates and Angela Bassett are among the stars of a new, witch-school-themed episode.
"Ghost Hunters" (Wednesday, Syfy): A natural for a Halloween episode, the series takes Jason Hawes and his paranormal-research team to Cooperstown, N.Y., and Hyde Hall, a site haunted by a long-ago family feud.
"It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" (Thursday, Oct, 31, ABC): Another home-screen must of the season, the animated, ever-charming "Peanuts" special sees Linus maintain a vigil in the pumpkin patch he deems the "most sincere."
"The Rocky Horror Picture Show" (Thursday, IFC): What better time is there to do the Time Warp again? The 1975 musical-horror-comedy movie gets multiple showings, with a cast including Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick and Tim Curry.
Halloween episode marathon (Thursday, Disney Channel): Before and/or after the kids go out to collect goodies, they can enjoy any or all of six hours' worth of Disney Channel series episodes themed to the big day.
"The Pit and the Pendulum" (Thursday, TCM): Veteran actor Vincent Price and Edgar Allan Poe works were a potent combination for American International Pictures, and this 1961 classic launches a Halloween night of them that also includes "The Haunted Palace" and "The Masque of the Red Death."