THURSDAY, OCTOBER 30
The Office – 9/8c on NBC
Every office gets giddy with childlike excitement around Halloween time, and luckily for us, Dunder Mifflin has never been an exception. This year, however, Pam is the only one who shows her Halloween spirit. On an un-Halloween-related note, Dwight tries to get under Andy’s skin, and I’m gonna go out on a limb and predict that he succeeds.
My Name Is Earl – 8/7c on NBC
Earl tries to throw a Halloween party for Dodge and Earl Jr. which will inevitably not work out. Randy, meanwhile, gets freaked out by Catalina’s visiting nephew, who has the ability to conjure up voodoo. And no, you’re not alone if you think only the latter storyline sounds funny.
South Park – 9:30/8:30c on Comedy Central (R)
In this oldie but goody from all the way back in 1999 (season 3), the then-popular band Korn guest-stars and sings its then-popular song “Falling Away From Me” as the South Park boys must contend with pirate ghosts.
Celebrity Ghost Stories – 11/10c on BIO (R)
Gina Gershon, Ernie Hudson, Belinda Carlisle and Sammy Hagar are the “celebrities” in question who recount their paranormal experiences -- like doing this special! It’s surprising that Gershon sunk this low when she’s at least a Dancing with the Stars-caliber C-lister; it’s also surprising that E! didn’t hatch up this idea first.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 31
Live With Regis and Kelly -- Syndicated (Check Local Listings for Time/Channel)
In their umpteenth Halloween Spooktacular episode, Regis and Kelly change costumes a whopping 14 times -- or roughly 18 percent of Regis’ age. Former Dancing with the Stars runner-up/current Extra host Mario Lopez stops by for the festivities.
100 Scariest Movie Moments – 6-11 ET on Bravo (R)
Bravo sure has gotten its money’s worth with this five-part special from 2004, and don’t expect it to stop re-airing any Halloween soon. To the network’s credit, big-name interviewees (Stephen King, Wes Craven, Peter Jackson, Guillermo del Toro, et al.) were delivered, and the list is pretty dead-on. It’s a Halloween must-watch for those who haven’t seen it -- or at least a must-Wikipedia to see the list.
Goosebumps – 8-11 ET on Cartoon Network (R)
You may have never heard of this series, but the little ones have -- and chances are you’ve unwittingly purchased a Goosebumps lunchbox or two at some point. It’s every bit as much a G-rated Halloween tradition for the single-digit set as scary movies are for the rest of us.
R.L. Stine’s Mostly Ghostly – 9/8c on Disney (R)
The kiddies will probably be torn between this and the aforementioned Goosebumps mini-marathon -- both of which come from the prolific R.L. Stine. Ali Lohan (Lindsay’s little sis) starred in this recently aired special, which could be more or less be dubbed A Harry Potter Halloween.
Doomed to Die? 13 Most Shocking Hollywood Curses – 8/7c on E!
E! naturally finds a way to sneak into the Halloween TV game with this new special on 13 allegedly “cursed” celebrities and actors -- like the casts of The Exorcist and the Superman projects. And if Doomed to Die was made recently enough, you’d think the Dark Knight cast would have to make the cut, too.
Ghost Hunters Live – 7p-2a ET on Sci-Fi
The Ghost Hunters ghost hunters invite you to spend almost one-third of a day watching a single Halloween special. I mean, the show is good, but is it really “seven hours” good? Those who embark on this marathon will witness Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson revisit a Civil War post in Delaware to search for ghosts (duh!), and since it’s being broadcast live, we get to hunt for ghosts too! I’d personally feel pretty robbed of my seven hours if not a single ghost popped in for a cameo.
Modern Marvels – 8/7c on History
If more straightforward fare is what you’re after on Halloween night, this is as good as it gets. History Channel’s longtime series Modern Marvels examines Halloween-related technology -- as in monster makeup, mask production, jack-o’-lantern carving, fake blood and more. Not exactly must-see TV, but it’s a welcome change from pretty much everything else on the tube tonight.
The Exorcist – 11/10c on Bravo
With all due respect to The Shining and just about any John Carpenter film, I consider The Exorcist to be the scariest movie of all time, and what is Halloween TV about if not scaring yourself paranoid? Of course, William Friedkin’s masterpiece (based on William Peter Blatty’s masterpiece) may cut deeper than the desired one-night fright, whether you’re an Exorcist virgin or veteran -- but it's so worth it.
The Blair Witch Project – 9:45/8:45c on Flix
For optimum fear, transport yourself back to the time (1999) when Blair Witch burst onto the scene as a phenomenon you half-thought was real footage of a camping trip gone hellish. If you can do that, you’re in for a scare refresher on Halloween night.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 1
The Shining – 8/7c on A&E
Follow up The Exorcist from the previous night with The Shining -- then see if you can stay sane! Stephen King was reportedly disgusted with Stanley Kubrick’s big-screen adaptation of his bestselling horror novel, but audiences didn’t seem to mind. Sure, Shelley Duvall gets on everyone’s nerves in the movie, but a much younger Jack Nicholson makes you marvel at how he can be so damn menacing and maniacal here and then such a charmer in his rom-coms of today -- although his mean streak did reappear recently in The Departed.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind – 8/7c on AMC
Ah, how quick we are to forget (with the help of summer fluff like Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal) that Steven Spielberg is a sci-fi geek at heart, and that he used to occasionally dabble in horror. Take a look back at Close Encounters, released two years after Jaws and four prior to Raiders of the Lost Ark, for further insight into the master’s roots.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 2
The Simpsons – 8/7c on Fox
Treehouse of Horror: the highlight of any Halloween TV lineup, even if it is two nights after Halloween itself (usually it’s more). In this, the 19th such Simpsons special, Transformers and Halloween classic It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown are among those spoofed.