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Top 10 Halloween Movies for School-Aged Kids

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These Halloween movies are great for kids, depending on the kid. The movies are all rated PG (except for some Harry Potter DVDs), but have scenes that will definitely be scary for some children. I also have a Top 10 list of Halloween movies that are great for younger children (although only parents can decide if their child may be frightened of some scenes in any Halloween Movie).

1. Tim Burton's Corpse Bride (DVD) (2005)

Corpse Bride
Tim Burton combines wholesome comedy and creepy horror with this tale of a mild-mannered Victorian gentleman, Victor, who accidentally marries a mysterious corpse bride instead of his intended, Victoria. Victor soon discovers that the Land of the Dead holds more fun than frights and begins to fall in love with his innocent bride. Meanwhile, Victoria has been drawn into a scam of a marriage and may not escape with her life.

2. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas
Photo © WDSHE. All Rights Reserved.
In a world where each holiday has its own town, Jack Skellington embarks on a search for something more than the dreariness that Halloween Town offers. Inspired by his discovery of Christmas Town, Jack tries to bring a little Christmas spirit back home. Some of the characters may be scary to very young children. Rated PG for some scary images.
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3. Frankenweenie (2012)

Frankenweenie
Photo © Disney
The black and white stop-motion animated film Frankenweenie presents a touching and somewhat disturbing Frankenstein style tale about a boy who uses science to bring his dog back to life. Lightly drawing on classic horror flicks, the film is sort of an homage to scary movies past as well as a thoughtful look at the friendship and depth of love between a boy and his dog. Some scenes in the movie could be very scary for young children. Also, some kids may be disturbed by the idea of death and the sadness Victor feels when his dog is gone. I recommend this movie for kids 8 and up, but if you think your child might be sensitive to the subject matter, this one may be worth previewing first. The story does offer an opportunity to talk about death and how to deal with sad feelings when a pet is lost. (Rated PG)

4. Coraline

Coraline Blu-ray
Photo © Focus Features
A unique animated movie in a realm all it's own, Coraline is the perfect Halloween haunt movie for those who like a scare. While the animation is brilliant and the story one-of-a-kind, both may be frightening, horrifying even, to young children. For older kids, though, the movie is a creepy cautionary tale about the perils of things that are too good to be true. (PG)

5. R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour: Don't Think About It

R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour: Don't Think About It
Photo © Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Based on the story by popular author R.L. Stine, The Haunting Hour: Don't Think About It tells the spooky story of a girl who takes scaring people a little too far. When she finds a book that is capable of real magic, her courage in the face of a truly scary situation is put to the test. The movie is rated PG, for scary content and thematic elements. Stine's scary collections of short stories are generally aimed at kids about 9-12 years old, and the movie seems to target that age group as well.

6. Harry Potter Years 1-5 (DVD)

Harry Potter DVDs
Photo © Warner Bros.
This collection includes the following full-length feature films: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Great movies for Halloween time, but the fourth and fifth movies did get a PG-13 rating.

7. The Haunted Mansion (DVD) (2003)

The Haunted Mansion
Photo © Disney
Eddie Murphy stars in this spooky, CGI effect-packed Disney film, based on the famous Disney World attraction. He plays Jerry, a workaholic real estate agent who interrupts his family's vacation to check out a remote mansion that's for sale. But soon he and his family are trapped in the haunted house and are screaming for their lives. Rated PG.
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8. The Watcher in the Woods (DVD) (1980)

Watcher in the Woods
Photo © Disney
In this spooky suspense film, an American family moves into a creepy manor house located within a wooded area. Before long they start to see some odd things, and the new tenants learn that 30 years ago, a teenage girl, who bears an uncanny resemblance to their daughter Jan, disappeared nearby. Soon, the supernatural presence starts contacting both sisters. Very Scary! Definitely watch this one first to decide if kids should watch. Rated PG.
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9. Something Wicked This Way Comes (DVD) (1983)

Something Wicked This Way Comes
Photo © Disney
A freak show/carnival arrives in a small Illinois town, lead by the evil Mr. Dark. The town's citizens discover, to their surprise and delight, that Mr. Dark has the ability to grant wishes. However, the price of having a wish fulfilled is high: becoming a permanent member of Mr. Dark's traveling freak show. Rated PG.
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10. Goosebumps DVDs

Goosebumps: Monster Blood
Photo © Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
Goosebumps DVDs are based on the novels from R.L. Stine's horror series for 9-12 year-olds. The book series is a scholastic series, and each DVD has one or more episodes based on the Goosebumps stories. These stories are aimed at kids, but the gross looking monsters could be scary, even for some older kids. If they are fans of the books, though, kids will probably like the movies.
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Related Video
How to Set Up a Haunted House at a Kids Party
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