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Do you love the playful spookiness of fall but fear the horror movies so often associated with Halloween? If you're struggling to find a movie that's seasonally-appropriate but not terrifying, we feel your pain — which is why we've ranked 10 delightful films that definitely won’t give you nightmares. These movies may feature witches and dark arts, but they’re more charming than creepy; you can even watch them with the whole family. Read on to find out which non-scary Halloween movies made the list and where you can watch them.
10. Scooby-Doo (2002)
The Scooby-Doo cartoons have been childhood staples since the late '60s. In 2002, the Scooby gang came to life in a live-action movie starring '00s teen icons Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze Jr., Linda Cardellini and Matthew Lillard as the Scooby gang alongside the computer-generated dog. The movie features all kinds of madcap situations, and offers a fun new take on a cartoon classic.
Watch if you want: An update of your favorite childhood cartoon
9. Death Becomes Her (1992)
This dark comedy features the always-great Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn as rivals duking it out for romance and the promise of eternal youth. There are no witches in this one, but thanks to the movie’s pioneering use of special effects, it’s definitely the goriest title on our list. Still, while the visuals are often outrageous (like when Streep's head is twisted backward on her body), the film's tone remains campy — the effects feel more like a zany comic book than real bloodshed. Plus, the plot remains relevant today: It's satirizing the impossible beauty standards placed on women and the pressure we feel to resist the natural aging process with increasingly artificial and dangerous methods.
Watch if you want: To laugh and say "Ick!" at the same time
Where to watch: You can watch Death Becomes Her on Peacock.
8. Ghostbusters (1984)
Who you gonna call? Starring Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray and Harold Ramis as the eccentric ghost-busting team, this comedy is a true '80s classic. Ghostbusters offers the ideal mix of silliness and adult intrigue, and it instantly won over fans of all ages. The special effects are unforgettable, and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man remains one of the most creative villains of all-time.
Watch if you want: Equal parts Saturday Night Live and Saturday night scares
7. Beetlejuice (1988)
Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice! Director Tim Burton has helmed many creepy classics (including Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood and Sleepy Hollow) and Beetlejuice is one of his signature films. This cult-favorite comedy will take you on a madcap journey to the underworld, where the chaotic slapstick of the title character (unforgettably played by by Michael Keaton, sporting a spiffy black-and-white striped suit and wild makeup) reigns supreme. The stacked cast also includes Winona Ryder, Catherine O'Hara, Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis.
(Read about more Geena Davis movies here!)
Watch if you want: The ultimate cult horror-comedy
Where to watch: You can watch Beetlejuice on Max.
6. The Witches of Eastwick (1987)
This supernatural comedy, based on a novel by acclaimed writer John Updike, stars Cher, Michelle Pfeiffer and Susan Sarandon as women who discover they're witches. The three ladies sport some seriously fabulous '80s hairdos, and make for a true power trio, while Jack Nicholson's devious performance rounds out this A-list cast.
Watch if you want: A witchy tale that's very much for grownups
5. Hocus Pocus (1993)
This Disney comedy stars Sarah Jessica Parker, Bette Midler and Kathy Najimy as a trio of witch sisters who are accidentally resurrected by a teen boy who lives in Salem on Halloween night (don’t you hate it when that happens?). There’s nothing quite like seeing Midler ham it up while singing “I Put a Spell on You” to get you in the seasonal spirit.
Watch if you want: A trio of great actresses having a campy, fun time
4. Practical Magic (1998)
The second Halloween classic about sisters with magic powers on our list, Practical Magic stars Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman as contemporary women descended from a long line of witches. The sisters are victims of a family curse that dooms any man they love, and find themselves in a situation where they must use the magic they’ve mostly avoided for so long. The movie is filled with atmospheric candlelight and nostalgic '90s fashion — plus, the gorgeous Victorian house in which much of the action takes place is truly the stuff domestic dreams are made of, often referred to as one of the most memorable movie homes of all time.
Watch if you want: Cozy home decor inspiration
Where to watch: You can watch Practical Magic on Hulu.
3. Bell, Book and Candle (1958)
This '50s time capsule stars Kim Novak as a chic modern-day witch who casts a love spell on Jimmy Stewart. Novak lives in a cool bohemian New York apartment and her style is seductively sinister but never threatening (think lots of sleek, black ensembles and fabulous coats). Her cat, Pyewacket, is the ideal mystical companion — and if you've got a feline of your own, you’ll probably want to try replicating some of Novak and Pyewacket’s iconic poses after watching.
(Read more about Halloween cats here!)
Watch if you want: A super-stylish witch
Where to watch: You can watch Bell, Book and Candle on Tubi.
2. The Addams Family (1991)
Anjelica Huston and Raul Julia make the perfect Morticia and Gomez Addams, and a young Christina Ricci is unforgettable as their daughter, the cute but creepy Wednesday. The movie offers a whimsical, humorous take on gothic style, and Morticia and Gomez’s chemistry is positively off the charts (just watch the scene below to see what we mean). There’s something sweet about how this macabre pair just so happens to have the ideal marriage — no wonder Morticia and Gomez have long endured as a popular couple’s Halloween costume.
Watch if you want: Halloween’s most passionate power couple
1. I Married a Witch (1942)
One of the earliest (and greatest) non-scary Halloween movies, this '40s classic stars the iconic Veronica Lake, in all her swoopy-haired glory, as — you guessed it — a witch. Like Bell, Book and Candle, this movie also features a love spell that leads to some kooky results. Lake oozes hex appeal (get it?) in the role, and the film's dialogue sparkles with Old Hollywood mischief. The movie is just 76 minutes long, which means it’s a quick watch that's easy to fit into a night that includes trick-or-treating with the kids or attending a Halloween costume party.
(See some Veronica Lake in our '40s fashion roundup here!)
Watch if you want: A black-and-white classic
Where to watch: You can watch I Married a Witch on Max.
Happy spooky season!
Any one of these non-scary Halloween movies should fit perfectly into your holiday. Go ahead and curl up on the couch, eat a piece of candy (or 10, who's counting?), pour yourself a glass of wine, and enjoy a witchy tale that won’t have you jumping out of your seat.
Find more fun Halloween ideas here!