Treats over tricks: Ultimate guide to not-so-scary Halloween movies

For many, Halloween is the most wonderful time of the year. They love not knowing which step will trigger the next jump scare in a haunted house, the suspenseful music in every horror movie, and ghost stories good enough to keep them awake at night.

There is, however, an entire population who believe Halloween is their worst nightmare. Members of this group absolutely dread the spooky season and the anxiety that accompanies it. October wasn’t made for them, but there’s no reason they shouldn’t be able to enjoy their own type of fun. This is a list of Halloween films for those who prefer silliness to screams and nostalgia to nightmares.

“It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” is the perfect solution for those who want to take a nostalgic approach to kicking off the holiday season. The 25-minute short follows the familiar Peanuts characters as they celebrate Halloween with failed ghost costumes, rocks, and a night spent trying to catch The Great Pumpkin. Although it’s not the length of a full feature film, this short pairs well with “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” and a warm blanket.

For those seeking a longer, thrilling series, the Ghostbusters series is a great fit. The first installment of the series, “Ghostbusters,” features a group of three parapsychologists fighting against the ghosts of New York City. The group is forced to disband until they must come together again five years later in “Ghostbusters II” to fight against a new paranormal antagonist. They may contain a few moderately scary scenes, but these films are comedies at their core.

Although “Hocus Pocus” contains some slightly darker themes, horror fans would still be disappointed at the lack of jump scares or heart-racing material. This classic explores what happens when the Sanderson Sisters, three witches originally killed during the Salem witch trials, are accidentally resurrected on Halloween. The film’s sequel was recently released which will please those dying for more of the Sanderson sisters’ adventures.

While it is perhaps the least-known film on this list, Disney’s “The Haunted Mansion” offers a great combination of small jump scares, comedy, and a heartwarming message. The movie is based on the iconic ride of the same name found in Disney’s theme parks, but the film is still enjoyable for those who haven’t been on the ride. “The Haunted Mansion” is the perfect choice for those seeking a lighthearted and just a tad scary film.

There are plenty of options for those who want a more playful Halloween experience without prematurely celebrating the winter holidays. Even if you find yourself dreading spooky season because of the anxiety-inducing thrills that seem to be everywhere, there’s no reason you shouldn’t also be able to enjoy yourself on Halloween.