Top Ten Tuesday: Trick or Treat!


This week’s edition of Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by the Broke and the Bookish) is all about Halloween.  Last year, I chronicled by ten favorite stories by Stephen King.  This year, I thought I’d look at ten of my favorite, spooky, Halloween-related stories from all varieties of media.

  1.  The Telltale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe — The original tale by Poe is great and one of my favorite suspenseful, scary stories.  But a lot of what makes this story memorable for me is a reading I had on cassette by Vincent Price.  Given first-person narration and the sound effect of a beating heart, Price’s reading added another layer to this as his character slowly went crazy hearing the telltale beating of the heart.
  2. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown — There’s very little scary about this classic holiday special, but it’s still one I look forward to watching each year.
  3. Quantum Leap: The Boogieman — Sam leaps into the body of a gothic horror writer and no matter how hard he tries to put things right, things keep going more and more wrong.  This one lands on the list because of a great twist and jaw-dropping moment in the final act.
  4. Young Frankenstein — Mel Brooks’ wonderful parody of the Universal horror films is one of the funniest movies you’ll see.  It makes a good pairing with…
  5. Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein — If you haven’t watched this one since you were a kid, I recommend trying it again this year.
  6. Suspense: Dead Earnest — This old time radio show still unnerves me.  It’s the story of a guy with a rare condition that if he gets into an accident, he appears to have passed away.  He carries a note in his pocket and a medical bracelet but gets separated from both in an accident . He comes perilously close to being embalmed and the story just ratchets up the suspense.
  7. Cujo by Stephen King — The first King novel I read all the way through and the one that hooked me on King.  I listened to the audio version a few years ago to see if my memory was cheating and the story was really as white-knuckling as I recall.  It is.  The scenes when the mother and son are trapped in the car by Cujo are some of the most vivid, suspenseful passages King has ever crafted.  I have to admit I  have still never watched the movie adaption of Cujo because I don’t see how it can be nearly as scary as the book was.  Or maybe I’m worried it will be just as scary.
  8. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Halloween:  If there was ever a show that seemed geared to have a great Halloween episode, it was Buffy.  And the first Halloween themed where everyone is transformed into whatever costume they’re wearing is one of the stand-out episodes from season two.  I probably give this one more props that other fans because I think season two of Buffy is the best overall season of the show.
  9. The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror.  At this point, you’ve got 26 or so Halloween installments to pick from and each one has at least one thing to recommend about it.  I prefer the early ones myself, but I’ll admit this year’s still made me laugh out loud. Among my favorites are Treehouse of Horror 2, “Lisa’s Nightmare” and installment five with “The Shinning.”
  10. A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay.  When a book scares Stephen King, you know it’s got to be next level.  And boy does this one deliver.  Don’t start reading before bed time.  This will keep you up reading to find out what happens next.  Tremblay uses the conventions of a horror story to build the suspense and the completely subverts your expectations.


Filed under meme, Top Ten Tuesday

3 responses to “Top Ten Tuesday: Trick or Treat!

  1. Love all of these! I just read A Head Full of Ghosts recently, and I’m sad I didn’t read it sooner. I also just purchased the Young Frankenstein coffee table book from Mel Brooks- it’s full of awesome movie tidbits.

  2. I love your list! I haven’t watched The Simpsons in a long time, but I used to love the Halloween specials. My favorite is the year they did Poe’s The Raven.

    Here’s my TTT:

  3. Cujo was a real eye-opener. I mean – the plot sounds like it could be boring, but I was riveted.

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