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Trick or Treat: Your Spooky Halloween Reading

"I love to read this website with fava beans and chianti" - Mads Mikklesen/Hannibal

“I love to read this website with fava beans and a nice chianti” – Mads Mikklesen/Hannibal

Trying to read everything on the internet can be a bit like trying to high-five a ghost, you will never manage and you will look like an idiot doing it. Never fear, we have taken the liberty of assembling an entire crypt full of spooky TV reading for you over this frightening weekend. Fill your skull with spirits (either spectral or alcoholic) and enjoy.

If you are blood-thirsty for examples of terror so pure that they were banished to the underworld, check out this list of nine banned shows that were way too scary for TV. Incidently, the featured X-Files episode “Home” happens to be one of David Farrier’s favourites. Just goes to show, we are truly depraved ghouls here at The Spinoff. For a stunning overview of television frights, check out this Anthology of Fear, taking us from The Twilight Zone to Tales From the Crypt to today’s horrific primetime hauntings. Talking of The Twilight Zone, here’s six episodes that prove society is more terrifying than any monster. Read more about the current state of horror on TV (and it’s lumbering undead path into the future) in our own Andrew Todd’s feature about how horror impaled the small screen.

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two heads are better than one

As you may have noticed, you’d be mad to talk about modern horror on TV without mentioning Ryan Murphy’s masterpiece anthology American Horror Story. Superfans will enjoy these musings from Vulture on how the AHS universe could all be connected. Spoiler: it’s way more than just Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates. If you are new to the show, prepare to be even more chilled by reading about the true stories that inspired it’s characters. Any phantom fashion gurus out there will enjoy this interview with the show’s costume designer Lou Eyrich, featuring a gallery of the weird and wonderful creep-fest couture.

For a scare-free televisual Halloween, make sure you check out The Independent’s best Halloween TV specials to watch over the weekend. There’s plenty of places to get your light-hearted fill of trick or treat, from Joey being hilarious and dressing up as Chandler on Friends to Sabrina the Teenage Witch getting into some clone-based catastrophe. Some classic kid-friendly Halloween fun comes in 1996’s It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown (clips of which are available on Youtube) with this accompanying piece about it’s broad appeal to (gasp) even the Social Media Generation! Going back further still, there is a great Grantland piece about the rare 1977 Suessian oddity known as Halloween is Grinch Night. Here is the full episode for your perusal, but be aware that little ones might come away with “existential terror-based nightmares.”

And of course, we can’t talk about Halloween cartoons without mentioning The Simpsons and their iconic “Treehouse of Horror” episodes. Spanning for 25 years now, the Halloween specials are packed with references from Rear Window to The Twilight Zone, and we can always rely on goopy aliens Kang and Kodos to give us some intergalactic commentary. Lucky for you, someone has taken the liberty of ranking them from worst to best. Could be a good place to start if you haven’t seen many, or a good place to get into some forum fights if you are a die-hard fan. Either way – you’re gonna be having fun. The latest “Treehouse of Horror” episode aired earlier in October in the states, showing us that true horror lies within evil marketing entities:

Finally, some interesting (but not directly related to Halloween) video treats to throw in your pumpkin-head goodie bag:

The terrifying latest look at Christopher Walken dressed as Hook for NBC’s musical event:

Modern Family recut as a horror show:

This terrible 2008 reality show called Scream Queens where a bunch of terrible actresses compete to be the prime meat on the chopping block in Saw 6. Contestant Jessica is a very particular brand of batshit:

Scary stuff. Have a happy and safe Halloween.

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