The Top 5: Forgotten TV Halloween Specials

Tired of the same old TV specials on Halloween? Give these a try!

When you get to looking around just about everyone has the same Top 5 favorite made-for-TV Halloween specials: Garfield’s Halloween Adventure, Disneyโ€™s Halloween Treat, Bugs Bunnyโ€™s Howl-oween Special, Itโ€™s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and The Halloween Tree.

This is with good reason, those Halloween specials rock harder than just about any other BUT some years you just want something a little different. Something a bit more obscure, something a bit more… strange, perhaps. Well, boils and ghouls, this list is for you.

5) Halloween with The Addams Family

Not to be confused with Halloween with the New Addams Family, which was actually a pilot to reboot the original series, this Halloween episode of the original The Addams Family combines to things that were almost made for each other: The Addams Family and Halloween in glorious black and white. When two bank robbers decide to hide out at The Addams Family abode, they are mistaken for trick or treaters and get a bit more than they bargained for thanks to the good-willed ghouls. Don Rickles also makes a guest appearance as one of the robbers.

4) Mickey Mouse in “The Runaway Brain”

Technically I don’t think this one has ever made it to TV, which is a real shame because it’s freaking awesome! So awesome, in fact, that I wrote about it back in 2009 as well (click here to read that article). The short finds Mickey working for a mad scientist by the name of Dr. Frankenollie who pulls a Freaky Friday on the mouse, switching his mind with that of a lumbering monstrosity. It was actually released theatrically for a select few films in the 90s and is said to be inspired by Mickey Mouse’s The Mad Doctor (another great Halloween toon), but now you can find it on DVD as well as part of Mickey Mouse in Living Color, Vol. 2.

3) Ed, Edd n Eddy’s Boo Haw Haw

Danny Antonucci is a master at zany animation. From The Brothers Grunt to his big break on Ed Edd ‘n Eddy, the man is a mad genius so it’s only natural that a Halloween special by the man would be over the top and in 2005 he got his chance to prove it with Ed, Edd n Eddy’s Boo Haw Haw. The boys are on a quest for the ultimate Halloween loot, but it turns out Ed’s brain is a little fried (more than usual) from watching too many scary movies which makes him see everyone as monsters.

2) The Adventures of Pete and Pete “Halloweenie”

There’s just something about Pete and Pete that makes every normal, mundane experience something special, so naturally when they took something as sacred as Halloween they made it a night to truly remember. When Big Pete loses his Halloween spirit thanks to a gang of jack o’lantern wearing hoodlums called The Pumpkin Eaters, it’s up to his brother to set things right again. Awesome characters, unbelievable visuals and an appearance by Iggy Pop. Hell yeah!

1) The Real Ghostbusters “Halloween Door

While any given episode of The Real Ghostbusters could be attributed to Halloween in some way, The Halloween Door was special. Not only was it written by the great J. Michael Straczynski, who wrote many if not all of the best episodes throughout the show’s run, but it was made specifically for Halloween and even premiered on prime time TV when cartoons were still considered kid fodder. The show starts off with the crotchety Dr. Crowley trying to convince the Ghostbusters to help him end Halloween (wah?!). Of course, the GB aren’t having any of that nonsense and send Crowley and his creepy assistant on their way. Undeterred, Crowley goes forward with his plans anyway and unleashes his Electronic Positronic Anti-Halloween Machine. Bad move.

What are some of your favorite, forgotten TV Halloween Specials? Rosanne? Boy Meets World? Full House?

This article is part of the Countdown to Halloween blogathon, a month-long blogging marathon dedicated to honoring the Halloween season. For more information and a full list of participating sites, please visit

Written by Rondal

Rondal is the Editor-in-Chief of Strange Kids Club and a creative instigator who tackles each day with Red Bull-induced enthusiasm and a mind for adventure. Rondal has written for other sites including Rue Morgue, Fuel Your Illustration and Bloodsprayer. His obsession with horror movies, 80s animation and action figures is considered unhealthy by medical professionals.

2237 posts
  • Good list, Rondal

    I’m also a big fan of The Claymation Halloween Special and Ray Bradbury’s The Halloween Tree. I wish I could find them… especially The Halloween Tree.

    • Nice picks, Dustin! Will Vinton’s Claymation Specials have always been a personal favorite of mine as well.

    • Gzilla2000

      The Halloween Tree was on Boomerang today and going to play again on Halloween at 9:00 am est. It was the first time I’ve seen it and I thought it was great. As a fan of all things Halloween, I can’t believe it has gone under my radar for nearly twenty years.

      • That’s so awesome, Gzilla! Thanks for the heads up, I hadn’t heard that it’d be on tv again. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Yes! I love The Runaway Brain, it left such an impression on me that I can still distinctly remember seeing it in the theater. It was so different from other Mickey Mouse cartoons in tone and visuals. I really wish they would keep making new cartoons staring the core Disney characters. (Ones that are creative like this one, not “Mickey Mouse Club House” and things of that nature.) Mickey is everywhere and yet you hardly ever get to see him do much.

    • I couldn’t agree more, Glen. I could even see them doing adaptations of famous tales like this one… plus I miss Duck Tales. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Wonderful list. Gotta check more of ’em out. And let’s not forget the Paul Lynde Halloween Special from 1976, featuring KISS and the Wicked Witch of the West, Margaret Hamilton!

    • Ah man, really good pick Mighoul! I don’t think I’ve ever seen that one… looks like YouTube took it down as well, but there’s a DVD out. Would you say it’s worth picking up?

  • LaDracul

    There was actually a “Far Side” one called “Tales From the Far Side”, which showcased a lot of Gary Larson’s insane humor while still being a Halloween special. Sadly, nothing is on YouTube from it…even though a “Brady Bunch” parody called “The Bacon Bunch” involving pigs with a bad day involving a snake is my personal favorite. ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh, and this episode of “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends”-

    And that “Pete and Pete” one is just awesome…that entire show was HILARIOUS. XD

    Big Pete: Pete was just relieved he could relieve himself in his spacesuit.
    Little Pete: Ahhh…technology!

    • LaDracul

      Ooops, here’s the link-

    • Rondal

      You know… I forgot just how good a show Foster’s was!! I really miss it after seeing that episode. ๐Ÿ™

  • My hands down favorite Halloween special of all time is “Raggedy Ann & Andy and the Pumpkin Who Couldn’t Smile” done by Chuck Jones. It makes me so happy. And I have to agree with La Dracul about the Foster’s episode.

    • Rondal

      Nice one! I haven’t seen that one in ages, though I remember still having my own Raggedy Andy when I did – a true classic.

  • ChristieLea

    I loved, and still love, Witch’s Night Out. It’s from the 70s and features a “washed-up-witch” who, longing to become relevant again, grants the wishes of two kids and turns them into real monsters. Trouble is, nobody in town recognizes them anymore. Hysteria and hijinks ensure. 70s-style animation and several adult jokes that flew over my head as a kid…brilliant.

    • Rondal

      I’ve heard of Witch’s Night Out, but never actually seen it – looks pretty trippy though. Definitely plan on adding that one to my Halloween queue. Thanks!

  • words cannot describe how much i love this website!
    keep up the great work!

    • Thanks so much for that! We love fresh meat. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Great article! I’ve seen the Addams Family episode, but need to check out the others on the list! Also, I agree with ChristieLea that “Witch’s Night Out” is pretty great.

    My personal faves are “Mr. Boogedy” and “The Halloween that Almost Wasn’t.” Great shows!

  • Oh I love all of these!!! Can’t wait to watch Halloweenie again…’s been so long!

  • The Runaway Brain rocked! Fun toon indeed.

  • Eryk Cereal

    I know it didn’t origianlly air on Halloween but Mr. Boogedy is one that always stands out in my mind.

    • A classic Eryk – nice pick!

  • You forgot Amazing Stories “Go to the Head of the Class” and “Mummy Daddy”… oh and The Paul Lynde Halloween Special

    • Hahaha… sounds like we need a new list for this year! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • even thought it’s a Disney Channel tv movie, Halloweentown was pretty good too!