A roundup of TV Halloween specials

Lesser-known episodes to check out this season.

If you’re still looking to procrastinate after every network has aired “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” for the fifth time, here is a compiled list of alternative Halloween specials that are slightly less famous but just as enjoyable. Sit yourself down with a cup of apple cider, a bowl of candy corn and your favourite miniature chocolate bar to enjoy some of TV’s spookiest gems.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Joss Whedon wasn’t going to write a show about everything supernatural and not make at least one Halloween special. In fact, he made three. Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s 1997 special makes every kids’ dream a reality when Buffy and her Scooby Gang go trick-or-treating only to be turned into their costume of choice. If there’s a perfect time for a Buffy marathon, Halloween is a pretty good contender.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine – Although  only in its second season, Brooklyn Nine-Nine has had two stellar Halloween-centric episodes so far. Both revolve around an ongoing bet between Detective Jake Peralta and the police captain Ray Holt. Both specials are complete with a fully-costumed cast and all the usual shenanigans.

Pretty Little Liars – No true Halloween specials roundup would be complete without everyone’s favourite gaggle of part-time murder-solving, emotionally distraught teen girls. Pretty Little Liars has had a Halloween special for every season so far, because apparently Rosewood, Pennsylvania has no shortage of highly dangerous high school parties for the crew to attend. Not only do Spencer, Aria, Emily, and Hanna have to face the woes of teen romance, but they’re almost always being followed by one murderer or another, so it’s not a huge change when Halloween comes around. Despite ABC Family’s usual sub-par writing, Pretty Little Liars knows how to deliver a solid Halloween scare.

Parks and Recreation – Halloween doesn’t pass by Pawnee, Indiana on Parks and Recreation. In the Halloween special of the show’s second season, “Greg Pikitis,” Ann hosts a party while Leslie spends her Halloween spying on her arch-nemesis for whom the episode is titled. In true Parks and Rec fashion, the episode is ripe with relatable small-town humour. Notable costumes include Ann’s “Raggedy Ann” and the perpetually-monotone April in a clown suit.

The X-Files – Though it’s not strictly a Halloween special, The X-Files produced one of their most truly terrifying episodes in October 1996 with “Home.” When Mulder and Scully encounter a family of farmers in small town Pennsylvania, they discover that the family is hiding some gruesome secrets. Most notably, this was the first episode of The X-Files to be labeled with a viewer discretion warning. “Home” continued the trend of “monster of the week”-style episodes with some traditional horror film tactics.

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