Mental Floss

The Quick 10: 10 Halloween Specials From Your Childhood

Stacy Conradt
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I've always been slightly nuts about Halloween. I distinctly remember having several VHS tapes packed full of Halloween specials that I would beg to watch year-round. I'm sure those tapes are long gone now, but luckily for me (and you), most of them can be found on YouTube now. Here are a few of my old favorites "“ and a few I wish I had known about!

1. A Disney Halloween. There have been a few Disney Halloween specials over the years (with so many great villains, how could there not be?) but this is the one that holds a special place in my heart. Hosted by the Magic Mirror from Snow White, it featured spooky clips from various Disney movies such as the Heffalumps and Woozles part of Winnie the Pooh. My favorite parts were the oldies, though "“ The Skeleton Dance and an old Mickey cartoon from 1937 called "Lonesome Ghosts." Mickey, Goofy and Donald were Ajax Exterminators, the original Ghostbusters, and were called to a haunted house by four bored ghosts looking to have a little fun. You can see the whole thing here, but the one I want to embed is The Skeleton Dance. It's so good.

2. It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. If you're looking for thrills and chills, obviously this isn't the special you're looking for. But watching Linus doggedly wait for the Great Pumpkin and watching Charlie Brown get a rock - again - has become a must-see over the years. The first time it ever aired, Charles Schulz once said, kids from all over the world sent in some of their Halloween candy to poor Charlie Brown so his Halloween would have more treats than tricks for once.

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5. Roseanne Halloween specials. I can't say that I'm necessarily a big Roseanne fan, but I did enjoy how all-out she went for All Hallows. I always envied the parties and pranks that went on at the Lobo.

6. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, AKA The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad. This is another oldie and can be hard to catch on T.V. these days. Before Johnny Depp's skittish and squeamish Ichabod Crane, there was Bing Crosby's skittish, squeamish and gluttonous version.

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9. Bugs Bunny's HOWL-Oween Special. Like the Disney special, this Looney Tunes show compiled a bunch of scary cartoons from years past. I'm partial to Transylvania 6-5000, a cartoon in which Bugs takes a wrong turn headed to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and finds himself in "Pittsburghe, Transylvania." He mistakes a vampire's enormous manor for a hotel and ends up spending the night under the watchful and hungry eye of Count Blood Count. Here it is in its entirety:

10. The Paul Lynde Halloween Special. Paul Lynde is maybe a little before my time, but this sounds pretty interesting. You had Florence Henderson singing a disco rendition of "That Old Black Magic," KISS performing several songs that have nothing to do with Halloween, and special appearances by Witchiepoo, The Wicked Witch of the West (played by the original, Margaret Hamilton), Donny and Marie Osmond and Betty White. Just"¦ wow. Check it out here if you're in the mood for a little camp. OK, a lot of camp.

What did you watch as a kid to gear up for Halloween?

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