Each State’s Favorite Spooky Kids’ Movie
Running parallel to the horror movie craze that grips the nation each October is a rather less intense—though still significant—fixation on spooky-but-not-scary movies.
USDish recently launched a mission to find out which kid-friendly ones reign supreme, by first compiling a list of G- and PG-rated spooky movies and then crunching Google Trends data to determine each state’s most-searched one. According to the study, 2002’s live-action Scooby-Doo is quite the national favorite, having topped the charts in an impressive 13 states. (That said, it’s unclear whether some of that high search volume inadvertently came from people looking to watch 2020’s Scoob! or any of the older animated Scooby-Doo movies.)
Coraline, the 2009 adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s eponymous children’s novella, took first place in 10 states. The stop-motion fantasy was directed by Henry Selick, who was also behind the camera for 1993’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. That cult classic is conspicuously missing from the map, suggesting either that people just don’t Google it very often, or that USDish didn’t include it in the study. (Though the Tim Burton-created story is undeniably spooky, some people do maintain that it’s actually a Christmas movie.)
Another Tim Burton movie did make the map: Beetlejuice (1988), which ranked first in Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, South Dakota, and Vermont. It wasn’t the top-performing ’80s offering—1984’s Ghostbusters claimed eight states, from Idaho to New Hampshire.
Oregon’s choice film from the list was Halloweentown (1998), no doubt owing to the fact that it was filmed in the town of St. Helens, which holds a weeks-long “Spirit of Halloweentown” festival each year to celebrate that history.
Find out your state’s favorite scary kids’ movie below, and see it in list form here.