Team grin

Grin’s Halloween Picks

It’s spooky season and the Grin team have put together their very best scary (and not so scary) suggestions for films, songs and books that you should be getting into this autumn.


Film: The Corpse Bride
The Nightmare Before Christmas’ less popular but definitely cooler sibling! The Corpse Bride is full of haunting, melancholy atmosphere which makes it a fantastic Halloween pick.
Song: Monster Mash by The Crypt-Kickers
A certified Halloween staple with a tonne of cover versions to choose from too. Is it really Halloween if you’ve not heard this song?
Book: Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
I borrowed this from the GRIN bookshelf a while ago and loved it! Rebecca is a classic that absolutely doesn’t read like one. It starts as a romance but quickly turns into a creepy thriller with a fantastic twist.


Film: Hotel Transylvania
A kid-friendly take on your typical horror film. In Hotel Transylvania, Count Dracula is a hotelier who, alongside a variety of spooky guests, has to figure out what to do when a human visitor arrives.
Honourable Mentions: Scooby-Doo and Paranormal Activity
Song: The Addams Family Theme Song
Duh-duh-duh-duh *click* *click* – What more is there to say?
Book: The Monster Book of Monsters by Edwardus Lima
The creepiest looking book going! The Monster Book of Monsters is an iconic part of the Harry Potter universe. Edwardus Lima is in fact a pen name snuck into the films by graphic design duo MinaLima (Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima).


Film: Practical Magic
If you’re after a cosy Halloween film with the added bonus of Sandra Bullock AND Nicole Kidman then give Practical Magic a go. A friend introduced me to this film years ago and it has been a Halloween staple for me ever since. Sister witches dealing with toxic men – ultimate Halloween vibes.
Other honourable mentions: Mars Attacks, Sleepy Hollow and (of course) Twilight
Song: Hard Rock Hallelujah by Lordi
Eurovision meets Halloween with this winning entry from Finnish Band Lordi in 2006. A memorable Eurovision moment, a cool music video, creepy costumes and just a proper Halloween banger.
Book: The Troop by Nick Cutter
This book is so gross and disturbing that I threw it at one point… but I loved it. A scout troop head into the Canadian wilderness for a camping trip and are joined by a human carrier of a really grim bioengineered parasite. Not for you if you’ve got a weak stomach!


Film: Shaun of the Dead
Watchable at any time of year really but the zombie-killing x Queen pub scene just hits different at Halloween. Here’s your sign to rewatch the Cornetto Trilogy again!
Song: Season of the Witch by Donovan
Spooky. mysterious Halloween goodness!
Book: Hag: Forgotten Folktales Retold
Sisters fighting for the love of the same woman, a pregnant archaeologist unearthing impossible bones, pixies preying on violent men and lost children following you home. Any of that take your fancy? Give this collection of short stories a go!


Film: Hocus Pocus
Sistaaaaaahs! Get your Black Flame Candle lit and get the Sanderson sisters onto your screen. After being vanquished in the 1600s, three witches return to 1990s Salem and are on the hunt for children to keep them young.
Honourable mention: Saw (just a tad different)
Song: I Put a Spell on You by Bette Midler
More Hocus Pocus goodness. Bette Midler’s version of this Nina Simone tune is one of the very best parts of the film.
Book: Meg and Mog by Helen Nicoll
The witch theme is strong across each of my recommendations! Who remembers this super cute series from when they were younger?
Honourable mention: Winnie the Witch (yes, more witches)


Film: The Purge: Anarchy
A wild ride through a nightmarish future, where all crime is legal for 12 hours. Get ready for intense action and heart-pounding suspense.
Song: Spooky Scary Skeletons (Dance Remix)
Absolute chaos of a Halloween song – such high energy and good fun.


Film: Mean Girls
I’m a mouse… duh! Ok so maybe Mean Girls isn’t your typical Halloween film but the Halloween party scene alone should allow it to qualify. Maybe the most quotable film ever.
Song: Zombie by The Cranberries
Halloween meets anti-war – an absolute classic!
Book: The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal
Set in 1950s London, a gripping historical novel that follows the fascinating tale of a young woman aspiring to be an artist while being entangled in a dark and mysterious world.


Film: Coraline
A magical and spooky animated film about a brave young girl who discovers a parallel world that seems perfect at first, but hides a dark secret.
Song: Bury a Friend by Billie Eilish
A track that will give you chills – Bury a Friend is all about inner demons and self reflection… spooky!
Book: Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
The ultimate autumnal pick!!!!!!!


Film: Coco
A heartwarming and visually stunning animated film that takes you on a musical adventure in the vibrant Land of the Dead. It’s a beautiful story about family, culture, and following your dreams, filled with lively characters and memorable tunes!
Song: Song for the Dead by Queens of the Stone Age
A must listen for any rock fans reading. QOTSA have a few Halloween themed tracks that are perfect for the season.
Book: The Passage by Justin Cronin
A thrilling and epic novel that combines elements of science fiction and horror, taking you on a captivating journey through a post-apocalyptic world filled with danger, adventure, and a dash of supernatural mystery.


Film: The 4th Kind
A film that blends documentary-style storytelling with eerie reenactments, exploring the mysterious disappearances in an Alaskan town, leaving you questioning the truth and sending shivers down your spine.
Song: The Purple People Eater by Sheb Wooley
A catchy and fun novelty song from the 1950s about a friendly, one-eyed, one-horned creature that loves to dance and play music.
Book: Cirque Du Freak by Darren Shan
A blast from the past – this series follows the story of a young boy who becomes a vampire’s assistant, diving into a world of the supernatural.


Film: Child’s Play
What’s creepier than a possessed doll?!
Song: Ghost Town by The Specials
A groovy yet haunting song that captures the essence of urban decay and social unrest, blending ska and reggae vibes.
Book: American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
A darkly satirical novel following the life of a wealthy New York City businessman named Patrick Bateman, who also happens to be a serial killer. If you like the film, give the book a go!