Happy Halloween everyone! As you might have noticed the blog has been taken over by Halloween based posts all month and this post is the grand finale. Some of the fun around Halloween is watching your favourite shows dip into the season with special Halloween based episodes.
So for this All Hollows Eve here’s a top five list of my favourite Halloween Specials.
#5 IT Crowd Season 1 The Haunting of Bill Crouse:
The IT Crowd was a English comedy created by Graham Linehan and was originally broadcast on Channel 4 in the UK. The show follows members of the IT department at a large corporation somewhere in London.
The episode in question opens with Jen, the head of the IT department, going on yet another bad date with a fellow employee named Bill. The next day she asks Moss, the more socially awkward of the two other employees to lie to her date if he drops by the office. Moss isn’t happy about this as he has a hard time judging the size of the lie. When Bill does come down, instead of simply explaining that Jen is busy he tells him that she died shortly after their date.
From there Bill ends up telling the rest of the office that he was the last person to sleep with her before her death. Jen, not knowing the lie, goes about her business in the office and ends up scaring him in a number of ways. At the end of the episode Jen ends up leaving a message on his machine sounding like a threatening ghost and then travels to his house.
But before she can make it, her car breaks down in the rain and she must walk the rest of the way. When she appears at his house she looks like the picture above. Needless to say this scares Bill a great deal.
While this is a weaker Halloween episode it takes from plenty of horror tropes from Ghost films and uses them in a few creative ways. More than you’d expect for your typical sitcom.
#4 The Devil is a Part-Timer: The Devil Climbs the Stairway to School:
The Devil is a Part-Timer is an anime series based upon a manga by Satoshi Wagahara and Oniku, produced by White Fox. The show follows the life of Satin, his servants Alciel and Lucifer and the hero Emilia as they adjust to living in modern Tokyo after a large battle moved them from their home world.
As the series progresses Satan starts to enjoy his time on earth and hopes to stop other people from his world from coming to earth and attacking the city. To do this, they need to find more portals and find a way to close them.
In this episode the crew are looking for a portal in hopes to regain some their lost magic they’ve lost while living their everyday lives. While on the lookout they find out that a portal could be housed in a local high school. Once there they end up learning of the schools spooky past from their friend Chiho.
The real comedy of the show comes from the seemingly evil characters reactions to simple ghost stories. In this episode our heroes (really villains) are walking into the tropes of a haunted house and while they don’t see ghosts they end up letting their imagination get to them.
While the show might be hit or miss at times, this episode allows the characters to scare and get a few laughs.
#3 It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown:
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown was based upon the Peanuts comic strip created by Charles Schulz and originally aired on CBS. The special follows Charlie Brown and his friends as they either go trick or treating or wait for the aforementioned Great Pumpkin.
I would hope that this is a special that everyone who’s reading this has watched, it’s a classic. The reason this special works so well is because it taps into that feeling you have going trick or treating in your early years. The fun of costumes and walking up to a new house in hopes for better candy than the house before (or just not a rock).
On the flip side we hear of an odd creation of Linus, the great Pumpkin. The Great Pumpkin sounds more like a Halloween Santa Claus who brings toys to good kids on Halloween. Needless to say it doesn’t go as expect for Linus.
Along with that we get to see some of the classic Snoopy segments that would stay with the franchise for years to come, most notably his imaginary battle with the Red Barron.
I’ll always have a special place in my heart for the Peanut specials and this one is no different. It’s fun and reminds us that even if we grew out of holiday that it’s still something that we all can enjoy…just don’t give a rock in lieu of candy.
#2 Community Season 2 Epidemiology:
Community is an America sitcom created by Dan Harmon and originally broadcast on NBC. The show follows a group of students at a community college who interact with the many odd characters how also attend or teach at the school.
Community has made it’s fan base by producing some of the funniest themed episodes on Television and their Halloween episodes are no different. While the show has several the second season has the best. The episode Epidemiology focuses on the gang hanging out at a college Halloween party, put together by the Dean.
As you’d expect all of the characters are dressed up as different characters and real people, some of the highlights being Troy and Abed’s duo Aliens related costume, Jeff’s David Beckham costume of an expensive suit and a soccer ball and the Dean dressing up as Lady Gaga.
Over the course of the episode the party soon goes down hill when the “meat” that the Dean purchased causes the people who eat it to become zombie like creatures. The students either have to wait for the government to come and help the situation or fix it themselves by adjusting the temperature in the building.
The episode plays with many of the tropes of classic zombie and other horror films while even adding larger plot elements that will come to a head near the end of the season. Community has it’s own lore and universe and this special proves that.
#1 Supernatural Season 4 Monster Movie:
Supernatural is a American TV series created by Eric Kripke and originally aired on the CW. The show follows the Winchester brothers Sam and Dean as they travel across the country helping people by killing vampires, werewolves and other creatures.
The two brothers end up in a small Pennsylvania town during it’s Oktoberfest and find a series of murders being credited to old school monster movies. After digging around the two run into one of these monsters, a Vampire dressed as the classic Bela Legousi Dracula. After investigating further they find out that this monster is a shape shifter who happened to be a fan of the horror genre.
In classic Supernatural fashion, Dean and the attractive featured lady are kidnapped by the monster and its up to Sam to find them. In the end, the Winchester’s kill the creature and Dean gets the classic end of film kiss.
While this wasn’t technically season fours halloween special, Monster Movie used many of the old Universal Horror troupes in this episodes. From Dracula to the Wolfman, a lot of the films old film techniques are replicate the old school feel. The show even features a black and white colour palette much like the classic films.
Monster Movie is just one of many excellent themed episodes in Supernatural’s long run. While it might not be the best (I’ll leave that to the TV themed episode) it fits the Halloween season extremely well.
So that’s the list. Agree? Disagree? Feel free to comment in the section below.