11 spooky Halloween episodes of classic shows

Stay tuned for more fun and frights.

Everyone loves candy, but plastic pumpkins filled with Snickers bars are not the only reason to cherish the Halloween season. The holiday has also inspired hours of classic television specials.

October would not be complete without a viewing of It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Regular TV series often get into the Halloween spirit, too.

Costume departments love to dream up clever outfits for favorite characters. Often, the Halloween episodes rank as some of the best of a series. The joy of the holiday seems to bring out the best. Sitcoms especially enjoy the tricks and treats, but dramas get in the act as well. 

Here are 14 of our favorite Halloween episodes. Keep an eye out for many of them on MeTV!

1. The Andy Griffith Show "The Haunted House"

Original air date: October 7, 1963

Beware that old Rimshaw house! When Opie and his pal hit a ball into the decrepit manor, Andy sends Barney and Gomer to investigate. We won't give away the ending, but anyone who's watched Scooby Doo can surmise it's not supernatural.

2. The Beverly Hillbillies "Trick or Treat"

Origianl air date: October 31, 1963

This early episode, the sixth overall, has a premise that seems unlikely to modern ears: The Clampetts have never heard of Halloween. The new Beverly Hills residents make the rounds to meet neighbors and are delighted to earn candy along the way.

3. The Brady Bunch "Fright Night"

Original air date: October 27, 1972

The boys decide to prank the girls and trick them into thinking there are ghosts in the attic. But the girls think it's time for a little payback. Meanwhile, Carol is sculpting a bust of Mike's head for an art class.

4. Cheers "Fairy Tales Can Come True"

Original air date: October 25, 1984

Cliff dresses up at Ponce de Leon for a party at the bar, where he meets a lovely Tinkerbell. They make a date, but Cliff is afraid of what she'll think of him when he's a regular old mailman, not a masked Spanish explorer.

5. CHiPs "Trick or Trick"

Original air date: October 21, 1978

Thirteen black cats jump from a van in front of Ponch, kicking off an array of lighthearted Halloween capers. The saddlebags are filled with candy and costumed kids, making it one of the most enjoyable CHiPs outings.

6. Gilligan's Island "Ghost a Go-Go"

Original air date: March 24, 1966

Look, it's Richard Kiel! The man who played James Bond baddie Jaws pops up on the island and scares the SS Minnow castaways. We also learn a bit about the Professor's skill set. "Fortunately, I happen to know something about the construction of mannequins," he says. That's not a standard part of the skill set of a botanist who teaches high school, but okay!

7. Happy Days "Haunted"

Original air date: October 29, 1974

The gang sports some great costumes here. Richie wears a classic skeleton suit, Ralph is Alfred Hitchcock, Potsie is a superhero and Fonzie is, well, the Fonz with a mask. At one point, Joanie tells Richie that it looks as if, "Bela Lugosi sucked all the blood out of you!" 

8. Laverne & Shirley "Haunted House"

Original air date: March 22, 1977

Laverne and Shirley and Lenny and Squiggy head to a supposedly haunted Ramsdale Manor for a couch. Shirley warns, "Beware the legend of the Ramsdale Hairy Thing!"

9. M*A*S*H "Trick or Treatment"

Original air date: November 1, 1982

Just as Cheers was starting, George Wendt appeared as a guest on this late M*A*S*H — as a Private with a pool ball stuck in his mouth. Again, there are some fantastic costumes here. Hawkeye is Superman, BJ is a clown, Hot Lips is a geisha, and Potter is a cowboy. A psychologist would have a field day with those decisions.

10. Perry Mason "The Case of the Dodging Domino"

Original air date: November 1, 1962

The wonderful Ellen Burstyn is in the horror hall of fame for her role in The Exorcist, a genuinely disturbing film. A young Burstyn plays a part in this Halloween mystery, too. Saying any more might give away whodunnit!

11. Star Trek "Catspaw"

Original air date: October 27, 1967

With a character named Bones, Star Trek seemed obligated to do a Halloween episode. Sure enough, as Dr. McCoy explains, this lighter entry into the canon features "Three witches... what appears to be a castle, and a black cat."

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Stoney 45 months ago
"Catspaw" was actually the first Star Trek episode I ever saw. I probably like it better than most people for that reason.
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