Top 6 Spook-Worthy Halloween Documentaries

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Everyone knows that Halloween means jack-o'-lanterns, costumes, candy -- and sometimes tricks and pranks. But what's behind the Halloween tradition? These entertaining and enlightening documentaries present the history and original traditions that have evolved into the popular holiday where kids of all ages dress up and parade through the neighborhood on the hunt for free sweets and other treats.

'Halloween: The Happy Haunting of America!' (1997)

Lots of scares, lots of fun, lots of interviews with your favorite horror icons. "Halloween: The Happy Haunting of America" is a mocking documentary that takes you on a trip to 40 of America's best-haunted attractions and presents interviews with 30 celebrities, experts and horror filmmakers. If your trip isn't trick or treat, this film is a great Halloween escape.

'Halloween -- 25 Years of Terror' (2006)

The definitive documentary about the "Halloween" franchise that has kept horror movie fans thrilled with each new edition. Includes behind-the-scenes footage plus 80 interviews with cast and crew that include John Carpenter, Debra Hill, Jamie Lee Curtis, Moustapha Akkad, Tom Atkins, Danielle Harris, Kathleen Kinmont, Nancy Loomis and Greg Nicotero, as well as with famous fans including Rob Zombie, Clive Barker, Kim Newman, Edgar Wright and everyone at the legendary Return to Haddonfield Convention.

'October Country' (2009)

Taking place during the year from one Halloween and the next, "October Country" is the haunting tale of co-director Donal Mosher's immediate family -- at least of those who still reside in rural Mohawk Valley, New York, the Mosher clan's ancestral turf. They are a collection of complex, emotionally compelling individuals who are trapped in an intergenerational cycle of spousal and child abuse, teenage pregnancy, drug abuse, debilitating depression and other syndromes that haunt them like ghosts.

'Halloween: Trick or Treat The Pagan Invasion' (2007)

This documentary details Halloween's pagan origins and history, tracing rites and ceremonies back to the mystic Druids and suggests Halloween is still a high holy holiday for witches, pagans, and Satanists. The film interprets Halloween's symbols -- black cats, broomsticks, bonfires, trick or treat, apple dunking, and jack-o'-lanterns -- from the Christian perspective. Occult rituals in the documentary are presented as authentic. Actually, the film is a cautionary tale to show parents that Halloween activities aren't as innocent and just-for-fun as purveyors of candies and costumes would have you believe. Whether you agree or not, the documentary is an interesting, informative Halloween watch. But it's scary for kids.

'The Haunted History of Halloween' (1997)

TV news anchor Harry Smith serves as narrator and guide for the History Channel's entertaining and educational "The Haunted History of Halloween," a tell-all documentary about the origins, traditions and modern practices of Halloween.

'Halloween Journeys' (2006)

Chuck Davis, a documentary filmmaker, and doctor who lives in Boulder, Colorado, presents an enticing study about his town's Shining Mountain Waldorf School's annual Halloween celebration, called "Halloween Journey." It's an unusual approach in which Halloween traditions are used to explore various aspects of spirituality and their relationship to nature.