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Scary Movies and Series

10 Spooky Movies and Shows You Can Stream Right Now on Hulu, Disney+ and Facebook Watch

black silhouette and scary film strip

“Life’s no fun without a good scare!” You may remember this line from the spooky song “This is Halloween,” and it’s never been more true now that The Nightmare Before Christmas is on Disney+!

If you don’t think of Disney+ as the platform to find ghosts, monsters and paranormal fun, think again. We love Netflix as much as the next person, but there are plenty of scary movies and TV series to be found on other streaming platforms as well. From Halloween classics to underrated indie works, you’re in for a scary good time. Read on for a list of our favorite spooky treats on Facebook Watch, Hulu, and Disney+.

The Ring (2002)

Rating: PG-13

Rotten Tomatoes: 71%

Platform: Hulu

Are you a true horror fan if you haven’t seen this classic scary movie? The Japanese remake has been causing paranormal nightmares for nearly twenty years – telling the story of a disturbing videotape that summons a ghost girl to kill you in seven days. It’s a bit outdated now… who watches VHS tapes or has landlines anymore? But The Ring is a solid ghost story that will spook you more than modern films like Unfriended ever could.

The Birch (2019)

Rating: N/A

Platform: Facebook Watch

If you don’t find trees terrifying, you’ve probably never seen The Birch. Since Crypt TV released the series on Facebook Watch in October, everybody is talking about the titular character – a towering monster composed of knotted tree branches. Her body count is high, but she also has a sensitive side she uses to protect the good kids in town. Despite being a huge, scary tree, she’s definitely NOT all bark and no bite.

Halloweentown (1998)

Rating: N/A

Platform: Disney+

Millennials will remember this iconic Disney Channel original movie. Watching Halloweentown andits three sequels on TV every October was one of the best things about Halloween, and now you can watch them on Disney+! It stars the late Debbie Reynolds as the coolest grandmother ever, who introduces her granddaughter Marnie to a town of ghosts, goblins, witches and other monstrous creatures. The movie is a lot more amusing than scary, though it does have its creepy moments. Watch for a lot of spooky fun and nostalgia!

Don’t Look Under the Bed (1999)

Rating: N/A

Platform: Disney+

While it’s no The Conjuring, this is pretty scary for a Disney movie. So scary, in fact, that the Disney Channel was forced to stop airing it after countless parents called in to complain about how it was too frightening for children. While it tells the story of the monstrous Boogeyman, it also shows how scary the transition from childhood to adulthood can be. So scary that it can even turn some of us straight-up evil, with claws, sharp teeth and all. 

Return to Oz (1985)

Rating: PG

Rotten Tomatoes: 52%

Platform: Disney+

Before you let that Rotten Tomatoes score scare you off, hear us out. This unintentionally scary movie has a freaky Nome King, a room full of severed heads and plenty of terrifying monsters that you didn’t get to see inThe Wizard of Oz. You won’t find a lot of ghosts or paranormal beings, but this cult classic may just ruin your childhood in the best way.

A Quiet Place (2018)

Rating: PG-13

Rotten Tomatoes: 95%

Platform: Hulu

Can you believe Jim Halpert made one of the best films of 2018? John Krasinksi directed and starred in this uniquely scary movie alongside his wife Emily Blunt, where they run from monsters who hunt you the second you make a sound. It features supernatural and mystery elements, while also sticking to an original plot that makes it one of the most watchable horror films on Hulu.

American Horror Story (2011)

Rating: TV-MA

Platform: Hulu

Ryan Murphy’s anthology series has gone through a lot of changes since it premiered in 2011, but it still has everything you could want in the horror genre. While nearly every season features ghosts and the paranormal, the show also has witches, evil nuns, the antichrist and many other unspeakable monsters. AHS star Jessica Lange says in season 2 that “all monsters are human,” but she clearly hasn’t seen Papa Legba from Coven.

Hocus Pocus (1993)

Rating: PG-13

Rotten Tomatoes: 34%

Platform: Disney+

Can you believe one of the most famous Halloween movies of all time was considering a commercial failure? It may have gotten subpar reviews and box office earnings, but this cult classic has inspired everything from cosplay outfits to a 25th anniversary special at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in LA. While not an especially scary movie, it’s a supernatural masterpiece that will bring out the 90’s kid in you.

Paranormal Activity 2 (2010)

Rating: R

Rotten Tomatoes: 59%

Platform: Hulu

While this sequel isn’t quite as iconic as the original (which they should totally add to Hulu,) it’s still a solid scary movie. It has all the ghosts, mystery and paranormal fun of Paranormal Activity, with a few added twists. 

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) 

Rating: PG

Rotten Tomatoes: 95%

Platform: Disney+

This list wouldn’t be complete without Tim Burton’s stop-motion masterpiece – a supernatural film that has enchanted both children and adults for over two decades. It has ghosts, monsters, mystery and charm, and has left quite like the legacy. Blink 182 told us we could “live like Jack and Sally” in their song I Miss You, and Jack Skellington has been a symbol for goth and emo kids everywhere. 

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Featured Horror Mystery and Lore Scary Movies and Series

1408 (2007) and the Nine Circles of Hell

Although not a critically acclaimed horror movie, 1408 (2007) was actually an incredibly enlightening horror movie; this movie, for a lot of people, may have come across as a simple ghost story narrative in a haunted hotel room, when in reality the story was a lot deeper than that. Adapted from a short story written by Stephen King, 1408 is actually a modern-day narrative that parallels Dante’s journey into the depths of hell in Dante’s Inferno (1427).

1408 (1999) A Short Story by Stephen King

1408 by Stephen King – Audiobook Part 01
1408 by Stephen King – Audiobook Part 02
1408 by Stephen King – Audiobook Part 03

1408 (1999) is a short story that was penned by Stephen King, it was released as the third story in an audiobook collection titled Blood and Smoke. In 2002, it was collected in written form as part of a twelve-part collection of Stephen King’s short stories under the titled Everything’s Eventual.

In the Introduction, King tells us that 1408 is really just his version of the “ghostly room at the inn,” this was his way of describing the theme of a haunted hotel or motel room within the horror genre of fiction.

The Plot of 1408

Stephen King spins the tale of a non-fiction writer named Mike Enslin–he writes about the paranormal and his goal is to find evidence that ghosts exist. Although Enslin privately does not believe in the paranormal or ghosts for that matter, he feels guilt that stems from his books being best-sellers.

Enter the Dolphin Hotel on 61st Street in New York City–a hotel that has one room with a sinister reputation and Enslin plans on staying there as part of the research for his next book, “Ten Nights in Ten Haunted Hotel Rooms.” Before being given his key to the room, the hotel’s manager, Mr. Olin, gives Enslin the details of the morbid history of it; room 1408 has been responsible for 42 deaths, including 12 suicides over the span of 68 years. Olin insists that Enslin not stay in the room, because he believes there is something evil that resides within, even if he himself does not believe in the paranormal.

One interesting detail that Olin provides is that the Dolphin Hotel doesn’t have a recognized 13th floor, so even though room 1408 is labeled as the 14th floor, it’s really on the 13th. What’s worse, is if you follow the rules of numerology, the room’s numbers even add up to the number 13 (1+4+0+8=13).

The Great Poet Dante Alighieri, and His Famous Inferno (1427)

Dante Alighieri wrote the Divine Comedy, the first part of which was the famous Inferno (1427), a poem told from the perspective of the narrator, who happens to be lost in a dark wood wherein he is attacked by three beasts from which he cannot escape. Virgil, the Roman poet having been sent by Beatrice, rescues him from these beasts and together they begin the journey into the Nine Circles of Hell.

Dante's Inferno
Dante Alighieri’s Inferno by Gustave Doré

First Circle: Limbo

The First Circle of Hell is inhabited by virtuous non-Christians and unbaptized pagans–here they are to endure a punishment which is an eternity within a subpar form of Heaven. Those in Limbo live in a castle that has seven gates which are there to symbolize the seven virtues–it is here that Dante recognizes many prominent non-Christian people from classical antiquity like the author Homer, the philosophers Socrates and Aristotle, the statesman Cicero, the physician Hippocrates, as well as the infamous Roman consul, Julius Caesar.

Second Circle: Lust

The Second Circle of Hell is the level at which Dante and Virgil find people who in their lives were overcome by lust. Their punishment is to endure an eternity of being blown violently back and forth by tumultuous winds which prevent them from finding any peace in their afterlife. The winds symbolize the ferocity with which a person pursues the object of lust and the restlessness they find by being led by their desires for the carnal knowledge of their object of lust. Once again Dante sees many historical and mythological people of note–Egyptian pharaoh Cleopatra, the Cornish Knight Tristan, Helen of Troy and many others who were adulterous or let their lust control their path in life.

Third Circle: Gluttony

Upon entering the Third Circle of Hell, Dante and his companion see the souls of gluttons who guarded by a worm-monster Cerberus. The sinners in this particular circle of Hell are forced to lay in a vile slush that is caused by an constant sleet. The slush that lay in symbolizes the personal degradation of those who overindulge in food, drink, and other worldly pleasures. Even though there are others laying beside them in the slush, they have an inability to see each other, which represents the sinner’s selfishness and coldness.

Fourth Circle: Greed

The Fourth Circle of Hell, they find the souls of people who committed the sin of greed; this circle is divided into two factions of sinners, those who hoarded worldly possessions and those who spent it on unnecessarily lavish things. These two separate groups are meant to fight each other for all eternity, using enormous weights that they must push with their chest to symbolize their selfish desire of fortune within their lifetime. The damned within this circle is watched over by Pluto–likely due to his ancient Greek origin as the god of the underworld. In Dante’s narrative, he claims to see many clergymen including greedy cardinals and popes.

Fifth Circle: Anger

The Fifth Circle of Hell is reserved for the wrathful and the sullen; while being transported via boat by Phlegyas over the river Styx, Dante and Virgil witness the wrathful fighting on the surface and the sullen drowning below the surface. This punishment symbolizes their sins in life, where the wrathful show their anger on the surface and the sullen drown in their own turmoil.

Sixth Circle: Heresy

The Sixth Circle of Hell is where Dante and Virgil see the heretics that have been condemned to an eternity entombed within their flaming crypts.

Seventh Circle: Violence

In the Seventh Circle of Hell, the two companions see that it is divided into three rings–the outermost ring houses murderers, as well as those who were violent to other people and property in general, wherein they are sinking into a river of boiling blood. The middle ring houses those who have committed violence upon themselves and have ended up within this circle by taking their own lives–these people have been changed into trees and bushes where they are fed upon by harpies. Within the middle ring Dante also sees profligates as they are chased and ripped to shreds by rabid dogs. The innermost ring is reserved for blasphemers and sodomites, who are doomed to inhabit a desert of burning sand as a burning rain falls from the sky.

Eighth Circle: Fraud

Those who are fraudulent are meant for the Eighth Circle of Hell–they are watched over by Geryon, a flying monster with different natures, just as the fraudulent have ever-changing natures. This circle is divided into ten bolgias, or “evil ditches” that have bridges between them. The first is for panderers and seducers, the second is for flatterers, the third is for those guilty of simony (such as those who sold tickets to heaven, or a heavenly pardon to those already passed). The fourth ditch was for sorcerers and false prophets, the fifth for corrupt politicians, the six for hypocrites. The remaining four ditches were reserved for thieves, evil counselors and advisers, divisive individuals, and in the last various falsifiers, like alchemists, perjurers, and counterfeits.

Ninth Circle: Treachery

The Ninth and final Circle of Hell is divided into four different rings and who is housed within them is in accordance to the seriousness of the sin. While all of the inhabitants are frozen in an icy lake, the more severe the sin, the deeper within the ice they are. The first ring is named Caina, after Cain who killed his brother Abel. The second ring is named Antenora, for Anthenor of Troy the primary counselor for Priam during the Trojan War. The Third ring is named Ptolomaea, after Ptolemy, and the fourth ring is named Judecca, in honor of Judas Iscariot, the famous apostle who betrayed Jesus.

1408: The Philosophical Depths That Horror Can Reach

Real Dimensional Pictures on Youtube does a great job making this Philosophical argument that can made when the movie 1408 (2007), or Stephen King’s short story 1408 (1999) are put in juxtaposition with Dante’s Inferno (1427).