29 October 2021

What to watch, read and listen to this Halloween

The It’s Nice That editorial team picks out books, films, podcasts and more to keep you sufficiently spooked this weekend.


29 October 2021


What’re your plans this weekend? While some of you may have been searching for the perfect green tracksuit since the release of Squid Game back in September in anticipation of the 31st, we imagine others are forgoing the fancy dress and opting for something more chill. A cinema trip to see Candyman, maybe? Whatever your level of enthusiasm for Halloween is, it’s always fun to indulge in some spooky content so the editorial team here at It‘s Nice That has pulled together a list of their favourite books, films, TV shows, podcasts and INT articles, all sure to give you the creeps. Enjoy (if you dare)!

GalleryJosephine M. K. Edwards (Copyright © Josephine M. K. Edwards)

GalleryJosephine M. K. Edwards (Copyright © Josephine M. K. Edwards)

Joey Levenson, editorial assistant

Frankenstein – Mary Shelley

Frankenstein gets a lot of flack by millennials and Gen Z for its persistent presence on school syllabi around the country, but give this book a read-at-your-pleasure pace and you’ll find a genuinely thrilling, rich, and visionary text. It’s equal parts scary as it is political and scientific. To think Mary Shelley wrote this at 18 is mind-boggling, considering when I was 18 I thought that alliteration was the height of writing prowess.


Andrzej Żuławski’s film Possession (1981) is absolutely insane and genius. Set in Berlin fresh off the Cold War, this film chronicles how a woman suddenly leaves her spy husband after a violent miscarriage and begins to act incredibly strange. Soon, sex-crazed aliens, gay private investigators, and a myriad of flared trousers are thrown in the mix. Whilst all these things are incredibly attuned to my taste, it’s lead actress Isabelle Adjani and standout performance that catapults this film to another level. It is truly something to be experienced.


My recommendation is (obvi) DRAGULA! Dragula is like RuPaul’s Drag Race filthier, crazier, and edgier little sister. It’s a competition reality show that collects all of the finest drag monsters around the world to see who will be crowned as the World’s Next Drag Superstar by drag royalty duo the Boulet Brothers. Each episode tests the contestant’s glamour, horror, and filth, through a slew of mind-bending challenges and epic “floor show” presentations. Be warned, it’s not for the faint of heart, as these drag performers create truly visionary pieces of art with their looks and presentations. Halloween is every day on Dragula.

Josephine M.K. Edwards

I love when I covered Josephine M. K. Edwards and her amazing comic about a witch called Will-O'-The-Wisp. Not only was Josephine fun and engaging to talk with, but she also stunned me as a wicked talent. Her illustrations are often uncanny and hilarious, so I recommend everyone read Will-O'-The-Wisp if you’re in the mood for something slightly creepy about witches. “Will-O’ explores that side of my personality which has led to a lot of wasted time, tears and shame, and trying to unpick the thread and free myself from that particularly alluring and delicious form of approval,” she told me during the interview. If that also sounds like you as it does me – give it a read!

Kate Isobel Scott: Soul in Perfect Shape (Copyright © Kate Isobel Scott)

Lucy Bourton, senior editor

Sympathy – Olivia Sudjic

I’m a bit of a wuss in life and this definitely extends to anything I engage with culturally. I recently watched that You series on Netflix while home alone and became convinced someone had been in my flat and moved my deodorant of all things (they hadn’t).

It goes without saying then that I’m not the best person to ask for any purposefully frightening suggestions. But, a novel that did recently keep me constantly on edge and engaged was Olivia Sudjic’s Sympathy. Olivia’s first novel details the life of its central character, Alice, and how she becomes obsessed with another woman via Instagram. I won’t give any more away for fear of spoilers, but it’s a must-read!

Train to Busan

If you, like the rest of the internet, enjoyed Squid Game recently, I recommend Train of Busan if you’re hoping to expand your Korean cinema watch list!


Despite being a self-described scaredy-cat, I love the podcast Criminal. There is just something about Phoebe Judge’s voice that keeps me calm, even when she is describing a true crime. For any Harry Potter fans, head to the one titled Eight Years

Jonathan Creek

I think this last recommendation definitely offers a sense of how little it takes to frighten me but as an absolute classic of terrestrial TV, I still love rewatching Jonathan Creek. For those unfamiliar, Jonathan works for a stage magician but will somehow always manage to solve supernatural mysteries, due to his deep understanding of backstage magic trickery of course.

Kate Isobel Scott

We’ve seen Kate Isobel Scott become everyone’s favourite stop-motion clay wonder, but way back in 2017 it was this very first spooky short she made that made us fall for her.

Ruby Boddington, associate editor

The Transgender Issue – Shon Faye

I’m cheating with this one, as it’s definitely not a Halloween-themed book but is it utterly terrifying for the way it uncovers the reality of what it means to be trans in a transphobic society. I’m also just desperate for as many people as possible to read this book! It’s totally perspective-shifting...

The Ring

I feel like this film probably hasn’t stood the test of time, but in my secondary school, having seen this film (and having not been scared by it) gave you ultimate bragging rights. It reminds me of sleepovers with VHS players, three for a pound Co-op sweets, and turning the floor of your mate’s living room into a giant bed with sofa cushions.

Hollie Fernando

This remains one of my fave Halloween-related photo series. Scroll above for the sweetest vampire you’ve ever seen! It’s such a simple idea but makes me grin every time. What would trick or treating in your late 20s look like? Returning home with a bag full of sourdough starter and natural wine, probably.


I found myself eagerly awaiting the drop of a new episode of this podcast every Tuesday. Created by Matthew Shaer and Eric Benson, it’s a true-crime series focusing on the events of a Halloween party. By the end of the night, one of the party’s hosts is murdered. Matthew and Eric investigate and attempt to discover what no one has managed to yet: who did it. There’s a conclusion though, don’t worry! “It’s a series about cutting-edge science and mislaid justice, race and policing, and the kinds of weighty choices that cops and prosecutors make every day.”

Tokyo Ghoul

Anime fans will be rolling their eyes at me recommending this like it’s at all unknown. But if you haven’t binged this adaptation of Sui Ishida’s manga then I recommend making it your Halloween viewing. It’s set in a world where ghouls live among humans. They are indistinguishable from regular people – other than their craving for human flesh – and follows Ken Kaneki, the first hybrid ghoul-human. I’m not generally into the whole zombie thing but Tokyo Ghoul is really really good.

GalleryFrancisco Rodríguez (Copyright © Francisco Rodríguez)

GalleryFrancisco Rodríguez (Copyright © Francisco Rodríguez)

Dalia Al-Dujaili, news writer


Tim Burton on Halloween? Groundbreaking, I know... but this film is more than just great spooky vibes for people who aren’t too fond of really scary movies, the stop-motion animation is so beautiful, so imaginative, and super gross!

The Battersea Poltergeist

I haven’t listened to this but my boyfriend Sam highly recommends it, so shout out to Sam. It’s a podcast about a household in Battersea which was haunted, the ghost would scribble all these horrible etchings and drawings all over the house and would possess the teenage girl.


Because it’s a good excuse to rewatch an old childhood favourite and it feels spooky without being too traumatically scary.

It – Stephen King

Not only is King a genius who everyone should read at least once in their lives, but you can follow up by watching any of the terrifying film adaptations afterwards!

Francisco Rodríguez

How bloody creepy are these illustrations? I love how moody and dark they seem whilst still displaying beauty in the fine detailing and cold, misty softness.

GalleryDorothy: Halloween calling cards (Copyright © Dorothy)

GalleryDorothy: Halloween calling cards (Copyright © Dorothy)

Jyni Ong, associate editor

The Addams Family Secret – The New Yorker

There are many secrets to do with the Addams Family and this one is particularly fascinating. How did a mural by Charles Addams featuring some very familiar faces end up hidden in a university library? This article reveals all, detailing how a mostly ignored painting behind glass at Pennsylvania State University is in fact a masterpiece hiding in plain sight. Enjoy!

Dark Shadows

I once watched this film three times back-to-front on a long haul flight. I love it for all the typical reasons one enjoys Tim Burton: the quirky characterisations, Helena Bonham Carter’s high cheekboned facial expressions, the colourful outfits, the eery soundtrack. Basically the Tim Burton-ness of it all. I don’t like actually scary films, so this level of ridiculousness on Halloween bodes very well for me. It has all the facets of Halloween (costume, campery and theatrics) wrapped up in a not-at-all-serious vampire-witch-ghost love triangle. Fantastic. A special shout out goes to another lol Halloween movie Stardust, purely for great wigs and that very very very annoying Take That song.

The Father of the Addams Family

How much do you know about the creator of The Addams Family and the original comic strip that stole the hearts of Halloween enthusiasts the world over? If the answer is not much, this NPR podcast could well be for you! Taking a deep dive into the creepy and the kooky universe of Charles Addams – the macabre creator of The Addams Family – discover the mysterious personality behind the cartoonist’s dark humour. A fascinating character who shaped one of the best-loved Halloween families in pop culture today. It was said that he slept in a coffin and drank martinis with eyeballs in them. Apparently, he also kept a guillotine in his house and received (deep breath in) chopped off fingers from fans in the mail.

Sabrina the Teenage Witch

If you’re like me, you’ll remember the 90s version of this show starring Melissa Joan Hart and a very stiff Salem whose puppeteer certainly does not move his mouth in time with the actor’s speech. If you’re a lucky member of Gen Z however, you might think I’m referring to the remake of this vintage classic, Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina which in my opinion, does not even come close to the Clip Art-style spells and very basic poofs of smoke in the original. Despite its shaky camera tricks, the show (which is now available to rewatch on Amazon Prime) never fails to charm in its throwbacks to tasty after school snacks, 90s hairdos and quippy humour followed by overzealous audience laughter. 

Halloween Calling Cards

Norman Bates and Hannibal Lecter get a branding makeover in this delicious treat from 2018!

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