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Halloween selections from the Recess staff

Stay home Halloween night and enjoy our spooky selection of films, TV shows, music and books.
Stay home Halloween night and enjoy our spooky selection of films, TV shows, music and books.

Halloween is upon us, and with the holiday comes classics in film, television, music and literature. The Recess staff selected some of the spookiest media to enjoy on All Hallows Eve: 

New Order, "Elegia"

Bless your ears this Halloween with eerie synth, complete with a guitar sequence for the ages. Miranda Gershoni, contributing writer, first-year

Helen, "Witch"

Although most of the so-called "Italo disco" from the late '70s and early '80s is marked by a playfully campy sensibility, this single from an enigmatic studio project known simply as Helen strikes a comparatively darker tone: Over an unusual 6/4 beat that seems to circle in on itself, an ominous bass line punctuates each bar while singer Elena Ferretti's airy vocals tell a dark tale of ... something? Like many Italo disco tracks, the lyrics, sung in heavily accented English, are secondary. But at least one sentiment is clear: "She's a witch." Will Atkinson, culture editor

"It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown"

If you haven't seen "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown," you are definitely missing out on this Halloween favorite, which is sure to make you feel like a kid again. With Charlie Brown's classic ghost costume and Linus's obsession with the mystical Great Pumpkin, this classic is the perfect way to celebrate the season. Kerry Rork, staff writer, first-year

"Buffy the Vampire Slayer"

Buffy has everything a good Halloween TV show needs: female empowerment, mildly scary storylines and prime '90s fashion. Oh, and the sexy vampires don’t hurt. Jessica Williams, media production editor, senior

"Shaun of the Dead"

One of the best action-comedy movies of the century, "Shaun of the Dead" combines the always-hilarious duo, Nick Frost and Simon Pegg, to create a perfect zombie movie. The movie follows Pegg (Shaun), as he and his best friend Ed (Frost) attempt to escape a zombie invasion in their small British town. The cult classic is worth a watch around Halloween time or really anytime if you're in the mood for a buddy comedy. Jack Rubenstein, staff writer, first-year


Premiering at Sundance and Full Frame film festivals, Shirkers has found success as one of the most gripping documentaries in the past year. Although not the obvious Halloween choice, "Shirkers" centers around the mysterious disappearance of Sandi Tan's mentor Georges Cardona, who stole the film he and Tan collaborated on in the 90's. Tan's film whisks her viewers away in a tale that only becomes more unsettling as it unfolds — and it's now on Netflix. Sarah Derris, managing editor, sophomore

"Hocus Pocus"

Every October, for as long as I can remember, my whole family gathers to watch "Hocus Pocus," easily reciting most of the lines from memory. And although we haven’t been able to do it the last couple of years — we’re too widely flung now and don’t come together as often — it still manages to stir up that same warmth, comfort and pure bliss it always has, no matter what. (Also, I always catch myself saying: Amok! Amok, Amok, Amok, Amok!) Nina Wilder, design editor, junior


As one of Alfred Hitchcock's most iconic films, "Pyscho" is a thrilling experience I keep returning to every Halloween. And it's not too scary — as long as you don't frequent secluded motels by yourself. Christy Kuesel, Recess editor, senior

"The Best Short Stories of Edgar Allan Poe"

Laden with gothic suspense, gruesome murder scenes and masterly storytelling, Poe’s classic works have defined our understanding of horror and detective fiction since they were first published. Such notorious stories as “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” or “The Tell-Tale Heart” contain eerily somber insights into the depths of human psychology, and guarantee a proper Halloween scare when read after dark. Joel Kohen, staff writer, junior

Mary Shelley, "Frankenstein"

Amidst the fun, costumes and spookiness of Halloween, perhaps it is also appropriate to pick up this all-time classic to philosophize on what it truly means to be different. Eva Hong, features editor, sophomore

Ray Bradbury, "The Illustrated Man" 

Although any of the hundreds of short stories penned by Ray Bradbury are sufficiently spooky for a quick, chilling Halloween read, the horror and science-fiction tales in his 1951 collection "The Illustrated Man" are especially effective,  delivering unrelenting goosebumps and spine tingles. Sydny Long, student life editor, sophomore


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