A recurrent trend on TikTok this fall has been assigning Halloween aesthetics based on things like home decor preferences, personalities, or zodiac signs.
Much of the ambiance of the season can be found in aesthetic things like decorations, color schemes, music, food, and–sometimes most importantly–what gets watched on the television during a cozy autumn night in. A person’s aesthetic heavily informs what kind of TV they like to watch, and Halloween is no exception!
If you like… Vintage Halloween – Bewitched (1964)
For lovers of all things from another time is the Vintage Halloween aesthetic: plaid dresses or suits with cozy capelets and peacoats, warm leather accents, and knits. Making a pumpkin roll recipe from a 1940’s cookbook while listening to “Skeleton In The Closet” by Putney Dandridge and sipping on mulled cider.
Bewitched, a 1964 sitcom about Samantha, a witch who becomes a housewife, and the magical and mortal worlds coming together–sometimes not so seamlessly, but always with an amazing outfit on Samantha’s part. The vintage vibes abound and having the show play while setting up old-school Halloween pennant flags and black cat cutouts is perfection.
If you like… Salem & Witchy Vibes – Charmed (2018)
In this aesthetic, magic is a normal part of life. Visiting a spiritual shop and perusing herb sachets and tinctures is a regular occurrence and Halloween just adds an extra layer of mysticism. There are lots of rich jewel tones, rich fabrics like velvet, and a star and moon motif. It almost feels like being outside in the autumn breeze of a small New England town, with ivy growing down along the brick walls, adding a little bit of magic to the air.
A classic and fan-favorite series, Charmed followed three sister witches fighting evil and combining their powers to protect people. The show even includes a book of shadows that the girls use for spells and a familiar that accompanies them, known as Kit the cat. It’s the perfect October pick for the magical friend of the group.
If you like… Haunted Houses – The Haunting Of Hill House (2018)
The lavish and dusty details of a dilapidated Victorian home, the creak of original wood floors running up the grand front staircase. Lovers of this aesthetic aren’t afraid of a haunted home–they welcome it, entranced by the stories that spirits can tell. Haunting piano playing in the distance, as the memories of decadent balls and dinner parties play out like phantoms.
The Haunting Of Hill House is a beautifully written ghost story. It’s a nuanced show that adds emotional depth to the traditional spooky tale of a haunted house by adding heartbreaking and real moments. The stories of the Crain family following their attempted flip of the Hill House, and all of the ghosts that follow them throughout their lives, will appeal to anyone who appreciates a ghost story that stays with them.
If you like… Nostalgic Halloween – Goosebumps (1995-1998)
The after-school feel of a fall day, a Friday October afternoon before a high school football game in a hometown, sipping on an ice-cold glass of apple cider and eating Pilsbury pumpkin print cookies–these are the trademarks of an aesthetic that is rooted in the nostalgic activities of fall time. Weekends spent at the weekly autumn farmer’s market or dirtying up the kitchen carving pumpkins picked at the patch into festive jack-o-lanterns.
Goosebumps is the perfect show to sit down and watch for those wanting this aesthetic. The ’90s/00s anthology kids horror show, based off of the bestselling books by R.L. Stine has regularly aired on Cartoon Network in the early afternoons of October since it started. It’s a classic Halloween season cult classic that still holds up today.
If you like… Halloween Parties – Stranger Things Season 2 (2017)
One of the hallmarks of the season is the classic Halloween party. For some, decorating their living room with cobwebs, orange, purple, and neon green lights, and a motion-activated skeleton animatronic is what the entire month gears up for. Getting together with friends and dancing to “Thriller” and the Ghostbusters theme while enjoying a cauldron of punch and Halloween-themed party snacks can be exactly what’s needed to celebrate the spooky fun night!
Stranger Things, specifically the second season) heavily features the Halloween holiday, complete with costume parties and well-used ’80s songs. That, and the ’80s as a decade as a reputation for being the fun-loving, dance party generation. The episodes could even play in the background of a Halloween party and fit right in.
If you like… Vampires & Gothic Horror – Penny Dreadful (2014-2016)
If the dark and macabre stories of classic Victorian gothic horror sound delightfully terrifying, then this aesthetic may be the right fit. It is reminiscent of castles, dark cobblestone alleyways, the tales of Dracula and Dorian Gray, the chirping of bats, and the biting wind of a chilly night in London.
Penny Dreadful retells the stories of gothic novelists like Mary Shelley and Bram Stoker as Sir Malcolm, an explorer, and his clairvoyant accomplice Vanessa Ives search the dark underworld and encounter the fabled monsters of Victorian England in search of his daughter. The show adds a perfectly spooky and gothic tone to any Halloween season.
If you like… Ghost Stories/Ghost Hunting – Ghost Adventures (2008-pres)
Real-life thrill-seekers subscribe to this aesthetic. As they share their ghost experiences around a crackling fire, they’re already planning their next visit to a truly haunted location to see if they find any paranormal activity. Armed with a flashlight and spirit box, they visit every hotel, abandoned asylum, or spooky graveyard that they can find. The crack of twigs underneath shoes while adventuring through a forest at midnight makes their hearts race–and brings a smile to their face.
Ghost Adventures is one of the OG ghost hunting shows. While some of the antics and shenanigans can be a bit much, the iconic locations and ambiance of the episodes are a perfect watch for a night off from galavanting around an abandoned hospital. From a scratch on a producer’s back or a garbled recorded message from a spirit, there’s always something exciting going on with Zak Bagans and his team.
If you like… Pumpkin Spice Lattes And Sweater Weather – Scooby-Doo (1969-pres)
Some people love knitted socks and fuzzy tartan blankets, surrounded by Pumpkin candles and hand-painted Halloween pottery. Indulging in Pumpkin Spice coffee and cakes is anticipated year-round, and spending a night in from the cold and watching a family-friendly Halloween show is the preferred activity.
As a not-so-scary but positively spooky TV show, Scooby-Doo gives viewers ghosts and ghouls without any unwanted jump scares or gore. The comforting knowledge that even the best villain will always be foiled by the “meddling kids” of the Mystery Gang is the perfect nightcap for those wanting a cute Halloween evening.
If you like… A Night At The Drive-In – The Twilight Zone (1959-1964)
Experiencing classic horror for the first time is something people that love this aesthetic wish they could have lived through. Going to the drive-in or theater with a thermos filled with coffee or hot cider, snacking on popcorn, and being surrounding by the beautiful autumn twilight landscape as the sun sets in the distance is the vibe. Thick denim, flannel, and the crackle of the car radio tuning into the movie’s station set the mood for the night.
The Twilight Zone checks every box of a good drive-in horror show: black and white, eerie soundtrack, and vintage classic actors. Even better, the anthology series has so many episodes and themes, that fans could watch one or two every night leading up to All Hallows Eve and still have some left at the end of the month.
If you like… The Sheet Ghost Trend – American Horror Story (2010-pres)
If the excitement of opening the door to a costume shop at the beginning of spooky season and seeing the rows of crinoline, velvet, satin, and lace can’t be beaten, then this aesthetic is the way to go. The sheet ghost trend on TikTok is also a fave of people who love this aesthetic, as they adore the edgy and creative take on the classic costume that accompanies the catchy Jack Stauber song, “Oh Klahoma.”
American Horror Story, which is now in its tenth season on FX, definitely has the same offbeat indie energy as this aesthetic. Every season is something new, with a creative and iconic costume idea in every scene. And, for the record, fan-favorite couple Tate and Violet would have definitely done the ghost trend photoshoot for their Instagrams.
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