It just doesn't seem like Halloween without a viewing of Garfield's Halloween Adventure, Witch's Night Out, or Halloween is Grinch Night. There was a time when these were aired yearly, and it wasn't that long ago.
Alas, though we now have roughly 10 times as many tv channels as we did when I was a kid, most of the great old Halloween Specials have been swept under the rug of pop culture. Tossed into the dustbin of history. Hurled over the brink of relevance. Whatever. Many have never even been released on VHS, let alone DVD.
For the most part, Halloween specials stopped being made in the late 1980s. Many people had cable by then, so a TV special wasn't as big of a deal as it had been before. More importantly, the home video market had taken off. Suddenly, the annual airing wasn't your only chance to see any given special. At the same time, it started seeming like a better investment for companies to just make made-for-TV movies instead of half hour specials. Full length movies tended to sell better than 22 minute specials on the video market. But as the shows stopped being aired and VHS went out of date, most of the Halloween specials got lost along the way, surviving only in our memories, our VHS storage bins, and (eventually) on youtube. Relatively few of these have seen an official release on DVD.
With this site, I hope to compile some reviews and information about all of the great specials - as well as the great Halloween-themed episodes of various cartoon series (the line between "Halloween episode" and "Halloween special" can get a bit blurry, as you'll see), as well as some of the made-for-tv or straight-to-video Halloween movies that have come out over the years. And, while I'm on the general subject, I'll review the many versions of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow that have been released over the years (a special interest of mine).
The site has grown a lot; as of 1998 it was a little text file on tripod that I wrote up during class in high school. In 2006, it was fully revised and expanded into a full-fledged website. In 2008, it was moved over here into a sort of a blog format and a LOT of video clips were added (we've come along way since 1998, when I couldn't find a jpg of "Halloween is Grinch Night" for the life of me).By the end of 2008, I thought I'd covered pretty much everything (not counting Halloween episodes of live action sitcoms, which I've generally avoided so far), but more and more specials keep popping up. Now I don't have many new specials to add (I don't think so, anyway), but I go through and revise entries now and then. I'm also writing books for a living now; one of them has actually been optioned by the Disney Channel and just might turn into a Halloween special itself one day. And, since Amazon stopped paying me for click-through links, I'm using this site to promote the latest in my Smart Aleck's Guide series, The Smart Aleck's Guide to Grave Robbing.
So pour yourself a cup of cider, break out the candy corn, and come look around! I hope these shows bring back as many good memories for you as they do for me!