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Enjoy a mellow Halloween with a creepy movie marathon

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Posted: Monday, October 30, 2017 3:00 pm

There are plenty of Halloween events in and around Lodi this weekend, but sometimes it’s more fun to stay in.

We took an informal newsroom poll to create a list of our favorite family-friendly Halloween movies — new or classic. Pop some popcorn, brew up some hot cocoa or mulled cider, and settle in for a movie marathon.

1. ‘Hocus Pocus’

After moving to Salem, Mass. with their parents, Max and Dani explore a haunted house with their new friend Allison and accidentally free a trio of witches who once lived there. The teens team up with a bewitched cat to stop the witches from gaining immortality — and sucking the souls out of the town’s children.

2. ‘The Addams Family’

A con artist plots to gain control of the Addams treasure by having her son pose as the long, lost Fester Addams. The fake Fester gets close to the family, especially niece and nephew Wednesday and Pugsley, but things become complicated when his supposed brother Gomez begins to grow suspicious.

3. ‘Halloweentown’

The Disney Channel original movie and its sequels follow the adventures of Marnie, Dylan and Sophie, who find out that they come from a family of magical beings. They go on a series of adventures to save the witches, skeletons and monsters that make Halloweentown home.

4. ‘The Worst Witch’

Mildred goes to a prestigious academy for young witches, but she can’t seem to get anything right. Still, when she finds out that headmistress Miss Cackle is the target of an evil plot by her twin sister Agatha, she decides she has to do something.

5. ‘Beetlejuice’

Barbara and Adam Maitland are dead, but when another family moves into their country home in Connecticut and start remodeling, the Maitlands are determined to drive them away ... even if it means making a deal with the couple’s goth daughter Lydia and a miscreant spirit named Betergeuse — pronounced “beetle juice.”

6. ‘Casper’

Casper, a lonely ghost, and his equally spirited uncles hatch a plan to lure a paranormal investigator and his daughter to their haunted and abandoned mansion.

7. ‘It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown’

The Peanuts gang is up to their usual holiday shenanigans — picking out pumpkins to carve, raking leaves, trick-or-treating and tricking Charlie Brown into trying (and failing) to kick a football. Linus writes to the Great Pumpkin, despite the ridicule of his friends.

8. ‘Coraline’

Not strictly a Halloween film, lonely Coraline follows a creepy rag doll into the Other World after feeling ignored by her parents. At first, the Other World seems like paradise, but Coraline notices more and more things that are just a little off. Soon she realizes the horrible price of staying in the Other World, but it may be too late to go home.

9. ‘Hotel Transylvania’

After his wife is killed by an angry mob, Count Dracula builds a five-star hotel where only monsters are allowed to stay. Things work out great, until the count’s plan to protect his daughter accidentally draws a human to the hotel.

10. ‘Paranorman’

Norman Babcock can speak to the dead, but most people don’t believe him. When he finds out a dangerous secret about his town’s past, he has to join forces with an unlikely team of friends to carry on the ritual that protects his neighbors from an angry ghost and an infestation of zombies.

11. ‘Twitches’

Magical twins Alex and Cam were separated at birth, to protect them from an evil power attacking their home world. When they meet on their 21st birthday — Halloween — their magic is unleashed and they’re called back to Coventry to fight the Darkness.

12. ‘Fantasia’

Another one that’s not really a Halloween pick — but with magical Mickey enchanting broomsticks and the creepy “Night on Bald Mountain” sequence, it definitely helps to set the mood!

13. ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’

As Halloween comes to an end and people start looking ahead to Thanksgiving and Christmas, Jack Skellington’s adventures kidnapping and then saving Santa are a fun way to transition from one holiday to the next.

14. ‘Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School'

Scooby-Doo, Shaggy and Scrappy-Doo are hired as gym teachers for a finishing school. They realize when they get there that it’s not a school for girls but a school for ghouls and monsters. The comedic trio embark on a series of misadventures over the course of the school year.

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