“I ain’t afraid of no ghosts!” Classic punchlines from movies such as
Ghostbusters instantly come to mind when we think about our favorite movies about ghouls that go bump in the night. But not all ghost movies are scary.
Yes, there are a lot of scary ghost movies that keep both kids and grown-ups up at night. There are still adults well into their adulting years that still can’t bring themselves to say “Candyman” three times in a mirror. But some spooky movies can also make us laugh. Who can forget the singing heads in the
Haunted Mansion or Casper cooking Kat eggs and pancakes? And let’s not forget the adorable, young Leonardo DiCaprio in that movie.
While other ghouls can teach valuable life lessons about friendship, loss, love, and acceptance. It was a tearjerker moment when Sally forgave her sister for cursing her in
Tower of Terror or when Constance's spirit is finally released from the Monster House.
These are a few examples of how the afterlife can delight us as much as spook us... but not in a way that will keep us up with the lights on at night. They’re the perfect mixture of creepy, thrills, and family fun. As the countdown to Halloween begins, we’ve gathered a list of kid-friendly movies that families can enjoy.
The reboot to the 1984 classic comedy horror follows three women who try to prove that ghosts are roaming around in New York City (with their mayor backing them up in private and hilariously discrediting them in public). Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, and Kristen Wiig make up the trio and will have you laughing throughout the whole movie! The fight scene with the Pilgrims and the Mafia ghosts may be our favorite scene in the movie!
Thor’s Chris Hemsworth is their clueless assistant. Ghostbusters is rated PG-13. Common Sense Media gives it a 3-star rating for kids 11 and up with “ghosts and girl power.” Watch Ghostbusters, rated PG-13, on Amazon Prime Video. Ghostbusters (1984)
You cannot appreciate the reboot without giving kudos to the original.
Ghostbusters is a spooky, family classic staple that both kids and parents can enjoy. Not only do these New York scientists discover the existence of ghosts, but they also find a way to contain them! Oh and three words: giant marshmallow man! Who you gonna call? The classic is given 4-stars for kids 11 and up from Common Sense Media. Watch the original Ghostbusters, rated PG, on Amazon Prime Video, Paramount TV, and Apple TV.
This year, Dan Aykroyd will be returning to the franchise in
Ghostbusters: Afterlife. According to its synopsis, when “a single mom and her two kids arrive in a small town, they begin to discover their connection to the original ghostbusters and the secret legacy their grandfather left behind.” Ghostbusters: Afterlife, rated PG-13, will be in theaters on Nov. 11. Monster House
There’s nothing scarier than your basketball bouncing into that ‘creepy house on the street’ which also happens to eat trick-or-treaters and police officers. A group of kids must figure out how to stop the monster house from terrorizing the neighborhood while trying not to become its next victim. What makes this a ghost story is that the house is actually possessed by the spirit of a woman who just didn’t like trick-or-treaters or anyone messing with her house. Go figure.
Monster House is rated PG-13 and rated “frightful fun” for kids 10 and up on Common Sense Media. Watch Monster House, rated PG, on Netflix. Paranorman
Like paranormal, you get it? Just like the
Sixth Sense, this kid sees dead people too. But it's nowhere near as spooky and the ghosts are actually pretty friendly. As a matter of fact, they’re more than friendly, the ghosts are pretty comical in this movie. There are even some zombies for good measure. The main character, Norman Babcock, played by Kodi Smit-McPhee, prefers talking to these ghouls over the living. With their help, he must save his town from a centuries-old curse. Common Sense Media gives it a 4-star rating and calls it cool and creepy but maybe a little much for smaller children. Kids ages 10 and up will enjoy this flick. Watch Paranorman, rated PG, on Netflix. The Haunted Mansion
First of all, it's Eddie Murphy in a Disney movie so get ready to laugh. Based on The Haunted Mansion ride at Walt Disney World and Disneyland, this movie is about a family that gets locked in a haunted Louisiana mansion overnight and is spooked by singing heads, talking crystal balls, ghost maids, and a not-so-friendly ghoulish butler. Not to mention the ultimatum of facing your fear of spiders or saving your dad and sister from a gang of zombies in a creepy cemetery.
It has a one-star rating for kids 10 and up on Common Sense Media. But again, it's Eddie Murphy. Whatever he is in, it’s bound to be a delight! Watch The Haunted Mansion, rated PG, on Disney+. Tower of Terror
Another movie inspired by a Disney attraction. Teenage Kirsten Dunst stars in the 1997 movie about five people who vanished from a hotel elevator on Halloween in the 30s. A young girl’s jealousy prompts her to curse her little movie star sister and four others. But in the end, forgiveness and love prevailed. The movie is based on The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at the Walt Disney World Resort’s Hollywood Studios.
Common Sense Media calls this movie a “tame, cliched spooker for tweens and up,” ages 10 and up. Watch the Tower of Terror movie, rated NR, on YouTube. Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers
Scooby-Doo fans will appreciate this classic. Shaggy inherits his uncle's spooky mansion haunted by the ghost of a Confederate soldier, who happens to be his late relative. So who did he call for help? The Boo Brothers: Freako, Meako, and Shreako. When Shaggy asks how they can be ghosts and ghost exterminators, they replied, “It takes one to know one.” Touché. For once, these are ghouls that Scooby and Shaggy are not afraid of. This cartoon TV movie classic is rated G and has “silly scares” according to
Common Sense Media. Watch Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers, rated G , on Boomerang, YouTube, Amazon Prime and Apple TV. Beetlejuice
In this Tim Burton classic, a deceased couple wants the living inhabitants out of their home and call Beetlejuice, played by Michael Keaton, to get rid of them. Needless to say, the service does not roll over well. From stairs that turn into a giant snake to alien minister and involuntary teenage weddings,
Beetlejuice has some “dark fun” and “some violence,” which makes it best appropriate for kids 13 and up, according to Common Sense Media. No one says the ‘B word’ and don’t forget your handbook for the recently deceased watching this one. Watch Beetlejuice, rated PG, on Hulu and Apple TV. Casper
What’s a more family-friendly ghost movie than a movie about a friendly ghost? All Caspar wants is to be friends with the new girl on the block but his uncles are trying to scare her and her dad away! Also, nostalgic vibes for the 90s kids to see teenage Leonardo DiCarpio before he officially stole our hearts two years later in the
Titanic! Casper is rated PG. The movie is not as “mild as the cartoons” as the cartoon, according to Common Sense Media, and is best for kids 8 and up Watch Casper, rated PG , on Amazon Prime Video. Casper Meets Wendy
Another friendship attempt from the world’s friendliest ghost. This time with an equally friendly witch!
Lizzie McGuire’s Hilary Duff is adorable as Wendy the Witch in this original Disney movie. The two meet at a vacation resort and together they join plasma and wands to fight off an evil warlock who wants to banish Wendy forever because she is more powerful than him. Casper’s ghostly uncles also get some human skin in this one. Casper Meets Wendy good tween fun for kids 6 and up by Common Sense Media. Watch Casper Meets Wendy, rated PG, on YouTube.