Boo! Television maintains its Halloween traditions

'Ghostbusters' and zombies also help with home fright fests

CBS airs the original “Scream” movie Sunday.

Halloween may not be celebrated as usual in some ways this year, but television remains determined to present more treats than tricks.

With Oct. 31 falling on a Saturday this time, the run-up to it will be especially strong during the last full week of the month. Here are some highlights.

“Scream” (Sunday, Oct. 25, CBS): Director Wes Craven and writer Kevin Williamson’s 1996 mix of suspense and satire also is a prelude to more to come, since returnees including Neve Campbell and Courteney Cox are making a new chapter.

“Ghostbusters” (Sunday, Freeform): Who ya gonna call? There’s a choice, since both versions of the horror-comedy will be shown within the same day: the 1984 original led by Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd; and the 2016 remake with Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig.

“Halloween Freakshow Cakes” (Sunday, Food Network): This series certainly belongs in this month, as competitors design cakes inspired by clowns and fortune tellers.

“Madhouse” (Monday, Oct. 26, Turner Classic Movies): Horror icon Peter Cushing has been TCM’s “Star of the Month,” and on the last night of that tribute, this 1974 melodrama casts him as a screenwriter whose actor friend (Vincent Price) becomes a murder suspect.

“The Exorcism of Roland Doe” (Tuesday, Oct. 27, Travel Channel): The making of the movie “The Exorcist” is traced through a study of the case that inspired it.

“A Nightmare on Elm Street” (Thursday, Oct. 29, Syfy): The 1984 thriller that introduced sharp-fingered Freddy Krueger (played by Robert Englund, with Heather Langenkamp also starring) leads a marathon of five films in the franchise.

“EXHUMED: The History of Zombies” (Friday, Oct. 30, PBS; check local listings): Public television might not be a place you’d think to go for Halloween-season chills, but here, Dr. Emily Zarka suggests that zombies may be more real than you might think.

“Truth Seekers” (streaming starting Friday, Amazon): Satire partners Nick Frost and Simon Pegg strike again with this new series, about part-time sleuths of the supernatural probing bizarre situations across England.

“The Day of the Lord” (streaming starting Friday, Netflix): An troubled ex-priest (played by Juli Fabregas) is approached by a friend to help the latter’s daughter, who supposedly is possessed by the devil, in this Spanish thriller.

“The 13 Scariest Movies of All Time” (Friday, The CW): The number 13 wasn’t chosen randomly in the case of this special, an encore from 2019 in which host Dean Cain presents the list and related clips and interviews.

“Halloween” (Saturday, Oct. 31, AMC): Well, of course. Though it also appears earlier in the week, what more appropriate day is there for director John Carpenter’s original 1978 scare fest? Jamie Lee Curtis became a star as the babysitter stalked by murderous Michael Myers.

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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