Home » Movies Like Practical Magic & TV Shows to Watch This Halloween

Movies Like Practical Magic & TV Shows to Watch This Halloween

Full moon with toad and red fog at bottom.

While I was ferociously hacking the bushes near my house, I looked at my husband and yelled, “Is Jimmy Angelov in these damn bushes?” To which he looked at me dumbfounded. My husband has never seen Practical Magic. While he will eventually be in awe the first time he watches it, I’ve seen it more times than I can count. So, I’m always looking for movies like Practical magic for the Halloween season.

I’m secure enough to admit I’ve frequently daydreamed of being transported to the Owens sisters’ town selling soap and living in an exquisite Victorian by the sea. The movie brings out the wistful witch in me, and I’m always looking to recreate that feeling. 

Television and mental health usually bring up the disadvantages of excessive screen time. But when done purposefully, movies and television shows have significant mental health benefits, including boosting mood and strengthening relationships. 

As Halloween looms closer, my Halloween-themed marathons are in full effect. But there are only so many movies one can watch repeatedly. Practical Magic is a romantic drama that manages to ride the fine line between light-hearted and profound. Unfortunately, there are also a surprisingly low number of witch movies to find for this season. So I decided to dig into my memory bank of movies like Practical Magic plus some television episodes to set the witchy mood for Halloween.  

The criteria to be considered like Practical Magic is…

  1. A central character is a witch or supernatural in some way in an otherwise ordinary world. This character can also seem more than natural when thrust into atypical circumstances.
  2. Gothic elements: mystery, horror, gloom. Or, quite literally, the marriage of horror and romance.
  3. Instills feelings of nostalgia or wistfulness
  4. Inspires hope
  5. Spooky/Halloween theme throughout

I would’ve loved to specify that Sandra Bullock has to be in these, but that would limit it to, well, Practical Magic. So sorry, Ms. B, we’ll have you sit this out.

Without further adieu, here are 9 movies and television episodes to add to your list this season.

1. The Craft

This is a clear choice. We’ve got hardcore 90s vibes, gothic fashion, plus a sisterhood of four high school witches playing with forces well above their experience level. Not to mention that Nev Campbell and Skeet Ulrich grace us with their presence, which harkens to Scream vibes without the slasher elements. The friendships mirror sisterhood making this one of my top movies like Practical Magic.

2. Hocus Pocus

I know, I know. This movie is everywhere on Halloween, but I understand why entirely and 100% approve. Three witch-trial-era witches are transported to 1990s Salem by a virgin who lit the Black Flame candle. Plus, Vinessa Shaw, Thora Birch, and a talking cat? What’s not to love? Also, Bette Midler’s rendition of “I Put A Spell On You” may be the greatest Halloween music moment in history. Sidenote, I have not included Hocus Pocus 2 because I’m still processing how I feel about it. 

3. Addams Family

Technically, I don’t know if they state Morticia is a witch, but I’m getting super witchy vibes. Gothic elements abound, and Wednesday Addams herself embodies the gothic. This movie is a lighthearted watch in a similar vein to Hocus Pocus. I was tempted to include Addams Family Values. However, with the Thanksgiving focus at the kid’s camp, I decided to sadly leave it off the list—despite Joan Cusack as Debbie being the best black widow in cinematic history, in my opinion. 

4. Coraline

The Other Mother is a witch if I’ve ever seen one. While animated, the opening doll sewing scene set to unsettling music is enough to have my attention. Partnered with a cast of oddball characters, Coraline is a clearcut Gothic heroine, and the conclusion has the added benefit of highlighting hope and gratitude. Because if you don’t appreciate what you have, Other Mother may sew buttons where your eyes used to be…

5. Sleepy Hollow

While Johnny Depp has more of a witch vibe in Pirates of the Caribbean, the side characters check the witch criteria in this movie. This story is an adaptation of Washington Irving’s famous short story. Anyone in the northeast may want to check out Sleepy Hollow, which can be a fantastic day or weekend trip, depending on how far you travel for it. It gives spooky vibes without ever getting too scary, instead calling on gothic elements and an underlying current of magic throughout. This is another one of the movies like Practical Magic sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.

6. Charmed: All Halliwell’s Eve

This series centers around witch sisters, and while this particular episode is suggested quite often (I mean, it is a Halloween episode), there’s a good reason. Prue, Piper, and Phoebe time travel to prime witch-hunting years. This episode has themes of witches, Halloween, sisterhood, lineage, and, ultimately, knowing where you come from can help get you where you need to be. 

7. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Gingerbread

While there are Halloween episodes of Buffy that are worth a watch, none are as witchy or rooted in a fairytale as Gingerbread. Centered around the tale of Hansel and Gretel, it’s best watched with the ambiance of serious candle burning and Halloween decor. I have been a Buffy fan since it was on in the 90s. This show is a horror meets romance as one girl in all the world wields the strength and skill to fight the vampires, demons, and the forces of darkness. My Buffy obsession runs deep, so trust me when I say this is one of my favorites.

8. Dawson’s Creek: Escape from Witch Island

While in and of itself not a gothic show, this episode takes the team of melodramatic teens to a mysterious island off the coast of Capeside. Dawson (loosely based on Kevin Williamson) is, of course, shooting a documentary. If you can ignore some of the larger arch teen romance drama, the witch elements run strong. But also a shoutout to Mr. Williamson, who also created Scream. So trust that he knows how to give a good scare.

9. Wandavision: All-New Halloween Spooktacular

A bit of an oddball on this list, and one of the most recent, Wandavision, is worth a watch. But the Halloween episode is what gives excellent Halloween vibes. Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany don the original Scarlet Witch and Vision costumes set in a small town where increasingly strange circumstances occur. I won’t include any spoilers, but there’s another character who screams witch! If you’ve seen it, you know who I’m talking about. 

All these movies and television episodes bring something unique to the Halloween season and beckon the witch inside anyone to come out and dance under the full moon—clothing optional is entirely up to comfort level. 

Regarding my Jimmy Angelov bushes, I can gladly say that they are mostly cleared away. What remains is something a chainsaw can take care of; a suggestion I will be bringing up in my one of many future imaginary conversations with Sally Owens.  

For more Halloween self-care ideas, check out my post 5 Halloween Self Care Activities for Scaredy Cats (Like Me).

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