We live in a pretty great time.
Technology allows us to order pizzas from our computers, be reachable via phone anywhere in the world and blog about Halloween to audiences across the globe.
Video on Demand, or "VOD" for those who like to save milliseconds of their lives, has given us Halloween Addicts and horror movie & TV fans instant gratification through a number of different venues.
Thanks to ad-supported sites, even if you don't have Netflix... even if you don't have an Xbox 360 or Playstation 3... even if you don't have Roku or Apple TV or Cable or Dish----and even if you only have your computer, an internet connection and a VHS player you can STILL watch horror movies and television INSTANTLY... RIGHT NOW... FOR FREE.
Rules: I specifically avoided sites like BitTorrent and the like because the point of this is finding places where you can stream the footage rather than download it to your computer. I also made sure to only peruse websites that don't require a subscription fee of any sort.
Let's check out what's out there:
What's available?: Sorta slim pickin's on horror movies. Only Candyman, Idle Hands, and The Breed.
What else is of interest?: A bunch of Godzilla movies. Starman. (Hey, it's John Carpenter!) And most importantly: Ghostbusters.
C'mon. You and I both know you'd put it on "repeat" if you could.
What Halloween stuff do they have?: Only a couple of Halloween TV episodes from the wayback machine: Facts of Life & Square Pegs. Lots of sketch comedy and parody videos that loosely tie in to Halloween.
Grade: B- The only reason it got this grade is because of Ghostbusters.
What's available?: John Carpenter's The Thing. Wrong Turn, Pulse, Near Dark, Night of the Living Dead, Wolf, Virus, Species III, Amityville II, Carnival of Souls, Madman, The Crawling Hand, and more. I named the titles you'd recognize. If you like more obscure stuff, there's some of that on here too.
What else is of interest?: TV episodes of Scare Tactics, Ghost Hunters, Elvira's Movie Macabre, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, 30 Days of Night: Blood Trails... and... and I'm tired of typing.
What Halloween stuff do they have?: All kinds. Halloween episodes of various classic TV shows like Alf, 90210, Bewitched, The Addams Family, etc. Not to mention how-to videos for Halloween recipes, make up and costume tips and more.
Grade: A- Why? One word: volume. Better titles, and more of 'em.
What's available?: Night Gallery. Alfred Hitchcock Hour.
What Halloween stuff do they have?: A few Halloween episodes from their current series: The Office, Chuck.
Grade: C- Though it's got street cred with classic series' like Rod Serling's Night Gallery, and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, that's about all the "scary" available on the site.
What's available?: Um... uh... Ghost Whisperer? Wait I got it: classic TWILIGHT ZONE!!!
What else is of interest? Nothin'.
What Halloween stuff do they have?: Numerous Halloween-related Late Show with David Letterman clips.
Grade: The freakin' Twilight Zone bumps this up to a C+
What's available?: ... Anything horror or scary? Lost? Boy that's reaching too far.
What else is of interest?: Nothin'.
What Halloween stuff do they have?: A handful of current series episode recaps. Lame.
Grade: F- It was an F+ but Lost brought it up to a minus.
I mean... it's a good show. Just not scary/horror.
Nothin', Nothin' nothin'.
Not even worth it to type out the breakdown.
What's available?: Everything. And nothing. You name it, you can probably find it on there. I say "probably" because due to copyright violations and depending on the link, the property (i.e. movie or tv show) and the popularity will depend on how long it lives on there.
You want to watch the as-yet-unreleased horror classic Night of the Creeps? Boom. It's there.
You want to see the long-0ut-of-print VHS of Fangoria Scream Greats Volume 1: Tom Savini? Pow. It's there.
You just want to watch The Garfield Halloween Special? Zing. You can probably find it.
What else is of interest?: Everything. And nothing.
Halloween commercials. Halloween Specials. Horror movie trailers. Grindhouse fare. TV specials. Fan-made horror shorts. It's the largest video store in the world that you can visit from the comfort of your couch in the warmth of your underwear.
What Halloween stuff do they have?: Again: everything and nothing. TONS of how-tos. Videos of home haunts and haunt attractions. User generated films. Fan films. Name it. Find it.
Grade: A- Why the minus? Because the uploads are not always high quality. So sure you can watch stuff, but it might be limited to a grainy mess imported off someone's 1984 videocassette.
As you can see, there's a lot of FREE out there to watch on your computer. And with a simple cable purchase you can hook that 13" laptop up to your 66" Flat Screen. So sure times are tight, and pennies are being pinched 'til your fingers hurt, but that doesn't mean your Halloween horror addiction has to go unquenched.