It's easy to see why Jack Skellington of "The Nightmare Before Christmas" became jealous of jolly, old St. Nick and tried to steal his gig it seems as if Christmas gets all the TV love.
But a glance at the October schedules shows that looks can be deceiving (and rotting and melting and scarred and disfigured in countless other ways). Tomb is busting out all over! In addition to the holiday episodes of your favorite shows, there are new shows, scary movies and specials for all ages.
In the spirit of the season (sorry), we've compiled a list of the spookier highlights. After all, you can't spell "boob tube" without "boo!"
"American Horror Story." "Glee" creator Ryan Murphy takes his shot at a haunted house genre drama. The results are predictably over-the-top. It's not very scary, but it's strangely compelling. And Tami Taylor herself, "Friday Night Lights' " Connie Britton, is the best actor in it. 9 p.m. Tuesday, FX.
"The Walking Dead." The AMC zombie drama (the series premiered on Halloween night 2010) returns without visionary Frank Darabont, but with seven more episodes than it had last year. 8 p.m. Oct. 16, AMC.
"Chiller 13: Horror's Creepiest Kids." Chiller presents a list show that's even scarier than "I Love the '80s," checking off the likes of Danny Torrance from "The Shining," Samara Morgan in "The Ring" and Regan McNeil in "The Exorcist." 7 p.m. Oct. 28, Chiller.
31 Days of Halloween. Syfy will air more than 600 hours of spooky programming during its fourth annual monthlong Halloween celebration. Featured movies include titles from the "Saw" and "Halloween" franchises, "Leprechaun" and "My Bloody Valentine." Stephen King miniseries "The Stand" and "Tommyknockers" are slated. A new reality series, "Paranormal Witness," kicks off at 9 p.m. Oct. 12, and the month is capped by a six-hour "The Ghost Hunters Live" starting at 6 p.m. Oct. 31. Information: www.syfy.com/schedule.
Turner Classic Movies lives up to its name in spooky fashion with a night of classic horror each Monday during October. The whole shebang kicks off at 7 p.m. Oct. 3 with the special "A Night at the Movies: The Horrors of Stephen King." Here's the lineup for that night, along with the slate for Halloween itself:
8 p.m. "Frankenstein" (1931)
9:15 p.m. "Freaks" (1932)
10:30 p.m. "TCM Night at the Movies: Horror" (2011)
11:30 p.m. "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" (1932)
1:15 a.m. "Mark of the Vampire" (1935)
2:30 a.m. "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" (1919)
3:45 a.m. "Nosferatu" (1922)
5:15 a.m. "Phantom of the Opera" (1925)
7 p.m. "Village of the Damned" (1960)
8:30 p.m. "Night of the Living Dead" (1968)
10:15 p.m. "TCM Night at the Movies: Horror (2011)
11:15 p.m. "The Innocents" (1961)
1 a.m. "The Haunting" (1963)
3 a.m. "Repulsion" (1965)
"It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!" ABC says this gentle, sweet and funny holiday classic will air a few times in October. Because of the network's late premiere week this season, run dates have not been set. Watch your local listings.
ABC Family covers a lot of bases with its 13th annual (scary!) "13 Nights of Halloween" broadcasts. Beginning Oct. 19, the cable network will show more than 25 spooky family movies and Halloween-themed episodes of shows including "America's Funniest Home Videos," "That '70s Show" and "Pretty Little Liars."
Here are the highlights:
"Coraline." From director Henry Selick ("James and the Giant Peach") this computer-animated adaptation of Neil Gaiman's popular book centers on a girl who finds a parallel world through a hole in her new home's wall. Things on the other side are almost the same as in her real world — except the animals talk and her "other mother" and "other father" have those creepy, sewn-on button eyes. They want to give those to Coraline, too. 7 p.m. Oct. 23; 3 p.m. Oct. 29.
"Hocus Pocus." Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker star as the Sanderson Sisters, a loopy trio of resurrected witches hell-bent on capturing — and devouring — the world's children. Check out cute-as-a-button Thora Birch before she grew up and became all indie-moody. 8 p.m. Oct. 20; 6 p.m., Oct. 21; 7 p.m. Oct. 29; 8 p.m. Oct. 31.
"Beetlejuice." A much younger Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis portray newly-deads defending their New England home from pretentious New York art snobs with the help of Michael Keaton's obnoxious, titular spirit in director Tim Burton's classic comedy. 8 p.m. Oct. 21; 9 p.m. Oct. 22.
"Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas." This beautifully creepy stop-motion animated musical tells the story of Jack Skellington, the bored "Pumpkin King," who stumbles upon Christmastown and kidnaps Santa so he can take his place. 3:30 p.m. Oct. 23.
"Monsters Inc." John Goodman and Billy Crystal voice Sully and Mike, a pair of monsters who sneak into children's rooms at night and capture their screams to generate power for the City of Monstropolis. The fun starts when a toddler, Boo, follows them home. 8 p.m. Oct. 25; 6 p.m. Oct. 26.
"Matilda." Though not technically a Halloween film, this story of a young girl with loathsome parents, an evil school principal and telekinetic powers serve up its share of scares, and lots of laughs, too, most from the antics of Rhea Perlman and Danny DeVito. 5 p.m. Oct. 29; 10:30 a.m. Oct. 30.
"The Addams Family." Gomez, Morticia, Fester and the gang are reimagined in a big-screen adaptation of the '60s television series. Check out creepy-moody Cristina Ricci before she grew up and became all indie-moody. Each airing is followed by "Addams Family Values," a more vicious sequel featuring an hysterical summer camp Thanksgiving play. 7 p.m. Oct. 22; 6 p.m. Oct. 28; 12:30 p.m. Oct. 30.
Throughout October, Disney Channel will air Halloween-themed episodes of its popular children and teen shows, including a four-part "Wizards of Waverly Place" saga and a new "Phineas and Ferb" cartoon featuring "True Blood's" Steven Moyer and Anna Paquin as stars of a teen vampire movie. Kids' sketch comedy show "So Random" turns out an episode of scary skits.
"Phineas and Ferb: That's the Spirit! and The Curse of Candace,"6 p.m. Friday.
"Wizards of Waverly Place: Wizards of Apartment 13B,"7 p.m. Friday (additional episodes air each Friday throughout the month).
"So Random," 6:30 p.m. Oct. 9.