31 Nights of Halloween

31 Nights of Halloween
Network Fox Family (1998–2001)
ABC Family (2002; 2004–2015)
Freeform (2016–present)
Launched October 19, 1998 (1998-10-19)
Country of origin United States
Formerly known as 13 Days of Halloween (1998–2001)
13 Nights of Halloween (2002–2017)
Format Horror films and Halloween-based programming
Running time Nightly, annually from October 19 to October 31 (until 2017)
Nightly, annually from October 1 to October 31 (starting in 2018)
Original Language(s) English

31 Nights of Halloween (formerly 13 Days of Halloween and 13 Nights of Halloween) is a seasonal programming block on Freeform. It originally began airing in 1998, after the Family Channel became Fox Family, and was continued through the channel's change into ABC Family, and later, Freeform. The 31 Nights of Halloween block was created mainly due to the success of the channel's 25 Days of Christmas, which had started two years earlier. The special lasted from October 19 until Halloween night, covering the thirteen days before the holiday.[1] Starting in 2018, the special will air throughout the whole month of October.[2]


From 1998-2004, the block consisted mainly of made-for-TV movies aimed at an older audience, such as Casper: A Spirited Beginning, The Haunting of Seacliff Inn, Lost Souls, The Spiral Staircase, When Good Ghouls Go Bad, Deadly Invasion: The Killer Bee Nightmare, Tower of Terror, The Hollow, and Grave Secrets: The Legacy of Hilltop Drive, and Halloween themed specials such as Scariest Places on Earth and Ghost Stories.

Then starting in 2006, the lineup shifted more towards feature films aimed at a younger audience such as Hocus Pocus, The Haunted Mansion, The Addams Family and its sequel, Monsters, Inc., and the Harry Potter film series.

The programming block was not aired in 2003 as ABC Family's new executives decided not to air the block for reasons that remain unclear, but it returned in 2004. Over the following years, the block focused more on family-oriented feature films and away from specific Halloween-based programs.

In 2011, ABC Family switched the focus of the programming block to its original purpose (primarily Halloween/Horror related films), while still remaining appropriate for children and families. Films that air during the lineup are usually edited for time constraints and for profane content, such as language or sexuality, to appeal towards all audiences.

With the launch of Freeform in 2016, the block remained largely the same, continuing to show Halloween-based family films.

On May 15, 2018, Freeform announced that the block will be re-named to 31 Nights of Halloween, meaning the lineup will start on the very first day of October rather than the 19th.[2]


In 2008, viewers averaged 1.2 million.[3] For 2009, the lineup averaged 1.4 million viewers, up from the previous year.[3] Hocus Pocus drew record numbers of near 2.5 million, while Edward Scissorhands drew over 1 million viewers.[3] Total viewers dropped in 2010, averaging just 1.2 million viewers.[4] In 2011, Pretty Little Liars Halloween themed episode, "The First Secret", at the time, the lineup's most watched program. The special episode aired with more than 2.5 million viewers.[5] Viewers for the entire lineup broke record, averaging 1.6 million viewers in 2011, thanks to debuts such as Coraline.[4] The October 29 airing of Hocus Pocus drew the 13 Nights of Halloween's highest viewers ever, with 2.8 million.[6]


In 2012, the second Halloween-themed episode of Pretty Little Liars, "This is A Dark Ride" guest-starring former American Idol contestant Adam Lambert drew 2.8 million viewers.[7] ABC Family announced that the episode had become the lineup's most watched programming in their key demographics in the block's fourteen-year history.[8] Due to the success of previous years airings of Hocus Pocus, multiple airings were scheduled throughout the 2012 lineup. The first initial broadcast of the film on October 23 was watched by 1.6 million viewers.[9] Broadcasts of the film on the nights of October 28 and October 31 were watched by 1.9 million and 1.3 million viewers respectively.[10][11] The network premiere of the film The Sorcerer's Apprentice on October 28 was watched by 2.1 million viewers.[10] Overall viewers for the 2012 season were down from the previous year, with an average of 1.5 million viewers.[12]


ABC Family released the 2014 schedule on September 10, 2014.[13]

The popular programming event, now in its 16th year, started October 19 and concluded on October 31. The schedule features brand-new Halloween-themed episodes of Melissa & Joey and Baby Daddy, an all-new Pretty Little Liars fan appreciation special, plus the scary prank specials Freak Out. The stunt will also include the network television premieres of Dark Shadows and ParaNorman, and prime time airings of Hocus Pocus, Beetlejuice, and Monsters Inc.[14]

Ratings for the 2014 event were generally even across the board with prior years. October 19, the first day of the event, held ratings of Harry Potter, 1.5 million viewers, Toy Story of Terror, 1.7 million, and a prime time airing of Monsters Inc. gaining 1.7 million viewers. The Pretty Little Liars special airing October 21 had 1.3 million viewers while Melissa and Joey registered 1.1 million. The network airing of Dark Shadows on October 24 registered a mediocre 1 million viewers. An airing of The Adams Family had a decent 1.21 million viewers while a Halloween airing of Casper had 1.4 million viewers.[15] The highest rated programs of the event were Monsters Inc at, 1.7 million on October 19, and Hocus Pocus on October 26, also at 1.7 million.[16]


The 2015 line up was released on September 2.[17]

The highest rated event for 2015's 13 Nights of Halloween was the premier of Monsters University at 2.081m viewers, up from 2012's high of 1.7m.[18] Hocus Pocus, which aired a staggering ten times during the event saw its highest rated showing at 1.7m viewers, even with previous years. The Adams Family highest rated showing peaked at 1.6m viewers. Overall the rest of the event peaked around 1 million viewers.[18] The 2015 lineup averaged 1.1905m viewers, down dramatically from previous years.[18]


ABC Family rebranded itself as Freeform in 2016, but continued airing 13 Nights of Halloween.[19]

13 Nights of Halloween lineup was released on September 14, 2016. The 2016 line up features film classics such as Hocus Pocus, Corpse Bride, The Addams Family, Scooby-Doo, Monsters University, Practical Magic, and Death Becomes Her. The line up for Halloween day includes Steven Spielberg's classic The Goonies, Scooby-Doo, The Addams Family, Addams Family Values, and two back to back airings of Disney's cult classic Hocus Pocus.[20]

Ratings for 2016's 13 Nights were overall down. Hocus Pocus was the highest rated film, with its highest viewing at 1.308M on October 23rd. The rest of the Hocus Pocus airings stayed around 1.000M consistently. Monsters University gained 1.234M on that same date. The highest rated showing of the Addams Family was 1.116M on October 20th.[21]


13 Nights of Halloween lineup was released on September 12, 2017. The schedule includes films such as Eddie Murphy's The Haunted Mansion, Addams Family, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Sleepy Hollow, Edward Scissorhands, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Bewitched. A Tim Burton film marathon and a Hocus Pocus marathon on Halloween were also included in the schedule.[22]


Starting in 2018, the special will air throughout the whole month of October.

See also


  1. "Index of /wp". oct31st.org.
  2. 1 2 Garcia, Kelsey (May 15, 2018). "Freeform Is Airing 31 Nights of Halloween This Year — So, Best Halloween Ever?". PopSugar. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  3. 1 2 3 "ABC Family's 11th annual "13 Nights of Halloween 2009" Scares Up Event-Best Deliveries". TV By the Numbers. Retrieved 2011-10-30.
  4. 1 2 ""Pretty Little Liars'" Special is the Week's No. 1 Scripted Cable Telecast in Females 12-34 and the No. 2 Scripted Cable Telecast in Women 18-34". TV By the Numbers. Retrieved 2011-10-30.
  5. "ABC Family Kicks Off "13 Nights of Halloween 2011" to Record Ratings".
  6. "ABC Family's "13 Nights of Halloween 2011" Scares Up Record Crowd". TV By the Numbers. Archived from the original on 2011-11-06. Retrieved 2011-11-03.
  7. "Tuesday Cable Ratings: 'Sons of Anarchy' Wins Night, + 'Tosh.0', 'The Daily Show', 'Pretty Little Liars', 'Ink Master' & More". TV By the Numbers. Archived from the original on October 27, 2012. Retrieved October 26, 2012.
  8. "2nd Annual 'Pretty Little Liars' Halloween-Themed Episode is the #1 "13 Nights of Halloween" Telecast Ever Across 18-34, 18-49 and 12-34 Demos". TV By the Numbers. Retrieved October 26, 2012.
  9. "Tuesday Cable Ratings: 'Sons of Anarchy' Wins Night, + 'Tosh.0', 'The Daily Show', 'Pretty Little Liars', 'Ink Master' & More". TV By the Numbers. Archived from the original on October 27, 2012. Retrieved November 2, 2012.
  10. 1 2 "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'The Walking Dead' Wins Night, 'Breaking Amish', 'Dexter', 'Homeland','Long Island Medium', 'Boardwalk Empire' & More". TV By the Numbers. Archived from the original on November 1, 2012. Retrieved November 2, 2012.
  11. "Wednesday Cable Ratings: 'American Horror Story' Wins Night, 'South Park', 'Duck Dynasty','Face Off', 'Key & Peele', 'South Beach Tow' & More". TV By the Numbers. Retrieved November 2, 2012.
  12. "ABC Family's 14th Annual '13 Nights of Halloween' Programming Event Drives Number 1 Ranking in Women 18-34, Women 18-49 and Females 12-34". TV By the Numbers. Retrieved November 2, 2012.
  13. "ABC Family '13 Nights Of Halloween' 2014 Schedule: Full Lineup Released; When And What To Watch". 5 September 2014.
  14. Tv By the numbers
  15. http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2014/10/30/tv-ratings-wednesday-world-series-game-7-hits-home-run-black-ish-nashville-up-stalker-the-mysteries-of-laura-down/320980/
  16. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-11-01. Retrieved 2014-10-30.
  17. "ABC Family's 17th Annual '13 Nights of Halloween' Programming Event Airs October 19-31". 2 September 2015.
  18. 1 2 3 "Wednesday cable ratings: 'AHS: Hotel' down in week 3, NLCS clincher leads the day". 30 October 2015.
  19. "Freeform Confirms 13 Nights of Halloween 2016 - Halloween Daily News". 4 September 2016.
  20. "'13 Nights Of Halloween' 2016 Schedule: Freeform Full Lineup Released; When And What To Watch". 16 September 2016.
  21. "TV By The Numbers by zap2it.com". TV By The Numbers by zap2it.com.
  22. "13 Nights Of Halloween 2017 Schedule: Full List of Movies".
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