Spooks on Screen
Halloween around the dial
Halloween this year happens to fall on a Monday, the scariest day of the week for schoolkids and office workers. Given that the holiday arrives on a weekday, odds are pretty good that you'll have completed all the partying and pumpkin-carving you can handle over the course of the preceding weekend. That leaves you with nothing to do but hand out candy to bemasked beggars and watch TV come Monday.
So what sort of scary televised offerings are in store for you this chilly All Hallow's Eve? Wrap that blanket tight around you, turn down the lights and let's take a look.
Travel Channel gets things started nice and early with a marathon of “Most Haunted” episodes laced with live broadcasts. “Most Haunted: Live!” (Travel Channel 2 p.m.) features the hosts of “Most Haunted” broadcasting live from East London in an all-day search for the ghost of Jack the Ripper. Of course, they'll have been doing live broadcasts, streaming web cams and online chats since Friday night. Be kind of anticlimactic if they found the ghost, say, 10 minutes into Friday night's broadcast. Not a lot left to talk about on Monday then. Maybe, if that happens, they could move the crew up to Loch Ness on Sunday and find Nessie on Monday night's broadcast.
Meanwhile, Sci-Fi's easily excitable team of supernatural investigators heads down to Savannah, Ga., looking for even more slightly perceptible cold spots and minuscule dust motes on digital cameras in “Ghost Hunters Halloween” (Sci-Fi Channel 8 p.m.). It's pretty much the same as “Hunted Travel” but with less of a budget and no live web cams.
“Houdini: Unlocking the Mystery” (History 7 p.m.) looks into the life and times of the legendary escape artist. Did you know he died on Halloween? Did you know his cousin married lead Stooge Moe Howard? History is scary. Of course, if the Houdini special has got you hipped to the idea of escape artists, you might want to check out “Chriss Angel: Mind Freak Halloween Special” (A&E 8 p.m.), if only for a chuckle or two. Just like Pinocchio wants to be a real boy, Goth magician Chriss Angel wants to be Marilyn Manson. Perhaps he'll pull off that transformational trick during tonight's black-clad performance.
Cable networks keep the “reality” vibe going with a few other timely specials. “Monster Garage” (Discovery 7 p.m.) gets into the spirit of the season by having host Jessie James and crew turn a farmer's tractor into a souped-up crop-circle-making machine. “Reel Homes, Real Horror” (HGTV 9 p.m.) has the folks at Home and Garden TV checking out the filming locations of some legendary horror films. Amityville Horror, anyone?
Speaking of reality, The Scorned (E! 7 p.m.)--that crappy slasher movie that the stars of E!'s “Kill Reality” have been shooting all season--will premiere on Halloween night. Any movie involving “Survivor”'s Jonny Fairplay making out with “The Real World”'s Tonya Cooley gets my vote for the scariest offering of the evening. Just keep repeating, “It's only a movie, it's only a movie.”