We all love Halloween, and we all love being scared.
When we were younger, most of us weren't allowed to watch the scary horror flicks that appeared on late-night TV. What we could watch, however, were good old cartoons.
Sometimes, though, those cartoons took it a step too far and gave us a scare we might not have been ready for at that age. Here are some of the best spooky episodes of our favorite cartoons from the '90s and early '00s.
1. "Hey Arnold!" - "Haunted Train," Season 1, Episode 8b
This episode genuinely scared me as a child. I mean, really, who thought this was a good idea to show kids?
It's all about a haunted train that tries to lure in its victims with a blinding light only to have the lost stop be HELL. Come on.
If you didn't see it as a kid, you might have dodged a bullet considering the mark it left on me.
2. "SpongeBob SquarePants" - "Scaredy Pants," Season 1, Episode 13a
This was one of my favorite episodes of all time. It's a light-hearted Halloween special with some laughs and a few surprises.
It's Halloween in Bikini Bottom, and Spongebob is literally scared of a door closing. Mr. Krabs also tells him the scary story of "The Flying Dutchman." It will forever be a classic.
3. "Dexter's Laboratory" - "Filet of Soul," Season 2, Episode 8
Nothing gives you a good scare like a dead fish ghost, right?!
In this episode of "Dexter's Laboratory," Dexter's pet fish dies, and he wants to give it a funeral with a nice flush down the toilet. However, his sister, Dee Dee, has other plans.
When she doesn't let him flush his fish down the toilet, the fish returns to haunt them and scare them into a proper burial.
4. "Rugrats" - "Chuckie's Wonderful Life," Season 3, Episode 17
OK, to be honest, this episode was just all sorts of fucked up.
While it may not be a Halloween special, it certainly scared me as a kid. In this episode, Chuckie basically wishes he was never born and runs away.
Before getting anywhere, however, his “gardening” angel comes to show him what life would be like without him.
His dad is basically loony and walks around with a sock puppet, and Tommy is left abused and neglected while his parents slave away to feed an extremely fat and immobile Angelica.
As for the twins? They are monsters. While it may not be “Halloween scary," it's definitely “this is very heavy for children to be watching” scary.
5. "Hey Arnold!" - "Four-Eyed Jack," Season 1, Episode 23b
This is another "Hey Arnold" episode that also left a small mark on me when I was younger.
Arnold and Gerald have a sleepover in the boarding house and decide to go ghost hunting after finding a pair of creepy glasses, which are said to have belonged to a mad scientist who once lived within the building.
Of course, they set out trying to find out the truth behind the mystery of Four-Eyed Jack. Is it scary? Yes.
6. "Ed, Edd n Eddy" - "Boo Haw Haw," Season 6 Special
Another great spooky Halloween special is "Ed, Edd n Eddy's Boo Haw Haw." Looking back, it's kind of great how many adult undertones there are in these "kids'" specials. The episode goes like this:
The boys go on the hunt for “Spook-E-Ville” on Halloween by using an old map provided by Eddy's brother.
The episode has all sorts of fun quirks and spooks, but the best part is when Ed begins to have hallucinations of all the kids being monsters due to “how many horror movies he has watched.”
Sounds more like a bad shroom trip to me, Ed.
7. "Rocko's Modern Life" - "Sugar Frosted Frights," Season 3, Episode 3A
More hallucinations to come in this classic Halloween episode.
It's all about Filburt's hallucinations after he eats an “amazing piece of candy” (Maybe the same candy Ed ate?), and the ghost of a mercenary who lost his leg during the war.
Legend has it, every Halloween night he rises from the grave to search for his missing leg.
After Filburt runs into a graveyard on his crazed and delusional hallucination, Heffer, Filburt and Rocko have a run in with said mercenary. I definitely recommend this one.
8. "The Angry Beavers" - "The Day The World Got Really Screwed Up!," Season 2
The Angry Beavers was one of my favorites to watch in the late '90s. In this episode, the beavers are out trick-or-treating the day before Halloween for some reason.
This episode is another trip, involving a monster who sucks things into an alternate dimension where the beavers get sucked into. They have to slay some monsters in order to get things back to normal, but can they do it?
Add this to your watch list.
9. "The Simpsons" - "The Treehouse of Horror" collection
The original episode in this collection aired back on October 25, 1990. It was the beginning of a long list of "Simpsons" horrors to come.
This episode starts with a take on the “Amityville Horror” story, followed by “Hungry Are the Damned,” which contains a spooky storyline on cannibalism.
Watch for yourself to find out what a treat these episodes really are.
10. "Rugrats" - "Angelica's Worst Nightmare," Season 3, Episode 21
Well, we've got another WTF episode from "Rugrats."
Again, this isn't a spooky Halloween episode, but a “get in your psyche and bother you for weeks” episode.
Angelica hears her mom is expecting another child, and the thought of her parents diverting their attention causes her to have an insanely wacky nightmare about a giant baby with a terrifying voice who chases her through the house and then eats her.
11. "Courage the Cowardly Dog" - "King Ramses," Season 1, Episode 7
Really any episode of "Courage the Cowardly Dog" could spook you, but there were a few that left us all deeply disturbed.
Courage finds an Egyptian slab buried on the property, and the Bagges find out it was stolen and worth millions. Basically, Eustace gets greedy and won't return the slab until he gets paid for it.
That's when things go awry.
A scary (really, it scared me when I was younger) apparition of a ghost -- yes, a ghost -- appears in front of the home, demanding they return the slab. Yes, it is the ghost of King Ramses.
"Courage the Cowardly Dog" creators spare no details in giving you a grisly image of the alleged ghost. It's enough to make you lose sleep for a few nights.