MDL Articles Revisited: Halloween Edition

Halloween is here, so I’m back with MDL Articles Revisited series. Now it’s the turn for the writers of all Halloween-related articles from 2012 to August 2021, including horror movies/dramas information and drama-related costume ideas. Excluded are recap articles on individual dramas.

Hopefully, through these recommendations in articles, you’ll find something scary to watch!

For fun, I will tell you a bit about the background of Halloween

Halloween is now a pretty much secular holiday, but its origins are in the Catholic religion. The Catholic holiday, All Hallow’s Eve, is the night before All Saint’s Day. The idea was that souls were liberated from Purgatory (an intermediate state after physical death for expiatory purification) on that day, so celebrants would pray for the souls of the dead and hold a vigil during the night. The tradition of going door to door came from parts of Europe when beggars would ask for a “soul cake” (pictured) in exchange for offering a prayer for the soul of the dead of the household. Earlier Pagans also had a fall holiday featuring bonfires and feasts, called Samhain (a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and beginning of winter), that probably influenced the Catholic celebrations.

Nowadays, non-religious Halloween activities include trick-or-treating or souling, attending Halloween costume parties, carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, divination games, playing pranks, visiting haunted attractions, telling scary stories, and what is closely related to us in dramaland is watching horror films.

[Pictured on the right is Zombie Prison in Lotte World, Seoul, South Korea, a Halloween-themed room escape experience.]

Whether you celebrate Halloween or not, there is always that mood when you crave to watch something dark. Being scared can give you a thrilling rush. Watching a horror show triggers your body to fight-or-flight mode, which means it’s flooded with adrenaline and euphoria-inducing brain chemicals like endorphins and dopamine—all of which can pump you up and make you feel like you’re ready to take on the world! (source: health.com)


  • I am not responsible for the content of each article, as I trust the editing/screening process by the MDL team before each article was published. 
  • I contacted every writer whose articles are included here for consent and missing images/links. However, some writers are inactive or semi-active; therefore, do not replace them. I replaced the missing feature image if there was no response from the writer. Please note that all article feature images presented are not linkable, only the titles are.

Articles compiling horror movies and dramas

You have outgrown trick-or-treating and have no money to rent costumes to attend a Halloween party or go visiting haunted attractions. What else to do on Halloween night? The cheapest way is watching horror movies. You can even binge-watch horror dramas the whole day and night while ignoring the doorbell ringing from the little neighborhood monsters asking for candies. So many choices are given by your fellow MDLers through their articles below. Movies, short dramas, long dramas from various countries according to your taste or a new one to try:

Horror movies

Goliath1357’s Weekend Movie Guide (2013) – Thai horror movies
Goliath1357’s Weekend Movie Guide (2013) – Japanese horror movies
Goliath1357’s Movie Recommendations (2015) – Asian horror movies
ChaNee’s Weekend Movie Recommendations (2015) – scary movies
ChaNee’s Weekend Movie Recommendations (2015) – horror-comedy movies
The Japanese Horror Movies of 2019
Most Horrible Horror Titles (2020)
Soju’s 10 Horror Movie Recommendations | Part 1 (2020)
Soju’s 10 Horror Movie Recommendations | Part 2 (2020)
Soju’s 15 Horror Movie Recommendations | Finale (2021)

Horror movies and dramas

Ghosts, Vampires and Psychopaths, Oh My! (2012)
Get Scared Korean Style 
Horror Week 2018: Enter If You Dare
ASK MDL: Halloween (2018)
Asian Horror, All Wrapped Up: January 2020
Asian Horror All Wrapped Up: February 2020
Thailand’s Horror: An Invitation to my Japanese and Korean Horror Cousins (2020)

Horror Dramas

A Guide To Spooky Horror K-Dramas (2013)
Halloween Edition: the Spine-chilling Asian Dramas (2013)
30 Minutes or Less: Horror-Comedy Halloween Edition (2016)
30 Minutes or Less: Halloween Edition Part 2 
10 Horror 2019 Dramas to Binge-Watch During This Year’s Halloween

Articles on Halloween costumes

After flipping over 170 pages of 3300+ articles, I only found 2 articles about Halloween costumes inspired by Asian dramas:

Drama Costumes: What to Wear (and Not Wear!) on All Hallows’ Eve (2013)

A Hallyu Halloween (2015)

This surprises me since there are so many dramas/movies that can give us ideas on Halloween costumes to write an article about. And for those who are looking for any costume inspiration but found the rarity of such articles can easily find ideas from historical dramas, for example. Traditional clothes like hanbok, hanfu, and kimono (from South Korea, China, and Japan, respectively), even worn in the simplest style, will receive attention and questions from party guests. And we can proudly promote the Asian dramas we watched.

Article on the horror genre

Me VS My Anti-Horror Friends (2020)
“Things my anti-horror friends constantly say to me that annoy me, make me roll my eyes, plus my reactions, some memes and a horror movie rec list.” 
This unique article is my favorite and one and only of this category. The writer, whose pronoun preferences are it and its as mentioned in its profile, tells about its personal journey in horror dramaland. It appears that in its circle of friends, it’s the only one who is a hardcore Asian horror fan. Its friends’ reaction upon hearing its preferred genre is like it’s a psychopath. Its confession reminds me of us who love Asian dramas and have to face non-Asian drama fan people around us. I even have some Asian acquaintances who don’t watch Asian dramas from their country origins! So when I told them about their current airing dramas, they looked at me like I was from another planet.

An interesting observation

Since I have made two themed compilations on  MDL articles in the past, I found that horror or Halloween theme is not a favorite topic to write an article about. I could understand if there is maybe one Halloween related article as the event is cultural based, but there are two years, 2014 and 2017, when no generic horror-themed article is published. Is the reason because there are not many horror genre fans, as the writer of the above article wondered? I am quite sure that MDLers also love watching horror mixed comedy and/or romance, but still, I have observed that not many recap articles are written on horror genre dramas in general. 

Finally, about the Halloween main character Jack-O-lantern

Halloween is not complete without the carved pumpkin lanterns known as Jack-O-lantern. Why is it called Jack? An Irish legend tells us that a long time ago, there was a guy named Stingy Jack who deceived a lot of people for money. News on his dirty deeds reached the underworld, and Satan was curious about this vile being, so he went to check the guy out himself. Long story short, they made a bet, and Jack won with a prize of not going to hell. After a while, he died. The heaven rejected him because his sins were too many. Alas, hell rejected him too since Satan remembered their bet. Jack was given a forever glowing ember from hell to light up his way roaming the world, and he put it in a hollowed turnip. When the Irish people emigrated to North America in the 17th century, they brought along the legend. Turnip turned into a pumpkin, as pumpkin harvest is bountiful in the late summer, and it’s easier to carve pumpkin than turnip. [Pictured is 19th-century ghost turnip in National Museum of Ireland – Country Life in County Mayo] 

Halloween celebration is more prominent in Europe and in North America than Asia, as Asian cultures have their own legends of dead souls roaming the earth. However, in some parts of Asia where western culture is embraced, Halloween is celebrated in the form of its decoration and costume parties. I have seen Halloween-related costume parties in the Korean Itaewon Class (2020), the Japanese 5-ji Kara 9-ji Made (2015), and Chinese The Journey Across the Night (2020). Regarding the last drama, the story setting is Hong Kong which is more westernized than mainland China. I haven’t seen any Chinese drama sets in the mainland that shows Halloween-related costume parties. Possibly the non-existence is due to restrictive government censorship against western cultural influence. Pumpkin carvings practice is known in Asia as well. Below are some culture-themed pumpkin carvings from Asian countries which dramas I watched:

South Korea 
BTS, lol ;D

That’s it, guys! Thanks for reading, and happy watching!

And for they who celebrate it: 

Have a spook-tacular, boo-tiful, wooo-nderful, and fang-tastic Halloween!

Acknowledgements: Thank you to all writers whose articles are included here for your consent and support. Thank you to the editors who edited this article. 
Credits: I do not own any of the images used. Credits go to the respective owners. To honor the writers’ effort to search, choose, and reformat pictures, I used their original article’s feature images unless they were missing. Other image sources:  GIFs 1, 2, 3; soul cake: Wikipediapumpkin carvings: 1, 2, 3, 4.

Edited by: Nymphadora (1st editor), YW (2nd editor)

horror dramas
horror movies

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