Halloween is a wondrously queer time of year, and we love it! Witches, scares, and sultry vampires, what’s not to love? This spooky season, whether you’re finishing off your costume, hollowing out pumpkins, or simply want to cuddle up on the sofa with someone special and get good and scared – we got you.
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We’ve compiled the top scary lesbian horror films, thrillers, and lesbian TV series to get you in the mood.
The Haunting of Bly Manor
So, from the teaser you’d be forgiven for thinking this Netflix series, the sequel to The Haunting of Hill House, is decidedly light on lesbian characters. While that is true – it’s quality over quantity here! I’m including it for two reasons: Victoria Pedretti *swoon* and the central love story between her character Dani, and Jamie (Amelia Eve).
Dani is a young woman burdened with a dark secret (and an annoying ex-boyfriend), who accepts a job as a nanny at Bly (bi) Manor. Ghostly goings on ensue – there’s misty lakes, creepy dolls, music boxes, eery attics, and all the jump scares you’d expect from a haunted gothic mansion.
Dani meets and falls for the gardener, Jamie, who helps Dani overcome her dark past (ex). Their lesbian love story is sooooo tender it hurts. The montage flashback! I’ll level with you though, it’s nine episodes, and I was only watching it for the lesbianism. So, if you’re a fan of the original Haunting, this is one for you – if not, fast forward to the Dani/Jamie scenes or head to YouTube (spoilers).
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Ok, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, for the uninitiated among us, is a seminal TV series about a teenage High School cheerleader (Buffy) turned vampire slayer, staring Sarah Michelle Gellar. Buffy aired in 1997 and broke new ground for queer representation on television.
In season five, the title character’s best friend and practising witch, Willow (Alyson Hannigan), meets and falls in love with fellow witch, Tara (Amber Benson). It was one of the first TV shows to depict a naturally progressing relationship between two women that wasn’t for ratings.
Perfect for Halloween, check out season 4, episode 10, “Hush”. The highest-rated Buffy episode ever (IMDb 9.7/10), gives genuinely terrifying scares as everyone loses their voice at the hands of evil monsters hell-bent on stealing people’s hearts (not in a good way).
More importantly, though, this episode introduces the powerful connection Willow and Tara share as they must combine their magical abilities to perform a spell. Come for the scares, stay for the intimacy and burgeoning lesbian romance.
Staying with the 90’s theme, I bring you cult classic, The Craft. Beloved by lesbians, gays, and feminists everywhere, the 1996 film tells the story of four rebellious outcasts who band together to form a witchy coven. There’s a 2020 re-boot of the same name, but do not be tempted to the dark side – there’s no point trying to improve on perfection.
In OG, The Craft, Sarah (Robin Tunney), struggles to find her place at her new Los Angeles Catholic High School, but finds a connection with three outsiders (Neve Campbell, Fairuza Balk, Rachel True) who believe Sarah is the natural witch to complete their coven.
Related article: Best Lesbian Movies to Watch
The Craft, taps into teenage rebellion, female power, and sisterhood as the girls band together to take agency over their lives and rage against their oppressors. It also charts what many of us may have experienced when teenage friendship tips into full-on toxicity. We’ve all been there. Sort of. But in The Craft, it’s all so beautifully 90’s cool.
*Note* There is some reference to suicide and self-harm which some viewers may find distressing.
Thelma is a scary lesbian psychological thriller. Like many of our coming out stories: girl meets girl, girl has feelings of desire for girl she doesn’t know what to do with, girl then has a supernatural break from reality which forces her to confront the tragic secrets of her past.
This creepy and beautiful lesbian film, set in Norway, tells the story of a shy overprotected student called Thelma, who moves away from her religious parents to university in Oslo where she meets and is drawn to Anja. As Thelma’s feelings for Anja intensify, she starts experiencing seizures. Alongside an emotional and sexual awakening, it appears something altogether more paranormal is going on, and Thelma must grapple with a secret supernatural power buried deep in her family history.
Thelma is more your film-buff choice for Halloween viewing, it’s tentative, stylish, and well worth a watch. A cautionary tale of the dangers of repressed lesbian desire. Best to just give in to it ladies.
*Note* Thelma contains scenes with flashing lights.
Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, based around Tchaikovsky’s ballet, is a psychological thriller from 2010. It brings to our little lesbian world Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis as rival ballet dancers driven by a competitive obsession.
If you’re not aware of this film, where have you been? It bagged a load of Oscars and much well-deserved critical acclaim. We’re including it in our list of Halloween lesbian thrillers because, well, it’s hot.
On release, one scene in the film received more complaints to The British Board of Film Classification than any other film in the UK that year.
It was suggested complaints may have come from people who had expected to see a film about Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake but were confronted with a dark psychological thriller with homosexual content. Lesbians, go forth and stream.
The Carmilla Movie
If you’re looking for a lesbian vampire watch with a decidedly light-hearted tone, then The Carmilla Movie, could satisfy your thirst. The story, based on one of the world’s first vampire novels by writer Sheridan Le Fanu, follows on from the popular 2014 web series, Carmilla. It revolves around a friendship group of queer characters, a morally ambiguous lesbian vampire (Natasha Negovanlis) and her evil-slaying girlfriend (Elise Bauman).
In this feature film adaptation, crowd-funded by fans of the queer-positive web series, the gang go on a spooky romp to an Austrian mansion on a mission to discover why Carmilla (Negovanlis) is losing her newly gained human soul.
The Carmilla Movie is a lovefest for fans of the web series so it may not translate to a mainstream audience. But, if you want a couple of hours watching two beautiful women (well, technically one is a vampire) in a happy, charming lesbian romance, then look no further. Also, the main antagonist in The Carmilla Movie is Dominique Provost-Chalkley, star of one of the best lesbian TV series to watch, Wynonna Earp. *Lesbian cheering!
Bodies, Bodies, Bodies
Bodies, Bodies, Bodies is a satirical slasher Gen Z comedy horror. A group of college graduate friends party at a manor home and decide (as you do), to play a murder mystery game called…you guessed it, Bodies, Bodies, Bodies. Only thing is, when a real corpse turns up, the game turns serious.
This satirical whodunit has a sweet lesbian relationship at its core, Sophie (Amandla Stenberg) and Bee (Maria Bakalova) play an affectionate loved-up couple. Although, as with the other partygoers, their love may not be all that it first appears.
Available to watch on Now TV premium subscription and to buy on YouTube, Amazon Prime, and Apple TV.
Let us know in the comments below what you thought of the shows or share your favourite wlw viewing for Halloween.
Love Team Nonchalant x
Last Updated on 13th November 2023 by Nonchalant Magazine