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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Disney Channel’s Monstober remains a staple of Halloween nostalgia

opinion+10%2F24%2F2023
opinion 10/24/2023

“It’s Monstober all month long on Disney Channel.”
If you are familiar with this phrase, then you must know this was the best time of year to be a child in front of the TV. Disney Channel’s Monstober signaled me to start planning my Halloween costume and start playing special Halloween pretend games with my neighbors. With Halloween themed content streaming continuously, this specific Disney Channel annual tradition was the greatest in the channel’s history.
If you do not know what I am talking about, “Monstober,” or “Hauntober Fest” as it was originally titled, was an annual night of Halloween themed Disney Channel Original Movies (DCOMs) and TV shows that were featured for the entire month of October. 
The annual marathon began in 2005 and ended around 2016. ABC Family, later known as Freeform, had a similar marathon called 13 Nights of Halloween, but as the name suggests, it was not an all-immersive experience that stretched through October. 
Monstober was special because it shoved spooky content at me every night for 31 nights, leading me to tune in every year for about seven years.
In its “Hauntober Fest” era, Disney Channel gave us classic DCOMs such as all four Halloweentown movies, both Twitches, the Haunted Mansion and the Little Vampire. It also birthed one of the most beloved Disney Channel shows of all time – Wizards of Waverly Place. 
To celebrate the first year of Wizards of Waverly Place, Hauntober Fest rebranded to “Wiz-Tober” and featured the show’s cast as program hosts. Imagine not only watching prime Halloween themed movies and shows, but also getting extra content from Selena Gomez and the rest of the Wizards cast.
Wiz-Tober was responsible for my absolute favorite Halloween song, China Anne McClain’s “Calling All the Monsters.” Unlike Christmas, Halloween does not have many true Halloween songs. When this song dropped, I immediately memorized all the words.
I watched the music video during commercial breaks and with my parents’ permission on YouTube to learn the dance moves to follow along. In fact, I suggest you pause reading to go listen to the song before continuing.
Finally, in 2012, Wiz-Tober entered its “Monstober” era with the release of Girl vs. Monster and remained Monstober until it was quietly discontinued in 2016 after the release of Invisible Sister.
An awful side effect of growing up is desperately wishing you can relive or recreate your most intense nostalgic memories. Among my favorite Christmas memories, I can still see my dad lift my now 20-year-old sister to put the angel on the tree, my family still drives around to see Christmas lights and my mom still plays the same Christmas albums on our old stereo. The only thing that has changed is that I am not little anymore.
This is not the same as Monstober or even the greater, overarching nostalgia of Halloween. Disney Channel no longer has the spooky Mickey Mouse ear design between commercial breaks with various special hosts, and I am not sitting beside my mom watching Halloweentown High while she sews my Halloween costume. 
I miss the anticipation and excitement I once had for Halloween. I have tried to recreate parts of it, but I cannot bring back my most cherished annual tradition of watching Disney Channel’s Monstober.
I think Disney Channel’s Monstober was simply an incredible tradition. The Christmas and summer special episodes were forgettable, but the Halloween episodes still hold value. Disney+ even boasts collections of these episodes on the app to fit with the season, but more importantly, to bring the nostalgic experience back to Monstober fans. 
Although this annual month of nightly Halloween themed programming cannot be recreated, I firmly believe Monstober was the best Disney Channel tradition and I am grateful for all Halloween memories I made with it. Now, excuse me while I sew my costume and marathon all the Halloweentown movies.

About the Contributor
Elisa Stocking, Staff Writer
Elisa Stocking is a senior communication major. Elisa is currently a staff writer for The Reflector.
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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
Disney Channel’s Monstober remains a staple of Halloween nostalgia