The Entire Halloween Timeline Explained

The "Halloween" franchise is basically a Choose Your Own Adventure book. When John Carpenter's "Halloween" became a bonafide blockbuster in 1978, at least one sequel was inevitable. Little did he know that it would not only spark the slasher craze but result in a total of 13 "Halloween"-centric films. There have been reboot sequels (or "requels," as Mindy calls them in 2022's "Scream"), a one-off anthology-type sequel, and a mini-remake timeline. It can be challenging to keep up with at this point. Where the other two giant franchises — "A Nightmare on Elm Street" and "Friday the 13th" — stick to a semi-cohesive throughline, the many creative teams behind the Michael Myers films have certainly had their own vision. Who could blame them, really?

Below, /Film makes sense of the various timelines and presents each as clearly as possible. Whether you're more of a Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) super fan or prefer the Thorn trilogy focused on Jamie Lloyd (Danielle Harris), it's all here. Or maybe the 2007 Rob Zombie remake and its 2009 sequel are more your speed. There's truly something for everyone! So, let's dive in and get the entire Halloween timeline explained.

The Original Laurie Strode Saga: 1978

Set in the autumn of 1978, John Carpenter's "Halloween" tells the spooky tale of The Boogeyman, embodied by Michael Myers (primarily played by Nick Castle) through his murderous rampage in Haddonfield, Illinois. Babysitter Laurie Strode comes across its path in a real wrong place/wrong time scenario. Her friends Lynda, Annie, and Bob are picked off, and Laurie is left alone to confront the literal embodiment of evil. Michael's doctor Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence) tracks the escaped mental patient from Smith's Grove Sanitarium to the otherwise quiet mid-western town. Loomis spends most of the night scouring the streets and camps in front of Michael's childhood home. In the finale, Michael nearly strangles Laurie to death but Loomis shows up in the nick of time and fires six shots into his chest. Michael tumbles off the bedroom balcony and disappears into the night.

Then 1981's "Halloween II" picks up moments later. Michael wanders the Haddonfield streets, going from house to house before making his way to the hospital. The sequel plays out as one might expect, ending at the hospital where Laurie spends the entirety of the film. Nurse Marion Chambers reveals to Dr. Loomis that Michael is Laurie's brother, suggesting his hunger to kill his family, a motive that would go on to fuel three more Myers-centered sequels. The film ends with Loomis whipping out his lighter and exploding an operating room. Both are presumed dead.

The Original Laurie Strode Saga: 1998

"Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later" finds Laurie now in hiding. Turns out she merely faked her death in a car accident, and now serves as esteemed headmistress Keri Tate of a very "posh, secluded school in Northern California," as she tells her boyfriend and school counselor Will (Adam Arkin). A functioning alcoholic, she still has nightmares about that ill-fated night in 1978 and is tended to by her son John (Josh Hartnett). Nurse Marion returns in a cameo role, having taken care of Dr. Loomis before he died and kept his countless files on former patients. Michael was believed dead after his body was never recovered following the hospital explosion. He shows up and rummages through Marion's office and finds a file on Laurie, revealing her whereabouts. After killing Marion and neighbors Jimmy (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Tony, he sets sights on California.

On Halloween, Michael arrives in Summer Glen and makes his way to Hillcrest Academy. Through stealthy maneuvering, he tricks security guard Ronnie (LL Cool J) into unwittingly letting him inside the gates. John's friends Charlie (Adam Hann-Byrd) and Sarah (Jodi Lyn O'Keefe), as well as Will, are killed in gruesome ways. In a triumphant turn of events, Laurie realizes it's now or never to put an end to things and battles Michael in one of the most thrilling finales in horror history. The film wraps with Laurie chopping off Michael's head, and it certainly feels like a definitive ending ... or maybe not.

The Original Laurie Strode Saga: 2001-2002

Three years later, Laurie is committed to the Grace Andersen Sanitarium for killing the wrong man. Two nurses reveal that Michael Myers switched jumpsuits with a paramedic and crushed his larynx. He then could not alert Laurie that he was a "father of three," Nurse Wells (Lorena Gale) says, and not a psychotic killer. Laurie hides pills inside her Raggedy Ann doll. She must stay vigilant for Michael's eventual return. On Halloween 2001, Michael shows up and eliminates the only two security guards on duty through decapitation and a good ole fashioned neck slicing. Up on the roof, Laurie has laid a shamefully obvious boobytrap for him ... and he steps right into it. Laurie hangs him out to dry, but he manipulates her into believing he is another innocent man. Laurie reaches for his mask, and Michael flips her over the edge and digs his knife into her back. "I'll see you in hell!" she kisses him and drops to her death.

"Resurrection" then jumps ahead one year and follows a group of college kids camping out in the Myers house. Freddiek's (Busta Rhymes) Dangertainment stages the home as it would have looked in 1963. As part of a scholarship program, contestants are required to wear cameras and live stream their experience. Soon enough, Michael crashes the party. He's eventually electrified and hauled off to the morgue, putting a final nail into the MM saga.

The Jamie Lloyd Saga: 1978-1988

After "Halloween III: Season of the Witch" bombed with critics and fans, the creative team sought to bring Michael Myers back. "Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers" picks up a decade after the original film and follows Laurie Strode's daughter, Jamie Lloyd (Danielle Harris). It's been a year since her mother and father died in a tragic automobile accident, and Jamie has been taken into foster care with the Carruthers. Their own daughter Rachel (Ellie Cornell) draws close to Jamie as an older sister figure. Having been under wraps (quite literally) since almost burning to death at Haddonfield Memorial Hospital, Michael Myers is transported from Ridgemont back to Smith's Grove Sanitarium. A conversation between two ambulance personnel reveals to Michael that he still has a living relative, and it reignites his bloodlust. He murders both attendants, causing the ambulance to crash, and makes his way to Haddonfield.

Countless bodies hit the floor, including Rachel's on-again/off-again boyfriend Brady (Sasha Jenson). Eventually, only Rachel and Jamie are left alive inside the Meeker home. Intuitive and smart, Rachel climbs up on the roof and later comes to Jamie's rescue inside the elementary school. In the big finale, Rachel runs The Shape over with a truck, and the state police finally show up to blast Michael down an abandoned mineshaft. Once at home, Jamie stabs her foster mother in the collarbone. It's an ending that seems to suggest that Michael's evil has passed on to his niece.

The Jamie Lloyd Saga: 1989

"Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers" picks up the same night after the events of the previous film, merely to show the audience how Michael escaped the mineshaft. As state troopers attempted to blast him to smithereens, Michael crawled out of a hidden entrance and was swept away into a nearby river. He eventually was caught in a fisherman's net and made his way to a secluded cabin, where a hermit nursed him back to health for a full year.

The film is largely set in 1989. Traumatized beyond belief, Jamie is a mute with a psychic link to her deranged uncle and has been committed to a children's hospital. Rachel continues being the older sister MVP and visits frequently. This Halloween, evil comes back with a vengeance and litters the Haddonfield streets with more bodies. Rachel meets an untimely demise, as do a slew of friends. All Michael wants is Jamie, but Tina (Wendy Kaplan) isn't about to let that happen. She sacrifices herself to give Jamie and her friend Billy (Jeffrey Landman) a chance to escape. "Can you kill him?!" pleads Jamie to Dr. Loomis, who's more unhinged than ever these days. He hatches a plan to use Jamie as bait inside the Myers house, giving police enough time to arrive. Michael is handcuffed and hauled into jail. Unfortunately, it's a vain effort. The mysterious Man in Black guns down the entire police force and Jamie and Michael vanish without a trace.

The Jamie Lloyd Saga: 1995

Six years later, Jamie turns up as a victim trapped in an underground network. A cult, led by Dr. Wynn (Mitchell Ryan), has taken her hostage and forced her to give birth to a baby boy named Stephen. On Halloween Eve, she escapes from her room and races out into the stormy night. She hops into a drunkard's pickup and drives to the closest bus station, where she hides Stephen inside a bathroom before continuing her trek through the countryside. Michael eventually runs her off the road and impales her on farm equipment, fileting her alive.

"Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers" then follows John Strode (Bradford English), brother to Laurie's father, as well as his family. His daughter Kara (Marianne Hagan) and her son Danny (Devin Gardner) have recently moved back after some time away, but an abusive home life leaves much to be desired. Michael returns home, feeling a connection to those cursed walls, while Wynn mounts a search for Stephen. Tommy Doyle (Paul Rudd) also makes an appearance as a traumatized, paranoid, and obsessed neighbor on the hunt for The Shape. The final showdown culminates inside Smith's Grove Sanitarium. Kara gets a few good licks in with a metal pipe, and Tommy injects Michael with some gooey green serum. Dr. Loomis, who has been "very much retired" for years, confronts Michael. All that can be heard as the screen fades to black is Loomis' blood-curdling screams.

Rob Zombie's Remake: 1992-2007

Presumably set in 1992, Rob Zombie's remake inhabits a grittier perspective on the Michael Myers saga. Michael's mother Deborah (Sheri Moon Zombie) strips at the local Red Rabbit Lounge and has married an abusive alcoholic named Ronnie (William Forsythe). Michael's sister Judith (Hanna Hall) is far more concerned about her boyfriend than anything to do with the family. On an ill-fated Halloween night, Michael snaps and kills his entire family except for his baby sister and Deborah, who was working that night. She comes home to find an absolute bloodbath, and Michael is committed to Smith's Grove Sanitarium for treatment.

Michael spends the next 15 years working with Dr. Loomis. Over the years, however, he slowly descends into madness. He continues working on his spooky masks but has stopped talking and receded within himself. In his isolation, his emotions are forged with an unknown evil that provokes him to escape on Halloween night in 2007. He tracks down his long-lost little sister Laurie (Scout Taylor-Compton) and kills everyone around her, including her adoptive parents. In the third act, Michael kidnaps Laurie and takes her back to their childhood home. During the scuffle, Michael charges at Laurie on the balcony as both tumble and land with a "thump!" on the ground below. Covered in blood, Laurie manages to aim her pistol squarely at Michael's face and pull the trigger. Her final scream is deafening.

Rob Zombie's Halloween II: 2008

It's been a year and Laurie is stricken with unimaginable night terrors. Rob Zombie's "Halloween II" finds her living with friend Annie (Danielle Harris) and Sheriff Brackett (Brad Dourif). She makes weekly therapy appointments, but nothing seems to be squelching the pain and guilt she feels roaring through her body. During an especially emotional scene, Laurie reads in Dr. Loomis' book "The Devil Walks Among Us" that she's actually Angel Myers, Michael's sister. She lashes out and generally seems to be living a far more reckless lifestyle.

Michael has been undergoing his own transition, as well. Living as a drifter, he aimlessly wanders the countryside with no real purpose or motive. His mind begins hallucinating visions of his mother and a younger version of himself accompanied by a white horse. They instruct him that he must reunite with his sister, so he makes his way back to Haddonfield. As per usual, it's a wasteland of carnage as he circles around Laurie. Her new group of friends drops like flies, as does Annie. Michael then drags Laurie away to a secluded cabin where she sinks into her own psychosis. The police discover the remote shed, where an epic shoot-out occurs. Michael kills Loomis before being shot by Brackett and then lit up by the police force. Laurie dons Michael's mask and walks out into the spotlight. Sometime later, she is committed to a hospital. In the distance, Deborah and a white horse amble toward her.

The Laurie Strode Reboot Saga: 1978-2018

In David Gordon Green's reboot-sequel "Halloween" (2018), Laurie Strode has been doomsday prepping for 40 years. Her remote home on the outskirts of Haddonfield is equipped with high-voltage spotlights, an underground safe room (complete with every gun known to man), and a backyard littered with mannequins for shooting practice. By all accounts, she is more than ready for The Boogeyman's inevitable return. She failed to properly care for her daughter Karen (Judy Greer). Child Protective Services intervened and took Karen away when she was 12 years old. She now mightily resents her mother, while Laurie's granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) attempts to bridge the generational gap and stop cycles from repeating.

Michael Myers has spent four decades in "captivity," as one investigative podcaster puts it. During a routine transfer from Smith's Grove Sanitarium to a maximum-security facility the bus crashes, leading to Michael's escape. His long-awaited return is nothing short of chaotic. Between "Halloween" and "Halloween Kills," both films taking place over the course of Halloween '18, the monstrous villain picks his way through the suburban neighborhood, collecting bodies on bodies on bodies. After Karen baits Michael with his mask, leading him into a championship ring with other townsfolk, including former Sheriff Brackett and Tommy Doyle, Michael somehow manages to slaughter them all. He returns to his home, where he discovers Karen standing in his spot by the window. In a surprise attack, he slashes Karen to ribbons, "Psycho"-style.

The Laurie Strode Reboot Saga: 2019

Corey Cunningham (Rohan Campbell) is 21 and has the world at his feet. He dreams of studying engineering, and has been saving up as much in hopes of attending college by the next fall. But on Halloween night 2019, his entire life changes — for the worse. 

While he's babysitting a young boy named Jeremy (Jaxon Goldenberg), the kid plays a practical joke and locks Corey in an upstairs room. Corey begs to be freed and starts kicking the door. "I'm going to kill you, Jeremy!" he screams as Jeremy's parents come home. The door finally bursts open and hits Jeremy, flinging the kid over the banister. He falls two stories, and dies. Corey looks down from above, still gripping the serrated knife in his hand. "What have you done?!" Jeremy's mother shrieks.

Months later, Corey is put on trial for the accidental death. He is completely exonerated of all charges and attempts to move on with his life. But Haddonfield isn't about to forgive or forget. Corey becomes a pariah in the community, and all his dreams and career ambitions go up in smoke.

The Laurie Strode Reboot Saga: 2022

Three years later, Corey is still seen as a monster. Life gets better, however, when he meets Allyson, and the two quickly strike up a hot and heavy romance.

Meanwhile, there has not been a single sign of Michael Myers for four years. In the wake of Karen's death, Laurie decides to write her memoir, detailing her trauma and recovery, and moves into a new home with Allyson. On the surface, everything appears fine, but Allyson harbors secret trust issues regarding her grandmother. In addition, Laurie's paranoia returns when it becomes clear that Corey is a bad influence. "You're just obsessed with death," Allyson retorts.

When a group of bullies throw Corey off an overpass, Michael discovers his body and drags him into an underground lair. There, he chokes Corey and transfers a piece of his evil to the young man. Corey subsequently begins his own reign of terror, killing those who have wronged Allyson. He even goes after Laurie, who shoots him squarely in the chest. Corey then stabs himself, setting up Michael's inevitable return. 

In the finale of "Halloween Ends," Laurie faces her monster one last time, stabbing him in the chest, nailing his hands to a countertop, and slitting his throat. Once police arrive, the town gathers in a procession and heads to the junkyard, where Michael's body is shredded apart. Is this a happy ending? It's not so clear; as Laurie writes in her book, "Evil never dies. It changes shape."