Horror themed TV shows have become increasingly popular over the last 15 years. Some have done great and others have just faded away into the abyss of long forgotton films. Now does this list have them all? Nope. But, it has some pretty great suggestions for horror show lovers to watch, a bit about each one we suggest and some of the scariest episodes.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Buffy is one of my all time favorite shows, and yes, I do sing along to the musical episode. In Buffy, a teenage girl and her group of friends fight vampires and many other supernatural monsters. “In every generation there is a Chosen One. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness. She is the Slayer.” – Giles of Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Scariest Episode: Hush (season 4, episode 10). The gentlemen, which are some bald headed monsters that have creepy silver smiles and the insane henchmen are incredibly unnerving. Add that to the near silence of the episode and you may want to keep a light on.
Supernatural – Another personal favorite. Two brothers (Dean and Sam) follow in the “family business” which happens to be monster/demon hunting. It’s a great TV series with a countless number of creepy creatures. The graphics are awesome too.
Scariest Episode: Everybody Loves a Clown (season 2, episode 2) There so many episodes to choose from, but I know that for certain people clowns are particularly scary.
My Personal Favorite Episode: Mystery Spot (season 3, episode 11): it’s like the movie Groundhog Day where everything keeps repeating itself. Fair warning: Heat of the Moment by Asia will be stuck in your head after watching this.
American Horror Story – Each season of AHS focuses on a different storyline. The first season involved a haunted house and the family that moved in, the second season was about a mental institution and the third season was about witches. There is an upcoming fourth season about a freak show. So far as I’ve seen, the first season has been the best. The other seasons are alright, but the first one was amazing.
Scariest Episode: Piggy Piggy (season 1, episode 6) The pig headed killer still gives me the shivers. Also, some answers about the character Tate come out in this episode.
Walking Dead – The popular show Walking Dead is a story of life after a zombie outbreak as seen through the eyes of a group of survivors. The zombies on this show are so well done they amaze me every time.
Scariest episode: Days Gone By (season 1, episode 1) This episode is scary because it makes me think of how terrifying it would be to wake up in a hospital with no one around. To make matters worse, you come to find out that while you were in a coma zombies have taken over – that sounds like the beginning of a nightmare to me.
X-files – I doubt there is anyone who hasn’t heard of this show. Two agents investigate strange cases for the FBI, one is a believer (in aliens) and one is a skeptic. This show has 201 episodes (so says IMDb), and a few movies as well. X-files is a great show. Most of the episodes you can watch out of order.
Scariest episode: Home (season 4, episode 2) Picking the scariest episode was tough, but I think many will agree this episode is incredibly creepy and takes the cake.
Doctor Who – I know, I know, Doctor Who is by no means a horror show, it’s sci-fi through and through. I’m including it for a few reasons. First, it’s amazing, second it’s a personal favorite and most importantly there is a recurring monster that results in some very scary episodes.
Scariest episode: Blink (season 3, episode 10 as far as imdb is concerned) This is the first episode that the Weeping Angels show up in. It is by far the creepiest. Even if you have no interest in watching this series, you should check this episode out because this episode will still be good without having seen any prior episodes. The Weeping Angels are scary in all the episodes that they appear in, but this episode sets the tone and explains what they are and what they do. Don’t blame me if you watch this then start throwing side-eye at future angel statues you happen to come across.
Vampire Diaries/The Originals – These are two related shows. I strongly hesitated to include these 2 shows on this list, but I clearly break my own rules, as you’ve already seen in the previous sci-fi listings, so I figured I’d throw it in the list. This show is not so much horror as it is supernatural drama. Yes, there is violence and vampire attacks. And yes, there are other witches and werewolves – but I just can’t bring myself to describe it as horror. There is too much high school drama in it. On the flip-side, I have watched every episode and I must admit that it can become an addicting show. The Originals is a spin off of Vampire Diaries that focuses on the original vampire family.
Scariest episode: There really isn’t one. I even looked around online to see what other people thought and could find any suggestions.
Are You Afraid of the Dark – A classic show if there ever was one. Suitable for younger audiences, it even aired in Nickelodeon. To this day you can find people in their 20’s or 30’s who will say certain episodes of this show just scared the crap out of them. Each episode starts with a group of kids that tell creepy stories around a campfire and each episode is one of the stories.
Scariest Episode: The Tale of Laughing in the Dark (season 1, episode 2) This episode makes clowns scary and I’m not particularly afraid of clowns. If Zeebo, the clown in this episode, and Pennywise (from “It”) got together the world would be full of people pissing themselves in fear before dying.
Being Human – In Being Human, a werewolf, a vampire and a ghost live together. I feel the same way about this show as I do about Vampire Diaries, except for the fact that it isn’t filled with the drama of teenage characters. I also keep trying to get through it and just can’t do it. I’ve tried the BBC version and the American version. However, I can appreciate how people can get into it and therefore decided to put it on here. So by all means, give it a go and maybe it will suit your horror fancy.
Scariest Episode: I asked a few friends which episode they though was the scariest and I didn’t get any good answers. Everyone was happy to suggest their favorite episodes, but they agreed that none of the episodes could be considered the scariest.
Grimm – Nick, a Grimm, is a descendant of hunters that hunted supernatural creatures. This show can be a bit slow, but it has plenty of creepy monsters to keep your interest. More of a slow-dread then a jump-a-foot-off-the-couch scary.
Scariest Episode: Mommy Dearest (season 3 episode 14) Without saying too much to spoil the show, I will tell you that the monster in this episode is creepy and what it does is disturbing. Short of that, you have to see it for yourself (or google search the episode if you want to ruin it).
Haven – Haven is a small town in Maine where the residents suffer from things they call “troubles” (varying supernatural abilities). This is another one that falls into the sci-fi genre than horror, but it’s worth a try if you’re looking for something paranormal. The “troubles” townspeople get pretty creative with their abilities which is great at keeping you interested in the show. Also, it’s based on the book the Colorado Kid by Stephen King.
Scariest Episode: No episode sticks out as scary per se, but at one point there’s this horseshoe crab with human eyes that still gives me the heebie jeebies to think about.
Hemlock Grove – This one is a Netflix original. Hemlock Grove starts with the murder of a teenage girl and then some supernatural events happen in the ensuing story. There are two seasons on Netflix and, though I’m not the hugest fan, I can see how people get into it, so give it a try if you’re looking for something new.
Scariest Episode: This is another series where there isn’t a scariest episode, but there is gore to be found.
666 Park Avenue – I watched this show in a fit of boredom an ended up really enjoyed it. A bunch of residents in a swanky apartment building in Manhattan seem to get lucky, then not so lucky, and the guy who owns the building may or may not be evil. It has some interesting twists to it and some creepy happenings. There was only 1 season, so the last episode is definitely a wrap up without 100% committing to being one, but worth a watch.
Scariest Episodes: Murmurations (episode 2) & Lazarus (episode 13). The creepy part of Murmurations is the damn birds. They scared the crap out of me so they get a mention. Also, the last episode is worth watching – when the show reveals all of the missing pieces.
Honorable Mentions (aka: I haven’t watched them yet but they look like they could be scary and awesome)
Hannibal – I think it looks awesome and I’ve heard great things. It’s about Hannibal Lecter in the early years. I will eventually watch it.
The Strain – The books were good and I’m a sucker for zombies and Guillermo Del Toro, so I’ll get there!