Halloween has always been a fun holiday for kids and adults alike, though for different reasons. Kids will dress up, collect candy, and watch Halloween specials of their favorite cartoons, while the older crowd will do something similar. We can still dress up (if you want to), buy candy on our own, and binge horror shows that make our skin crawl as we shift our body from uneasiness. There are too many great horror shows so it’s impossible to rank them all. So, with no rankings, here are some of the best horror shows to binge on!
1. The Walking Dead
Whether you love it or hate it, there is no denying that The Walking Dead is one of the most popular tv series airing today. With a strong fan base, the series has lasted 8 seasons as of now. Though at times the story can drag for a loooooong time and some of the decisions the characters make can be frustrating, but they always manage to bounce right back up with thrilling action and plenty of gore.
2. Scream Queens
Who doesn’t love a good self-parody? Much like how the original film Scream was self-aware of its genre, this series takes an extra step to the point of being ridiculous and campy in the best way possible. Created by Ryan Murphy, we follow a group of obnoxious sorority girls that are being offed off by a rather flashy killer. Though the series is short lived with only 2 seasons, you’ll find that this series has a lot of laughs and brutal violence.
3. Bates Motel
When you think of the film Psycho, people think of Hitchcock’s classic film and ignore its unnecessary sequels and its one reboot. An average person would think that a prequel series, following the early years of Norman Bates and his mother, would be ridiculous and have the potential to ruin the original film, but that’s not what we get. This prequel series truly dives into the mind of Norman Bates, delivering a tense, psychological thriller. Exploring the relationship between Norman and his mother is fascinating as we discover early on that Norman has a severe Oedipus Complex and he’s triggered by certain people and their actions.
4. Twin Peaks
There is no other show that has a cult following quite like this one. Although Twin Peaks isn’t technically considered horror, it’s surreal approach and supernatural setting sets this series apart from any other shows on this list. This sometimes horror, supernatural, mysterious, comedic, melodramatic series was canceled after 2 seasons only to be revived last summer with a third and final season. The story follows an FBI agent who has to investigate the murder of a young woman in the small town of Twin Peaks. What we find out throughout the series, is that the town has a dark, supernatural history, that if you try to uncover it, you run the risk of having an unknown fate…
The breakout hit of the summer. Although this is the newest show on the list, it has easily worked its way to being one of the most beloved series in Netflix. While paying homage to many of the classic horror films from the 80’s, Stranger Things still manages to be its own thing. With its lovable cast that is always a delight to watch and blending of terror/nostalgia, we get a series that anyone can enjoy.
6. American Horror Story
The show that helped me get into the horror genre. Created by Ryan Murphy once again, this anthology series that has me constantly guessing what’s to happen next. We start off with the classic haunted house tale, then we move on to an asylum that is infiltrated by a demon, with an alien subplot. From there, we have a story of witches as they fight for their lives against the Voodoo Queen. Each season borrows many of the same actors, but each season is so vastly different in its tone, humor, and overall style.
7. The Strain
From the mind that brought you Pans Labyrinth, Hellboy, Crimson Peak, and much more, Guillermo del Toro horror series The Strain is an unrecognized work that is worthy of people’s attention. Based on a trilogy of books, co-written by Chuck Hogan, an ancient, evil society of vampires are taking over the planet. We follow the head of a CDC division and many other characters that don’t really connect with each other, but that isn’t the main appeal of the series. The main draw is the actual horror scenes with the fantastical monsters, crafted ever so brilliantly by horror legend del Toro.
Much like Bates Motel, the idea of a Hannibal Lecter prequel series before the events of Red Dragon could’ve been a mess, but instead we easily get one of the best horror shows of all time With the first season we had a good ‘serial killer of the week’ type show, which was certainly entertaining and brutally violent but by season 2 things change. We start to dive into the dark, shattered minds of both Hannibal and Will Graham. With great, haunting performances by both actors, it’s Mads Mikkelsen’s Hannibal that has you salivating for more, portraying a character that rivals the great Anthony Hopkins. Sadly the series was short lived by only having 3 seasons by the time it was canceled, leaving fans upset and begging for either Netflix or Hulu to pick it up.
9. The Twilight Zone
This classic is without a doubt one of the best and most influential tv series. It dealt with urban legends and myths, as well as the human psyche, showcasing how mad we can become. With its sci-fi elements dealing with space, aliens, and technology, it paved the way for another similar series you might have heard of called Black Mirror. The series was able to capture the surface of day to day life (in its time), injecting a macabre aesthetic that would make us question ourselves and our surroundings.
10. Penny Dreadful
Combining classic literary characters such as Frankenstein, Dorian Gray, Dracula, etc. into a bleak, gothic universe, you get something amazing. Set in Victorian England, this gothic series does Universals ‘Dark Universe’ better than Universal. The series seems almost like a fan fiction written for TV and that is in no way a bad thing. With great performances all around, it’s Eva Green’s character that easily steals the show at every turn.
I know there are SEVERAL other great horror shows that I haven’t mentioned, so let us know what your personal favorite horror show is in the comment section below, or on twitter!