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The 8 Best Horror Television Shows

BrideOfChucky 26 Comments

As much as I adore horror movies, I really enjoy horror TV shows. I am one of those people who have no problem sacrificing a day at the beach, for a day snuggling up in my bed and watching an entire series at once—Netflix and HBO Go are my best friends. I decided to put together my top eight scary television shows, as well as where to find them!

1. True Blood

This HBO vampire series started in 2008, and is currently in season six. After synthetic human blood is made, called True Blood, vampires are allowed to come out of hiding and present themselves to the world. The show follows Sookie Stackhouse, a telepathic waitress who finds herself in a relationship with vampire Bill Compton. There are also werewolves, and shape shifters, amongst other mythical creatures. It’s HBO, so you can expect lots of violence and nudity. All episodes are currently available on HBO Go.

The 8 Best Horror Television Shows

2. Hemlock Grove

I adore basically everything that Eli Roth touches, so of course I was all over this Netflix series once it was released. It’s got werewolves, amongst other supernatural creatures. It is very similar to Twin Peaks, in the sense that it is very mysterious and creepy. I completely recommend this series to all horror lovers, and all of season one is currently available on Netflix!

The 8 Best Horror Television Shows

3. American Horror Story

American Horror Story started playing on FX in 2011. Seasons one and two have already been completed, and we are impatiently waiting for season three to start up. What is really cool about American Horror Story is that each season is split up into different stories. Season one was about the infamous “murder house” in Los Angeles. I won’t spoil it too much for you, but it is safe to assume that there is something wrong with that residence. The second season takes place in an insane asylum run by the Catholic Church. That sounds fairly creepy on it’s own, so you can only imagine how much they were able to do with that one. Season three is scheduled to start in October of this year, and is titled “Salem,” meaning it follows the Salem witch trials. Netflix instant watch only has the first season, but the second season is available on Amazon as well.

The 8 Best Horror Television Shows

4. Game of Thrones

As I have expressed in an older editorial, I have strong feelings as to why Game of Thrones is considered horror! This HBO series has gratuitous violence, sex, nudity, gore, scary-looking monsters, and basically anything else you could find in a horror program. Season three ended not too long ago, and season four isn’t scheduled to start again until 2014—even though I highly doubt I can last that long without it. Seasons one, two and three are all currently available on HBO Go, and I highly suggest that everyone watch it!

The 8 Best Horror Television Shows

5. Bates Motel

I will admit that I was a little hesitant about this show at first. I really liked the film, Psycho, so I wasn’t sure how well they would be able to execute a spinoff like this. However, I was pleasantly surprised by it, and ended up enjoying it a lot. Freddie Highmore is brilliant as Norman Bates, and Vera Farmiga is amazing as Norma Bates. Season one ended not too long ago, and season two isn’t scheduled to start until 2014. The series is not on Netflix, and is not streaming from aetv.com, but is available for purchase on Amazon instant video.

The 8 Best Horror Television Shows

6. The Twilight Zone

The Twilight Zone is also a great show for the horror lover. I can’t say much about the newer series because I haven’t watched too many new episodes, but I am a huge fan of the original series—which is available on Netflix! There is also The Twilight Zone Movie, which was good too. I believe that they still play the Twilight Zone on the Syfy channel as well, for those without Netflix. You should also check out my editorial on my top scariest episodes of the Twilight Zone!

The 8 Best Horror Television Shows

7. The Walking Dead

This AMC horror series is sure to hook in the zombie lover. It follows Officer Rick Grimes, as he tries to find his family and protect them from the zombie apocalypse. The creators of this show give no fucks, and will kill off main characters just when you start to like them. Only the first two out of the three seasons are on Netflix, and season four won’t start up again until October!

The 8 Best Horror Television Shows

8. Goosebumps

In all honesty, this show scared the shit out of me when I was little. Even for a kids show, they have some creepy images! I recently started watching Goosebumps again after finding it on Netflix instant. Although there is only one season up, I totally recommend it for those horror lovers out there with children (or who are just simply kids at heart!) Baby Ryan Gosling even makes an appearance in the episode, “Say Cheese and Die.”

The 8 Best Horror Television Shows

I was extremely close to putting Pretty Little Liars on this list—I was still in high school when this show started so that totally justifies me still watching it btw—but overall, I think these are my favorite horror TV shows. I also want to recognize, “Tales From the Crypt” as a really popular horror TV show, but since I haven’t really watched that show since I was like four, I didn’t have much to say about it (however if anyone knows where I can watch full episodes, please comment in the section below!)

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26 Comments

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      1. DemonicHoodlum July 20, 2013 at 2:18 am

        No DEXTER?????????? Blasphemy. Just ribbing ya on the blasphemy part. We are all entitled to our own opinions and I certainly respect yours. For the most part it was a pretty solid list, but I would have replaced Goosebumps with your honorable mention of Tales From the Crypt, removed Game of Thrones (I see your point, but I don’t think it fits into the horror genre) and placed Dexter at #1. Great topic for discussion though…

        • BrideOfChucky
          BrideOfChucky July 22, 2013 at 5:38 am

          I actually haven’t seen Dexter yet, although I’ve heard great things about it!

        • DemonicHoodlum July 25, 2013 at 5:15 pm

          You haven’t seen Dexter???? Well that would explain why it’s not on your list. You really need to check it out as you are doing a disservice to yourself by not allowing the brilliance of that show into your life :-) Of course I only watched 2 episodes of Bates Motel and had a hard time getting into it. I still have the rest of the season on my DVD-R (along with Hannibal) but I just haven’t had the willingness or desire to sit and watch them. But seriously, check out Dexter. Just one episode and I guarantee you’ll be hooked. Kudos again, my dear Bride.

      2. Mr Terror July 20, 2013 at 2:58 am

        No X-Files?! I’d also like to recommend the precursor to X-Files, Kolchak: The Night Stalker. Also, Are You Afraid of the Dark? (TV Series 1991–1996) is worth a mention.

        • BrideOfChucky
          BrideOfChucky July 22, 2013 at 5:40 am

          The only reason I didn’t put X-Files on here is because I haven’t watched it since I was really really young. It’s my dad’s favorite show, and I used to hate the theme song because that meant it was time to go to bed lol. I noticed that it’s on Netflix, and I plan on watching it soon :)

      3. Chuva July 20, 2013 at 5:32 am

        Game Of Thrones? Really? Come on… I don’t give a shit if it’s got blood, it’s NOT horror. Aside from being the most overrated show on TV, it’s not horror.

      4. Dennis Francis July 20, 2013 at 6:09 am

        Millennium? Supernatural?

      5. John July 20, 2013 at 11:37 am

        Tales from the dark side? Werewolf?

      6. Dread World (@dread_world) July 20, 2013 at 12:26 pm

        Hemlock Grove was and is the biggest load of garbage, other than Bill Skarsgard…and I’m a huge Eli Roth fan boy as well. To leave off Dexter, which had probably the best season of television, not just horror television, with season 4 (Trinity) over the last ten years, in favor of Hemlock Grove gets me apoplectic! To each their own…keep searching for that Aura Bauros I guess…

        • Herner Klenthur
          Herner Klenthur July 20, 2013 at 1:50 pm

          Everyone has their own tastes which form their lists. That said I hated Hemlock Grove and agree on Dexter. What amazes me is that for every person who hates Hemlock Grove there are 2 who love it.

        • Dennis Francis July 20, 2013 at 3:44 pm

          Hemlock Grove was terrible in my opinion. The low budget shows but its not an excuse. Very dull.

        • Herner Klenthur
          Herner Klenthur July 20, 2013 at 4:18 pm

          Hemlock grove had a bigger budget then The Walking Dead according to an article Jason wrote on site months back

        • Dread World (@dread_world) July 20, 2013 at 4:57 pm

          The budget wasn’t the biggest issue with Hemlock Grove. The biggest issue was that in trying to stretch one book out to 10 hours of television they created, then abandoned some decent ideas in favor of LCD (lowest common denominator) fare. Instead of giving us some sort of payoff to Dr. Price and his super strength, we get a pointless faux lesbian scene between Chausser and Destiny. Instead of some back story framing Olivias need for her magic eye drops we get Her and Lily Taylor rolling a joint. Here are some teasers about Shelly and her interesting Frankenstein-esque origin story…nope scratch that here’s Roman and a battle axe that will lead absolutely no where. Hemlock Grove had all the potential in the world to be very good, but rather than just tell a damn good story, the folks involved concentrated more on things that would “look cool” or “shock people.”

          It goes back to something Alice Cooper once said about new bands always coming up to him and talking about their look…he always wanted to hear the song. Where’s the song? With Hemlock Grove it’s where’s the story? Sure there is cool some looking stuff (and to set the record straight – American Werewolf In London has the best transformation scene, always will) but where is the story? Manipulating plot points to set up cool looking images isn’t storytelling. There are hundreds of films with a bunch of stuff that “looks cool” but they suck because the story sucks. Hemlock Groves story sucked…or rather was executed so poorly that the end product was terrible. Maybe that’s why I get fired up over it (can’t you tell?) becasue it’s more disappointing when something has potential to be good and shows flashes of excellence but falls flat on it’s face than when something is just straight up bad (Wrong Turn 5).

          Like I said to each their own though. The important thing is you watched it, formed and opinion, wrote about it. So kudos…

      7. Tiago July 21, 2013 at 5:25 am

        American horror Story is the best Horror series I’ve seen. Season 2 was insane, Also liked Bates Motel…
        I would mention Tales From the Darkside.
        Nice List.

      8. Jennacide July 21, 2013 at 4:53 pm

        No mention of Supernatural or Masters of Horror??? Really?? That’s just crazy…

        Also, Game of Thrones is fantasy not horror… just sayin’.

        Actually, now that I think about it, most of the shows on this list I wouldn’t really consider to be “horror”… Bates Motel (though excellent) is more of a drama/suspense, The Twilight Zone tends to lean more toward the Sci Fi end of the spectrum (but that’s just getting technical I guess), even The Walking Dead is more drama than horror, and I don’t even know what True Blood is anymore (a joke?)

        That just leaves American Horror Story and Hemlock Grove… but H.G. has pretty awful writing, so really the only solid horror show on this list is A.H.S. (Ok I’ll give u back The Twilight Zone)

        Also, Goosebumps is a kids show… (and Pretty Little Liars?? Wtf??)… How old are u??? (Are You Afraid of the Dark? was better anyway)

        And True Blood sucks now.

        That is all.

        • Tiago July 21, 2013 at 7:09 pm

          Supernatural is the worst thing i ve seen in my life. I cant begin to express how bad that show is.

        • Jennacide July 21, 2013 at 8:20 pm

          Watch what you say about Supernatural… the fans will hunt you down and drag you to slaughter lol

        • BrideOfChucky
          BrideOfChucky July 22, 2013 at 5:52 am

          Old enough to understand that not everyone will agree with me 100% of the time, and that unless an opinion is directly harming me, there’s no reason to get worked up over it :)

      9. Locksley Velociraptor July 22, 2013 at 5:02 pm

        I’d suggest Hannibal, which was really much closer to horror than police procedural and had some fantastically creepy episodes. Also, I love Goosebumps. I remember an episode with a piano playing ghost with no hands as one of the few things to genuinely scare me. Good times.

      10. NAVNISH July 22, 2013 at 7:50 pm

        BRILLIANT

      11. Chris P July 29, 2013 at 7:02 am

        I thought the new American Horror Story series was called “Coven” – Did I miss a change?

      12. jhanachiketa00 August 2, 2013 at 7:12 pm

        Games of Throne? come on…… no way…. its not scary, its political drama….

      13. Jellie Bean August 21, 2013 at 10:12 am

        No Kingdom Hospital?

      14. Jeff McCollum September 12, 2013 at 1:30 am

        Tales From The Crypt was a classic series of horror, in so many shapes and sizes, with so much phenominal talent in the, that they are worth much more than an Honorable mention. Also, Friday the 13th: The Series, Poltergiest: The Legacy and even Spawn (due to the graphic violence and gory images alone) are more than deserving to be on the list. Perhaps a top 20 would be more appropriate lol

      15. DK August 17, 2014 at 4:40 am

        My two cents –

        I agree with some of the other posters: Game of Thrones is not horror. It’s derivative, pander-to-the-masses-tits-and-bits-flashing fantasy/drama, with a disturbing focus on incest, probably thrown in for shock value (one hopes!). That said, it’s probably the best sword-and-sorcery series made for the small screen. In fact, it’s one of the ONLY sword-and-sorcery series made for the small screen.

        No Outer Limits? The remake occasionally went in for “horror”-type episodes which could be quite effective whereas the original could be obtusely conceptualized and sometimes downright laughable (“The Great Dust Bunny Static Electricity Monster” episode comes to mind). Despite some of the silly monster suits, even the original series had some great stories.

        “Night Gallery” could be quite bad at times, but on occasion delivered nicely, as long as one didn’t have any illusions about Serling’s (lack of ) involvement. I always thought the theme was wonderfully creepy.

        “True Blood” is more about pushing someone’s political agenda than horror. It’s like latter-day SNL – the constant name-calling at and harping on conservatives ceases being funny after awhile and sounds more like very shrill disinfotainment propaganda.

        I’d like to perhaps recommend the first season of “True Detective” as having some interesting background links to classic horror literature (i.e. the work of Robert Chambers). The first season of episodes was shot through with hints of a wider, existential cosmic horror. Certainly it had me hooked right up to the last five minutes.

      16. john August 17, 2014 at 3:15 pm

        Harpers Island is one of the best horror shows that noone knows about. American Gothic was great too. Game of Thrones is NOT HORROR!!!! there’s my2 cents