Looking for a great horror television series to really sink your teeth into? Searching for a supernatural show or a Gothic chiller to entertain you during the twilight hours? Then you’ve come to the right place!
In this post, I am serving up a rundown of 50 television shows which are ideal for horror fans. From cult classics to sinister series, this collection of TV treats will provide hours of entertainment for those wanting a little more horror in their lives.
From Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Chucky, to The X-Files and The Enfield Haunting, there is plenty of top telly to dive into. All you need do is cast your eyes over the suggestions, and get watching!
Masters of Horror
First up, is a series which is a superb treat for any fan of horror movies. The series is Masters of Horror – an anthology show, showcasing a collection of spooky stories from some of the greatest names in the industry.
Each episode is 60-minutes long, and essentially plays out as a ‘mini-movie’ with a famous director calling the shots (John Carpenter, Joe Dante, Dario Argento, etc). In total, Masters of Horror boasts 26 episodes, split across two seasons of terror!
The Twilight Zone
Next up, perplexing situations, devilish darkness, and weird and wonderful storytelling are all thrown into the mix in The Twilight Zone – a legendary and excellent sci-fi anthology show, which is as good today as it was when it first aired. The series – which dates back to 1959 – serves up a plethora of imaginative stories, many of which play out as sinister morality tales, with creator and narrator Rod Serling on hand to steer the show.
Not a horror show as such, however The Twilight Zone regular dives into the horror realm, serving up a number of macabre instalments along the way. If you’re a sci-fi and horror fan, and you’re after some damn fine storytelling, then this is the show for you!
Tales from the Crypt
Tales from the Crypt is a US horror anthology series produced by HBO. The show originally ran from 1989 until 1996, and clocked up seven seasons and 93 episodes in the process.
During its original broadcast, Tales From the Crypt was a very popular, gory, blood-filled series. It boasted some top names, both in front of and behind the camera, including the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Demi Moore, Christopher Reeve, and Kirk Douglas, amongst others!
In supernatural horror series, Midnight Mass, strange events take place on an isolated island following the arrival of a mysterious priest. Hamish Linklater, Kate Siegel, and Zach Gilford star.
In teen sci-fi-horror series, Eerie, Indiana, teenager Marshall Teller and his best friend Simon, find themselves in the midst of some strange and creepy situations, which take place in their home town. From a werewolf to Tupperware people, Marshall and Simon investigate the weird and wonderful in this short-lived, cult favourite.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
In every generation, one girl is born a vampire slayer. She alone will face the forces of darkness, bump off some vamps, and do it all while looking damn cool!
Over the course of seven seasons, Buffy battles countless evils and saves the world multiple times. And she does it all while being backed by a strong supporting cast, a never-ending supply of humour, and some of the slickest writing around.
And if you love Buffy the Vampire Slayer, then watching companion show, Angel, is a no-brainer. Angel was conceived as a Buffy spin-off series, with the lead character (a vampire with a soul) running a detective agency in LA.
Featuring the same mix of humour and action as its sister show, as well as some compelling storylines, Angel is a fantastic series. Some claim it to be better than Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but let’s split the difference and call them both must-watch horror shows!
Created as a spin-off/extension of the popular Child’s Play movie series, Chucky is a deliciously dark horror series, which follows the continued adventures of Charles Lee Ray, aka Chucky the murderous doll. The series is from Don Mancini – the creator of the Child’s Play movies – and features all the iconic film characters, including Tiffany, Nica, Kyle, and Andy Barclay.
Based on the best-selling series of books by R. L. Stine, Goosebumps is a children’s anthology series, with a supernatural focus. The show regularly puts teens in creepy situations, with ghoulish stories that are perfect for young horror fans.
Are You Afraid of the Dark?
And speaking of young horror fans… you can’t have Goosebumps without having this next series – the Canadian children’s anthology show, Are You Afraid of the Dark?. The original series aired on Nickelodeon from 1990 until 2000, and served up some delightfully fun little horror tales, aimed at a younger demographic.
Not a show for those who want blood-thirsty stories and adult content, but if you’re after a few tricks ‘n’ treats, as well as a shot of ‘90s nostalgia, then Are You Afraid of the Dark? is a series worth revisiting.
American Horror Stories
Yet another anthology series, but this time one aimed at adults. American Horror Story is a dark and a twisted show, filled with unusual characters and some pretty dire situations.
Each season of American Horror Story is self-contained, and includes a different set of characters. However, many of those characters are played by the same actors (Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Lily Rabe, etc), giving the show a certain connective tissue over the course of its run.
Conceived as a prequel to the 1960 horror classic, Psycho, Bates Motel is a horror show which details the early years of Norman Bates, as played by Freddie Highmore. The show highlights Norman’s relationship with his mother, and their time running a motel.
The Outer Limits
Back to anthology shows now, and this one is another classic from yesteryear. The show is The Outer Limits – a sci-fi-horror showcase, composed of 49 unusual and beguiling episodes.
The Midwich Cuckoos
Keeley Hawes and Max Beesley star in this British sci-fi horror series, based on the novel of the same name by John Wyndham. The Midwich Cuckoos tells of a small town, where all the women fall pregnant at the same time and subsequently give birth to a collection of unusual children.
Set after the events of the original Exorcist movie (and ignoring all of the sequels), The Exorcist television show follows the story of two exorcists, who investigate demonic possessions. Alfonso Herrera and Ben Daniels take the lead, while Geena Davis, Alan Ruck, and John Cho appear in the series.
The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs
In this horror-themed variety show, Joe Bob Briggs hosts a collection of movie marathons, featuring some cult classics from yesteryear. Two movies are showcased per episode, with Briggs serving up discussions and rants about the films in question.
Often viewed as a sort-of extension to The Twilight Zone, Night Gallery is a horror anthology show, telling a collection of macabre tales. The show is hosted by Rod Serling, and while it never quite reached the same heights as Serling’s previous series, Night Gallery clocked up three seasons comprising 44 episodes.
Poltergeist: The Legacy
Taking its name from the Poltergeist movies (but not much else), Poltergeist: The Legacy is a supernatural horror show about a secret society and its fight against the occult. The series initially aired on Showtime for three seasons, before switching to the Sci-Fi Channel for its fourth and final season, and clocked up eighty-eight episodes in the process.
Another horror show, and yep, you guessed it, another anthology series. If there’s one thing that horror loves, it’s anthology tales and that’s exactly what is served up in Creepshow!
Inspired by the movies of the same name, and similar in style to Tales from the Crypt, Creepshow presents a varied collection of horror tales, featuring gruesome scenarios. Each episode is split into two segments, with stories written by some well-known names, including Stephen King and Joe Hill.
Emma Roberts, Billie Lourd, and Jamie Lee Curtis star in the slasher comedy series, Scream Queens. The show – set at the fictional Wallace University – follows the story of the Kappa Kappa Tau sorority, which becomes the target of a serial killer.
If you live in the UK then chances are you will be more than familiar with Most Haunted – the long-running British ghost hunting show, fronted by broadcaster and former children’s television presenter, Yvette Fielding. For those living outside of the UK, the show is essentially a series in which a team of ghost hunters attempt to prove the existence of the afterlife.
Despite the show running for twenty years, and 300 episodes, Most Haunted has never provided definitive proof of ghosts. However, that hasn’t stopped the show becoming a cult favourite, and providing endless hours of spooky entertainment.
In The Strain, a viral outbreak leads to vampirism, in this four-season horror-drama starring Corey Stoll and David Bradley. The series is based on the book of the same name by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan.
Often regarded as one of the defining shows of the 1990s, and certainly one of the best sci-fi/horror series of all-time, The X-Files is without doubt a must-watch piece of television. The series – about a pair of FBI agents investigating the paranormal – made household names out of Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny, and was hugely successful during its initial run.
If you’ve never watched The X-Files, what are you waiting for? With 11 seasons, 218 episodes, and two feature-length films, there are so many excellent stories to investigate!
The Vampire Diaries
Based on the book series of the same name by L. J. Smith, The Vampire Diaries is a supernatural teen drama starring Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley. The show follows the story of a young girl who falls in love with a vampire.
The Walking Dead
Set in a post-apocalyptic world, and based on the comic book of the same name by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard, The Walking Dead is a zombie horror series starring Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, and Melissa McBride. The show follows a group of survivors, and their attempts to restore some kind of normality to the world, while doing their best to avoid attacks from the undead.
Running eight seasons between 1998 and 2006, Charmed is a supernatural fantasy show about three powerful witch sisters, and the spooky situations they find themselves in. Shannen Doherty, Holly Marie Combs, and Alyssa Milano play the ‘Charmed’ sisters, Prue, Piper, and Phoebe, for seasons one to three, while Rose McGowan replaces Doherty as fourth sister Paige, from season four onward.
Ash vs Evil Dead
Set in the same universe as the Evil Dead movies, Ash vs Evil Dead is a follow-up series starring Bruce Campbell as lead hero, Ash Williams. The series picks up three decades after the events of the films, with Williams back fighting the forces of evil.
Based on the popular video game series of the same name, Castlevania is a superb anime, about a monster hunter called Trevor Belmont and his battle against the forces of darkness. The show features some stunning visuals and excellent voice work, and built up a strong and loyal audience during its initial run.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Kiernan Shipka takes on the role of Sabrina Spellman for this dark, coming-of-age horror series, about a teenage witch. The show follows Spellman’s story as she finds herself getting in deep with dark forces that threaten her way of life.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is based on the Archie comic of the same name and is a sinister step-up from the sweet-natured Sabrina show of the 1990s. Ross Lynch, Lucy Davis, and Miranda Otto feature amongst the cast.
Inspired by characters and stories from Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Grimm is a supernatural fantasy drama, filled with weird and unusual characters. The show follows the story of homicide investigator, Nick Burkhardt, and his fight to maintain the balance between humanity and mythological creatures.
The Real Ghostbusters
Created as a spin-off of the very first Ghostbusters movie, this animated supernatural show from the 1980s has lost none of its charm over the years. Boasting some great storylines, and many, many imaginative ghosts and ghouls, The Real Ghostbusters is a classic cartoon not to be overlooked.
Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles take the lead in this fantasy drama about two brothers who hunt demons, monsters, and things that go bump in the night. Supernatural proved incredibly popular during its original run, clocking up 15 seasons and 327 episodes!
The Haunting of Hill House
Loosely based on the Shirley Jackson novel of the same name, The Haunting of Hill House is a ghost story about a group of siblings and their paranormal experiences at Hill House. The show straddles two timelines to tell its story, with events set in the present day as well as the 1990s, and features an ensemble cast that includes Carla Gugino, Henry Thomas, and Annabeth Gish, amongst others.
The Haunting of Bly Manor
Adapted from the Henry James novella, The Turn of the Screw, The Haunting of Bly Manor is a Gothic supernatural series about a haunted manor house. The show is not a sequel to The Haunting of Hill House (see above), but it features some of the same cast members and is essentially a spiritual follow-up.
In Forever Knight, 800-year-old vampire, Nick Knight, seeks redemption for his past sins, by taking on the role of a homicide detective in modern-day Canada. Geraint Wyn Davies plays the part of Knight in this three-season show which became a cult favourite during the ‘90s.
The Enfield Haunting
Based on the novel, This Haunted House, by Guy Lyon Playfair (which in turn was inspired by a supposed real-life haunting in the UK), The Enfield Haunting is an excellent British horror drama about the infamous ‘Enfield Poltergeist’. The series stars Timothy Spall, Juliet Stevenson, and Matthew Macfadyen, and at just three episodes long, the series is a short sharp blast of horror for those with limited time on their hands.
Mads Mikkelsen takes on the title role for this next series, playing the eponymous cannibal, Hannibal Lecter. The show takes inspiration from the Hannibal books by Thomas Harris, and presents a slick and glossy horror series, filled with suspense, tension, and some sumptuous visuals.
Eli Roth’s History of Horror
In this multi-season docu-series, horror filmmaker Eli Roth looks back at the history of horror, to unearth the roots of this popular genre. The show covers various subjects, from vampires and slasher movies, to body horror and mad scientists.
Created as a spin-off of the movie franchise of the same name, The Purge is a horror series about a group of people and their experiences during Purge night. The show originally ran for two seasons between 2018 and 2019, with each season focusing on a different set of protagonists.
Kolchak: The Night Stalker
Beginning life as two TV movies (The Night Stalker and The Night Strangler), before being transformed into a short-lived television series, Kolchak: The Night Stalker is a horror-thriller about a reporter who investigates paranormal cases. Darren McGavin takes the lead role as Carl Kolchak, while vampires, zombies, and werewolves feature amongst the show’s roster of monsters.
The Addams Family
Based on a comic strip, The Addams Family is an American sitcom about a kooky family who favour the macabre. The series was a hit when it originally aired between ’64 and ’66, and continues to remain popular today.
No list of horror shows (which includes The Addams Family) would be complete without The Munsters. The US sitcom follows the story of an unusual family, led by Herman Munster, and their madcap adventures.
Treehouse of Horror
A slight cheat for this next show, because it’s not a show at all, but rather a collection of episodes. Treehouse of Horror is the name given to a string of spooky themed episodes of The Simpsons, which pop up annually around Halloween.
Each instalment of Treehouse of Horror is composed of a trio tales, with the three stories usually themed around Halloween, horror movies, or other iconic genre films. These fun little stories are easy to digest, and have become a staple of The Simpsons.
Based on the classic horror novel of the same name by Bram Stoker, Dracula is a three-part British horror series written and developed by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat. The show stars Claes Bang in the title role, and offers a modern reworking of this iconic story.
Another horror show, and yep, yet another anthology series, this one is Channel Zero – a four-season series which originally aired between 2016 and 2018. The seasons carry the following titles: Candle Cove, No-End House, Butcher’s Block, and The Dream Door.
Ghost Story (aka Circle of Fear) is a short-lived horror anthology series from 1972. The show is hosted by Sebastian Cabot and focuses on spooky stories featuring ghosts and ghouls.
Inspired by the 1985 movie of the same name, Teen Wolf is a supernatural teen drama about a young werewolf living in California. The series stars Tyler Posey, Dylan O’Brien, Colton Haynes, and Tyler Hoechlin, and proved very popular with audiences during its six-season run.
Alan Ritchson and Christina Ochoa take the lead in this short-lived, dark sci-fi action series, set in a dystopian world. Blood Drive focuses on a death race where cars are fuelled by human blood.
In this short-lived, yet brilliant British vampire series, Jack Davenport, Susannah Harker, and Idris Elba take the lead as members of a vampire-hunting team, who are trying their best to defeat the forces of evil. Modern, gritty, and thoroughly compelling from start to finish, Ultraviolet is a gem of a series that you really must seek out.
And finally, Gary Cole, Lucas Black, and Paige Turco star in this short-lived, supernatural horror show from the mid ‘90s. The series – set in the fictional town of Trinity in South Carolina – revolves around a corrupt sheriff and a mysterious boy.
OK, so those are all of the shows that are perfect for horror fans, now it’s time for a recap. And to save you having to scroll back up, here are all the best horror TV shows in one handy list.
- Masters of Horror
- The Twilight Zone
- Tales from the Crypt
- Midnight Mass
- Eerie, Indiana
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- Are You Afraid of the Dark?
- American Horror Stories
- Bates Motel
- The Outer Limits
- The Midwich Cuckoos
- The Exorcist
- The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs
- Night Gallery
- Poltergeist: The Legacy
- Scream Queens
- Most Haunted
- The Strain
- The X-Files
- The Vampire Diaries
- The Walking Dead
- Ash vs Evil Dead
- Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
- The Real Ghostbusters
- The Haunting of Hill House
- The Haunting of Bly Manor
- Forever Knight
- The Enfield Haunting
- Eli Roth’s History of Horror
- The Purge
- Kolchak: The Night Stalker
- The Addams Family
- The Munsters
- Treehouse of Horror
- Channel Zero
- Ghost Story
- Teen Wolf
- Blood Drive
- American Gothic
Thank you for stopping by It’s A Stampede! to read this post about the best horror television shows. For more posts, be sure to check out the recommended reads below.