Scariest TV Shows Ever
A list by DARKNITE
Often a trip to the book store or the cinemas does not provide the scare factor that people need; some of the most iconic names and franchises in horrordom came from the boob tube. Not all frightening shows can be masterpieces, but those are not the shows we will be worrying about now; for now we worry about the shows that terrify adults and send children cowering behind the couch.
The Twilight Zone: Not just one of the best genre shows of all time but one of the greatest shows of all time. Creator Rod Serling used science fiction and horror to tell tales concerning the ills of society. With each episode he and his brilliant writers came up with new tales to scare audiences, often times with things that were all too familiar. Even people who have never seen a single episode are familiar with the shows most iconic moments like; the monster tormenting William Shatner on an airplane, or Talking Tina, or the creepy kid who wishes his enemies away and keeps everyone paralyzed in fear.
The Outer Limits: Often unfairly compared to The Twilight Zone, this series ditched the social commentary and focused instead on scaring audiences with tales of monsters and aliens. It’s greatest accomplishment came with the episode, Architects of Fear, where the monster in the finale that was deemed so scary that many affiliate stations censored the final act from television screens.
Buffy the Vampire Slayers: With one of the silliest premises ever, gifted writer Joss Whedon, gave audiences one of the best shows ever. Instead of the typical damsel in distress, Buffy Summers and her crew fought the monsters who served as stand ins for real life problems. To make Buffy look heroic the demons and vampires she faced had to be particularly menacing and villains like; Angelus, the Master, and the Gentlemen, were made all the more frightening because of the emotional impact they left on our heroine.
The X-Files: The intro music alone was enough to give viewers the chills as they tuned in to watch FBI Agents Mulder and Scully investigate the paranormal on a weekly basis. While the duo dealt with aliens, vampires, and monsters of all shapes and sizes the larger threat of a shadowy government force loomed over everything represented by a simple man in the background smoking a cigarette..
Doctor Who: Anyone who doubts that a show about a carefree Time Lord travelling around in a blue box does not belong here need to be reacquainted with his arch enemies, the Daleks. This genocidal race has gone down in pop culture history for sending kids behind the sofa in fear. And even when those exterminating monsters aren’t around, the Doctor has plenty of foes to keep fans shaking; the inhuman Cybermen, the freakish Ood, the powerful Omega, the mysterious Silence, and let’s not forget the infamous Weeping Angels.
Dark Shadows: From the eerily haunting music to the grandiose acting, the show paved the way for supernatural serialized television. The saga of vampire Barnabas Collins and the entire Collins clan has inspired a massive cult following and television creators up to this day.
Are You Afraid of the Dark: It is said that the love of horror begins as a child, and this show jumpstarted the love of all things scary in numerous young viewers. Every Saturday night as the Midnight Society gathered around the campfire viewers knew they were in for a treat. Though kids were the intended audience of the scares I defy anybody of any age do not get the chills from the intro.
Jekyll: The sequel to the classic Robert Louis Stevenson book written by the great Stephen Moffat, who drags the mythos into modern day. Dr. Jackman discovers the dangers of his split personality are worse than he thought when a shadowy corporation come after him through his family.
Apparitions: This underrated show perfectly blends dark gritty realism with supernatural terror in a way that is perfect to say the least. Focusing on a controversial priest who wages a one man war on the demonic forces who possess the people of England only to have those forces strike back at him with a vengance.
Being Human: A vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost, and those are the good guys in this show focusing on three supernatural beings who try to bring out their own humanity by living among the ordinary people of Bristol then later in Wales. But there attempts at peaceful coexistence are constantly threatened by those who want them to embrace their monstrous personalities.
Kolchak: the Night Stalker: Before Mulder and Scully made investigating the paranormal sexy and trendy there was Darren McGavin as Carl Kolchak. An investigative reporter, not content to write stories about country fairs or the usual boring subject, he always found himself entangled with vampires, werewolves, or even Jack the Ripper.
The Walking Dead: From the acclaimed comic series from Robert Kirkman the story follows the survivors of a zombie apocalypse, but the undead mostly serve as window dressing. The scariest moments of this show come from what the people do when they are pushed to the brink and how they react to their dire circumstances.
Dexter: The show may have taken a dip in quality in recent seasons, but when the show fires on all cylinders it’s some of the finest programming on television. Michael C. Hall plays one of the most compelling characters on television who is forced to maintain a facade to disguise his true self. The scariest part of the show is not the fact that a rumors less serial killer works so closely with law enforcement it’s the idea that the serial killer is the guy we as the audience are pulling for.
Brimstone: Cancelled before it’s time, this short lived show focuses on a cop who was sent to Hell, but is returned to earth with a chance for redemption. In order to get his life back he must use his detective skills to hunt down the worst criminals from Hell who escaped and now roam the earth. All the while he is guided by the Devil (played to perfection by John Glover) and the yearning to be reunited with his wife.
Freakylinks: Though it only lasted one season, this show drug horror television into the 21st century. Created by fan favorite writer David Goyer, the follows Derek who has taken over a paranormal web site formerly run by his brother who has mysteriously vanished. Each episode utilized hand held video footage to along with great storylines to provide a unique viewing experience.
Tales From the Crypt: From the pages of the beloved comic book series, the Crypty Keeper tells a tale that will send shivers down your spine. This much loved series retold classic stories from the controversial EC horror comics and presented them to a new generation.
Night Gallery: Just because the Twilight Zone ended did not mean the Rod Serling was done frightening TV fans. With a gothic flair, Serling wandered through a maze of paintings each more horrific than the last, telling the story behind each picture.