The Best Horror TV Shows of the 21st Century (2024)

No medium understands the terrifying potential of TV quite like film does. That’s right: countless horror movies have paid homage to the spooky possibilities of their industry’s smaller screen little brother over the years. Movies like Poltergeist, Halloween III: Season of the Witch, and The Ring all recognize that a television set is a powerful, scary totem.

A TV set is a device that families have placed in their living rooms for decades, passively welcoming in all manner of signals, blithely trusting that evil somehow won’t piggyback its way on them. Still, for much of television’s early years, there wasn’t a ton of great horror series to speak of (aside from the truly iconic like The Twilight Zone). That has all changed now.

With the arrival of the 21st century has come a veritable explosion of great horror TV shows. Thanks to the influence of the 20th century creepy classic The X-Files, TV storytellers now fully understand that horror belongs on TV just as much as it does in the movies. So we’ve gathered here 40 of the most terrifying TV shows the medium has to offer. Note that only shows that premiered in 2000 or later are eligible, which is why you won’t see the aforementioned X-Files.

40. Folklore

Stream on: Max (U.S.)


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One of the joys of the streaming era is Western audiences gaining increased access to international storytelling. Folklore is one such an example. Folklore isn’t just the name of a Taylor Swift album, it’s also a thrilling horror anthology on HBO Asia.

Through two seasons and 13 episodes, Folklore presents spooky stories based on Asian superstitions and myths. As curated by Singaporean directorEric Khoo each episode is directed by a filmmaker from a different Asian country. – AB

39. Dead Set

Stream on: Netflix (U.K.)

Black Mirror before Black Mirror existed, this five-part satirical horror series was Charlie Brooker’s first solo screenwriting credit. It combined the former TV critic’s fascination with reality show Big Brother with imagined scenarios so apocalyptically bleak that they become funny. The premise was simple: a zombie virus breaks out in the UK during a series of Big Brother, leaving the contestants in the dark about what’s happening until it’s too late.

What made Dead Set special was the level of detail in both the reality spoof and the horror strand. The involvement of real show presenter Davina McCall, Channel 4 newsreader Krishnan Guru-Murthy and a huge number of former contestants willing to zombie-up and eat some internal organs made it totally convincing. The zombies were also hardcore and responsible for some surprisingly tense and extremely gross moments. Airing over consecutive nights in the run-up to Halloween 2008, it delivered proper zombie gore, cultural comment, and the memorable sight of Andy Nyman as a TV producer screaming obscenities at the dupes he’d exploited while they chewed on his guts and ripped out his spine. Unforgettable. – Louisa Mellor

38. Yellowjackets

Stream on: Paramount+ (U.S. and U.K.)


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Yellowjackets has teen drama, creepy cults, hints of cannibalism, and a compelling mystery, both in the past and the present, that will keep you hooked on the spooky series. In 1996, a plane crash leaves the Yellowjackets soccer team stranded in the Canadian wilderness. Twenty-five years later, the survivors still struggle with the trauma of what they went through, and the lengths they went to survive. Taking us between 1996 and the present day, Yellowjackets expertly balances psychological horror with the supernatural – it’s not clear yet if there really is a sinister force with them in the wilderness or if the weird happenings are just a combination of coincidence and trauma.

The casting of the young girls and their adult counterparts is phenomenal, with their performances and personalities blending almost seamlessly between the timelines. Even though this method of storytelling means that we know early on whether some of the girls survive, it honestly doesn’t take away from the stakes of their time in the wild. Every flashback is still full of tension and suspense as we learn more about what the Yellowjackets were up against. – Brynna Arens

37. Brand New Cherry Flavor

Stream on: Netflix (U.S. and U.K.)

Brand New Cherry Flavor is, as the kids say, a whole-ass vibe. Created by TV horror auteur Nick Antosca (who will pop up again on this list later) and based on a novel of the same name, this Netflix series follows amateur filmmaker Lisa Nova (Rosa Salazar) who has her first feature stolen by an unscrupulous director.

Lisa’s path for revenge will take her through a grimy, gothic version of Hollywood complete with voodoo witches, zombies, and even some nice kittens. As its basically meaningless but still provocative name suggests, Brand New Cherry Flavor is all about capturing a strange giallo sensibility on the small screen. And it mostly succeeds in doing so. – AB

36. Ju-On: Origins

Stream on: Netflix (U.S. and U.K.)


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Ju-On, or The Grudge, is one of the most iconic horror film franchises of the 21st century. So it was only a matter of time before the beloved Japanese ghost story got its own TV series, which it finally did in 2020 with Netflix prequel series Ju-On: Origins.

Notable as being the first and only Ju-On project without the terrifying Kayako Saeki (you know her when you see her), Ju-On: Origins follows the…well, origins of the never-ending vengeful ghostly nightmare. The six-episode show updates the Ju-On canon and injects it with some fresh energy to keep the grudge alive. – AB

35. The Secret of Crickley Hall

Stream on: Prime Video (U.S.), Hulu (U.S.)

This neat three-part adaptation just about has it all: a top cast, genuine chills, and an involving mystery story. If you’re after a haunted house thriller with a bit of emotional heft to it, you can’t go too wrong here. Written and directed by Ultraviolet and Doctor Who’s Joe Ahearne, The Secret of Crickley Hall is told in two different time periods – the modern day (well, 2012, when it aired on BBC One) and the 1940s – in the same location: the ominous-sounding village of Devil’s Cleave.

Devil’s Cleave is where the Caleigh family move a year after suffering a terrible loss, and it’s where Suranne Jones’ Eve Caleigh confronts her grief while immersed in spooky goings-on that go back much further than a year. Tom Ellis plays Eve’s husband Gabe, with Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams as their daughter Loren, while the rest of the cast include House of the Dragon’s Olivia Cooke, The Winter King’s Iain de Caestecker and screen veteran David Warner.Adapted from James Herbert’s 2006 novel of the same name, this is a condensed hit of mystery and good old-fashioned ghostly thrills. – LM

34. Castle Rock

Stream on: Hulu (U.S.)


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The Stephen King renaissance was in full swing on the big screen by 2018 after the success of It Chapter One. Surely, it was time for Uncle Stevie to rise again on TV as well? While several other King adaptations hit streaming around that time, few were as ambitious as Hulu’s Castle Rock, which sought to tie in several of the author’s most famous stories into one cohesive and interconnected narrative. Spoiler: the show didn’t always live up to that scope, but when it clicked, it really clicked.

In its two seasons on the air, Castle Rock brought us memorable new takes on classic King characters such as Alan Pangborn, “Pop” Merrill, and especially Annie Wilkes (played by Lizzy Caplan in a career-best performance), while also roping in actors from throughout King cinematic history, including Tim Robbins and Sissy Spacek. Even Bill Skarsgård, fresh off playing Pennywise the Clown, popped up in the series in a major role. There’s simply never been a celebration of the writer’s legacy quite like this show, even if it sort of fell apart in its second season. The mysteries introduced in this version of King’s most famous setting, plus all the Easter eggs and nods to Constant Readers, make this trip to haunted Maine worth it. And there are a few good scares to get the heart pumping to boot! – John Saavedra

33. Being Human

Stream on: BritBox (U.K. & U.S.)

Not the scariest show on this list by a long chalk, but one of the best-loved and for very good reason. Toby Whithouse’s supernatural flat-share series was one of the greatest things to come out of BBC Three. Funny, geeky, with a cast of future stars including Poldark’s Aidan Turner, Avenue 5’s Lenora Crichlow and Years and Years’ Russell Tovey, this comedy-drama spawned a US remake and a lot of well-deserved love. The story of a vampire, a ghost and a werewolf trying to, well, be human, is a great time.

It was also capable of being pretty scary. The black-eyeball vampire effect never failed to cause a shudder, even when (or perhaps because) it was preceded by a gag about The Antiques Roadshow or Jammie Dodgers. Jason Watkins’ Herrick was a horrible piece of work, as was Mark Gatiss’ creepy Mr Snow later on. The werewolf transformations and bloody massacres put it firmly on the horror category, while storylines like Owen’s in series one proved the age-old rule that people can be the scariest monsters of all. – LM

32. From

Stream on: MGM+ (U.S.), NOW (U.K.)

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You’ve heard of a haunted house but what about a haunted town? That’s the situation facing the characters of MGM+’s (formerly EPIX) horror series From. Like Under the Dome before it, From takes place in a small American town from which there’s no escape. Unlike Under the Dome, however, From‘s fishbowl Township just happens to be inhabited by terrifying nocturnal creatures.

From features a command performance from sci-fi veteran Harold Perrineau (Lost) as de facto town mayor Boyd Stevens. Through two seasons and 20 episodes thus far, From has been able to keep up the menacing tension of something very wrong in small town Middle America. – AB

31. Hellbound

Stream on: Netflix (U.S. and U.K.)

South Korean series Hellbound boasts a very compelling concept that it executes quite well. The show, created by Yeon Sang-ho (and based on his webtoon of the same name), imagines a world in which angels periodically appear to human beings to condemn them to hell … at extremely specific varying times.

The dark joy of Hellbound is that when the demons arrive to drag someone to hell, they don’t do so gently. These three buff, demonic bruisers absolutely beat the ever-loving sh*t out of people to create a public spectacle. Seriously, it’s so wild. After a well-received six episode first season, Hellbound is still waiting on a second. But it’s worth getting in on the action now before the angle confirms your fate. – AB

30. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Stream on: Netflix (U.S. and U.K.)


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Chilling Adventures of Sabrina stirred stereotypical satanic mythology and pagan blasphemy into an alchemical brew to concoct a dark anti-Archie universe. Netflix invoked Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Robert Hack’s “Afterlife with Archie” series from “Archie Horror” for a supernatural alternative to the town of Riverdale. In the tradition of Bewitched, witches are a separate breed than their mortal counterparts, and the town of Glendale didn’t get the publicity of Salem, but in 1692, 13 witches were hanged in the forest and their descendants persist.

Kiernan Shipka plays Sabrina Spellman, a moody teen who is half-human and half-witch. She gets things right half the time, but at twice the cost. She celebrated her not-so-sweet sixteen with a Dark Baptism, signing her name into the “Book of the Beast,” and went on to challenge patriarchy at both Baxter High and the School of Unseen Arts, as well as covens, teams, clubs, and talent show nights. She even double-teamed Satan in a match she won all by herself. – Tony Sokol

29. The Fall of the House of Usher

Stream on: Netflix (U.S. and U.K.)

The Fall of the House of Usher is horror maestro Mike Flangan’s most recent (and likely final) spooky TV project for Netflix. It’s also undoubtedly his most ambitious. This eight episode series adapts not only Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher” but basically every other Poe work, major and minor, as well.

Told through a modern days lens with the story of a Sackler-esque corrupt family of opioid manufacturers, The Fall of the House of Usher is a bruising, cynical work about greed. It’s also quite scary at times! The horror levels of each episode can vary (as each is based on a different Poe work) but it’s hard to get the terrifying images from “The Masque of the Red Death” or “The Tell-Tale Heart” out of our heads. – AB

28. 30 Coins

Stream on: Max (U.S.)


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30 Coins (or 30 Monedas in its native Spanish) is a Spanish horror series from Álex de la Iglesia for HBO Europe. The show follows the Catholic exorcist Padre Manuel Vergara (Eduard Fernández) as he attempts to move on from his troubled past in the small town of Pedraza. While that sounds like the setup for a demonic possession story, 30 Coins goes off in a much more interesting direction.

The series doesn’t shy away from paranormal phenomena, but it all has to do with a mysterious coin that may be one of the “thirty pieces of silver” paid to Judas Iscariot for betraying Jesus Christ. That’s right, friends: we’ve got a Catholic mystery horror story on our hands! 30 Coins made enough waves in its well-received first season for none other than Paul Giamatti to join the series in season 2. – AB

27. The Enfield Haunting

Stream on: Prime Video (U.S.), NOW (U.K.)

Sky Living was a short-lived British TV channel that specialised in celeb-fronted reality shows, glossy US imports and ropey paranormal investigations. That last interest explains the commissioning of three-part 2015 drama The Enfield Haunting, which turned out to be an outlier among its channel-mates as a quality drama with an acclaimed cast including Timothy Spall and Matthew Macfadyen, and a buzzy director in The Killing’s Krystoffer Nyholm.

The story will be familiar to paranormal fans as one of the most widely reported “real-life” poltergeist hauntings around. It’s since been told in The Conjuring 2 and in Apple TV+ series The Enfield Poltergeist, as well as in countless podcasts, articles and books. In the 1970s, the Hodgson family in Enfield became briefly notorious in the tabloid press for claiming to be haunted by a malevolent spirit who targeted young Janet Hodgson. Their claims were investigated by psychic investigators Playfair and Grosse (Macfadyen and Spall), whose scepticism was dashed by the encounter. What makes The Enfield Haunting special is that it works equally well for believers and non-believers, as either a spooky document or a portrait of a damaged family and a traumatised man. – LM

26. Bates Motel

Stream on: Netflix (U.K.)


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Spinning off one of the most iconic horror films for television is harrowing, difficult stuff. But A&E’s Psycho prequel Bates Motel is far more successful in the attempt than it has any right to be. This two-hander stars Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore giving some larger-than-life performances as the iconic and damaged Motherboy duo of Norma and Norman Bates.

Through five seasons (and one pretty great Rihanna guest star appearance in the final season) Bates Motel was able to maintain an admirable fraction of Psycho’s tension. Inspired by Twin Peaks as much as its progenitor film, Bates Motel brought some tasty horror mystery to the table. – AB

25. In the Flesh

Stream on: Prime Video (U.S.), Hulu (U.S.), BBC iPlayer (U.K.), Netflix (U.K.)

In the Flesh delivered a distinctly British twist on the zombie-horror genre by grounding its story of an undead uprising in Alan Bennett-style humour, and political satire. It’s the story of Kieren Walker, a sensitive outsider in the rural Northern village of Roarton, where one night years ago, corpses rose from their graves and went on a murderous rampage. Now the surviving zombies (or sufferers of “Partially Deceased Syndrome” to use the official parlance) have been medicated and reintroduced to the community. Will Roarton accept them, or will hatred of the anti-“rotter” brigade win out?

Cruelly cut short by the BBC Three funding issues that led to the channel’s (since reversed) move to online-only, In The Flesh is a beloved cult favourite. The least macho, most moving zombie story around, Dominic Mitchell’s two series are funny, pithy and packed with protest at bigotry and intolerance. – LM

24. The Exorcist

Stream on: Hulu (U.S.), Prime Video (U.K.)


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The Exorcist was repossessed prematurely. Evicted without notice from the soul of Fox, the series was poised to move past its Holy Roman Catholic traditions into global perdition. When the series began, Geena Davis played Angela Rance, a woman trying to save her possessed daughter.

The first season dipped wax onto William Peter Blatty’s 1971 novel, before breaking new ground in the satanic possession genre. Biblical visions doubled as neuroses, and psychoses are masked as supernaturally malevolent. The devil isn’t the biggest evil in the series, and it takes more than reciting the 91st Psalm and humming a few bars “Ave Maria” to root it out. There is duplicity in the church. The series immersed itself in the world of the rogue priests who lost the voice but still heard the calling. – TS

23. The Terror

Stream on: Prime Video (U.S.), Shudder (U.K.)

When you’re bold enough to name a show The Terror you’d better come through with the promised terror. Thankfully AMC’s horror series isn’t lacking in that department. Based on Dan Simmons’ 2007 novel, The Terror is so-named because of the fictional ship the HMS Terror at its center. When The Terror finds itself lost in the icy Northwest Passage, its crew must struggle to survive the elements and the potentially supernatural threat lurking around.

The Terror season 1 is quite simply a spooky good time featuring a high-powered cast including the likes of Jared Harris, Tobias Menzies, and Ciarán Hinds. AMC tried to adapt the show to the anthology format with The Terror season 2 telling an entirely new story altogether. That season, The Terror: Infamy, took place in Japanese internment camps in World War II. It wasn’t as well received as season 1 but it’s still there for the horror completists. – AB

22. Sweet Home

Stream on: Netflix (U.S. and U.K.)


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Do you love monsters? Then boy does Netflix have a horror TV series for you! Premiering in 2020, apocalyptic scream-fest Sweet Home was the first South Korean series to enter Netflix’s Top Ten, nearly a full year before Squid Game would change the game forever for Korean entertainment in the Western streaming world.

Sweet Home‘s success is well-earned as this is a lovingly crafted series about the struggle to survive apocalyptic circ*mstances against some very frightening monsters. From gluttons to lotus roots to good old-fashioned vampires, Sweet Home‘s monster types are both diverse and beautifully rendered. Add in a sympathetic hero with a troubled past and you’ve got 10 enjoyably intense episodes. – AB

21. Ash v. Evil Dead

Stream on: Hulu (U.S.), Netflix (U.K.)

When Sam Raimi’s landmark horror film The Evil Dead first arrived in 1981, who could have imagined that it would spawn a decades-spanning franchise? Honestly, pretty much everyone could have imagined that. Or at least they should have been able to. Evil Dead rules! After a sequel in 1987, another in 1992, and a remake in 2013, Ash v. The Evil Dead become the latest (and to this date final) iteration of this most excellent horror concept.

Bruce Campbell reprises his role as Ash Williams for this 2016 Starz series. It’s been 30 years since the events of Army of Darkness and Ash is a bit worse for wear. Instead of slaying zombies, the action hero now works as a stock boy at a local grocery store and ends most days at the bottom of a bottle. But that all changes when the other side of “Ash v.” returns and the Evil Dead walk the earth once again. – AB

20. Lovecraft Country

Stream on: Max (U.S.), NOW (U.K.)


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Part anthology series, part overarching horror-fantasy hero’s journey, Lovecraft Country is perhaps the most ambitious horror series on this list and certainly one that should have run much longer than one season. Created by Misha Green, and executive produced by Jordan Peele and JJ Abrams, this highly cinematic, sprawling show set in the depths of Jim Crow America in the 1950s follows Atticus “Tic” Freeman (Jonathan Majors) as he returns from war to discover he’s the heir to a magical birthright. Tic and his family and friends become entangled with a racist secret society that attempts to keep Tic from unlocking his full magical potential.

Combining the horrors of real-life racism with fictional scares like haunted houses, body-swapping nightmares, and even terrifying historical folklore, Lovecraft Country plays with many subgenres and basically excels at them all. There’s truly something for everyone here; if one episode doesn’t tickle your fancy, the odds are the next will blow your hair back in an entirely different fashion. – Nick Harley

19. The Fades

Stream on: Prime Video (U.S.), Hulu (U.S.), BBC iPlayer (U.K.), ITVX (U.K.)

Another British horror series cut unforgivably short by BBC budget restraints (see also: In the Flesh), The Fades had scale, scares, and scope, not to mention a cast so well-chosen they became some of the biggest names in screen fantasy (Lucifer’s Tom Ellis, Game of Thrones’ Natalie Dormer and Joe Dempsie, Agents of SHIELD’s Iain de Caestecker and Oscar-winning Get Out star Daniel Kaluuya).

It’s the story of Paul, a teenager with the power to see spirits of the dead trapped on Earth. Paul learns that his apocalyptic visions aren’t simply the work of his imagination; he’s an “Angelic” – one of a group locked in celestial battle with the malevolent titular “Fades”. Created by Jack Thorne (Skins, This is England, His Dark Materials), this six-episode series boasts proper horror, compelling and convincing characters, plus a script packed with geeky pop culture references. It should have had six seasons and a movie. – LM

18. Supernatural

Stream on: Netflix (U.S.), Prime Video (U.K.)


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With a dedicated fandom and a show that ran 15 seasons, Supernatural has carved its legacy as one of the most interesting horror fantasy series. Brothers, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles), face a tragedy in their childhood that forces them to start their “family business” of ghost hunting. While the premise sounds spooky, Supernatural isn’t all about jump scares, and ghost stories, there is an underlying story of family that makes this show so different from others. Every episode introduces a different case and a different monster for the Winchester Brothers to fight off and protect a very oblivious world from.

Werewolves, shapeshifters, spirits, the devil, angels, and even God himself are part of their story but the selling point of Supernatural is the unbreakable bond between the brothers.The show also paid tributes to fans, recalled a lot of the most popular characters, and from time to time addressed jokes being discussed on fan pages in the show itself highlighting that they listen to their audience. If you are interested in the mythology of the monsters, a very compelling underlying plot that keeps changing, and love drama, then grab a bag of salt and watch Supernatural! – Maznah Shehzad

17. The Haunting of Bly Manor

Stream on: Netflix (U.S. and U.K.)

There are few shows out there that are able to combine horror and romance without losing something from each genre, and Mike Flanagan’s sophom*ore Netflix series The Haunting of Bly Manor is one of them. The Haunting of Bly Manor doesn’t wimp out on scares nor does the relationship between Dani (Victoria Pedretti) and Jamie (Amelia Eve) feel cheesy or forced – instead the ghost stories and love story are intertwined into a single compelling narrative.

Set at the titular Bly Manor in the 1980s, the series begins with the hiring of Dani as the governess for the Wingrave children. Because young British children in a giant house are rarely not creepy, things get weird pretty fast as the children seem to be aware of the spirits that also call Bly Manor home. This series feels haunting, not just because of the ghosts, but rather in how much the characters – both living and dead – and their stories stick with you. While The Haunting of Bly Manor is not necessarily the most nightmare-inducing story ever told, it features a unique level of emotional devastation that can make even the most hardened horror-buff shed a tear. – BA

16. All of Us Are Dead

Stream on: Netflix (U.S. and U.K.)


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Released just months after the global phenomenon that was Squid Game, this Korean coming-of-age horror series about a group of doomed teens trying to survive a zombie apocalypse inside their overrun high school is the perfect companion piece. Equal parts horrifying, hilarious, and gruesome as hell, All of Us Are Dead is easily the best piece of zombie entertainment of this decade so far not called The Last of Us.

The show’s greatest strength is its ability to create something fresh out of the genre’s well-worn tropes. Despite way too many seasons of The Walking Dead, this K-drama finds something new to say not just about zombies but also the high-stress high school life that haunts the show’s kids even more than the flesh-hungry monsters waiting to eat them in the hallways. With a memorable central cast, intense set pieces that often devolve into delicious chaos, lots of scares, and so many twists and turns, All of Us Are Dead is definitely one to binge on a weekend. – JS

15. The Walking Dead

Stream on: Netflix (U.S.), Prime Video (U.K.), Disney+ (U.K.)

At 11 seasons in (and some spinoffs) it’s inarguable that The Walking Dead has gotten a bit long in the tooth. Maintaining true horror over more than 170 episodes should be impossible to achieve. And yet, AMC’s flagship zombie series is frequently more scary than it has any right to be.

Naturally, it all starts with the zombies. The shambling undead flesh-devourers are brought to life in spectacularly vivid detail by a makeup effects team led by producer/director Greg Nicotero. Every episode of this show is guaranteed to have at least one stomach-churning depiction of a zombie. Beyond the walkers, however, The Walking Dead takes it responsibility to scare and unsettle viewers seriously. Even in the ill-received latter seasons, this show makes time for standout horror episodes like “On the Inside.” – AB

14. What We Do in the Shadows

Stream on: Hulu (U.S.), BBC iPlayer (U.K.)

Over four seasons, Staten Island’s most infamous vampires survived swinging guillotines at Nouveau Théâtre des Vampires, true death judgements of the Vampiric Council, dodgeball matches with werewolves, confusions of daylight savings, and the perils of introducing a child character into a successful sitcom. All without running out of blood to spill or legends to deflate. Based on the movie by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, FX’s What We Do in the Shadows’ is this decade’s Addams Family, with a rogue’s gallery of classic comedy influences.

Nandor the Relentless (Kayvan Novak), Nadja of Antipaxos (Natasia Demetriou), Laszlo Cravensworth (Matt Berry), energy vampire Colin Robinson (Mark Proksch), and their familiar-turned-bodyguard-turned-babysitting best man Guillermo (Harvey Guillén) are as beloved as The Munsters, frightful as the Fangtasia regulars on True Blood, and clueless as the spies on Get Smart. Nothing is sacred and no cliché is spared. Even the great vampires of cinema masquerading as actors, like Tilda Swinton, Paul Rubens, and the Half-Vampire Wesley Snipes, give blood on a regular basis. – TS

13. Marianne

Stream on: Netflix (U.S. and U.K.)

No matter that this 2019 French horror wasn’t renewed – one creepy series of this calibre is quite enough, merci (Google “Madame Daugeron grinning” for a taste). This eight-part story trod familiar horror ground, but did it with such aplomb that its classic scares felt almost new. The show that made screenwriter Quoc Dang Tran’s name in France, Marianne is the story of Emma Larsimon, a successful French horror writer who exorcised her childhood nightmares by putting them on the page. Or at least she thought she’d exorcised them.

When the ghoul her protagonist Lizzie faces in the novels starts to bleed out of her books and visit her once again, she’s forced back to her hometown to confront her past. It’s a decent homecoming drama, but a much more effective horror that plays with the line between the real and imaginary to great effect. Victoire Du Bois (Call Me By Your Name) is great as Emma, but it’s Mireille Herbstmeyer’s face you won’t be able to shake. – LM

12. Evil

Stream on: Paramount+ (U.S.), NOW (U.K.)

Ever since The X-Files signed off in 2002 (and then again in 2016 and 2018), the network TV procedural horror crown has just been sitting there, ready for the taking. In 2019 Robert and Michelle King, The Good Wife/The Good Fight creators who know a thing or two about network TV procedurals, decided to go ahead and grab it. Granted, Evil lasted for one season on CBS before being bumped to the more creatively-freeing streaming waters of Paramount+. But regardless of where Evil premieres its episodes, it’s one of the best horror shows the medium has to offer.

Evil follows a trio of paranormal investigators who look into miracles on behalf of the Catholic Church: Priest-in-training David Acosta (Mike Colter) is the believer, tech expert Ben Shakir (Aasif Mandvi) is the skeptic, and forensic psychologist Dr. Kristen Bouchard (Katja Herbers) lies somewhere in the middle. Each week, Evil presents a new case-of-the-week that could be legitimately supernatural or could have a perfectly reasonable explanation. It’s up to the team (and viewers) to figure it out. Evil is truly terrifying at times and masterfully balances its weekly storytelling format with a larger arc that examines whether evil is demonic in nature or lies in the dark heart of mankind. – AB

11. Inside No. 9

Stream on: BritBox (U.S.), BBC iPlayer (U.K.), NOW (U.K.)

It might usually be filed under “comedy”, but no TV show is as well steeped in the horror genre as Inside No. 9. Over almost 50 stories (with six more on their way before it ends for good), Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton’s anthology series has delivered scares and creepiness of every variety. There was the Hammer camp of “The Harrowing” starring Helen McCrory as a glamorous vampire, the paranormal freakiness of “Séance Time” with its child haunting, the horrific twist of Krampus-themed 1970s homage “The Devil of Christmas”, master horror hoax “Deadline” which posed as a live episode before things started to go very, very wrong… and most recently, “The Bones of St Nicholas”, a Christmas-set ghost story that would make M.R. James cry for his mummy.

Add to that countless grisly murders and executions, necromancy, more vampires, a bonafide witch, skeletal babies and more fiendish twists than is medically advisable, and it’s clear that Inside No. 9 is the real horror deal. The real wonder is that it manages to find laughs among all the nightmares. -LM

10. The Last of Us

Stream on: Max (U.S.), NOW (U.K.)

The first goal of The Last of Us, the brilliant HBO adaptation of Naughty Dog’s equally brilliant game, isn’t necessarily to terrify you. Despite beginning with the end of the world due to a (real) fungus that turns human beings into flower monsters, The Last of Us is more focused with human concerns like love, survival, and how they often tragically intersect. But here’s the thing though…it’s still really freaking scary.

The nine-episode first season frequently captures the acute moments of terror that the game is known for. “Wait where’s the mushroom freak? I think I saw something move. Ellie, pay attention. Ellie, Joel … WATCH OUT!” And that’s not even to mention the pitch perfect zombie apocalypse drama that is the show’s first episode. The Last of Us works because the show gets its depiction of Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) right. It soars because it gets the horror of a human mushroom just as right as well. – AB

9. Channel Zero

Stream on: AMC+ (U.S.)

Since the launch of The Twilight Zone, horror anthologies have been a dime a dozen on TV. Few of them, however, are nearly as terrifying as this little-seen but much beloved creepypasta series on Syfy. Yes, Channel Zero gets all of its story ideas from the most terrifying place known to man: the internet. Showrunner Nick Antosca and the rest of the production team find the spookiest creepypastas the World Wide Web has to offer and then adapts them into satisfyingly spooky season-long arcs.

Each season of Channel Zero presents a new terrifying tale in six episodes. Starting with “Candle Cove” in season 1, the show’s future seasons would tackle “No-End House,” “Butcher’s Block,” and “The Dream Door.” Featuring acute attention to detail and truly stunning monster design, each installment of Channel Zero does the near impossible and captures the sensation of being told a properly horrifying campfire story. – AB

8. American Horror Story

Stream on: Hulu (U.S.)

American Horror Story never seems to be afraid of going “too far.” While not every season of this anthology series has been a hit amongst fans, its shock factor is part of what makes the show so entertaining. Whether the story is centered around a haunted house, a coven of witches that includes Stevie Nicks, or is an homage to summer camp slasher movies, American Horror Story manages to bring something new every season while maintaining its unique, and often twisted, perspective.

One of the best things about this series is that, despite its decade-long run, a casual viewer can jump in at the beginning of almost any season and watch the horror stories that they are interested in without committing to the rest. Although American Horror Story definitely isn’t for the squeamish or gore-averse, the series has something for almost every level of horror-fan. – BA

7. Stranger Things

Stream on: Netflix (U.S. and U.K.)

It really isn’t that strange as to why Stranger Things has caught on with viewers en masse and become Netflix’s flagship series. Stranger Things creators The Duffer Brothers have delicately crafted a horror mixtape, borrowing liberally from maestros of the genre such as Stephen King, Wes Craven, and John Carpenter and have cross-pollinated their story with Steven Spielberg’s Amblin sensibility and James Cameron’s widescreen scope. Add in more than a healthy dash of ‘80s ephemera, Cold War-era paranoia, and Dungeons & Dragons lore and you’ve got a wildly entertaining stew going!

What keeps the whole endeavor from feeling like a cheap homage or nostalgia overload are the well-developed characters, who change, grow (quite literally, for the younger cast members) and pair off in interesting combinations that keep the story fresh, yet emotionally grounded. Even when the story stretches to its limits, the characters and their relationships keep you coming back. The mixture of coming-of-age tropes and scarier elements create a great balance that allows the light and dark moments to play for maximum efficiency. Also, the charming cast, led by Winona Ryder, David Harbour and Millie Bobby Brown, elevate the material. Stranger Things isn’t the scariest or most original horror series out there, but it’s a damn fine blockbuster attraction that has the heart to spare. – NH

6. Les Revenants

Stream on: Prime Video (U.S.)

Fast zombies vs. slow zombies? Pah, says Les Revenants, existentialist zombies are where it’s at. This French supernatural drama used the concept of people coming back from the grave to explore death and grief, and did so in exquisite style. A beautiful and poignant mystery, it’s set in a small mountain town whose dead suddenly return – some after years, some after decades – without any memory of where they’ve been. Why are they back? How did they die? And how will they live their new afterlives alongside those who loved, buried and grieved for them?

With a choice cast including an unforgettably eerie performance from Swann Nambotin as child returnee Victor, the Canal+ original had an indefinable quality that the English-language adaptation totally failed to capture. From the locations to the photography to the soundtrack by Scottish post-rock bank Mogwai, everything here works. If there’s a more stylishly shot and atmospheric TV show, then we’d like to see it. – LM

5. Midnight Mass

Stream on: Netflix (U.S. and U.K.)

The Duffer Brothers may have Netflix’s cash cow, but Mike Flanagan is their in-house horror guru (or he was until he left for Amazon’s Prime Video). The filmmaker is responsible for many of the streaming service’s finest horror series. Among his best is Midnight Mass, a beautiful, novelistic exploration of faith, grief, and forgiveness. It’s a weighty, ambitious story that nearly buckles under all of the themes and ideologies it wants to tackle and dissect, but it ultimately succeeds due to unforgettable characters, delicate performances, and powerful scripts dripping with compassion.

Taking place on the fictional, thinly populated island, Midnight Mass follows a mysterious young priest who arrives to temporarily run a Catholic church in absence of the elderly monsignor. However, the townsfolk of Crockett Island are the real story, each dealing with deeply human, uniquely horrific personal issues that give Midnight Mass its heart and sprawl. These side characters and plots divert attention from what is actually a fairly standard creature feature, but Flangan imbues each thread with everything he’s got; you can almost imagine him bleeding from the pen as he writes monologue after monologue about existential crises and the meaning of religion. While it’s not his scariest work, it’s certainly his most thought-provoking. – NH

4. Penny Dreadful

Stream on: Paramount+ (U.S.), NOW (U.K.)

A wickedly fun, macabre, and riotous horrorshow, Penny Dreadful was a monster mashup of famous public domain characters and 19th-century tales of terror. Think House of Frankenstein by way of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Pulpy, gory, and greatly inspired by Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Penny Dreadful was anchored by the captivating Vanessa Ives, portrayed by Eva Green.

Ives was the magnetic heart of the series, and her story, about a woman torn between her faith in God and the pursuit of the Devil, anchors the story through tons of lore and occult goodness. A period piece with teeth, Penny Dreadful was unfortunately too weird to live, but its passionate fans will keep it from ever dying. – NH

3. Hannibal

Stream on: Hulu (U.S.), Netflix (U.K.), ITVX (U.K.)

Hannibal seemed like a fairly unappealing prospect before it arrived on NBC in 2013. After all, hadn’t we had quite enough of Hannibal Lecter by then? The role had already been recast twice in the movie rollout of Thomas Harris’ acclaimed novels, and simply no one was going to be as good as our beloved Anthony Hopkins, were they? And that weird-lookin’ Danish fella from Casino Royale as our favorite psychological game-playin’ cannibal? Pfft, whatever.

Well, it turns out that not only was Mads Mikkelsen incredible in the role, but everyone else working on the thriller series was firing on all cylinders, too. Pushing Daisies creator Bryan Fuller had lined up a murderer’s row of talent to mold Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) and Hannibal’s relationship into a twisted romance for the ages. The show also featured some of the most disturbing visuals ever committed to the small screen. While Hannibal may have been canceled after three seasons due to low viewership, the fandom lives on. – Kirsten Howard

2. Black Mirror

Stream on: Netflix (U.S. and U.K.)

The Twilight Zone for the internet age, Black Mirror is a science-fiction anthology series from creators Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones that explores the ways in which modern tech has, or potentially will, alter the human experience beyond recognition. While the show has expanded to include stories that provide hope or ostensibly play as romances or comedies, the series’ roots are in pitch-black dystopian horror.

“What if we could access our memories at any time?” “What if we could have a final conversation with a loved one?” or even “What if video games were a bit more immersive?” are just jumping-off points that lead to devastating, soul-crushing conclusions that highlight the nasty, easily corruptible black hearts of humankind. Black Mirror presents a world where tech ethics have been thrown out the window in favor of saying “be careful what you wish for.” If that sounds bleak, well buddy, most of Black Mirror is. – NH

1. The Haunting of Hill House

Stream on: Netflix (U.S. and U.K.)

The Haunting of Hill House is the project that took Mike Flanagan from indie horror auteur to Netflix spooky season juggernaut. This 10-episode series borrows its name (and little else) from Shirley Jackson’s classic 1959 horror novel. Set in the modern day, it follows the Crain family as they all struggle to deal with the trauma from growing up in a very haunted house.

The most impressive thing about Hill House is that it takes already scary concepts (like a cavernous haunted Victorian mansion, a flowery funeral home, or a dingy back alley) and dials the horror up to 11. Yes, haunted houses are usually scary, but under Flanagan’s direction, this one is really scary. The Haunting of Hill House is the rare episodic endeavor that is able to sustain spooky vibes through 10 hours as well as any 90-minute horror flick. – AB

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