Horror tv shows have been the most popular and most-watched shows among audiences. These shows seek a great response from the people because of their spookiness and thrill. From the initial decades of horror tv shows up till now, everything has changed a lot, from costumes to art direction. Earlier, horror shows were more into creating spooky characters and were not into the stories.
But now, these types of shows indulge only in the strong storyline and realness. And people love the originality in the story because then only they feel goosebumps as they tend to relate that story to their lives. And once the relationship is developed between the show and the people, the show becomes successful.
In this article, we will list out the 40 best horror shows of all time to make you awake throughout the night and give you chills.
Outcast is a horror drama series developed by Robert Kirkman, and it is based on the comic series of the same name. This series is a pure horror drama, and its first episode was released on June 3, 2016, on the Cinemax television network. The series has two seasons in total, with 20 episodes.
The story of the series is of a man named Kyle Barnes visiting a victim of demonic possession. Where he connects these incidents to his dark childhood and slowly finds out some really dark secrets, this show is very scary as it contains some disturbing visuals and is not a show for kids.
39. Are You Afraid Of The Dark
This is one of the best horrors tv shows of all time. It is basically a horror anthology series developed by D. J. MacHale and Ned Kandel. The series contained nine seasons with 100 episodes. Each episode has a runtime of around 22 to 25 minutes.
This is the second most popular series among kids and teenagers. This anthology show follows the story of young members of the midnight society who meet weekly and narrate ghost stories. And everything seems unusual when the horror stories start getting true in their lives. The show is full of dark stories, science fiction, thriller, suspense, and teen drama.
38. Dead Of Summer
Dead of Summer is a horror-period drama series. Adam Horowitz, Edward Kitsis, and Ian Goldberg create this series. The series contains teenage drama, supernatural events, and pure horror. Now, this series has reached 1 season with ten episodes in total. And the first episode of the season was released on June 28, 2016.
The season was directly aired on the Freeform television network. This series follows the story of a group of people who meet at Camp Stillwater, a Midwestern summer camp. For some time, everything remained normal, but things turned into a nightmare when unknown. Demonic power got awake. The whole series is about how the people in the camp get rid of that demonic power.
37. Being Human
This show is a supernatural comedy-drama developed by Toby Whithouse. The story of the drama revolves around a group of friends, who are vampires and werewolves, who get into a house together, where ghosts haunt them. And during their stay time, they try to get control over them. There are 5 seasons of this drama and 37 episodes in total.
36. Stranger Things
Stranger Things is a pure science fiction horror show developed by Duffer Brothers for the Netflix platform. The first season of the series was released on July 15, 2016. And till now, four seasons have been released with 32 episodes. The season became very famous in other countries too. The plot of the series revolves around a group of friends who witness supernatural forces and government secrets. And as they move further, they find something unusual and mysterious things.
35. The X-Files
X-Files is a science fiction, horror, and mysterious drama series. The first season of this series was released on September 10, 1993, on the Fox entertainment network. The season has 11 seasons with 218 episodes in total. The series revolves around FBI agent Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, who solves X-Files, the unsolved mysteries related to paranormal activities. This show became very famous because of its excellent thriller, and David Duchovny’s Fox Mulder became one of our favorite FBI agents.
34. Scream Queens
This show is one of the best horror comedies till now. The show was released on Fox Entertainment on September 22, 2015. Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan direct the series. This show will provide you with good horror content with a mixture of comedy and satire.
There are two seasons of this series with 23 episodes. The first season shows a fictional University that initially allows only perfect students to enter. Still, later it gets open for all and then enters the unknown serial killer of the story. Everybody gets terrorized by that serial killer who gets into different locations, including hospitals, towns, and universities. This show is an average entertaining show and not very much into the horror category.
33. Freddy’s Nightmares
This show is a horror anthology show which aired on a Syndication network on October 8, 1998. Wes Craven creates the show. The story of the show is all about nightmares or scary dreams. This show consists of two seasons with 44 episodes.
32. Sleepy Hollow
This is a supernatural drama series that aired on September 16, 2013, on Fox Entertainment. This series is loosely based on the short story “the legend of the sleepy hollow” by Washington Irving. Sleepy Hollow is about a man who travels through time to unravel an ancient mysterious incident. This series is not much into the horror side. Instead, it is more into the action and thriller side.
31. Channel Zero
The story of this show revolves around a show called Candle Clove, which became the major reason for the abduction of children, and Mike Painter founds the reason behind it, a man who returned to his hometown after 30 years. The show ran for four seasons with 24 episodes. It contained creepy but interesting characters, which attracted the audience.
30. The Outer Limits
This series is a gothic science fiction series full of dark fantasy and horror plots. It can be compared with the Twilight Zone as it also shows short stories, but it is more towards science fiction than horror. The first season of the show was released on the ABC network on September 3, 1963.
29. Fear The Walking Dead
Fear the walking dead is pure sci-fi related to the zombie apocalypse with dark humor. This series was released on 23 August 2015 on the AMC network. It has seven seasons with 101 episodes in total. This series is all about fighting with the zombies and surviving with fewer things. The ratings of the series are not that good, but because of its entertaining theme, it is popular.
Aaron Martin develops this series. And was released on Canadian channels on March 4, 2016. But further seasons were released on Netflix. The series contains lots of disturbing scenes in horror drama, which makes it unsuitable for kids. The story of the series revolves around Sarah Bennett’s life and a serial killer, also known as “The Executioner.” And Sarah started to find the leads of the murders occurring in the same way.
27. The Vampire Diaries
This show has eight seasons with 171 episodes in total. The show has many spin-offs, including the originals, legacies, and darker truths. This series does not contain horror content; it only contains supernatural elements and fantasy elements. But the show became a major hit because of its deep dialogues and touchy love relations. The original release was held on September 10, 2009, on The CW network.
This is Thomas Harris’s series because it is based on his novel series. The series was developed by Bryan Fuller, and its first season was released on April 4, 2013, on the NBC network. The series shows the story of Will Graham, a criminal profiler with a unique ability, and FBI agent Clarice Starling investigating cases related to cannibalism.
And finding the truth behind all these murders, which is related to serial killer Hannibal Lecter, a secret forensic psychiatrist. This series is purely a psychological thriller with a horror twist.
25. In The Flesh
This show is a BBC three drama series by Dominic Mitchell. This show ran for two seasons with nine episodes. The show highlights the story of Kieren Walker, a teenage zombie who died in 2009 but came back to his family. The unique story of this show attracted many young audiences, and it became one of the horror hits.
Grimm is a fully mysterious show developed by Stephen Carpenter, Jim Kouf, and David Greenwalt. The story of this series revolves around Nick Burkhardt, a detective who begins to see what other people cannot. And from there, his journey begins. And he realizes that he has got his ancestors’ powers of ghost hunting. The show ran for six seasons and became popular among youth.
23. The Exorcist
This series contains the story of a family haunted by supernatural powers present in their house. The demonic events persist until two priests join the forces to defeat the evil powers. This series is full of body horror and disturbing scenes. This show ran for two seasons with 20 episodes in total.
22. Castle Rock
It is a psychological horror series by Stephen King. The series is full of mystery, thriller, science fiction, and supernatural drama. The series has two seasons and 20 episodes in total. This series is set in the multiverse of Stephen King with a psychological thriller. It is a must-watch series, and no one can narrate the story better than him.
21. Tales From The Darkside
This series is an anthology horror series developed by George A. Romero. This show is all a true horror fan wants, as it contains horror, science fiction, drama, comedy, and fantasy. The series ran for four seasons with 89 episodes in total. George A. Romero hosts the show, and each episode brings down a fresh scary story with new characters.
20. Ash vs. Evil Dead
This is a comedy horror tv series created by Sam Raimi, Ivan Raimi, and Tom Spezialy. This is one of the best tv horror-comedy shows. The show is set in the Evil Dead universe with Ash Williams from the original trilogy. This show is full of action, adventures, and Supernatural events. There are three seasons of this series with 30 episodes in total.
The plot follows the story of a man named Ash, who has spent his last 30 years avoiding his responsibilities, maturity, and dangers of the evil dead until an apocalypse threatens the eviction of all mankind. Then Ash became the only hope to save mankind. The fourth season of the show was canceled due to a less entertaining script.
This is a total sci-fi zombie show. In which a medical student turns into a live zombie and takes up a job at a morgue to satisfy her hunger for humans. And the amazing thing is that she the humans that she ate, absorbed their memory. It ran for five seasons on the Netflix platform.
This show is a supernatural adventure drama series developed by Sam Catlin, Evan Goldberg, and Seth Rogen. The show ran for four seasons with 43 episodes in total. This show is about a man named Jesse Custer, who returns to his hometown in Texas to take the place of his father in the church. But he got possessed by a cryptic force that gave him unbelievable powers. The story is horror with a slightly dark comedy.
17. Kolchak: The Night Stalker
Kolchak: The Night Stalker is a crime thriller drama that Jeff Rice directs. And the first season of the series was released on September 13, 1974, on the ABC network. The show ran for only one season with 20 episodes in total. Each episode has a runtime of around 50 to 52 minutes. The theme of the show was interesting as it follows a crime reporter named Carl Kolchak, who investigates several crimes and murders.
But the unique thing is that those crimes involve supernatural, demonic, and science fiction mysterious things and sometimes include unusual characters. Although it ran for one season, the popularity of this show is still high.
16. Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina
This drama was developed by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and was released on Netflix on October 26, 2018. The series is loosely based on the Archie comic book series of the name “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.” This show is basically a teen drama with a taste in horror, supernatural events, and Dark powers. There are two seasons of this horror tv show and 36 episodes in total.
The story follows a girl named Sabrina, who is also called a teen witch, as she is half-human and half-witch. Sabrina’s life navigates between two dark worlds: her usual life and her inherited life, the church of night. The series will tell you how she manages both her characters and does not let any of the ones dominate the others with evilness.
15. Tales From The Crypt
This series is an American anthology horror drama developed by William Gaines. It is full of black comedy, fantasy, and horror anthologies. The series has seven seasons with 93 episodes in total. Each episode has a runtime of around 22 to 30 minutes. And the original broadcasting network of this series is the HBO television channel.
The title of the show is based on the EC Comics series of the same name, which was of the 1950s era. The show portrays a skeleton host named Cryptkeeper, who is actually a puppet and was voiced by John Kassir. The theme of the show is that people get lost within their ancient catacombs, where they meet Cryptkeeper, who tells them their fate. The theme of the show was unique, and many people liked it.
14. Penny Dreadful
This series is a pure horror drama television series developed by John Logan. This series was created for the Showtime television network, and the forest episode was released on May 11, 2015. Many people from all over the world raised this series with a positive response, which took this series to new heights.
The series is full of gothic horror, dark thriller, and historical fantasy. Till now, this series has reached three seasons with 27 episodes in total. The main leads of the series are Eva Green, Josh Harnett, Reeve Carney, and Rory Kinnear.
The story of this series highlights Vanessa, who recruits Ethan Chandler and a hunter Sir Malcolm to track a serial killer. But the serial killer was not even a human being. And when they realized this thing, everything turned dreadful.
13. True Blood
True Blood is a fantasy horror drama tv series developed by Alan Ball. This series is loosely based on the Southern vampire mysteries, a novel written by Charlaine Harris. This scary series contained seven seasons with 80 episodes in total. The first episode of the series was released on September 7, 2008, on the HBO television channel.
This story is about a girl, Sookie Stackhouse, who works as a barmaid. And she has a unique ability to read people’s minds. Her life was going simple until she started realizing the fact that vampires had entered her town. This show is not so good, but it is an average vampire theme-based show.
12. The Haunting Of Hill House
Haunting of the Hill House is a power-packed supernatural horror drama developed by Mike Flanagan and produced by Amblin Television and paramount television. This drama was released on Netflix on October 12, 2018. Only one season has been released till now with ten episodes. This series served as the first anthology horror series on Netflix. The story of the haunting of the hill house is based on the novel of the same name written by Shirley Jackson.
The plot of this series follows the story of two timelines. The first story shows five grown-up siblings experiencing supernatural powers haunting them at the hill House and the second story shows flashbacks depicting supernatural events in the year 1992 when a family left the mansion. The story of the haunting of the hill house is quite interesting and very catchy. But there are no further seasons for this series, and yet no announcement has been made regarding this.
11. Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Buffy, The Vampire Slayer, is a supernatural drama television series developed by Joss Whedon. This series is based on a film of the same name written by Joss Whedon. The series is full of horror, drama, action, and supernatural acts. This horror tv show contained seven seasons with 144 episodes in total. The upcoming season of the series is adapted from the comic book of the same name.
The first episode of this horror tv show was released on March 10, 1997. The story of this horror show follows a strange girl named Buffy Summers, who is gifted with supernatural powers, with the help of which she can kill vampires, demons, and other evil forces.
And because of these powers, she is also called a Vampire Slayer. In the early stages of the series, Buffy just wanted to live life like a normal person, but slowly, she accepted her fate and fought for a good cause. The show became popular among young audiences and received good critical reviews.
- Original Run: 2005-2020
- Total Seasons: 15
- Cast: Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins, Mark Sheppard, Jim Beaver
- Ratings On Different Platforms: 8.5/10 on IMDB and 93% on Rotten Tomatoes.
- Streaming Platforms Available: Amazon Prime.
Supernatural is a Dark World series created by Erick Kripke. The first season of the drama was released on The WB on 13 September 2005. The series is full of action, adventure, horror, supernatural forces, body horror, and mysteries.
The theme of the story follows two brothers, Sam and Dean, who follow in their father’s footsteps and set out to evict monsters, demons, and other supernatural elements that exist on this earth.
9. The Twilight Zone
- Original Run: 1959-1964
- Total Seasons: 5
- Cast: Road Sterling, Robert McCord, William Shatner, Vaughn Taylor
- Ratings On Different Platforms: 9.1/10 on IMDB and 82% on Rotten Tomatoes.
- Streaming Platforms Available: Voot and Amazon Prime.
The Twilight Zone is a science fiction anthology series developed by Rod Serling. The show ran for five seasons on the CBS network with 156 episodes. The first episode of the series was released on October 2, 1959.
The plot of the show highlights short scary stories in which the story’s characters find themselves dealing with often paranormal or scary situations that are described as entering the Twilight Zone according to the theme. And the story ends with a moral and a surprise ending.
The paranormal and supernatural elements in the show make it more interesting to watch. Each story in the show will get you goosebumps and thrill you.
8. The Walking Dead
- Original Run: 2010-2022
- Total Seasons: 11
- Cast: Norman Reedus, Andrew Lincoln, Lauren Cohan, Chandler Riggs, Christian Serratos, Jeffrey Dean Morgan
- Ratings On Different Platforms: 8.2/10 on IMDB and 80% on Rotten Tomatoes.
- Streaming Platforms Available: Netflix.
The Walking Dead is an American sub-genre of Dystopia horror television series. This series is based on the novel of the same name, written by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard. And this series is a whole franchise of 11 seasons with 169 episodes in total.
So many games have been developed with the same theme as this series has and also the same name. The first episode of this series was released on October 31, 2010, on the AMC network and became one of the major hits. The genre of the show is horror and Zombie apocalypse.
All the franchise, the series is of a typical theme, which revolves around a large cast of survivors of a zombie apocalypse trying to stay alive under constant zombie attacks. And during this war, several other people also formed groups to deal with zombies, and sometimes these groups started rivaling within their communities.
7. Twin Peaks
- Original Run: 1990-1991
- Total Seasons: 2
- Cast: David Lynch, Kyle MacLachlan, Sherilyn Fenn, Lara Flynn Boyle
- Ratings On Different Platforms: 8.8/10 on IMDB and 82% on Rotten Tomatoes.
- Streaming Platforms Available: Voot and Amazon Prime.
Twin Peaks are one of the best horror drama shows in tv history. Mark Frost and David Lynch created this series. The show ran for three seasons containing 48 episodes in total. The first season was released on April 8, 1990, on the ABC network. The show made true horror fans and gained a devoted cult following.
The story follows an FBI agent named Dale Cooper, who is assigned to investigate the case of a 17-year-old schoolgirl who got murdered in Laura Palmer, Twin Peaks. And during the investigation, some horrific incidents took place, which turned all things upside down. The excellent storyline and the thrill of the show made it one of the most popular among other horror shows.
- Original Run: 1999-2004
- Total Seasons: 5
- Cast: David Boreanaz, Charisma Carpenter, Joss Whedon, Amy Acker
- Ratings On Different Platforms: 7.9/10 on IMDB and 69% on Rotten Tomatoes.
- Streaming Platforms Available: Hulu and Amazon Prime.
Angel is a spin-off series adapted from Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Joss Whedon develops the show with the help of David Greenwalt. The first episode of the show was released on the WB network on October 5, 1999.
The series has five seasons with 110 episodes in total. It is a mixture of supernatural fiction, action, and horror drama. And it is one of the best horror television shows in terms of interesting horror stories and content.
The plot of the series highlights Angel, a vampire who left his true love Buffy and tries for a new start in his life. But he finds a whole nother breed of friends waiting to bring out his dark side. And during his journey, he finds more people like him looking to protect the city.
5. Black Mirror
- Original Run: 2011-2019
- Total Seasons: 5
- Cast: Anthony Mackie, Bryce Dallas, Hayley Atwell, Miley Cyrus, Cristin Milioti
- Ratings On Different Platforms: 8.8/10 on IMDB and 84% on Rotten Tomatoes.
- Streaming Platforms Available: Netflix
Black Mirror is a British science-fiction series developed by Charlie Brooker. The series is based on an old horror show named The Twilight Zone. The series also indulges in Dystopia, an undesirable community. Black Mirror is very interesting because of its pure sci-fi and mysteries. The show contains five seasons with 22 episodes in total.
The story follows an undesirable future where several individuals indulge themselves in the effect of cutting-edge technology. And these technologies have a devastating effect on their personal lives and behavior. One of the episodes of the series shows the dreadful events of serial killers, which is very disturbing. Basically, the series tells us how technology can harm us and can transform our behavior.
4. The Addams Family
- Original Run: 1964-1966
- Total Seasons: 3
- Cast: Anjelica Huston, Raul Julia, Christina Ricci, Jimmy Workman
- Ratings On Different Platforms: 8/10 on IMDB and 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.
- Streaming Platforms Available: Amazon Prime and Vudu.
This is one of the best horror tv shows in the black comedy category. The show is loosely based on the characters from the Charles Addams New Yorker cartoons. The whole series is in black and white theme, which became its main attraction. The first episode of the show was released on September 18, 1964.
The show aired on the ABC network. The show is followed further by the film named Halloween with the new Addams family. The story of this series revolves around Morticia and Gomez Addams, head of the unusual family, their giant doorman named Lurch, their unwell son, and their unusual daughter.
- Original Run: 1995-1998
- Total Seasons: 4
- Cast: R. L. Stine, Kathryn Long, Hayden Christensen, Hamille Rustia
- Ratings On Different Platforms: 7.6/10 on IMDB and 78% on Rotten Tomatoes.
- Streaming Platforms Available: Amazon Prime and Netflix.
Goosebumps is one of the best TV horror shows. This horror show is more popular among kids because of its creepy and exciting stories and characters. The original show contained four seasons and 74 episodes in total. This show is based on R. L. Stine’s best-selling horror book series of the same name.
The plot of this horror show revolves around teens finding themselves in troubled creepy situations that typically involve evil events. Overall, this show is a mixture of horror-comedy, science fiction, science fantasy, interesting ghost stories, and drama.
This show got love from the Teenage and kids because of its catchy stories. After this horror tv series ended, the production launched its reboot after several years. Still, the reboot of the show became a major failure, and they stopped telecasting it after a few episodes.
2. Midnight Mass
- Original Run: 2021
- Total Seasons: 1
- Cast: Kate Siegel, Hamish Linklater, Zach Gilford, Rahul Kohli, Samantha Sloyan
- Ratings On Different Platforms: 7.7/10 on IMDB and 86% on Rotten Tomatoes
- Streaming Platforms Available: Amazon instant video and Netflix.
Midnight Mass is a supernatural horror miniseries with only one season, developed by Mike Flanagan. The first season of the show was released on September 24, 2021, on Netflix with a total of 7 episodes.
The story of the “Midnight Mass” horror series revolves around an unknown island community that faces supernatural acts or events after the arrival of a suspicious priest. The show received positive reviews because of its good plot and sensitive acting.
1. American Horror Story
- Original Run: 2011-present
- Total Seasons: 10
- Cast: Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Lily Rabe, Jessica Lange, Taissa Farmiga, Kathy Bates
- Ratings On Different Platforms: 8/10 on IMDB and 77% on Rotten Tomatoes
- Streaming Platforms Available: Disney Hotstar and Amazon Prime.
The show “American Horror Story” consists of 10 seasons and is among the topmost popular horror tv shows. The first episode of this horror tv series was released on October 5, 2011, on the FX television network. The series is of the pure horror genre and is categorized as a horror anthology series. Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk develop the show.
The series follows seasons consisting of miniseries with different characters and stories each time. Some of the storylines in the show are based on true events, which became the major attraction for this horror show.
The first season of The American Horror Story was named Murder House, which shows the story of a family that moves into a haunted house, and then some unusual things happen. The season became a major hit, and then the production started making more seasons.