31 Best Streaming Horror TV Shows

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Gathered here are the scariest and most bingeable horror shows that Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and more have to offer.

Horror and television have always been a bit of an awkward fit. What’s scary and what’s bingeable sometimes seem mutually exclusive. Horror requires that you suspend your disbelief and the longer it asks of your attention span, the higher the risk that the tension wanes.

Still, in the modern streaming era, there are plenty of horror TV shows that get the spooky job done. Gathered on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and HBO Now are some truly great bingeable options to elevate the heart rate. Here we’ve compiled the very best of the best. What follows are the 31 best streaming horror TV shows. 

Editor’s Note: This post is updated monthly. Bookmark this page to see what the best horror shows on Netflix are at your convenience.

Alfred Hitchcock Presents

Available on: Hulu

You know who has a good eye for horror? That Alfred Hitchcock character. The horror maestro had not yet directed Psycho when Alfred Hitchcock Presents premiered on CBS in 1955, but he had been churning out classic thrillers for decades, including Rear Window and Dial M for Murder.

read more: The 10 Best Alfred Hitchcock Movies

Alfred Hitchcock Presents ran for 10 seasons and featured more than 300 stories. The content of every episode was different and ran the gamut of spooky genres from crime to mystery to outright horror. Viewers knew, however, that every episode would feature ol’ Alfie, himself, first in silhouette, then in person to introduce the terror to come.

American Horror Story

Available on: Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu

Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story is revolutionary in quite a few ways. Not only did it help usher in a renewed era of anthology storytelling on television, it also was arguably the first successful network television horror show since The X-Files.

read more: How American Horror Story Has Changed Since Murder House

Like all anthologies, American Horror Story has its better seasons (season 1 a.k.a. Murder House, season 2 a.k.a. Asylum, season 6 a.k.a. Roanoke) and its worse (season 3 a.k.a. Coven and season 8 a.k.a. Apocalypse). Still, for nine years and counting, American Horror Story has been one of the go-to options for TV horror fans.

Apparitions

Available on: Amazon Prime

When The Exorcist first premiered in 1973, it changed everything for horror. A whole world of demonology and exorcism entered into our collective unconscious to torment the masses. Still, the TV world hasn’t done much with exorcism-based horror since that then. BBC’s Apparitions from 2008, however, might be the exception. This is a nifty little horror drama that goes about demons the right way.

read more: The Exorcist III is a Classic and Better Than You Remember

Apparitions stars Martin Shaw as Father Jacob Mays. Mays is tasked with examining potential miracles for canonization. But as Mays sets out, he begins to come into contact with dark forces in need of some exorcising. Apparitions is an excellent miniseries that has a shockingly complete perspective on how the Catholic Church operates.

Ash vs Evil Dead

Available on: Netflix

Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead series (consisting of Evil DeadEvil Dead II, and Army of Darkness) are some of the most deliriously bloody and fun slasher films ever committed to celluloid. Surely, however, a TV series made decades later couldn’t possibly bring the same level of thrill, could it?

read more – Ash vs Evil Dead: Saluting a Gamble That Really Paid Off

Wrong! Starz’s Ash vs Evil Dead is another installment of fantastic comedy horror. Bruce Campbell returns as Evil Dead hero Ash Williams, who has done seemingly little with his life since battling the forces of evil (and dead) 30 years ago. That all changes when the dead walk once again and Ash, and some new friends must pick up the chainsaw once again.

Black Summer

Available on: Netflix

In a zombie television landscape largely dominated by AMC’s The Walking Dead, Syfy’s Z Nation found a nice with a more playful, tongue-in-cheek presentation of the zombie apocalypse. In this spinoff, Black Summer, things get a touch darker.

read more: The Best Horror Movies on Netflix

Jamie King stars as Rose, a mother who is separated from her daughter during the height of a zombie apocalypse. Rose sets out on a mission to recover her and in the process builds a group of like-minded individuals looking for something they’ve lost.

Castle Rock

Available on: Hulu

Stephen King properties have made their way to television before. There have been miniseries for classic King texts like The Stand and ‘Salem’s Lot and even full series for works like Rose Red and Under the Dome. Still, none of those series has had the audacity to adapt multiple aspects of the Stephen King universe itself…until Castle Rock.

read more – Castle Rock: Stephen King Easter Egg and Reference Guide

Castle Rock takes multiple characters, storylines, and concepts from the vast works of Stephen King and puts them all in King’s own Castle Rock, Maine. The first season featured inmates from Shawshank prison, extended family of Jack Torrance, and maybe even a touch of the shine. The show has opened itself up for more storytelling possibilities in season 2, adopting an anthology format and bringing Annie Wilkes into the fold.

Castlevania

Available on: Netflix

Netflix has beefed up its anime offerings in recent years and one of the first IPs they mined to do so was atmospheric Konami videogame series Castlevania. Originally planned as a film, Castlevania makes good use of its serialized format to pick up the horror story from where it begins with 1989 gameCastlevania III: Dracula’s Curse

read more: Castlevania Season 2 Easter Egg and Reference Guide

And what a story it is. Wallachian lord (and vampire, obvs.) Vlad Dracula Tepes (Graham McTavish) falls into a mighty rage after his wife is wrongly accused of witchcraft and burned at the stake. Vlad summons an army of the dead to declare war on the living of Wallachia. The only people who stand in his path are a ragged band of heroes led by Trevor Belmont (Richard Armitage).

Chambers

Available on: Netflix

Chambers only survived one season at Netflix, proving once again that it’s tough out there for horror television shows. But the one season legacy the show leaves behind is a decently spooky one.

read more: Best Modern Horror Movies

Chambers tells a story that contains a pretty familiar, yet effective horror trope. Sasha Yazzie (Sivan Alyra Rose) receives a much-needed heart transplant from a girl named Becky Lafevre. Soon, Sasha begins to experience troubling visions and begins to unravel a conspiracy that brings her into contact with Becky’s parents (Uma Thurman and Tony Goldwyn).

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Available on: Netflix

After the Archie comic universe got a gritty reboot in The CW’s Riverdale, it was only a matter of time before Archie cousin comic Sabrina the Teenage Witch got her turn. Thankfully Netflix stepped up to the plate with the Kiernan Shipka starring Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and even more thankfully…it’s gritty as all hell.

read more – Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Season 2: Easter Eggs and Reference Guide

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina brings witchcraft back to its absolutely metal satanic origins. Sabrina Spellman (Shipka) is like any teenager at Baxter High. She’s concerned about her grades, her social status, and her impending 16th birthday in which she must undergo a dark ritual in which she’ll have to grant her loyalty to the Dark Lord Satan. Such is life for a half-mortal/half-witch.

Dark/Web

Available on: Amazon Prime

For those interested in anthology and serialized horror storytelling, Dark/Web offers the best of both worlds. This Amazon Prime original tells a single spooky tale, spread out over eight largely self-contained “chapters.”

read more: The Best Horror TV Shows on Netflix

Dark/Web picks up with the disappearance of cyber analyst Molly Solis (Noemi Gonzalez). As her friends investigate what happened to Molly, they begin to uncover some truly dark secrets hidden within the fabric of the Internet. Dark/Web expertly exploits real world fears about the spreading influence of this omniscient communication technology.

The Exorcist

Available on: Hulu

The Exorcist is one of the greatest horror films ever made. The Fox series that bears its name and premise isn’t quite as good (few things could ever be) but it’s still an excellent horror story in its own right.

read more: The Exorcist is Still the Scariest Movie Ever Made

The Exorcist is a two-season long anthology series that follows two different cases of demonic possession. In the first installment, two Catholic priests assist a woman with a possession in her home. In the second, two new priests help a young girl battle evil.

Folklore

Available on: HBO

HBO’s 2019 series Folklore is based on a novel concept. HBO Asia has access to some of the best horror storytellers in the East. Why not give them carte blanche to tell the horrifying stories they want to tell in an anthology format?

read more: The Best Creepy Horror Movies

Folklore features episodes from filmmakers based in Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and South Korea. Each installment is unique to that country’s sensibilities and also entirely terrifying. 

Ghost Stories

Available on: Amazon Prime

“Come with me to a place of wondrous contradictions, a place that is silent and unstirring, yet restless and alive. A place of untold peace and boundless dread. Come with me into the very cradle of darkness, where those who dwell, dwell alone.”

further reading: The Best Horror Movies Available to Stream

Thus actor Rip Torn ushers viewers in to each episode of Ghost Stories, an American horror anthology series that ran for 44 episodes in the late nineties. It’s the expected things-that-go-bump-in-the-night deal, tales of hauntings, vengeful ghosts, possessions and poltergeists, all dramatised in neat half hour instalments.

Haunted

Available on: Netflix

Haunted is a bit of an odd duck among Netflix’s horror offerings. It was introduced for the 2018 Halloween season, just a week before the juggernaut Haunting of Hill House. As such, it got lost in the spooky shuffle. Still, this is a surprisingly effective take on your classic “tell a scary story” style TV series.

read more: The Best Haunted House Movies and TV Shows of All Time

In Haunted, people tell their real life scary stories. That’s it. This is well-trodden ground on long running cable series like Ghost Stories and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Where Haunted differentiates itself is in its shockingly high production values, as witnessed in the ethereal screengrab above. Also, these stories are like…really scary.

The Haunting of Hill House

Available on: Netflix

Shirley Jackson’s novel The Haunting of Hill House is considered one of the most important texts in the horror literature canon. It’s only fitting then that it’s Hill House that Netflix turned to when the time came to make its first big original horror series. It’s also fitting that they turned to Hush director Mike Flanagan to make it happen.

read more: The Haunting of Hill House Ending Explained

Flanagan’s version of The Haunting of Hill House is quite different from the novel from which it takes its name. This Haunting is a modern story that follows the Crain family as they try to recover from the trauma they sustained as kids living in the terrifying Hill House. Of course, Hill House is still out there just dying to call them all back home. Netflix is going to keep “The Haunting” going with The Haunting of Bly Manor and presumably more to come after that.

The Living and the Dead

Available on: Amazon Prime

The BBC’s The Living and the Dead is an aesthetically beautiful show. It’s not entirely dissimilar to a British-ized The Returned. It stars Colin Moran as Nathan Appleby, a psychology who inherits a beautiful, if creepy manor.

further reading: Best Sci-Fi Movies on Amazon Prime

Sure, the property is a touch isolated but that doesn’t concern Nathan and his wife. It should because what comes next is a bit more Amityville Horror than The Returned.

Lore

Available on: Amazon Prime

Aaron Mahnke’s history horror podcast Lore has always operated under the theory that truth is stranger (and scarier) than fiction. That’s the same philosophy that this Amazon Prime original adaptation adopts.

read more – Lore: The Challenges of Adapting a Scary Podcast

Both seasons of Lore tell a handful of real life stories that illustrate the origins of some of our world’s spookiest legends and events. Narration combined with live action recreations present tales of vampirism, grave-robbing, werewolves, and more.

Monsters

Avaiable on: Amazon Prime

Monsters‘ opening credits feels haunted in a way that only corny late ’80s/early ’90s sci-fi and horror can feel haunted. The camera zooms in on planet Earth and right to a cozy suburban house in the evening. A father dejectedly turns the TV off as a mother and daughter enter the family room with popcorn. “Honey, it’s family hour! There must be something on.” Lo’ and behold there is! Monsters: their favorite show. The father is a boulder-headed freak and the mother is a Cyclops.

read more: The Underrated Horror Movies on the ’90s

Monsters disabuses us of the notion that horror anthologies belong to the modern day. This Sci-Fi Channel (now Syfy) series ran from 1988 to 1991 and featured several standalone episodes following different monsters. Monsters is creative, weird, unsettling, and perfectly scary.

One Step Beyond

Available on: Amazon Prime

The amazing drama you are about to see is a matter of human record,” runs John Newland’s introduction to this Twilight Zone-esque series. “The real people who lived this story, they believe it, they know, they took that one step beyond.

further reading: The Best TV Comedies on Amazon Prime

Famously, Newland took one step beyond himself when making “The Sacred Mushroom” episode in which he ingested hallucinogenic mushrooms and filmed his reaction. It’s not available here, but it’s out there in both senses of the phrase.

The Outer Limits

Available on: Hulu

When The Twilight Zone premiered in 1959, it set off a brief little renaissance of anthology horror storytelling on television. The best of these contenders to the Zone‘s throne was probably the sci-fi centric The Outer Limits.

read more: The Best Horror TV Shows on Amazon Prime

Outer Limits aired from 1963 to 1965 on ABC. In that span it generated 49 spooky episodes, several of which made an impact on pop culture. Alan Moore infamously borrowed the plot of the episode “The Architects of Fear” for the ending of Watchmen. The Outer Limits received a Sci-Fi Channel revival in the ’90s and is currently poised for another bite at the apple.

Penny Dreadful

Available on: Netflix

Assembling all the public domain superstars available in the horror canon doesn’t always work out well (see: Dracula v. Frankenstein) but Showtime’s Penny Dreadful is an example of classic characters treated right. The series gathers together characters like Dorian Gray, Abraham Van Helsing, and Dr. Jekyll to tell a new self-contained story.

read more – Penny Dreadful: A Twisted Reflection of the Dracula Story

Eva Green stars as Vanessa Ives, a Victorian era lady aware of the supernatural forces growing all around here. To combat the spreading evil, Vanessa turns to Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett), a brash American marksman. It’s all good fun and is set to continue on in an upcoming spinoff series.

The Returned

Available on: Netflix

Ignore the bad taste left in your mouth by the American remake, the French original Les Revenants is the real deal.

read more: The Best Horror Movies on Hulu

Horror is subjective and I don’t think The Returned would claim to being outright terrifying but with its dull colors, muted soundtrack and sweeping shots of lonely, fog-filled French countryside, it’s about as creepy as poignant as television can be.

The X-Files

Available on: Hulu

The X-Files is quite simply the gold standard for horror on television. Chris Carter’s conspiracy-tinged supernatural masterpiece not only inspired every horror TV show that came after it, but just about every other TV show in general.

read more: Revisiting The X-Files Pilot

The X-Files follows FBI special agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) as they investigate the unusual cases that traditional law enforcement won’t touch. For 11 seasons (and a handful of movies), the show expertly balanced a massive series-long story along with what came to be called “monster of the week” self-contained tales.

Scare Tactics

Available on: Netflix

Scare Tactics is what happens when someone looks at the prank camera show format and thinks “What if this but also dangerous and terrifying?” The concept of Scare Tactics is simple: take normal people, put them in elaborate horror movie situations, and film what happens. Awful? Yes. Entertaining? Absolutley!

read more: The Best Horror Movies on Amazon Prime

Shannen Doherty hosted the first incarnation of the show that premiered on Syfy in 2003. Stephen Baldwin took her place in the middle of the show’s second season. Then after a three-year hiatus, Scare Tactics returned with Tracy Morgan at the helm and lasted three more seasons of hilariously cruel pranking.

The Secret of Crickley Hall

Available on: Amazon Prime

British audiences seem to have a bigger appetite for horror on television than their American counterparts. And thank goodness, or Amazon’s horror offerings could be very sparse indeed. The Secret of Crickley Hall is another creepy, and ultimately kind of profound supernatural thriller from the other side of the pond.

read more: The 25 Best Horror Movies You’ve Never Seen

Crickley Hall is based on a novel of the same name by James Herbert. It tells the story of the titular Crickley Hall in two time periods. The first is the present day (2006 in this case) in which the Caleigh family rents and resides in Crickley Hall, while the other takes place in war torn 1943. When one of the Caleigh children goes mysteriously missing in the present, some secrets (and ghosts) from the past could prove useful.

Stan Against Evil

Available on: Hulu

To parody horror, one needs to love horror. And Stan Against Evil creator Dana Gould really, really, really loves horror. The longtime standup comedian and comedy writer brings his unique humor sensibilities and lifelong appreciation of horror to tell the story of a quaint New Hampshire town that just happens to be built on the cursed site of a massive witch burning.

read more – Stan Against Evil: The 13 Best Monsters

John C. McGinley stars as the titular Stan, a disgraced former sheriff who opts to pick up the battle against evil after a close call. He teams up with new sheriff Evie Barret (Janet Varney) to defend the town (and sometimes world) from supernatural threats.

Stranger Things

Available on: Netflix

It seems so obvious now but in hindsight there was little buzz about this nostalgic tweenage horror project on Netflix from the relatively unknown Duffer Brothers. Little did we know that the Stev(ph)ens Spielberg and King inspired Stranger Things would be one of Netflix’s biggest hits.

read more – Stranger Things Season 3: Inside the Summer of Strange

Stranger Things takes place in the fictional Hawkins, Indiana in the mid-’80s. Hawkins is your typical smal ltown American city. The kids like to ride bikes, play Dungeons and Dragons, and tease one another. Little does everyone know that the mysterious government building on the outskirts of town may have opened a portal to another world – a portal that will usher in multiple seasons worth of monster fighting mayhem.

The Strain

Available on: Hulu

The most novel thing about FX’s vampire horror thriller The Strain is how it equates the ancient fear of vampirism with the more modern, global fear of pandemic. The Strain, produced by Guillermo del Toro Chuck Hogan and based on their novel series opens with a flight landing with all of its passengers mysteriously dead.

read more: The Strain Producers Talk Changes from the Books

As CDC director Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll) steps in to investigate, he discovers that there might be something more sinister…and ancient afoot than a simple virus. The Strain lasted for four mostly decent seasons on FX and if nothing else helped re-embrace the vampire as a monster and not some sort of noble antihero.

The Terror

Available on: Hulu

Based on a 2007 book of the same name by Dan Simmons, The Terror season 1 tells a fictionalized account of Captain Sir John Franklin’s expedition to the arctic in 1845. In real life, the doomed men likely got lost and succumbed to the cold but the show asks “what if there was something more sinister than low temperatures lurking about?”

read more – The Terror: Infamy is the Most Important Show on Right Now

The Terror features a cast impressively full of “hey it’s that guy” guys like Jared Harris, Ciarán Hindis, and Tobias Menzes. It deftly turned itself into an anthology with the second season The Terror: Infamy that tells a ghost story within the setting of a Japanese interment camp in World War II.

The Twilight Zone

Available on: Hulu

The Twilight Zone is an all-time television classic for good reason. Join Rod Serling each episode for a new tale of mystery, horror and woe.

read more – The Twilight Zone Forever: Celebrating 60 Years of Rod Serling’s Classic Anthology

Whatever you do, however, do NOT drop your glasses.

The Veil

Available on: Amazon Prime

1958’s The Veil consists of dramatizations of strange tales, the majority of which also feature host Boris Karloff in the cast. At story’s end, our host is back to offer a conclusion to that particular story of “the world beyond our understanding.”

read more: The Best Horror TV Shows on Hulu

Not that 1950s TV audiences would have known about it, because The Veil wasn’t broadcast. Footage from its episodes appeared in some late sixties TV movies, and a DVD release followed in the 1990s, but its cancellation prior to airing have made it a cult find.

Alec Bojalad is TV Editor at Den of Geek and TCA member. Read more of his stuff here. Follow him at his creatively-named Twitter handle @alecbojalad

Best Horror TV Shows


The Lists

Alec Bojalad
Louisa Mellor

Oct 2, 2019



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