Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV

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List Criteria: Scripted TV shows only, please (no Reality TV).

The scariest TV shows manage to provide major frights with excellent drama. Unlike these excellent paranormal reality TV shows, the programs listed here are primarily scripted TV shows. Which TV shows gave you the most scares? Vote for your favorites, vote down any that didn't send you diving under the couch in fear and feel free to re-rank this list, too.

Some of the best scary TV shows are also, not surprisingly, among the greatest TV shows of all time. In addition to being one of the most frightening television shows ever made, 'The Twilight Zone' was also one of the best TV shows ever, period. The same can be said for the likes of 'The X-Files,' 'Twin Peaks' and relative newcomer 'The Walking Dead.'

What makes a scary TV show great? A fantastic, compelling storyline and frightening characters, for sure, but don't underestimate the power of some wicked special effects, too. Some shows on this list also qualify as taut psychological thrillers, but it doesn't mean they aren't genuinely terrifying at times.

If you haven't seen some of the scariest TV shows listed here, you might be able to find them quickly: A few are among the best streaming Netflix TV shows, including 'American Horror Story,' 'Supernatural,' 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer,' 'Twin Peaks' and 'The X-Files.' Sadly, some of the shows on this list were canceled way before their time, though some bit the dust with good reason ('Cult'? Really? Awful, CW, just awful).
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  1. 1
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    Tales from the Crypt is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV


    Tales from the Crypt John Kassir, Roy Brocksmith, Miguel Ferrer

  2. 2
    + 491
    - 315
    The Twilight Zone is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV

    most listed
    The Twilight Zone Rod Serling, Robert McCord, Jay Overholts

  3. 3
    + 456
    - 362
    The X-Files is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV


    The X-Files David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi

  4. 4
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    American Horror Story is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV

    the people's #1
    American Horror Story Lady Gaga, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett

  5. 5
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    Alfred Hitchcock Presents is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV


    Alfred Hitchcock Presents Alfred Hitchcock, Harry Tyler, John Williams

  6. 6
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    The Walking Dead is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV


    The Walking Dead Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies

  7. 7
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    Tales from the Darkside is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV


    Tales from the Darkside Paul Sparer

  8. 8
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    - 392
    Hannibal is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV


    Hannibal Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Caroline Dhavernas

  9. 9
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    Supernatural is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV


    Supernatural Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Jim Beave

  10. 10
    + 241
    - 298
    The Outer Limits is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    The Outer Limits Kevin Conway, Joe Pascual

  11. 11
    + 343
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    Buffy the Vampire Slayer is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV


    Buffy the Vampire Slayer Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco

  12. 12
    + 260
    - 150
    Are You Afraid of the Dark? is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV

    added by JaidenDalBello
    Are You Afraid of the Dark? Ross Hull, Raine Pare-Coull, Jodie Resther

  13. 13
    + 260
    - 164
    Unsolved Mysteries is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV

    added by wiabux
    Unsolved Mysteries Robert Stack, Dennis Farina, Keely Shaye Smith

  14. 14
    + 242
    - 131
    Goosebumps is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV

    ranked low on reranks & added by HollyMiller
    Goosebumps R.L. Stine, Kathryn Short, Cody Jones

  15. 15
    + 189
    - 313
    Twin Peaks is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV


    Twin Peaks Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Ontkean, Mädchen Amick

  16. 16
    + 125
    - 127
    Bates Motel is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV

    added by wiabux
    Bates Motel Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore, Max Thieriot

  17. 17
    + 191
    - 250
    Grimm is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV


    Grimm David Giuntoli, Silas Weir Mitchell, Sasha Roiz

  18. 18
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    Night Gallery is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV


    Night Gallery Rod Serling, Gary Collins

  19. 19
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    Friday the 13th: The Series is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV


    Friday the 13th: The Series Colm Feore, Louise Robey, Chris Wiggins

  20. 20
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    - 262
    Angel is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV


    Angel David Boreanaz, Charisma Carpenter, Alexis Denisof

  21. 21
    + 79
    - 277
    Millennium is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Millennium Lance Henriksen, Megan Gallagher, Terry O'Quinn

  22. 22
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    Fringe is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV


    Fringe Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, Jasika Nicole

  23. 23
    + 146
    - 237
    Kolchak: The Night Stalker is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV


    Kolchak: The Night Stalker Darren McGavin, Simon Oakland, Jack Grinnage

  24. 24
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    - 108
    Sleepy Hollow is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV

    added by wiabux
    Sleepy Hollow

  25. 25
    + 126
    - 178
    Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV

    added by MarkusMarquisBiechl
    Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction Jonathan Frakes, Don LaFontaine, James Brolin

  26. 26
    + 80
    - 181
    American Gothic is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV

    added by dee123
    American Gothic Gary Cole, Lucas Black, Paige Turco

  27. 27
    + 48
    - 131
    Thriller is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV


    Thriller Boris Karloff, Dick York

  28. 28
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    Teen Wolf is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV

    added by myers1978
    Teen Wolf Tyler Posey, Dylan O'Brien, Holland Roden

  29. 29
    + 110
    - 79
    Dexter is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV

    ranked low on reranks & added by MarylyleMcCue
    Dexter Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, David Zayas

  30. 30
    + 57
    - 114
    The Following is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV


    The Following Kevin Bacon, James Purefoy, Shawn Ashmore

  31. 31
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    - 231
    Harper's Island is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV


    Harper's Island Elaine Cassidy, Christopher Gorham, Matt Barr

  32. 32
    + 51
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    Hemlock Grove is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV

    added by wiabux
    Hemlock Grove Famke Janssen, Bill Skarsgård, Landon Liboiron

  33. 33
    + 48
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    Medium is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV


    Medium Patricia Arquette, Miguel Sandoval, Jake Weber

  34. 34
    + 45
    - 117
    Reaper is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV


    Reaper Bret Harrison, Tyler Labine, Rick Gonzalez

  35. 35
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    - 81
    True Blood is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV

    ranked low on reranks & added by MarylyleMcCue
    True Blood Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell

  36. 36
    + 45
    - 112
    Falling Skies is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV

    added by LanaYoshii
    Falling Skies Noah Wyle, Drew Roy, Maxim Knight

  37. 37
    + 40
    - 109
    The Hitchhiker is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV


    The Hitchhiker Nicholas Collins, Mark Henein, Spin Shannon

  38. 38
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    No image

    ranked low on reranks & added by MarylyleMcCue
    A Nightmare on Elm Street: Real Nightmares Robert Englund

  39. 39
    + 55
    - 137
    Carnivàle is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV


    Carnivàle Michael J. Anderson, Adrienne Barbeau, Clancy Brown

  40. 40
    + 28
    - 107
    Werewolf is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV

    added by Bootsdad
    Werewolf John J. York, Lance LeGault, Chuck Connors

  41. 41
    + 64
    - 63
    The Incredible Hulk is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV

    ranked low on reranks & added by MarylyleMcCue
    The Incredible Hulk Bill Bixby, Lou Ferrigno, Jack Colvin

  42. 42
    + 39
    - 167
    The River is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV

    added by dee123
    The River Bruce Greenwood, Joe Anderson, Leslie Hope

  43. 43
    + 29
    - 123
    The Leftovers is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV

    added by LanaYoshii
    The Leftovers Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman, Christopher Eccleston

  44. 44
    + 30
    - 112
    So Weird is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV

    added by StevenAllanOndo
    So Weird Cara DeLizia, Mackenzie Phillips, Patrick Levis

  45. 45
    + 21
    - 107
    Fear Itself is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV

    added by ChangesDownClub
    Fear Itself Margherita Donato, Valerie Womack, Marie Zydek

  46. 46
    + 28
    - 119
    Kindred: The Embraced is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV


    Kindred: The Embraced Stacy Haiduk, Erik King, Patrick Bauchau

  47. 47
    + 47
    - 73
    Penny Dreadful is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV

    ranked low on reranks & added by MarylyleMcCue
    Penny Dreadful Josh Hartnett, Timothy Dalton, Eva Green

  48. 48
    + 17
    - 105
    Point Pleasant is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV

    added by dee123
    Point Pleasant Elisabeth Harnois, Grant Show, Sam Page

  49. 49
    + 11
    - 110
    Way Out is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV

    added by RobbDelman
    Way Out Roald Dahl

  50. 50
    + 26
    - 47
    Forensic Files is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV

    about to drop off & added by michael-koebnick
    Forensic Files Dayle Hinman, Peter Thomas, Roy Shuler

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