Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV TV Programs

Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV

14k votes 1.7k voters 29k views 64 items tags f p @

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).
List Photo: user uploaded image
Collection Photo: via hbo
  • 18 ReRanks
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  • 2 See list ranked by
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  1. 1
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    most listed
    Rod Serling, Robert McCord, Jay Overholts

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  2. 2
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    - 280


    John Kassir, Roy Brocksmith, Miguel Ferrer

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  3. 3
    + 508
    - 278

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

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  4. 4
    + 395
    - 322


    David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi

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  5. 5
    + 565
    - 326


    Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Caroline Dhavernas

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  6. 6
    + 270
    - 212


    Alfred Hitchcock, Harry Tyler, John Williams

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  7. 7
    + 443
    - 278


    Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies

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  8. 8
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    - 188


    Paul Sparer

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  9. 9
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    - 247


    Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Jim Beave

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  10. 10
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    - 285


    Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco

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  11. 11
    + 195
    - 246


    Kevin Conway, Joe Pascual

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  12. 12
    + 188
    - 169


    Rod Serling, Gary Collins

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  13. 13
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    - 115

    added by JaidenDalBello
    Ross Hull, Raine Pare-Coull, Jodie Resther

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  14. 14
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    - 135

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

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  15. 15
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    - 72

    added by wiabux
    Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore, Max Thieriot

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  16. 16
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    - 102

    added by HollyMiller
    R.L. Stine, Kathryn Short, Cody Jones

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  17. 17
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    Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Ontkean, Mädchen Amick

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  18. 18
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    - 200


    David Giuntoli, Silas Weir Mitchell, Sasha Roiz

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  19. 19
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    Colm Feore, Louise Robey, Chris Wiggins

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  20. 20
    + 122
    - 209


    David Boreanaz, Charisma Carpenter, Alexis Denisof

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  21. 21
    + 131
    - 172


    Darren McGavin, Simon Oakland, Jack Grinnage

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  22. 22
    + 112
    - 208


    Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, Jasika Nicole

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  23. 23
    + 72
    - 206

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

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  24. 24
    + 45
    - 62


    Boris Karloff, Dick York

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  25. 25
    + 47
    - 62
    Sleepy Hollow is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV

    added by wiabux
    Sleepy Hollow

  26. 26
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    - 118

    added by dee123
    Gary Cole, Lucas Black, Paige Turco

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  27. 27
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    - 37

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

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  28. 28
    + 88
    - 134

    added by MarkusMarquisBiechl
    Jonathan Frakes, Don LaFontaine, James Brolin

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  29. 29
    + 42
    - 58


    Kevin Bacon, James Purefoy, Shawn Ashmore

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  30. 30
    + 41
    - 65

    added by wiabux
    Famke Janssen, Bill Skarsgård, Landon Liboiron

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  31. 31
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    - 168


    Elaine Cassidy, Christopher Gorham, Matt Barr

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  32. 32
    + 34
    - 67


    Patricia Arquette, Miguel Sandoval, Jake Weber

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  33. 33
    + 29
    - 55


    Nicholas Collins, Mark Henein, Spin Shannon

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  34. 34
    + 46
    - 81


    Michael J. Anderson, Adrienne Barbeau, Clancy Brown

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  35. 35
    + 64
    - 162

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

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  36. 36
    + 25
    - 63

    added by LanaYoshii
    Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman, Christopher Eccleston

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  37. 37
    + 35
    - 23
    No image

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

  38. 38
    + 28
    - 70


    Bret Harrison, Tyler Labine, Rick Gonzalez

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  39. 39
    + 48
    - 42

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

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  40. 40
    + 25
    - 63

    added by LanaYoshii
    Noah Wyle, Drew Roy, Maxim Knight

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  41. 41
    + 23
    - 64


    Stacy Haiduk, Erik King, Patrick Bauchau

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  42. 42
    + 15
    - 54

    added by ChangesDownClub
    Margherita Donato, Valerie Womack, Marie Zydek

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  43. 43
    + 21
    - 59

    added by StevenAllanOndo
    Cara DeLizia, Mackenzie Phillips, Patrick Levis

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  44. 44
    + 16
    - 58

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

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  45. 45
    + 34
    - 112

    often listed & added by dee123
    Bruce Greenwood, Joe Anderson, Leslie Hope

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  46. 46
    + 10
    - 54

    often listed & added by RobbDelman
    Roald Dahl

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  47. 47
    + 11
    - 5

    ranked low on reranks & added by michael-koebnick
    Dayle Hinman, Peter Thomas, Roy Shuler

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  48. 48
    + 28
    - 32

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

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  49. 49
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    - 36

    ranked low on reranks & added by LanaYoshii
    Corey Stoll, David Bradley, Kevin Durand

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  50. 50
    + 12
    - 55

    often listed & added by dee123
    Elisabeth Harnois, Grant Show, Sam Page

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65 +

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