Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV TV Programs

Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV

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12,499 votes 1,626 voters 27,318 views 59 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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  1. 1
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    most listed
    Morgan Freeman, Morgan Brittany, Rod Serling

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  2. 2
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    John Kassir

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  3. 3
    + 449
    - 258

    the people's #1
    Emma Roberts, Jessica Lange, Connie Britton

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  4. 4
    + 355
    - 299


    Gillian Anderson, Lucy Lawless, David Duchovny

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  5. 5
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    ranked low on reranks
    Gillian Anderson, Laurence Fishburne, Mads Mikkelsen

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  6. 6
    + 239
    - 198


    Alfred Hitchcock

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  7. 7
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    - 262


    Lauren Cohan, Andrew Lincoln, Laurie Holden

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  8. 8
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    Paul Sparer

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  9. 9
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    - 222


    Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins

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  10. 10
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    Sarah Michelle Gellar, Eliza Dushku, Alyson Hannigan

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  11. 11
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Kevin Conway, Joe Pascual

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  12. 12
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    Rod Serling, Gary Collins

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  13. 13
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    added by JaidenDalBello
    Elisha Cuthbert, Joanna García, Vanessa Lengies

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  14. 14
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    - 225

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Heather Graham, Sherilyn Fenn, Lara Flynn Boyle

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  15. 15
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    added by wiabux
    Matthew McConaughey, Virginia Madsen, Raymond Burr

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  16. 16
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    added by HollyMiller
    Kathryn Long

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  17. 17
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    added by wiabux
    Vera Farmiga, Nicola Peltz, Freddie Highmore

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  18. 18
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    Claire Coffee, Bitsie Tulloch, Bree Turner

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  19. 19
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    Colm Feore, Louise Robey, Chris Wiggins

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  20. 20
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    Darren McGavin, Simon Oakland, Ruth McDevitt

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  21. 21
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    Charisma Carpenter, David Boreanaz, Amy Acker

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  22. 22
    + 102
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    Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, John Noble

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  23. 23
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Noomi Rapace, Lance Henriksen, Terry O'Quinn

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  24. 24
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    Boris Karloff, Dick York

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  25. 25
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    added by wiabux
    Sleepy Hollow

  26. 26
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    Kevin Bacon, Maggie Grace, Jessica Stroup

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  27. 27
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    - 106

    added by dee123
    Sarah Paulson, Gary Cole, Lucas Black

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  28. 28
    + 32
    - 51

    added by wiabux
    Famke Janssen, Dougray Scott, Kandyse McClure

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  29. 29
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    - 28

    ranked low on reranks & added by MarylyleMcCue
    Yvonne Strahovski, Julie Benz, John Lithgow

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  30. 30
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    - 124

    added by MarkusMarquisBiechl
    Grace Park, James Brolin, Jonathan Frakes

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  31. 31
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    Katie Cassidy, Cameron Richardson, Christopher Gorham

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  32. 32
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    Emma Stone, Patricia Arquette, Frances Fisher

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  33. 33
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    - 42


    Nicholas Campbell, Lisa Blount, Page Fletcher

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  34. 34
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    - 141

    added by myers1978
    Dylan O'Brien, Tyler Hoechlin, Colton Haynes

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  35. 35
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    Linda Hunt, Nick Stahl, Clancy Brown

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  36. 36
    + 20
    - 48

    added by LanaYoshii
    Liv Tyler, Christopher Eccleston, Amy Brenneman

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  37. 37
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    added by LanaYoshii
    Moon Bloodgood, Sarah Carter, Noah Wyle

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  38. 38
    + 13
    - 40

    added by ChangesDownClub

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  39. 39
    + 10
    - 40

    added by RobbDelman
    Roald Dahl

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  40. 40
    + 21
    - 57


    Missy Peregrym, Jenny Wade, Bret Harrison

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  41. 41
    + 13
    - 42

    added by Bootsdad
    Chuck Connors, Michelle Johnson, Lance LeGault

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  42. 42
    + 33
    - 28

    ranked low on reranks & added by MarylyleMcCue
    Anna Paquin, Evan Rachel Wood, Deborah Ann Woll

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  43. 43
    + 24
    - 16
    No image

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

  44. 44
    + 19
    - 52


    C. Thomas Howell, Kelly Rutherford, Brigid Brannagh

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  45. 45
    + 17
    - 46

    added by StevenAllanOndo
    Mackenzie Phillips, Alexz Johnson, Eric Lively

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  46. 46
    + 31
    - 98

    added by dee123
    Bruce Greenwood, Luisana Lopilato, Thomas Kretschmann

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  47. 47
    + 11
    - 26

    added by _1449468743353
    Kevin Nealon, Wil Wheaton, Jerry Stiller

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  48. 48
    + 18
    - 23

    added by MarylyleMcCue
    Eva Green, Josh Hartnett, Billie Piper

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  49. 49
    + 19
    - 25

    added by LanaYoshii
    Sean Astin, Mía Maestro, Kevin Durand

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  50. 50
    + 10
    - 46

    often listed & added by dee123
    Elisabeth Harnois, Cameron Richardson, Dina Meyer

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