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Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV

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).

Shows That May Be Just Too Scary For TV TV Programs
  • 17 ReRanks
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    most listed
    Morgan Freeman, Morgan Brittany, Rod Serling

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    John Kassir

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    the people's #1
    Emma Roberts, Jessica Lange, Connie Britton Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  4. 4
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    Gillian Anderson, Lucy Lawless, David Duchovny Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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    Alfred Hitchcock

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    Lauren Cohan, Andrew Lincoln, Laurie Holden

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    Paul Sparer

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  8. 8
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    Sarah Michelle Gellar, Eliza Dushku, Alyson Hannigan Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  9. 9
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    Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins

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    Gillian Anderson, Laurence Fishburne, Mads Mikkelsen Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Kevin Conway, Joe Pascual

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    Rod Serling, Gary Collins

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  13. 13
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    added by wiabux
    Vera Farmiga, Nicola Peltz, Freddie Highmore

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  14. 14
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    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Heather Graham, Sherilyn Fenn, Lara Flynn Boyle Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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

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    Kathryn Long

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    Elisha Cuthbert, Joanna García, Vanessa Lengies

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    Claire Coffee, Bitsie Tulloch, Bree Turner Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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    Colm Feore, Louise Robey, Chris Wiggins Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  20. 20
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    Charisma Carpenter, David Boreanaz, Amy Acker Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  21. 21
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    Darren McGavin, Simon Oakland, Ruth McDevitt

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    Boris Karloff, Dick York

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  23. 23
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    Sleepy Hollow

  24. 24
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    Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, John Noble Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Noomi Rapace, Lance Henriksen, Terry O'Quinn

    ; buy at  
  26. 26
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    Kevin Bacon, Maggie Grace, Jessica Stroup

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  27. 27
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    added by wiabux
    Famke Janssen, Dougray Scott, Kandyse McClure

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    Sarah Paulson, Gary Cole, Lucas Black

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    Katie Cassidy, Cameron Richardson, Christopher Gorham

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  30. 30
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    Emma Stone, Patricia Arquette, Frances Fisher Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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    added by MarkusMarquisBiechl
    Grace Park, James Brolin, Jonathan Frakes

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    Yvonne Strahovski, Julie Benz, John Lithgow

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    added by RobbDelman
    Roald Dahl

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    added by LanaYoshii
    The Leftovers

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    Nicholas Campbell, Lisa Blount, Page Fletcher

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  37. 37
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    added by Bootsdad
    Chuck Connors, Michelle Johnson, Lance LeGault

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    Missy Peregrym, Jenny Wade, Bret Harrison

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    added by myers1978
    Dylan O'Brien, Tyler Hoechlin, Colton Haynes Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  40. 40
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    added by LanaYoshii
    Moon Bloodgood, Sarah Carter, Noah Wyle Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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    Linda Hunt, Nick Stahl, Clancy Brown Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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    added by StevenAllanOndo
    Mackenzie Phillips, Alexz Johnson, Eric Lively

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    Kevin Nealon, Wil Wheaton, Jerry Stiller

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    C. Thomas Howell, Kelly Rutherford, Brigid Brannagh

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    No image

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

  46. 46
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    added by MatthewGill
    Craig Charles, Mike Smith, Sarah Greene

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  47. 47
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    added by dee123
    Bruce Greenwood, Luisana Lopilato, Thomas Kretschmann

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    ranked low on reranks & added by MarylyleMcCue
    Anna Paquin, Evan Rachel Wood, Deborah Ann Woll Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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

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    added by RalphBob

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