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The Creepiest Shows In TV History 

Ranker TV
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Updated February 24, 2020 52.3k votes 5.7k voters 71k views 70 items

List Rules Vote up the series almost too creepy for you to watch alone. In the dark. Naked.

Television loves to push the boundaries of what can be shown to a general audience. The medium has evolved from being a place filled with only family friendly programming to a platform to showcase anything the mind can imagine, no matter how scary and creepy it may be. The TV shows on this list are bursting with disturbing images, frightening plot lines, and horrors that haunt the viewer long after the TV has been shutoff.

Shows like "Twin Peaks", "Fringe," and "The Walking Dead" have tested the limits of what can be shown to audiences, with creepy moments that haunt viewers for years. Older, classic anthologies like "The Twilight Zone," "The Outer Limits," and "Masters of Horror" feature mind bending horror classics written by the genres best auteurs. 


What is your favorite creepy TV show in history? Do you prefer creepy monster of the week shows like "Hannibal" and "The X-Files"? Or do you like shorter stories  and narrative arcs with more bite, such as "American Horror Story" and "Alfred Hitchcock Presents?"

 Vote up the shows on this list that you think are the creepiest shows to ever hit the television airwaves.

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1
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Rod Serling, Robert McCord, Jay Overholts

Premiered: 1959

Number of Seasons: 5

Number of Episodes: 156

Network: UPN, CBS

The Twilight Zone is a 1959 American television anthology series created by Rod Serling. It is a series of unrelated stories containing drama, psychological thriller, fantasy, science fiction, ...more

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2
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Connie Britton, Dylan McDermott, Evan Peters

Premiered: 2011

Number of Seasons: 9

Number of Episodes: 103

Network: FX

American Horror Story (FX, 2011) is an American anthology horror television series created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. An anthology series centering on different characters and locations, ...more

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3
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John Kassir, Roy Brocksmith, Miguel Ferrer

Premiered: 1989

Number of Seasons: 7

Number of Episodes: 93

Network: HBO

Tales from the Crypt, sometimes titled HBO's Tales from the Crypt, is an American horror anthology television series that ran from June 10, 1989, to July 19, 1996, on the premium cable channel ...more

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4
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David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi

Premiered: 1993

Number of Seasons: 11

Network: Fox Broadcasting Company

The X-Files is an American science fiction horror drama television series created by Chris Carter. The program originally aired from September 10, 1993 to May 19, 2002 on Fox, spanning nine ...more

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5
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Paul Sparer

Premiered: 1983

Number of Seasons: 4

Number of Episodes: 90

Tales from the Darkside is an American anthology horror TV series created by George A. Romero; it debuted in 1984. Similar to Amazing Stories, The Twilight Zone, Night Gallery, The Outer Limits, ...more

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6
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Robert Stack, Dennis Farina, Keely Shaye Smith

Premiered: 1987

Number of Seasons: 14

Network: Spike, CBS, NBC, Lifetime Television

Unsolved Mysteries is an American television program, hosted by Robert Stack from 1987 to 2002 and later by Dennis Farina starting in 2008. The show was broadcast first as specials in 1987, then ...more

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7
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Alfred Hitchcock, Harry Tyler, John Williams

Premiered: 1955

Number of Seasons: 10

Number of Episodes: 361

Network: CBS, NBC

Alfred Hitchcock Presents is an American television anthology series hosted by Alfred Hitchcock. The series featured dramas, thrillers, and mysteries. By the time the show premiered on October ...more

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Ross Hull, Raine Pare-Coull, Jodie Resther

Premiered: 1991

Number of Seasons: 7

Number of Episodes: 91

Network: Nickelodeon, YTV, Rede Record, France 3, Nickelodeon, + more

Are You Afraid of the Dark? is a Canadian horror fantasy-themed anthology television series. The original series was created by D.J. MacHale and Ned Kandel, and was picked up by Nickelodeon in ...more

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9
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Kevin Conway, Joe Pascual

Premiered: 1995

Number of Seasons: 7

Number of Episodes: 154

Network: Showtime, Syfy, American Broadcasting Company

The Outer Limits is a US-Canadian television series that originally aired on Showtime, the Sci Fi Channel and in syndication between 1995 and 2002. The series is a revival of the original The ...more

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10
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Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies

Premiered: 2010

Number of Seasons: 10

Number of Episodes: 144

Network: AMC

The Walking Dead (A&E, 2010) is an American post-apocalyptic horror television series developed by Frank Darabont, based on the comic book series by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie ...more

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11
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Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Katie Cassidy

Premiered: 2005

Number of Seasons: 15

Number of Episodes: 318

Network: The WB Television Network, The CW Television Network

Supernatural (The CW, 2005) is an American fantasy horror television series created by Eric Kripke. Two brothers, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles), follow their father's ...more

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12
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Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Caroline Dhavernas

Premiered: 2013

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 13

Network: NBC

Hannibal (NBC, 2013) is an American psychological thriller–horror television series developed by Bryan Fuller, based on the characters created by novelist Thomas Harris. A gifted FBI profiler ...more

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13
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Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, David Zayas

Premiered: 2006

Number of Seasons: 8

Number of Episodes: 96

Network: Showtime

Dexter (Showtime, 2006) is an American crime drama mystery series developed by James Manos Jr., based on the 2004 novel Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay. When he's not doing forensic work ...more

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14
Twin Peaks is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Creepiest Shows In TV History
Twin Peaks Kyle MacLachlan, Russ Tamblyn, Sherilyn Fenn

Premiered: 1990

Number of Seasons: 3

Number of Episodes: 48

Network: ABC, Showtime

Twin Peaks (ABC, 1990) is an American mystery horror drama television series created by Mark Frost and David Lynch and, despite being canceled after two seasons, sparked a cult following that ...more

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15
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R.L. Stine, Kathryn Short, Cody Jones

Premiered: 1995

Number of Seasons: 4

Number of Episodes: 74

Network: Jetix, Vrak.TV, YTV, Fox Kids, Cartoon Network, + more

Goosebumps is a Canadian horror fantasy anthology television series based on R. L. Stine's Goosebumps books. It was one of the two popular television horror anthology children's series in the ...more

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16
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LanaYoshii added Josh Hartnett, Timothy Dalton, Eva Green

Premiered: 2014

Number of Seasons: 3

Network: Showtime

Penny Dreadful (Showtime, 2014) is a British-American horror drama television series created by John Logan. Explorer Sir Malcolm Murray (Timothy Dalton), American gunslinger Ethan Chandler (Josh ...more

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17
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Rod Serling, Gary Collins

Premiered: 1970

Number of Seasons: 3

Number of Episodes: 43

Network: NBC

Night Gallery is an American anthology series that aired on NBC from 1970 to 1973, featuring stories of horror and the macabre. Rod Serling, who had gained fame from an earlier series, The ...more

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18
Bates Motel is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Creepiest Shows In TV History
JVall14 added Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore, Max Thieriot

Premiered: 2013

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 7

Network: A&E

Bates Motel (A&E, 2013) is an American psychological horror drama television series based on characters from the 1959 novel Psycho by Robert Bloch. After his father's sudden death, teenager ...more

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19
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Jessica Lowndes, Holly Marie Combs, Bree Turner

Premiered: 2005

Number of Seasons: 2

Number of Episodes: 26

Network: Showtime

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20
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Jonathan Frid, Grayson Hall, Alexandra Isles

Premiered: 1966

Number of Episodes: 1225

Network: American Broadcasting Company

Dark Shadows is an American gothic soap opera that originally aired weekdays on the ABC television network, from June 27, 1966, to April 2, 1971. The series became hugely popular when vampire ...more

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21
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Premiered: 1997

Number of Seasons: 4

Number of Episodes: 45

Network: Fox Broadcasting Company

Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction is an American television anthology series created by Lynn Lehmann, presented by Dick Clark Productions, and produced and aired by the Fox network from 1997 to ...more

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22
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Michiel Huisman, Carla Gugino, Henry Thomas
The Haunting of Hill House (Netflix, 2018) is an American supernatural horror television series created by Mike Flanagan, based on the novel by Shirley Jackson. The first season, The Haunting of ...more

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23
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24
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Darren McGavin, Simon Oakland, Jack Grinnage

Premiered: 1974

Network: American Broadcasting Company

Kolchak: The Night Stalker is an American television series that aired on ABC during the 1974–1975 season. It featured a fictional Chicago newspaper reporter—Carl Kolchak, played by Darren ...more
25
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Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, Jasika Nicole

Premiered: 2008

Number of Seasons: 5

Number of Episodes: 100

Network: Fox Broadcasting Company

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