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 genre's 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.
- 1Tales from the Crypt, sometimes titled HBO's Tales from the Crypt, is an American horror... moreJohn Kassir, Roy Brocksmith
- 2The Twilight Zone is a 1959 American television anthology series created by Rod Serling. It is... moreRod Serling, Robert McCord
- 3American Horror Story (FX, 2011) is an American anthology horror television series created by... moreConnie Britton, Dylan McDermott
- 4The X-Files is an American science fiction horror drama television series created by Chris... moreDavid Duchovny, Gillian Anderson
- 5Tales from the Darkside is an American anthology horror TV series created by George A. Romero;... morePaul Sparer
- 6Unsolved Mysteries (NBC, 1987) is an American mystery documentary television show created by... moreRobert Stack, Dennis Farina
- 7The Outer Limits (ABC, 1963) is an American horror and speculative fiction anthology... moreBob Johnson, Ben Wright
- 8Alfred Hitchcock Presents is an American television anthology series hosted by Alfred... moreAlfred Hitchcock, Harry Tyler
- 9Are You Afraid of the Dark? is a Canadian horror fantasy-themed anthology television series.... moreRoss Hull, Raine Pare-Coull
- 10Hannibal (NBC, 2013) is an American psychological thriller–horror television series developed... moreHugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen
- 11Night Gallery is an American anthology series that aired on NBC from 1970 to 1973, featuring... moreRod Serling, Gary Collins
- 12Penny Dreadful (Showtime, 2014) is a British-American horror drama television series created... moreJosh Hartnett, Timothy Dalton
- 13The Haunting of Hill House (Netflix, 2018) is an American supernatural horror television... moreMichiel Huisman, Carla Gugino
- 14Supernatural (The CW, 2005) is an American fantasy horror television series created by Eric... moreJared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles
- 15Bates Motel (A&E, 2013) is an American psychological horror drama television series based on... moreVera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore
- 16Goosebumps is a Canadian horror fantasy anthology television series based on R. L. Stine's... moreR.L. Stine, Kathryn Short
- 17The Walking Dead (A&E, 2010) is an American post-apocalyptic horror television series... moreAndrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal
- 18Twin Peaks (ABC, 1990) is an American mystery horror drama television series created by Mark... more
Twin PeaksKyle MacLachlan, Russ Tamblyn
- 19Dexter (Showtime, 2006) is an American crime drama mystery series developed by James Manos... moreMichael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter
- 20Black Mirror (Netflix, 2011) is a British television anthology series created by Charlie... moreDaniel Kaluuya, Toby Kebbell
- 21A Haunting is a 2005 American paranormal anthology television series that depicts eyewitness... moreAnthony D. Call, Mark Joy
- 22Masters of Horror is an American anthology style television series created by director Mick... moreJessica Lowndes, Holly Marie Combs
- 23The Exorcist (Fox, 2016) is an American supernatural horror television series created by... more
The ExorcistAlfonso Herrera, Geena Davis
- 24Kolchak: The Night Stalker is an American television series that aired on ABC during the... moreDarren McGavin, Simon Oakland
- 25Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction is an American television anthology series created by Lynn... moreJonathan Frakes, Don LaFontaine