Graveyard Shift

The Most Exciting Horror Series Ever Made 

Ranker TV
Updated March 27, 2020 2.1k votes 236 voters 2.1k views 53 items

List Rules The horror television series that have historically favored blood-pumping excitement over slow creeping horror.

The best horror TV shows ever aired are some of the most harrowing series to watch on television, but which are the most exciting horror TV shows of all time? Determining which horror TV series is the most exciting isn't an easy task given the plethora of options available, but this list might make it just a bit easier. These days, with the use of digital streaming, more and more shows people have forgotten are being rewatched, checked out for the first time, or even remade into new classics for new generations to enjoy, but which of these frightening horror shows is the most thrilling of them all?

Would something newer like American Horror Story land higher on the list than a classic horror anthology series like the original Twilight Zone? For a series to be truly, horrifyingly exciting, it has to be the kind that makes you sleep with a night light on or scream at the screen for a character to stay out of a room while you're perched on the edge of your seat, so keep that in mind while looking through the most exciting horror shows of all time. The only way to find out which is the best is to vote up your favorite horror series below, but remember, this list is all about fear! Which series is more exciting and frightening than the one below it?

Don't forget to add your favorite exciting horror show to the list if it's missing and vote for the shows that know how to keep your nerves on edge below!

list ordered by
1
Lucifer is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Exciting Horror Series Ever Made
Tom Ellis, Lauren German, Kevin Alejandro

Premiered: 2015

Lucifer (Fox, 2016) is an American fantasy police procedural comedy-drama television series developed by Tom Kapinos. The series revolves around Lucifer Morningstar (Tom Ellis), the Devil, who ...more
2
The Haunting of Hill Hou... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Exciting Horror Series Ever Made
Michiel Huisman, Carla Gugino, Henry Thomas

Premiered: 2018

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. A fractured family confronts ...more
3
The X-Files is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Exciting Horror Series Ever Made
David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi

Premiered: 1993

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
4
Supernatural is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Exciting Horror Series Ever Made
Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Katie Cassidy

Premiered: 2005

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
5
The Twilight Zone is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Exciting Horror Series Ever Made
Rod Serling, Robert McCord, Jay Overholts

Premiered: 1959

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
6
American Horror Story is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Exciting Horror Series Ever Made
Connie Britton, Dylan McDermott, Evan Peters

Premiered: 2011

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
7
Stranger Things is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Exciting Horror Series Ever Made
Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard

Premiered: 2016

Stranger Things (Netflix, 2016) is an American science fiction-horror web television series created by The Duffer Brothers. When a young boy (Noah Schnapp) disappears, his mother (Winona Ryder), ...more
8
It is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Exciting Horror Series Ever Made
Tim Curry, Seth Green, John Ritter

Premiered: 1990

It is a 1990 psychological horror/drama miniseries based on Stephen King's novel of the same name. The story revolves around an inter-dimensional predatory life-form, which has the ability to ...more
9
Tales from the Crypt is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Exciting Horror Series Ever Made
John Kassir, Roy Brocksmith, Miguel Ferrer

Premiered: 1989

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
10
Alfred Hitchcock Present... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Exciting Horror Series Ever Made
Alfred Hitchcock, Harry Tyler, John Williams

Premiered: 1955

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
11
Hannibal is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Exciting Horror Series Ever Made
Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Caroline Dhavernas

Premiered: 2013

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
12
Masters of Horror is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Exciting Horror Series Ever Made
Jessica Lowndes, Holly Marie Combs, Bree Turner

Premiered: 2005

Masters of Horror is an American anthology style television series created by director Mick Garris for the Showtime cable network.
13
Tales from the Darkside ... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Exciting Horror Series Ever Made
Paul Sparer

Premiered: 1983

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
14
Channel Zero is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Exciting Horror Series Ever Made
Paul Schneider, Fiona Shaw, Luisa D'Oliveira

Premiered: 2016

Channel Zero (Syfy, 2017) is an American horror anthology television series created by Nick Antosca, who serves as writer, showrunner, and executive producer. Storylines for the series are based ...more
15
Penny Dreadful is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Exciting Horror Series Ever Made
Josh Hartnett, Timothy Dalton, Eva Green

Premiered: 2014

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
16
Buffy the Vampire Slayer... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Exciting Horror Series Ever Made
Sarah Michelle Gellar, Alyson Hannigan, James Marsters

Premiered: 1997

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (The WB, 1997) is an American supernatural drama television series created by Joss Whedon, based on the 1992 film. Destined to slay vampires, a young woman (Sarah ...more
17
The Stand is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Exciting Horror Series Ever Made
Gary Sinise, Molly Ringwald, Jamey Sheridan

Premiered: 1994

The Stand (ABC, 1994) is an American horror miniseries directed by Mick Garris, and based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King. The remaining survivors after a deadly plague split into ...more
18
Ash vs Evil Dead is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Exciting Horror Series Ever Made
Bruce Campbell, Ray Santiago, Dana DeLorenzo

Premiered: 2015

Ash vs Evil Dead (Starz, 2015) is an American comedy horror television series developed by Sam Raimi, Ivan Raimi, and Tom Spezialy. Thirty years after saving the world, Ash Williams (Bruce ...more
19
Are You Afraid of the Da... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Exciting Horror Series Ever Made
Ross Hull, Raine Pare-Coull, Jodie Resther

Premiered: 1991

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
20
Twin Peaks is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Exciting Horror Series Ever Made
Twin Peaks Kyle MacLachlan, Russ Tamblyn, Sherilyn Fenn

Premiered: 1990

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
21
The Walking Dead is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Exciting Horror Series Ever Made
Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies

Premiered: 2010

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
22
Goosebumps is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Exciting Horror Series Ever Made
R.L. Stine, Kathryn Short, Cody Jones

Premiered: 1995

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
23
Castle Rock is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Exciting Horror Series Ever Made
Melanie Lynskey, Andre Holland, Jane Levy

Premiered: 2018

Castle Rock (Hulu, 2018) is an American psychological horror web television series created by J. J. Abrams. Based on the stories of Stephen King, the series intertwines characters and themes ...more
24
The Strain is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Exciting Horror Series Ever Made
Corey Stoll, David Bradley, Kevin Durand

Premiered: 2014

The Strain (FX, 2014) is an American horror drama television series created by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, and based on their novel trilogy of the same name. A viral outbreak causes an ...more
25
Friday the 13th: The Ser... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Exciting Horror Series Ever Made
Colm Feore, Louise Robey, Chris Wiggins

Premiered: 1987

Friday the 13th: The Series is an American-Canadian horror television series that ran for three seasons, from October 3, 1987 to May 26, 1990 in first-run syndication. The series follows Micki ...more