The Best TV Horror Shows Ever

Halloween might be over, but horror shows are still going strong.  I've previously looked at the key horror movies in film history, but television has had some good horror examples of its own.  Here are the ones that I particularly enjoyed.

Alfred Hitchcock Presents - The "master of suspense" is best known for the movies he directed, but from 1955 to 1962 he brought his horror stories right into Americans' living rooms through this anthology series, which Hitchcock himself hosted, becoming a household name and immortalizing his profile for generations to come.

American Gothic - Produced by former Hardy Boy Shaun Cassidy, this short-lived but spectacular horror show was spooky and surreal, thanks especially to actor Gary Cole's portrayal of Sheriff Lucas Buck.

American Horror Story - FX's recent hit definitely lives up to the hype.  Full of shocks and twists, the series has an incredible cast, especially Dylan McDermott as a guy who moves his family to a house that turns out to be haunted.  Secrets are unveiled and tons of questions are raised, all in edge-of-your-seat dramatic fashion.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Sarah Michelle Gellar was superb as Sunnydale's unlikely protector from the undead and other supernatural threats.  I miss Buff Summers and the gang.

Dark Shadows - Whether it's the 1966 serial or the 1991 remake, fans loved the cult classic serial story of vampire Barnabas Collins.  (Johnny Depp might play him in a motion picture adaptation.)

Freddy's Nightmares - Freddy Kruger from the Nightmare on Elm Street slasher film franchise brings his scares to the small screen in this anthology series.

Friday the 13th: The Series - People love to hate the long-running movie series, but the TV show had its charms.  No serial killer Jason Voorhees, just a couple of young antique dealers hunt down cursed objects, and it was fun.

Goosebumps - R.L. Stine's bestselling kids book series brought the frights to life in this extremely popular series.  Stine's imagination is on display again on television with The Haunted Hour, but Goosebumps will live on in fans' memories.

Kindred: The Embraced - It didn't last long, but I really enjoyed this adaptation of the roleplaying game about different families of vampires battling it out gangster style.

Kolchak: The Night Stalker - Without this series, which starred Darren McGaven as a reporter investigating supernatural occurances, we would never have had other similar shows that popped up on the screen over the years.  It was a true trendsetter.

Masters of Horror - I wish this anthology show was still on the air, because it featured some really good, scary tales.  When it moved from the pay television network Showtime onto the broadcast network NBC with a new title, Fear Itself, it was a little watered-down (okay, a lot watered-down), but it was still interesting.
Night Gallery

The Outer Limits - Some really classic episodes here, both the original black-and-white 1963 series and the 1995 reboot.

'Salem's Lot - I remember this Stephen King mini-series fondly as David Soul had to combat vampires of all ages in a seemingly peaceful New England town.  Director Tobe Hooper knew how to create some chilling visuals and memorably suspenseful moments.

Supernatural - The Winchester brothers hunt down monsters, ghosts, demons, and even rogue angels.  The show has gone off on some wild and epic tangents, but it still has moments of greatness.

Tales from the Crypt - Even back in 1989, HBO knew how to make edgy shows.  Based on the freaky 1950s EC horror comics, the live-action show was creepy, but entertaining.

Tales from the Dark Side - Here's an under-rated gem, another anthology horror series that spooked me out as a kid.

True Blood - This hit series surpassed the original Charlaine Harris novels on which it was based.  Vampires, shapeshifters, fairies, witches, the show has it all.

The Twilight Zone - The ultimate thriller anthology series, the original classic was revived a number of times, and it seems a new movie is in the works.

Twin Peaks - It started out so great and quirky, and it disappointed a bunch of fans with its fizzled ending, but it was still one of the best shows ever made, and yes, I classify it as horror.

The Walking Dead - Zombies, zombies, everywhere! 

The X-Files - When it was good, it was very, very good, still one of the greatest series of all time.

There are so many others -- Being Human, Carnivale, Dead Like Me, Millennium, Werewolf, even horror comedies like The Munsters and The Addams Family, not to mention mini-series like It, The Stand, Storm of the Century, and others.  Which are your favorites?


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