Scary movies are a Halloween staple. If trick-or-treating isn’t your thing, or if you’re looking for a fun activity for later on Halloween night, why not try starting a TV show that feels just right for Halloween? Here are some suggestions that span the field from quirky and unsettling to truly scary stuff.
This FOX series didn’t make it past its initial thirteen-episode order, but it’s well worth a look. The two-hour pilot introduces a universe in which Alcatraz inmates from 1963 appear in the present day and begin committing crimes again is extremely thrilling, and the show’s dark, moody style hits all the right notes to provide some great chills.
American Horror Story
Currently airing its second season on Wednesdays at 10pm, this FX show’s title is eerily accurate. Its first season takes place in a perennially haunted house, and the second is set in an asylum. This freaky blend of sadistic living characters and even more sarcastic dead people is seriously spooky, and not for those with weak stomachs.
Grimm & Once Upon a Time
These two shows, both in their second seasons, weave together fairy tales, all existing in the same universe. NBC’s runaway hit is killing it on Friday nights at 9pm, showcasing brooding villains and violent clashes with monsters. The ABC fantasy drama, which airs Sundays at 8pm, is the lighter choice, with a flair for romance and happy endings.
This wildly unique series from creator Bryan Fuller aired just twenty-two episodes on ABC between 2007 and 2009. The eccentric, colorful show follows a piemaker with the power to bring people back to life for just one minute. Its vivid imagination and creative energy made it unlike anything else.
The only USA series that didn’t air this past summer is also the network’s longest-running show, returning for its seventh season this coming April. A fake psychic detective agency setting provides the basis for a lot of comedy, but this show often indulges in the mysteries its protagonists solve, making it a good light-hearted chiller.
This CW horror series is in its eighth season and now airs on Wednesdays at 9pm, featuring brothers battling demonic forces and other otherwordly beings. The pilot was freaky enough, and the show has managed to establish a mythology throughout its long run that should keep voters glued to their seats and trembling with fear.
This primetime soap opera from creator David Lynch opened with beauty queen Laura Palmer being found dead and wrapped in plastic in its immortal 1990 pilot on ABC. Things only get weirder over the next twenty-nine episodes in the moody, dark, occasionally supernatural world within Lynch’s twisted mind.
This classic series ran on FOX from 1993 to 2002, and while it’s best known for its interest in aliens, some of its most frightening episodes feature guest stars with freakish, dangerous powers. Not every episode is excellent, but there are some great, unsettling hours among the approximately 200 installments produced.
The Walking Dead
This AMC drama is scaring up plenty of voters on Sundays at 9pm, now in its third season. Its vision of a post-apocalyptic South in which most of the human race has been transformed into zombies is a grim, fascinating thriller that sets itself in a claustrophobic, terrifying world.