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The 100 Best Horror TV Series of All Time

With season 1 of Netflix’s newest horror offering Chilling Adventures of Sabrina burning up the Tomatometer — currently 96% on 27 reviews — we thought we’d make a list to see how she measures up against the best horror TV of all time. Our ranking includes the Friday release’s Netflix brethren The Haunting of Hill House, which is Certified Fresh at 92% (with 63 reviews of season 1) and lands at No. 9 on our list of 100 binge-worthy horror shows.

But choosing the best ever horror TV show can make your eyes twitch and head spin until you take a chainsaw to your computer — debating whether Lucifer belongs in the horror genre or is more of a crime procedural finally put us over the edge.

For one, horror bleeds into so many other genres; it sometimes dabbles in star-crossed romance like in HBO’s True Blood and conjures the dark humor of Starz’s Ash vs. Evil Dead. It even takes a stab at social commentary through the FX anthology American Horror Story. And, for a genre that so often portrays death and carnage, it has an amazing ability to endure – even if shows like CBS classic The Twilight Zone don’t make today’s audiences kick over their TV-dinner trays as much as it did their parents and grandparents. Horror even brings cultures together, as evidenced by Netflix’s popular German sci-fi thriller Dark, Indian series Ghoul, and director Lars von Trier’s Danish mini-series Riget (The Kingdom). These and many more shows are on this list.

You may wonder why we slashed others: The blue-eyed Night King and his ilk are certainly terrifying on HBO’s Game of Thrones, but with those dragons and Red priestesses, “best horror TV show”? Not exactly. GoT falls more into the fantasy category. The Magicians, Dead Like Me, and Lost Girl met the same fate. Similarly, Black Mirror falls under sci-fi; in fact, it turns up as No. 9 on our list of the “100 Best Sci-Fi TV Shows of All Time.” True-crime documentaries and dramas — like Netflix’s Making a Murderer or its serial killer drama Mindhunter — are left off this list even if the acts depicted there are more terrifying than anything we might see on AMC’s zombie series The Walking Dead (which, of course, is included).

To rank the scary TV shows in this monster list, we took the critics’ Tomatometer score (where available) into consideration, plus the rankings of a number of reputable “best of” lists, and then applied some editorial discretion, asking ourselves which horror TV series have stood the test of time, inspired spin-offs and copycats, and even made their influence known on the big screen. We also had a look at your own audience scores on each of the series.

Read on to find out if Lucifer made the cut.

Disagree about our exclusion of The Magicians? Or did we miss another title you think should be included? Rip us apart in the comments section.

Slasher (2016)
80%

#100
Synopsis: A woman is at the center of a series of copycat killings, similar to her parents' murders, when she returns... [More]

Z Nation (2014)

#99
Synopsis: A ragtag team attempt to transport the only known survivor of a zombie virus across post-apocalyptic America to a lab... [More]

Millennium (1996)

#98
Synopsis: A dark, graphic saga focusing on a former FBI agent who moves to Seattle with his family and who can... [More]

The Hunger (1997)

#97
Synopsis: An erotic horror anthology from British directors (and brothers) Tony and Ridley Scott. Based on contemporary short stories, the series... [More]

Superstition (2017)

#96
Synopsis: The series centers on the Hastings family, owners of the only funeral home in the mysterious town of La Rochelle,... [More]

Synopsis: A British-made series of horror stories.... [More]

Synopsis: Two cousins try to recover cursed items sold from their deceased uncle's store before tragedy befalls the owners. Similar to... [More]

Bitten (2014)

#93
Synopsis: A supernatural thriller about the lone female werewolf in existence whose perfect life as a photographer is disrupted when a... [More]

#92
Synopsis: A decidedly odd, horror-tinged series about an evil sheriff who has supernatural powers and uses them to control the citizens... [More]

Salem (2014)
82%

#91
Synopsis: The world of the Salem witch trials is explored in this drama set in 17th-century Massachusetts.... [More]

Strange (2003)

#90
Synopsis: A defrocked priest believes it's his calling to combat demons that have taken human form.... [More]

#89
Synopsis: A boy and his pal investigate the eccentricities of their town and its odd residents. The series played like headlines... [More]

The River (2012)
63%

#88
Synopsis: A TV explorer goes missing in the Amazon, so his wife, son and a film crew set out to find... [More]

Dead of Summer (2016)
63%

#87
Synopsis: In the 1980s, an idyllic Midwestern summer camp is terrorized by a dark and supernatural force.... [More]

The Dead Zone (2002)

#86
Synopsis: A Maine man uses his psychic powers to assist people in need in this paranormal series inspired by Stephen King's... [More]

Ghosted (2017)
62%

#85
Synopsis: A cynic and a believer in the paranormal are recruited to investigate "unexplained" activities in Los Angeles.... [More]

The Mist: Season 1 (2017)
62%

#84
Adjusted Score: 63.691%
Critics Consensus: The Mist's absorbing atmosphere and solid special effects struggle to overcome a generally uninspired story and performances.
Synopsis: A mysterious mist threatens a small town.... [More]

Brimstone (1998)

#83
Synopsis: The Devil taps a detective to hunt fugitive demons in this dark, eerie series that was damned from the outset... [More]

BrainDead (2016)
65%

#82
Synopsis: A woman returns to Washington, D.C., to help her senator-brother and discovers aliens have invaded and made a scary impact... [More]

Synopsis: This supernatural series follows a pair of fugitive brothers after a bank heist leaves several people dead.... [More]

Harper's Island (2009)
63%

#80
Synopsis: Deadly deeds occur on an isolated island off the coast of Seattle where family and friends gather for a wedding.... [More]

Scream (2015)
67%

#79
Synopsis: The murder of an entitled teen reverberates through a town's social hierarchy; and impacts arty loner Audrey, her nerdy pal... [More]

Death Valley (2011)
75%

#78
Synopsis: Mockumentary following the LAPD's Undead Task Force as its members hunt monsters that roam the streets of California's San Fernando... [More]
Directed By: Jordan Vogt-Roberts

Midnight, Texas (2017)
61%

#77
Synopsis: A haven for vampires, psychics and other strange folk, Midnight gives outsiders a place to belong. Viewed as outcasts, the... [More]

Into The Dark (2018)
67%

#76
Synopsis: A horror event series from prolific, award-winning producer, Jason Blum's independent TV studio. The series includes 12 super-sized episodes, with... [More]

Charmed (2018)
69%

#75
Synopsis: A reimagining of the drama centering on sisters who happen to be witches living in the mid-1970s.... [More]

The Returned (US) (2015)
67%

#74
Synopsis: A small town is turned upside down when people who were thought to be dead suddenly reappear.... [More]

Wolf Creek (2016)
77%

#73
Synopsis: A young woman takes revenge on serial killer Mick Taylor in this spin-off of the Australian horror franchise.... [More]
Directed By: Tony Tilse

#72
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This TV miniseries is set in Little Tall Island, a small town off the coast of Maine. The citizens are... [More]
Starring:
Directed By:

Synopsis: A 13-part supernatural tale set in an eerie Maine hospital that `stands on uneasy ground,' having been built at the... [More]

Lore (2017)
65%

#70
Synopsis: Eerie tales of psychologically disturbing and paranormal true experiences are retold in this adaptation of the podcast of the same... [More]

Blood Drive (2017)
80%

#69
Synopsis: The last good cop in Los Angeles hits the road with a dangerous femme fatale in a twisted cross-country death... [More]

The Stand (0)
78%

#68
Synopsis: A gripping postapocalyptic horror story based on the 1978 novel, with a strong cast (including Rob Lowe in a particularly... [More]

#67
Synopsis: Unsettling and dangerous supernatural beings are released from an English farm after a young couple takes on ownership of the... [More]
Directed By: Alice Troughton

Van Helsing (2016)

#66
Synopsis: Vanessa Helsing is the last hope for survival in a world dominated and controlled by vampires, all of whom want... [More]

Constantine (2014)
72%

#65
Synopsis: Based on the wildly popular comic book series "Hellblazer" from DC Comics, seasoned demon hunter and master of the occult... [More]
Directed By: Neil Marshall

#64
Synopsis: The Enfield Haunting' is based on one of the most documented accounts of poltergeist activity in the UK.... [More]

Ghoul (2018)
86%

#63
Synopsis: From the makers of Insidious, Get Out and Udta Punjab, Ghoul is a chilling series about a prisoner who arrives... [More]
Starring: Radhika Apte

Helix (2014)
81%

#62
Synopsis: A thriller about a team of scientists thrust into a potentially life-or-death situation after being deployed to the Arctic to... [More]

Lucifer (2016)
83%

#61
Synopsis: When the devil tires of life in Hell, he materializes in the City of Angels, where he aids the LAPD... [More]

The Originals (2013)
84%

#60
Synopsis: A spin-off of "The Vampire Diaries" focuses on the original vampire family who return to New Orleans to reclaim the... [More]

Outcast (2016)
80%

#59
Synopsis: A young man deals with demonic possession that has plagued him all his life.... [More]

Teen Wolf (2011)
81%

#58
Synopsis: The adventures of a teen who becomes a werewolf are chronicled in this remake of Michael J. Fox's 1985 cult... [More]

Tru Calling (2003)
88%

#57
Synopsis: Morgue attendant Tru Davies hears dead people, and also finds herself reliving the previous day in this fast-paced supernatural spin... [More]

Being Human (US) (2011)
77%

#56
Synopsis: A vampire, a werewolf and a ghost share a townhouse in Boston, where they try to live like humans in... [More]

#55
Synopsis: This remake of the classic series presents tales of suspense, fantasy, science fiction or fright in each episode.... [More]

#54
Synopsis: People are haunted by nightmares that depict their deaths in this violent anthology series based on the 'Nightmare on Elm... [More]
Starring:

Synopsis: An eight-part anthology series of chilling and thrilling tales from the pen of Stephen King.... [More]

Crazyhead (2016)
100%

#52
Synopsis: Dark comedy about an unlikely duo of demon hunters.... [More]
Directed By: Al Mackay

Beyond the Walls (2016)
100%

#51
Synopsis: A woman inherits a mysterious house and soon discovers a parallel universe hidden behind its walls in this supernatural thriller.... [More]

Dead Set (2008)
90%

#50
Synopsis: Zombies menace the sequestered cast and crew of Britain's "Big Brother" in this horror sitcom.... [More]
Directed By: Charlie Brooker

Synopsis: Popular series about young members of the Midnight Society who gather to tell eerie tales.... [More]

Charmed (1998)

#48
Synopsis: Popular Aaron Spelling-produced fantasy about three sexy sisters who happen to be witches living in the eerie San Francisco house... [More]

#47

Salem's Lot (1979)
88%

#47
Adjusted Score: 88.771%
Critics Consensus: Director Tobe Hooper and a devilishly charismatic James Mason elevate this television adaptation of the Stephen King novel, injecting the vampiric tradition with fresh blood and lingering scares.
Synopsis: When Ben (David Soul) returns to his hometown to work on his novel, he discovers a series of strange events... [More]
Directed By: Tobe Hooper

Wynonna Earp (2016)
95%

#46
Synopsis: Wyatt Earp's great granddaughter brings the paranormal to justice in this supernatural series based on the IDW Publishing comic created... [More]

The Kingdom (1994)

#45
Synopsis: Cult epic about the bizarre happenings at a Copenhagen hospital, mixing horror, black comedy and fantasy. Subtitled.... [More]
Directed By: Lars von Trier

Being Human (2009)
100%

#44
Synopsis: Sci-fi series about three seemingly ordinary twentysomethings who live secret double lives as a werewolf, a vampire and a ghost.... [More]

Scream Queens (2015)
75%

#43
Synopsis: Ryan Murphy's horror-comedy anthology series about a series of murders in a college sorority.... [More]

Santa Clarita Diet (2017)
89%

#42
Synopsis: Joel (Timothy Olyphant) and Sheila (Drew Barrymore) are husband and wife realtors leading vaguely discontented lives in the L.A. suburb... [More]

Dark (2017)
88%

#41
Synopsis: Dark is set in a German town in present day where the disappearance of two young children exposes the double... [More]

Sleepy Hollow (2013)
77%

#40
Synopsis: An update of Washington Irving's classic tale about Ichabod Crane, who wakes up in the 21st century but finds his... [More]

Channel Zero (2016)
93%

#39
Synopsis: Critically acclaimed horror anthology series.... [More]

#38
Synopsis: Tales of the fantastic and supernatural are the focus of this sci-fi anthology, a remake of the 1960s series.... [More]

#37
Synopsis: Chronicling the beginning of the zombie apocalypse, a time when the world was changing rapidly for reasons unknown and before... [More]

Room 104 (2017)
88%

#36
Synopsis: Set in a single room of an average American motel, ROOM 104 tells a different story of the assorted characters... [More]

The Vampire Diaries (2009)
85%

#35
Synopsis: It's Elena's first day back at Mystic Falls High School since the tragic death of her parents. Along with her... [More]

In The Flesh (2013)
97%

#34
Synopsis: An 18-year-old rehabilitated zombie adjusts to life after being returned to his family.... [More]

Masters of Horror (2005)
63%

#33
Synopsis: An anthology of one-hour horror films directed by masters of the genre.... [More]

Grimm (2011)
89%

#32
Synopsis: From executive producers David Greenwalt (Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Jim Kouf (Angel, National Treasure) comes a new world... [More]

The Exorcist (2016)
89%

#31
Synopsis: Two very different men tackle a family's horrifying case of demonic possession.... [More]

Castle Rock (2018)
87%

#30
Synopsis: A psychological-horror series set in the Stephen King multiverse, Castle Rock is an original story that combines the mythological scale... [More]

Angel (1999)
88%

#29
Synopsis: The enlightened vampire risks his soul to battle dark forces in the City of Angels in this noirish 'Buffy the... [More]

The Returned (2013)
97%

#28
Synopsis: Supernatural crime series is set in a quiet Alpine village.... [More]

#27
Synopsis: Ghosts, witches and werewolves populated this creepy daytime serial about Maine's Collins family, which included Barnabas, a nearly 200-year-old vampire... [More]

Synopsis: Stories of suspense and the supernatural were presented in this anthology series by executive producer George Romero ('Night of the... [More]

Night Gallery (1970)

#25
Synopsis: A stylish anthology of tales focusing on the nightmarishly macabre and the supernatural. Some episodes were adaptations of classic stories,... [More]

Synopsis: A British anthology of mystery and suspense, highlighted by plot twists and surprise endings. Many episodes were based on short... [More]

The Terror (2018)
95%

#23
Synopsis: A Royal Navy crew on a mission to find the Northwest Passage is stalked by a mysterious predator. Based on... [More]

Dexter (2006)
72%

#22
Synopsis: A forensic expert lives a double life as a vigilante-serial killer who murders wrongdoers who've escaped justice.... [More]

Synopsis: We are controlling transmission. ...' An eerie, fondly remembered sci-fi series that depicts paranormal paranoia with clever scripts and good... [More]

Ash vs Evil Dead (2015)
99%

#20
Synopsis: When a plague threatens mankind, a chainsaw-handed hero reluctantly emerges to save the world in this sequel to the 1981... [More]

iZombie (2015)
96%

#19
Synopsis: A zombie helps Seattle police solve murders by experiencing victims' memories when she eats their brains.... [More]

Preacher (2016)
90%

#18
Synopsis: A possessed minister teams up with his ex and a hard-drinking Irish vampire in search of answers in this drama... [More]

Bates Motel (2013)
93%

#17
Synopsis: The teenage years of Norman Bates from Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho."... [More]

Synopsis: A dogged Chicago reporter investigated the paranormal (everything from vampires and werewolves to a senator who could transform himself into... [More]

Synopsis: `Good eeevening.' Hitchcock's classic half-hour series (it expanded to an hour in 1962) has him dryly introducing (and later summing... [More]

The Strain (2014)
80%

#14
Synopsis: A vampiric virus spreads through New York City.... [More]

Synopsis: Imagines the origin and adventures of Sabrina the Teenage Witch as a dark coming-of-age story that traffics in horror, the... [More]

#12
Synopsis: Horror tales based on the E.C. Comics of the 1940s and '50s, introduced by the Cryptkeeper, who was created by... [More]

Penny Dreadful (2014)
91%

#11
Synopsis: Some of literature's most terrifying characters, including Dr. Frankenstein, Dorian Gray, and iconic figures from the novel Dracula are lurking... [More]

True Blood (2008)
70%

#10
Synopsis: HBO's hit drama series created by Alan Ball ('Six Feet Under') and based on the best-selling Sookie Stackhouse novels by... [More]

Synopsis: Flashing between past and present, a fractured family confronts haunting memories of their old home and the terrifying events that... [More]

#8
Synopsis: A cheerleader is chosen to battle the forces of evil as she weathers the storms of young adulthood in an... [More]

Hannibal (2013)
92%

#7
Synopsis: A gifted criminal profiler teams with cunning psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter to solve murders in this crime drama based on the... [More]

Twin Peaks (1990)
89%

#6
Synopsis: A surreal cult favourite about the investigation into the murder of a high-school homecoming queen in a Pacific Northwest lumber... [More]

Supernatural (2005)
88%

#5
Synopsis: Twenty-six years ago, Sam and Dean Winchester lost their mother to a mysterious and demonic supernatural force. Subsequently, their father... [More]

The Twilight Zone (1959)
80%

#4
Synopsis: A classic anthology of sci-fi, suspense and goose-bump-inducing tales that explore 'a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to... [More]

The Walking Dead (2010)
80%

#3
Synopsis: The story of the years that follow after a zombie apocalypse, following a group of survivors led by a former... [More]

Stranger Things (2016)
95%

#2
Synopsis: A love letter to the '80s classics that captivated a generation, Stranger Things is set in 1983 Indiana, where a... [More]
Directed By: Matt Duffer

#1
Synopsis: A horror anthology series from Brad Falchuk and Ryan Murphy.... [More]

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina launches Friday, October 26 on Netflix. 

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