When it comes horror, movies are what everyone thinks of, but to be honest, horror television has seen a recent uptick in quality and frequency. Gone are the days of only having The Walking Dead and American Horror Story to scratch that spooky itch. Now, you have horror TV series on just about every network and streaming platform. With so much to offer, I’m here to recommend 13 horror TV series to get you started on your journey into the scary. All of the shows listed are available on streaming platforms currently – although with the industry in so much flux, they might not be on there for much longer.
While I wish I could recommend shows still going strong, a lot of the series have already wrapped but offer satisfying ends overall which definitely warrant a binge.
The revival of the George A. Romero and Stephen King anthology horror film, Creepshow is a Shudder Original anthology series that offers up chills, thrills, and a side of camp. Offering up two new stories each episode and practical effects that sell both deep and shallow plots, it’s the perfect show with enough variance to pull any viewer in, even if they don’t like horror.
Australian horror is brutal and none more so than the slasher that brought the country’s horror into the American focus: Wolf Creek. Based on real-life serial murders, the original film shocked audiences with its violence and in this Shudder Exclusive series, of the same name, that tradition is continued. In it, 19-year-old American tourist Eve Thorogood (Lucy Fry) seeks to avenge her family’s murders at the hands of notorious Outback psychopath, Mick Taylor (John Jarratt) in six one-hour episodes.
Wolf Creek is available to stream exclusively on Shudder.
The Haunting of Hill House
The Haunting of Hill House from fan-favorite director Mike Flanagan was the scariest thing I watched in all of 2018. Flashing between past and present, a fractured family, the Cranes, must confront their haunting memories of their old home and the terrifying events that drove them from it. Surrounding one night and the fallout from it, The Haunting of Hill House is a horror series that uses every ounce of the frame to scare. Foreground, middle ground, background. Watch it repeatedly and you will still find more ghosts in this story of trauma, family, and grief.
The Haunting of Hill House is available to stream exclusively on Netflix.
The first Netflix Original to feature a Native actress in a lead role, Chambers digs into you. Living in body horror and exploiting every ounce of fear from transplants and medicine, the series is both terrifying and emotional. After having a heart attack, a teenager named Sasha gets a heart transplant to survive. After, she becomes consumed by the mystery surrounding her life-saving heart. As she gets closer to uncovering the truth about her donor’s sudden death, she begins to take on the characteristics of the deceased donor, including some that are troublingly sinister.
Chambers is available to stream exclusively on Netflix.
Swamp Thing is a delightful body horror and creature feature rolled into eight episodes. Sadly the series was cut short but the episodes available follow Abby Arcane’s returns home to Marais, Louisiana to investigate a deadly swamp-borne virus, only to discover the dark, terrifying mysteries of the swamp. Embracing the darkness of the green from DC Comics and bringing it to life with beautiful practical effects, binging this series is a must.
Swamp Thing is available to stream exclusively on DC Universe.
Neil Gaiman’s Likely Stories
The shortest series on this list, Neil Gaiman’s Likely Stories is a four-episode anthology series that uses the macabre, the unusual, and the horrific to tell stories from the mind of Neil Gaiman. In each episode, each character is compelled to share their story and we’re drawn into their very act of telling tall tales. While each episode has its own lead character, they are backed by an ensemble cast that plays across all four bold and original stories and embrace the beauty of anthologies – storytelling.
Neil Gaiman’s Likely Stories is available to stream exclusively on Shudder
The Excorcist, as series set in the world the iconic 1970s film and is an underrated horror gem. Initially airing on FOX, the series was canceled after its second season. Each season deals with different possessions, embodying different ideas of possession and pushing the priests more and more. Centering on Mexican-American priest, Father Tomas Ortega –the progressive leader of their suburban Chicago parish – Father Marcus Brennan, the two take on the Devil while also fighting their own demons. The series is filled to the brim with body horror that makes you squirm in your seat and enough scares to make you question turning off the lights when you watch.
The Exorcist is available to stream on Hulu.
Vampires are a horror classic, but I can promise you haven’t seen anything like Guillermo del Toro’s creations on The Strain. Originally an FX show, this horror TV series follows the outbreak of a virus that causes vampirism, the fall of the city, the fall of the nation, and ultimately the people who fight to take back control. With deep lore and characters you hold onto, the series is utterly fantastic, creepy, and with four seasons, the perfect binge-watch.
The Strain is available to stream on Hulu.
The Kirlian Frequency
This Argentinian series initially was housed as a series of YouTube videos. In the styling of Welcome to Nightvale, The Kirlian Frequency gives us a fantastic universe in an unknown dimension is filled with mysteries, and strange events happen in a city which may or may not exist. Animated and dark, the series is one that gets in your head and sits there.
The Kirlian Frequency is available to stream exclusively on Netflix.
Two Sentence Horror Stories
Two Sentence Horror Stories is an anthology horror TV series that just completed its first season on The CW. At 20-minutes each, the eight-episode series is an easy binge. Additionally, each episode embodies a subgenre of horror and uses it to tell a diverse set of stories with many grounded in deep cultural fears. Tackling issues like domestic violence, sexual assault, and immigrant identity in the only way horror can, by bringing them to the surface, examining them, and bringing the audience to understand them.
Two Sentence Horror Stories is available to stream on Netflix.
Zombies are overdone, but every now and then the genre becomes something else. That’s what happens with these next two entries, the first of which is Deadset. This five-episode series chronicles Britain being taken over by zombies. While the city suffers, the contestants and production staff filming a season of Big Brother are left unaware of what’s happening outside, the house becomes a safe haven but when then the doors open on eviction night, all hell breaks loose. This zombie romp is gorey, fun, and a great watch.
Deadset is available on Netflix.
The second zombie entry on the list, Kingdom is a Netflix Original South Korean horror show that blends period piece with high action zombies. Set in Korea’s Joseon period, it tells the story of the Crown Prince, who becomes embroiled in a coup/political conspiracy and is forced to embark upon a mission to investigate the spread of a mysterious undead plague that has beset the current emperor and the country’s southern provinces. However, inside the palace, the king is known to be severely sick and has been secretly treated for the past 10 days. No one was allowed to visit the king, not even the crown prince himself. The Prince must prevent the advance of the plague towards his home while addressing the sinister coup and his family aimed towards his deposition from the throne.
Kingdom is available exclusively on Netflix.
The Terror & The Terror: Infamy
The Terror is an AMC anthology horror TV series that blends historical horror with common elements of the genre. The first season was a fictionalized account of Captain Sir John Franklin’s lost expedition to the Arctic in 1845–1848. The second season dubbed The Terror: Infamy is set in a Japanese internment camp during World War II and follows Chester Nakayama as he struggles to deal with issues of identity and the relentless spirit killing those around him.
The Terror season one is available to stream on Hulu with The Terror: Infamy wrapping up on AMC.
Do you have a favorite bingable horror TV series that didn’t make the list?
Kate is co-founder, EIC, and CCO of BWT. She’s also a Certified Rotten Tomatoes Critic, host, and creator of our flagship podcast, But Why Tho? and Did You Have To?. She also manages all PR relationships for comics, manga, film, TV, and anime. She has an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies focusing on how pop culture impacts society.