Horror TV shows are series that seek to elicit fear for entertainment purposes. The macabre and the supernatural are frequent themes. Horror may also overlap with the fantasy, supernatural fiction, and thriller genres. Horror shows often aim to evoke viewers’ nightmares, fears, revulsions and terror of the unknown. Plots within the horror genre involve the intrusion of an evil force, event, or personage into the everyday world. Prevalent elements include ghosts, extraterrestrials, vampires, werewolves, demons, Satanism, evil clowns, gore, torture, vicious animals, evil witches, monsters, zombies, cannibalism, psychopaths, natural, ecological or man-made disasters, and serial killers.
Here are the best Horror TV shows on Netflix right now.
This modern reimagining of the Shirley Jackson novel follows siblings who, as children, grew up in what would go on to become the most famous haunted house in the country.. Now adults, they are forced back together in the face of tragedy and must finally confront the ghosts of their past. Some of those ghosts still lurk in their minds, while others may actually be stalking the shadows of Hill House. The ensemble cast includes Oscar winner Timothy Hutton, Carla Gugino and Henry Thomas. Mike Flanagan, a veteran of the horror genre, created the series.
2. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
This adaptation of the “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” tale is a dark coming-of-age story that traffics in horror and the occult. In the reimagined origin story, Sabrina Spellman wrestles to reconcile her dual nature – half-witch, half-mortal – while standing against the evil forces that threaten her, her family – including aunts Hilda and Zelda – and the daylight world humans inhabit. Kiernan Shipka (“Mad Men”) leads the cast in the titular role of the show that is based on a comic series of the same name.
3. Penny Dreadful
Many people are familiar with classic literary characters like Dr. Frankenstein and Dorian Gray. “Penny Dreadful” brings those and other characters into a new light by exploring their origin stories in this psychological thriller that takes place in the dark corners of Victorian London. Sir Malcolm is an explorer who has lost his daughter to the city’s creatures, and he will do whatever is needed to get her back and to right past wrongs. His accomplice, seductive clairvoyant Vanessa Ives, recruits charming American Ethan Chandler to help locate Sir Malcolm’s daughter and slay some monsters. Oscar-winner Sam Mendes (“American Beauty”) is one of the series’ executive producers.
This haunting series follows the thrilling yet terrifying journeys of Sam and Dean Winchester, two brothers who face an increasingly sinister landscape as they hunt monsters. After losing their mother to a supernatural force, the brothers were raised by their father as soldiers who track mysterious and demonic creatures. Violent memories and relationship-threatening secrets add additional burdens on Sam and Dean as they investigate all things that go bump in the night. As old tricks and tools are rendered useless and friends betray them, the brothers must rely on each other as they encounter new enemies.
5. The Walking Dead
Based on the comic book series written by Robert Kirkman, this gritty horror-drama portrays life in the months and years that follow a zombie apocalypse. Led by former police officer Rick Grimes, his family and a group of other survivors find themselves constantly on the move in search of a safe and secure home. But the pressure each day to stay alive sends many in the group to the deepest depths of human cruelty, and they soon discover that the overwhelming fear of the survivors can be more deadly than the zombies walking among them.
Based on characters created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth and Mike Dringenberg, this series follows Lucifer, the original fallen angel, who has become dissatisfied with his life in hell. After abandoning his throne and retiring to Los Angeles, Lucifer indulges in his favorite things (women, wine and song) – until a murder takes place outside of his upscale nightclub. For the first time in billions of years, the murder awakens something unfamiliar in Lucifer’s soul that is eerily similar to compassion and sympathy. Lucifer is faced with another surprise when he meets an intriguing homicide detective named Chloe, who appears to possess an inherent goodness – unlike the worst of humanity, to which he is accustomed. Suddenly, Lucifer starts to wonder if there is hope for his soul.
7. American Horror Story
“American Horror Story” was created by the co-creators of “Glee,” but the shows have little in common besides that. The show revolves around the Harmons, a family of three, who move from Boston to Los Angeles in order to reconcile past anguish. What the Harmons don’t know is that the house they’ve moved into is haunted. But it’s not haunted by Casperesque friendly ghosts – it’s haunted by demonic creatures. The creatures have a history of not only spooking the house’s residents but also devouring them. After living in this house, family patriarch and psychiatrist, Ben, may need a shrink of his own.
8. Bates Motel
After the death of her husband, Norma Bates buys a motel in the picturesque coastal town of White Pine Bay, giving herself and teenage son Norman a chance to begin anew. Shy Norman is reluctant at first, but with the help of his mother – with whom he shares an intensely close relationship – the boy begins to open up to others and make new friends. Some locals, however, aren’t as friendly and welcoming to the Bates, who discover that because White Pine Bay isn’t as peaceful as it appears, they are forced to do whatever it takes to survive. The drama series, from executive producers Carlton Cuse (“Lost”) and Kerry Ehrin (“Friday Night Lights”) and inspired by the seminal 1960 horror film “Psycho,” explores the formative years of Norman Bates and how his complicated bond with his mother forged a serial killer.
When over-achieving medical resident Liv Moore attends a party that turns into a zombie feeding frenzy, she ends up joining the ranks of the living dead. Determined to pass as human despite her pale appearance and newly listless demeanor, Liv forms a plan to resist her drive to consume fresh human brains by taking a job at a coroner’s office, where she can secretly snack on the brains of corpses delivered there. Soon discovering that she absorbs the memories of those she feeds on, she finds new purpose by posing as a psychic and working with a detective to help solve their murders.
10. Wynonna Earp
Wynonna Earp has been away from her hometown, Purgatory, for years but returns to reluctantly take on the role that Wyatt Earp’s heir is destined for – demon protector. Her task is to take out Revenants, the resurrected souls of the criminals who were taken down at one time by her great-grandfather. Wynonna teams up with sister Waverly, agent Xavier Dolls and Doc Holliday, the cursed-with-immortality best friend of Wyatt Earp, as they work to stop the Revenants from taking over Purgatory and escaping into the world. The show is based on the graphic novel series of the same name.
11. Stranger Things
It’s the fall of 1984, about a year after Will Byers was found, and he has been plagued by seeing visions of the Upside Down featuring a more dangerous monster. That leads the boy to see a suspiciously friendly new doctor, with the possibility that Will’s visions are the result of suffering from PTSD. Nancy deals with survivor’s remorse over the death of best friend Barb. Meanwhile, a new sinister entity threatens the Hawkins residents who survived the year-earlier events. New to the town is tomboy Max, who befriends the boys and attracts the romantic interests of Dustin and Lucas.