Last week I shared my top 10 favourite horror films. You can check that out here. Today I am back to discuss spooky television shows. These are all so worth diving into. Without further ado, here are my ten favourite horror series of all time…
1.) The Haunting of Hill House
This is hands down my favourite horror series. I have now watched it twice all the way through. It is loosely based on the novel The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. I say loosely because some fans of the book are not happy with the adaptation. It follows a family that move into a gothic mansion where they soon begin to experience paranormal activity. The story travels between two timelines: when the children are first living in the house to when they are adults still dealing with the hauntings that have followed them. Not only is this show extremely scary, it’s surprisingly emotional as we witness family dynamics fall apart when one of them commits suicide. The ending will have you shook as everything comes together and begins to make sense. I could not recommend it enough.
2.) Bates Motel
If you’re a Psycho fan, this is the show for you. This five season series shines a light on the origin story of Norman Bates and his eerily close relationship with his mother, Norma Bates. It begins with the two of them moving to White Pine Bay, Oregon and purchasing the infamous Bates Motel to run and live near. As the episodes progress, we notice Norman’s transformation from kind, innocent boy devolve into something much darker and sinister. I would recommend watching it purely for Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga’s acting. I loved it from beginning to end.
This is another show I would gladly watch all the way through again. It’s based on the novels Red Dragon, Hannibal and Hannibal Rising with a focus on the relationship between the FBI’s special investigator Will Graham and forensic psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Similar to The Silence of the Lambs, Will is hired to locate a serial killer in Minnesota. The head of the FBI decides to have Will supervised by Hannibal (who is secretly a cannibalistic killer) and the two become great friends. As Will learns to think more and more like a psychopath, he begins to realise Hannibal’s secret; turning their bond into a game of cat and mouse. I would recommend at least watching the first season to witness some spectacularly creative deaths. Furthermore, there is an undeniable chemistry between Will and Hannibal that overjoyed the fandom. It is evident that without all of the complications, the pair might have been lovers!
4.) Stranger Things
If you haven’t heard of Stranger Things, you’ve been living under a rock! This series is a blend of science-fiction and horror that takes place in the early 1980’s. There are lot of IT tie-ins which makes me very happy. In the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, the nearby laboratory is performing secret scientific research into the paranormal which involves human test subjects. By accident, they create a portal into an alternate dimension named the ‘Upside-Down.’ When one of the town’s children, Will Byers, is abducted by a creature from the ‘Upside-Down’, his friends band together to help find him. At the same time, one of the lab’s human test subjects, Eleven, escapes with telekinetic powers. She manages to meet up with Will’s friends; (who hide and protect her) offering to use her abilities in order to locate him in the alternate dimension. The soundtrack, fashion, humour, storyline, acting, setting and creepiness is what made this television series one of the most popular in recent times.
I’m so glad I found Marianne on Netflix. Despite there being only one season, it’s surprisingly addictive. One thing to note: this show is French but dubbed in English. It may take a bit of getting used to at first but I promise it’s worth it. The plot follows a successful horror writer named Emma that is haunted by her own character Marianne. At her latest book signing, an old-friend shows up and asks her to return to their hometown to investigate her mother’s strange behaviour. When Emma arrives, she realises her friend’s mother is possessed by Marianne. Together with her childhood friends, Emma goes up against her own spooky creation to vanquish her once and for all…
6.) Locke & Key
Did you know this series began as a set of comic books written by Stephen King’s son Joe Hill? Earlier this year, it was adapted into a television show on Netflix. The story revolves around the Locke family who move into the illustrious Keyhouse after the murder of husband and father, Rendell Locke. As the children explore the grounds and hallways, they discover various strangely shaped keys with different purposes. For example, one can open a doorway to anywhere in the world. Another can transform you into a ghost. Their presence and discovery of the keys awakens a spirit that is determined to recover all of them; thus obtaining ultimate power. It’s creepy, fascinating and full of twists. I can’t wait for the second season!
Speaking of Joe Hill, his most-beloved novel NOS4A2 was also recently adapted to screen. I’ve already read the book and watched the first season but the second one is yet to appear on Amazon Prime. It’s a bit hard to explain but essentially it follows a young girl named Victoria (Vic) McQueen who discovers a portal on an abandoned old bridge that allows her to travel between places. Meanwhile, a vampire named Charlie Manx drives around in an old Rolls Royce with the license-plate NOS4A2, kidnapping children and taking them to a place called Christmasland where he regains his youth by sucking the humanity out of his victims. Through a series of events, Vic learns of Charlie Manx (played by the brilliant Zachary Quinto) and uses her portal to find him. She manages to escape his clutches but as time passes and Vic gives birth to her son, Charlie returns to get his revenge by taking the boy to Christmasland…
8.) American Horror Story
I have not seen Apocalypse or 1984 yet because it hasn’t come to Netflix but I’ve seen all the other seasons. AHS is an anthology series that tells a new, terrifying story whilst recycling the main actors into different roles. Some are better than others but all of them are creepy and interesting. I recently ranked my favourites on Instagram. In my opinion, from best to worst: Asylum, Murder House, Coven, Hotel, Cult, Freak Show and Roanoke. What is your ranking? It’s worth watching for Sarah Paulson, Jessica Lange and Even Peters alone.
9.) The Walking Dead
I stopped watching The Walking Dead after Season 8 because I didn’t like the direction it was going in but the first few seasons are so phenomenal, it’s worth being on this list. It features a large cast ensemble of zombie-apocalypse survivors that band together to try and restore a world gone to hell. It’s the best undead television series I’ve ever seen. Don’t get attached to anybody! There are a lot of twists, turns, blood, guts and believe it or not, plenty of drama among the humans. I definitely recommend watching at least the first three seasons.
Last but not least is the television series adaptation of the Scream film franchise. It’s not particularly scary but if you love watching annoying teenagers getting picked off one by one by a masked killer, it’s perfect! I really enjoyed it and did not guess the true identity of Ghostface which made for a pleasant surprise. There aren’t many slasher shows because in the movies, they tend to all die by the end so if you want more, Scream will provide!
Please share your favourite horror television shows below. I didn’t include The Haunting of Bly Manor because I’m still watching it and doing a full, separate review for it soon. Thanks for reading!
Peace & Love xoxo