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The best horror shows to stream for Halloween

Whether you’re looking for something spooky to watch for Halloween or you’re a genre devotee who enjoys watching scary stuff all year, there’s certainly no shortage of horror series available for streaming. But between all the ghosts, vampires, zombies, and slashers that are just dying for your attention, which eerie episodic deep dives are truly worth your time?

We asked ourselves the same question, which led us to creating this ultimate roundup of the best horror shows to stream this Halloween. Enjoy the read, fiendish friends.

Looking for more scares? Check out other Halloween-themed entertainment:

Midnight Mass (2021)

Midnight Mass
75 %
tv-ma 1 Season
Genre Mystery, Drama, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Cast Kate Siegel, Zach Gilford, Hamish Linklater
Created by Mike Flanagan

Writer-director Mike Flanagan has become a horror legend over the last decade, delivering noteworthy original films like Oculus and Hush and scary cinematic and episodic adaptations of Stephen King’s Gerald’s Game, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, and Henry James’ The Haunting of Bly Manor (based on James’ novella The Turn of the Screw). Midnight Mass is Flanagan’s first all-original Netflix horror miniseries, and for all intents and purposes, it’s arguably the auteur’s best work to date.

The story follows the residents of the seaside community of Crockett Island, a nearly-deserted island township that becomes a boiling pot of evangelistic terrors when a youthful priest begins performing miracles. But as wounds are healed and old age reversed, it becomes clear that there’s something dark and mysterious operating behind the scenes. Midnight Mass effectively grapples with themes of life and death, religious zealotry, and redemption, set against an eerily atmospheric backdrop of wind, waves, and otherworldly wallows.

Midnight Mass | Teaser Trailer | Netflix

The Midnight Club (2022)

The Midnight Club
tv-ma 1 Season
Genre Drama, Mystery
Cast Iman Benson, Igby Rigney, Ruth Codd
Created by Mike Flanagan, Leah Fong

He’s at it again! Genre stalwart and Netflix darling Mike Flanagan is the man to call when it’s a pastiche of terrors you’re looking to have injected into your blood, and the director’s latest canonical creeper is The Midnight Club. Playing almost like a gorily-elevated version of Nickelodeon’s once-hit series Are You Afraid of the Dark?The Midnight Club follows a group of terminally-ill teens living out their remaining days at a hospice facility.

Gathering together at the midnight hour, the group exchanges haunting tales with one another, along with the shared promise that whoever bites the dust first will find a way to converse with the others in the afterlife. An episodic adaptation of the 1994 Christopher Pike novel of the same name, The Midnight Club delivers arresting and horrific visuals across several anecdotal journeys, with each of the ghoulish stories exploring worlds of paranormal and other unexplainable occurrences.

Black Summer (2019)

Black Summer
tv-ma 2 Seasons
Genre Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Drama, Action & Adventure
Cast Jaime King, Christine Lee, Zoe Marlett
Created by John Hyams, Karl Schaefer

A spinoff of the SyFy series Z NationBlack Summer follows Rose (Jaime King), a mother displaced from her one and only daughter in the wake of the zombie apocalypse. Joining the ranks of a group of survivors, the nomadic few set out on a horrifying pilgrimage across the country in hopes of building salvation amongst the undead ruins.

Relying less on narrative and character development and more on outright jump-scares, gore, and plenty of chilling sequences, Black Summer is essential viewing for genre aficionados who may want a break from more thematically-rich horror programs in favor of a zombified odyssey that gnaws and bites before it asks us to ponder and philosophize over the state of the decaying world onscreen.

Black Summer: Season 1 | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix

Squid Game (2021)

Squid Game
69 %
tv-ma 2 Seasons
Genre Action & Adventure, Mystery, Drama
Cast Lee Jung-jae, Park Hae-soo, Jung Ho-yeon
Created by Hwang Dong-hyuk
A surprise hit for Netflix, becoming the streaming service’s biggest show to date, this South Korean survival drama isn’t a horror series, but it’s horrifying enough to qualify as a worthwhile binge for Halloween. With a similar premise to Battle Royale and Alice in Borderland, players compete in sinister versions of childhood games to the literal death for the chance to take home the final prize of close to $40 billion. A commentary on economic inequality, the 456 players choose to partake of their own free will because the alternative is to deal with the realities of life, where they are drowning in debt with nowhere to turn. It’s thoroughly disturbing, heart-wrenching, and will keep you wincing and at the edge of your seat the whole way through. The series is offered with English dubbing as well as closed captioning and subtitles.
Squid Game | Official Trailer | Netflix

Them (2021)

tv-ma 1 Season
Genre Drama, Mystery
Cast Deborah Ayorinde, Ashley Thomas, Alison Pill
Created by Little Marvin
A horror drama anthology series, Them, produced by Lena Waithe (Master of None, Westworld) is set in the ’50s when a Black family, during the Second Great Migration, moves to an all-white neighborhood in Los Angeles. While life is looking up, they soon discover a series of evil forces and otherworldly events that threaten their safety. The series received mixed reviews, with critics praising the “sufficient sense of terror” but describing the delivery as “superficial horrors,” lacking the social commentary the series has the potential to deliver. With that said, sometimes superficial scares are all you desire for Halloween, and if that’s the case, this show delivers in spades.
THEM - Official Trailer | Prime Video

Calls (2021)

65 %
tv-ma 1 Season
Genre Mystery, Drama, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Created by Fede Álvarez
If you’re looking for something untraditional, Calls is guaranteed to be unlike anything you have seen, or rather heard, before. There are no actual visuals beyond expressive swirls of color, pulsing lights, and text appearing across the screen as conversations take place. It sounds incredibly boring, but you’ll be hooked by the first story, which follows a young woman on the phone with her long-distance boyfriend, terrified that someone is trying to break in. Things take a terrifying turn when she begins screaming that the intruder doesn’t appear to be human. It gets creepier with each story from there, all of which follow a different theme but intersect in the end. With a star-studded voice cast, it’s a great show to curl up to late at night and will surprise you with just how exhilarating it can be, despite the minimal visuals.
Calls — Official Trailer l Apple TV+

Servant (2019)

68 %
tv-ma 3 Seasons
Genre Drama
Cast Lauren Ambrose, Toby Kebbell, Rupert Grint
Created by Tony Basgallop
For fans of M. Night Shyamalan, Servant is a must-watch that is delivered in the filmmaker’s signature style. A young couple hires a nanny to care for their baby, but there’s one issue: The baby isn’t real. It’s a lifelike doll. The mother Dorothy, however, is blissfully in a seemingly psychotic state, believing it’s a real child while her husband Sean seems all too happy to play along, as does the mysterious young nanny. The store takes a number of twists and turns through the seasons, and with a third on the way, there’s plenty more to tell. If you’re looking for thought-provoking chills versus bumps in the night, this is the show to watch this Halloween.
Servant — Official Trailer | Apple TV+

Black Mirror (2011)

Black Mirror
76 %
tv-ma 5 Seasons
Genre Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Drama, Mystery
Created by Charlie Brooker
For something thoroughly thought-provoking, subversive, and downright scary, every episode of Black Mirror tells a different story about a dystopian future whereby our reliance on technology has led to horrifying consequences. While it’s social commentary as much as it is disturbing entertainment, every episode is terrifying in its own way beyond your typical man hiding behind the door in a mask or massacres at a remote cabin. Considering Black Mirror was based on The Twilight Zone, you can expect lots of unusual, strange, and jaw-dropping moments in every episode.

Dexter (2006)

76 %
tv-ma 8 Seasons
Genre Crime, Drama, Mystery
Cast Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, Geoff Pierson
Created by James Manos, Jr.
The show might have had one of the worst endings to ever grace the small screen, but there’s hope yet with a limited series revival returning next month. That means Halloween season is the perfect time to binge the crime drama’s first eight seasons. Dexter Morgan is a vigilante serial killer who has managed to control the urges from his “dark passenger” to direct them only on those he can prove have done terrible things and committed heinous crimes. In his mind, he’s clearing the world of awful people while satisfying his dark desires. Dexter’s job as a forensic technician provides him with plenty of access to research his victims during the day then don his signature “kill” shirt to follow through with his plans at night. Every season follows a different storyline and set of victims, along with Dexter’s journey to keep his true identity hidden and appear as “normal” as possible to others. It’s a show that will have you confusingly sympathizing with, and actually liking, a brutal killer.
Dexter | Official Trailer | SHOWTIME Series

You (2018)

75 %
tv-ma 4 Seasons
Genre Mystery, Crime, Drama
Cast Penn Badgley, Victoria Pedretti, Saffron Burrows
Created by Greg Berlanti, Sera Gamble
Joe Goldberg is an unassuming killer who falls easily for women, his affection inevitably reaching a point of obsession. But he justifies his actions to himself, as viewers get to hear in his running internal monologue. If only they hadn’t done this or had just done that, he wouldn’t have had to resort to murder. It’s a gripping show that will have you screaming at the screen, urging the next victim not to fall for his charms.
YOU | Trailer #2 [HD] | Netflix

Teen Wolf (2011)

Teen Wolf
66 %
tv-14 6 Seasons
Genre Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Drama
Cast Tyler Posey, Dylan O'Brien, Holland Roden
Created by Jeff Davis
It might be surprising that this supernatural teen drama is on this list, but it’s actually fairly well received and fits the bill for someone who doesn’t want something too scary. Loosely based on the 1985 film of the same name that starred Michael J. Fox as the title character, it features Tyler Posey as Scott McCall, the young werewolf who must defend his town from various threats, including some nasty creatures. It’s a fun, mildly scary show to watch with your teenagers who are too old now for trick-or-treating.

Ash vs Evil Dead (2015)

Ash vs Evil Dead
76 %
tv-ma 3 Seasons
Genre Comedy, Action & Adventure, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Cast Bruce Campbell, Lucy Lawless, Ray Santiago
Created by Sam Raimi
As a sequel to the original Evil Dead movie trilogy, this comedy-horror series sees Bruce Campbell reprise his role as Ash Williams, a man who has fought off hordes of evil demons over the years and saved the world multiple times over, only to go back to his old job and raunchy lifestyle with a missing hand to show for it. In the latest series, Ash tries to live a normal life, but the cursed Necronomicon tome that awakens demons has other plans for him and anyone unlucky enough to be around him. Canceled by Starz after three seasons, the series successfully channeled the over-the-top gore and irreverent comedy that made the original films cult classics.
Ash vs Evil Dead | Official Trailer | STARZ

Bates Motel (2013)

Bates Motel
69 %
tv-ma 5 Seasons
Genre Drama, Crime, Mystery
Cast Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore, Max Thieriot
Created by Carlton Cuse, Anthony Cipriano, Kerry Ehrin
Chronicling the early years of the murderous innkeeper Norman Bates from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 horror classic Psycho, this psychological drama looks at Bates’ life as a young man living with his mother, Norma. Ending after its fifth season by loosely adapting the plot of Psycho, Netflix has all 50 episodes available to stream, making for a nice, horrifying binge in time for Halloween.

American Horror Story (2011)

American Horror Story
65 %
tv-ma 11 Seasons
Genre Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Cast Joe Mantello, Billie Lourd, Zachary Quinto
Created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk
American Horror Story: NYC | S11 Teaser - Something's Coming | FX

This long-running anthology horror series that made Ryan Murphy a household name has terrified and puzzled viewers for almost a decade with its creepy, sadistic stories about everything from a house haunted by the ghosts of its former owners to a blood-sucking hotel matron. While every season has its own self-contained story, many actors have returned to play different characters, including Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, Lily Rabe, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, and Jessica Lange. The latest season, NYC, premieres on October 19, 2022 on FX (with all episodes heading to Hulu the day after airing), and will be the first season in the show’s long run to show two new episodes each week, as opposed to just one.

What We Do in the Shadows (2019)

What We Do in the Shadows
83 %
tv-ma 4 Seasons
Genre Comedy
Cast Kayvan Novak, Matt Berry, Natasia Demetriou
Created by Jemaine Clement
This New Zealand mockumentary horror/comedy series is based on the 2014 film of the same name and is a must-watch for the Halloween season. A documentary crew follows four vampire roommates who each possess different special powers and distinct personalities, from the 757-year-old Nandor, who became obsessed with the Macarena, to Nadja, who is secretly seeing a human behind her vampire husband’s back. It’s the perfect watch if you want some laughs this Halloween.

Penny Dreadful (2014)

Penny Dreadful
74 %
tv-ma 3 Seasons
Genre Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Drama, Mystery
Cast Eva Green, Josh Hartnett, Timothy Dalton
Created by John Logan
Showtime’s British-American horror drama lasted for three seasons and a total of 27 episodes, and featured a host of iconic characters, from 19th-century British and Irish gothic fiction, from Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray to Abraham Ven Helsing and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Its mix of reality and the supernatural was so popular that it spawned a spinoff, Penny Dreadful: City of Angels, that premiered in April 2020 but only lasted a single season.

The Haunting of Hill House (2018)

The Haunting of Hill House
79 %
tv-ma 1 Season
Genre Mystery, Drama
Cast Michiel Huisman, Elizabeth Reaser, Kate Siegel
Created by Mike Flanagan
This supernatural horror drama, loosely based on the 1959 novel of the same name by Shirley Jackson, follows the lives of five adult siblings who continue to be haunted by paranormal experiences they had when they were younger. Alternating between two different timelines, you’ll be at the edge of your seat throughout the 10-episode first season. Season 2, The Haunting of Bly Manor, also received rave reviews.
The Haunting of Hill House Season 1 Trailer | Rotten Tomatoes TV

The Vampire Diaries (2009)

The Vampire Diaries
57 %
tv-14 8 Seasons
Genre Drama, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Cast Paul Wesley, Ian Somerhalder, Kat Graham
Created by Kevin Williamson, Julie Plec
The second supernatural teen drama on the list, this one is based on the L.J. Smith book series of the same name and aired for eight seasons on The CW. Nina Dobrev stars as a teenager named Elena, who, after losing both of her parents in a car crash, falls for a 162-year-old vampire named Stefan (Paul Wesley). Dobrev also plays Katherine, a vampire with an uncanny resemblance to Elena and the past love of Stefan and his older brother, Damon (Ian Somerhalder.) It’s more vampire soap opera than horror, but if you’re looking for something less scary and more story-driven, this might be the right choice for Halloween night.

Hannibal (2013)

77 %
tv-ma 3 Seasons
Genre Drama, Crime
Cast Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Laurence Fishburne
Created by Bryan Fuller
Based on the characters and events from the Thomas Harris novels Red Dragon, Hannibal, and Hannibal Rising, the story follows FBI special investigator Will Graham and his relationship with Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a forensic psychiatrist who, unbeknownst to Graham, is a serial killer himself. The series, which developed a cult following, aired for three seasons on NBC, so you’ll want to start bingeing now to get through all 39 episodes.

Twin Peaks (1990)

Twin Peaks
83 %
tv-ma 3 Seasons
Genre Drama, Mystery
Cast Kyle MacLachlan
Created by David Lynch, Mark Frost
This mystery series that follows an investigation into the suspicious murder of a town’s homecoming queen spawned a cult following, even though it only lasted for two seasons in its original run. It was so well-received, in fact, that the series was resurrected in 2017 with a third season that aired on Showtime with many of the original cast members reprising their roles. Its mix of supernatural sci-fi with melodramatic soap opera makes for a unique series. Start early to get through all 48 episodes.

The Walking Dead (2010)

The Walking Dead
79 %
tv-ma 11 Seasons
Genre Action & Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Cast Norman Reedus, Melissa McBride, Lauren Cohan
Created by Frank Darabont
If you’ve been meaning to watch The Walking Dead but never quite got around to it, now is the time to get going since the post-apocalyptic horror series is ending after its extended 11th season. Based on the Robert Kirkman comics of the same name, it’s all about people trying to survive amidst an apocalyptic event that introduced a virus causing people to rise from the dead as zombies. As the main group travels, seeks out shelter, and tries to rebuild communities and some semblance of life, they face enemies far greater than just the walking dead. It’s a thrilling ride that will get you invested so much in the characters that the walking, groaning, disfigured flesh-eating creatures become a backdrop to the more critical human stories. Once done, check out spinoffs like Fear the Walking Dead and Walking Dead: World Beyond, with several others to come.
The Walking Dead SDCC Trailer: Finish the Fight | Returns October 2nd

Supernatural (2005)

60 %
tv-14 15 Seasons
Genre Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Cast Alexander Calvert, Misha Collins, Jared Padalecki
Created by Eric Kripke
Two brothers hunt supernatural beings, from demons to ghosts and monsters in this highly rated series that aired on The WB for a whopping 15 seasons before reaching its end in 2019. As the longest-running American live-action fantasy TV series, there’s no way you’ll get through all 323 episodes before October 31. But the Halloween season is a good time to start. The first season sets the stage as Sam and Dean’s father vanishes during a hunting trip, leading the two boys to reunite and head out on the open road to find him. As they hunt down evil spirits, they learn the history of their lives and special powers, which they harness and explore through the twists and turns of subsequent seasons.

Stranger Things (2016)

Stranger Things
74 %
tv-14 4 Seasons
Genre Drama, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Mystery
Cast Millie Bobby Brown, Noah Schnapp, Finn Wolfhard
Created by Matt Duffer, Ross Duffer
A perfect Halloween binge, there are three seasons and 25 episodes to date of this science-fiction horror series that’s set in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, in the early 1980s. A group of young boys meets a young girl with special powers, and they — and the town’s police chief — find themselves caught in the middle of supernatural happenings involving monsters, mysterious disappearances, and grisly deaths. It’s The Goonies for a new generation, and with far more special effects, blood, and gore. Catch up now so you’re ready for the upcoming fourth season in 2022.
Stranger Things 4 | Official Trailer | Netflix

Lovecraft Country (2020)

Lovecraft Country
79 %
tv-ma 1 Season
Genre Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Cast Jonathan Majors, Jurnee Smollett, Wunmi Mosaku
Created by Misha Green
HBO Max series Lovecraft Country might have been canceled after just a single season, but it’s worth checking out for an interesting twist to the traditional horror story. Set in the ’50s, a young Black man travels across the country in search of his father, who is missing. He ends up in the town that a famous horror author, H.P. Lovecraft, apparently based many of his seemingly fictional stories. But the man discovers there are some real dark secrets brewing beneath the surface. The talented star-studded cast that earned multiple Emmy nominations makes it worth watching alone.
Lovecraft Country | Official Trailer | BINGE

Related Topics: Netflix | Hulu | Amazon Prime | More Streaming Services

Editors' Recommendations

Movie images and data from:
Michael Bizzaco

Michael Bizzaco has been writing about and working with consumer tech for well over a decade, writing about everything from A/V components and smart home devices to encryption software, cloud backup platforms, search engine tools, and more. He has written for Digital Trends for over three years, covering entertainment content, A/V, and smart home devices.

Christine Persaud

Christine has decades of experience in trade and consumer journalism. While she started her career writing exclusively about tech, she now writes about everything from tech to entertainment, business, lifestyle, and more. An admitted TV junkie (feel free to reach out for recommendations on what to watch!), if she's not working or hanging out with friends and family, she's probably relaxing with a crisp glass of wine while binging her latest TV series obsession. Follow her on Twitter @christinetechCA.





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