So I decided to do a top 10 list of my favorite old horror TV shows. So here is the disclaimer: this is not a top 10 list about all the horror TV shows out there, these are my personal picks so don’t be alarmed if not every one is on here.
Also, this covers all sorts of old horror TV shows including kids TV shows, cartoons, and adult shows as well. Plus, there is an honorable mention.
10 – Eerie Indiana
I remember this show since it always came on after Goosebumps and it was lighter version of it. There were some weird and strange things that were covered in this anthology but nothing really that horror… it pushed the lines of sci-fi. Plus, the effects for a kids TV show were amazing. The one episode that I remember had to deal with giant ants using humans as harvesters for their ant food. Fucking creepy, but still worth my viewing.
9 – Unsolved Mysteries
This was a bizarre TV show hosted by Robert Stack that tapped into murders and occurrences that were never solved because of some sort of supernatural ability. What always got me about this TV show were the reenactments… they were so creepy and stylish. They used voyeuristic shots, dark atmosphere and high contrast lighting. Some of the shadowy imagery scared me, and that music… I will never get that theme out of my head.
8 – Kolchak: The Night Stalker
This was a show that I was all too familiar with since it inspired The X-Files, but I was never able to watch all the episodes. What I do remember was that there were some creepy episodes involving aliens, werewolves and androids. This was an show that I rarely had the pleasure to watch but when I did it was pretty thrilling… although, I was already a bit numbed down from The X-Files.
7 – Night Gallery
I was a huge fan of this show’s TV renditions of H.P. Lovecraft tales. It reminded me a lot of Twilight Zone but some of their adaptations were very well done. The one episode that I remember because it scared the piss out of me was an episode called “The Doll”… I mean… out of all the old horror tv shows and movies that have evil dolls, this one stands out as the scariest.
6 – Are You Afraid of the Dark?
This was a show that was sort of like the show Goosebumps considering it was made for kids and it featured original ideas rather then stories based off of books. The one thing that separates this show from Goosebumps is that Are You Afraid of the Dark is a little bit more dark in atmosphere rather than in content… I think. But there are some episodes that I remember.
5 – Courage the Cowardly Dog
This was a cartoon that could also be considered an old horror tv show… light, mostly for little kids but the reason why I have this on the list is because some of the subject matter for this show was extremely dark. Consider: without knowing the ending, a pig who runs a diner where they plump up their customers so that he can butcher them and make them into hamburgers. Or, a psychotic barber who has a fixation on shaving people with a large smile. This cartoon, for what the audience it was aiming for, pushed the line of dark humor as well as dark plots.
4 – The Twilight Zone
I have always loved this old TV show because the shows were horrifying but they didn’t show much of anything. What I really enjoyed about this show as that there were family lessons to be learned from the stories, so it was kind of like horror mixed with family traditions. Plus, having a spoken intro and outro to the show always pleased me; it was like Rod was presenting each story to us personally… like we knew him. The one episode that always freaked me out was “Eye of the Beholder” because of the twist, and how this was a society of monsters that thought beauty was ugly. There is a lesson to be learned here and in the process it freaked me out.
3 – Tales from the Crypt
Oh boy, was this a series or what? Tales from the Crypt! This was one of the first old horror tv shows I remember watching with my grandma, but at the time I didn’t really understand what was going on, since the stories were more adult themed but I remember the imagery scared me. These shows were really gory, terrifying and humorous at sometimes… but the one thing that I will never forget is the introduction to the crypt keeper. Although, after getting a little older, this show began to frighten me so I decided to stick with Goosebumps for a while and work my way up.
2 – The X-Files
This is perhaps my absolute favorite adult horror/sci-fi TV show out there because when I was younger and I made my gradual turn from Goosebumps, this show was the first series that I decided to try out. I cannot tell you how many episodes in this series that scared the shit out of me and how many of them left their mark in my head. It was this show that provided a gateway for me to crossover into R-rated horror films and gorier flicks. To describe the influence The X-Files had on me, I would need 10 or so pages alone… but what I will say is this: I credit this show for turning me into the demented, cryptozoologist that I am today. Thanks Chris Carter.
1 – Goosebumps
This is it. This was the series that started it all, as well as the book series; this was the series that started me into horror! I watched these shows not with a sense of fright but rather thrilling; where I can mesmerize myself in the special effects and the creepiness of the stories. As I look back on these episodes I began to think that the some of the scene in the show were very dark and graphic (in “Stay Out of the Basement” he slits his wrists then bleeds green goo).
R.L. Stine has a great mind for younger horror fanatics and Goosebumps was no exception. I remember some of the episodes were based off of other old horror tv shows and movies, but because this was somewhat scary enough… I decided to stick with it, until I discovered The X-Files. But, I think I can watch this show over and over and still be entertained because it’s a flashback to my early years as a kid growing up in the 90’s.
Wishbone (The Slobbering Hound)
Though the series is more along the lines of mystery/thriller, there is one episode that freaked me out. The scenes that were in the forest where the dog was heard that the scene when everybody was looking out in the dark forest saying ‘its out there,’ terrified me. This was one of the few darker episodes of Wishbone.
So that is my list of the top 10 horror TV shows, and as you can see, I have left quit a few out but like I said in the beginning, these were based on my personal experiences with them. This is not a real list, more of a personal list than anything. I hope you enjoy.
Last Updated on December 22, 2022.