The 10 Scariest TV Shows According to Reddit

Now streaming on Netflix, the new series, 1889, is a creepy and disturbing series that draws viewers into a story that is both terrifying and deeply mysterious. Of course, this is just one of many such series that taps into viewers’ deepest unconscious fears and desires.

Redditors, unsurprisingly, were very eloquent in describing what they thought were the scariest shows on the small screen. While some of these are new, there are a number of more established and older series that are just as deeply disturbing as they were when they first premiered.

American Horror Story (2011-present)

Stream on Hulu

American Horror Story remains one of Ryan Murphy’s most notable projects, succeeding each season by tapping into a powerful cultural fear, both present and past.

One Reddit user praised the first season, specifically writing, “American Horror Story Season 1 is one of those rare horror comedies that’s actually funny and scary. Undeniable classic of the genre. The series often excels when it manages to combine the ridiculously sublime with the genuinely terrifying, and that remains its central and most important mark of genius.

They (2021 – present)

Stream to Prime Video

They are a strong horror series and have already established themselves as one of the best on Prime Video. Much of the fear stems from his reliance on the very real racist violence that is such a feature of American society and culture.

Redditor VileBill writes that the series is “the first thing in a long time that has made me terribly uncomfortable.” While it sometimes veers into more overtly gory types of horror, the show’s true genius lies in its ability to force the white viewer to examine their own assumptions about how the world works.

Terror (2018 – 2019)

Broadcast on AMC

Terror has established itself as one of AMC’s best original series, especially in its first season. The story of a ship that runs aground on ice and must face a malevolent demon is rich in atmosphere, and the whole thing is based on the performances of its cast.

Redditor Rtodd23 wrote that the series was “pretty awful. Don’t miss it! The series is kind of a slow burn, but that’s exactly what makes it so terrifying. This allows the audience to experience the same sense of claustrophobia as the characters, heightening the sense of dread rather than rushing to reveal the monster.

The Haunting of Hill House (2018)

Stream on Netflix

The Haunting Of Hill House stands out as one of the best Netflix series. It manages to breathe new life into the terrifying element of the haunted house while exploring a variety of important philosophical issues, including the nature of grief and family trauma.

Ok-Corner-8027 writes that it is “scary and sad”. Like the best horror series, it manages to tap into something real, and it’s its ability to seamlessly move between the central human drama and the simpler horror elements that help set it apart.

Tension (2014 – 2017)

Broadcast on AMC

While there have been many notable television series that have taken vampires as their theme, few have done so in the style of The Strain. The series features many features from Guillermo del Toro (who co-wrote the books it’s based on), including a viscerally disturbing look at the creatures themselves.

Javier Loustaunau praises the show: “A lot of shows die slowly… this one just keeps getting bigger and scarier towards the end. The scariest thing about the vampires of this world is how alien they are, and how successful they are in taking over the world.

Chernobyl (2019)

Stream on HBO Max

While not a horror show in the typical sense, there’s still something pretty terrifying about the great HBO series Chernobyl. As the title suggests, it focuses on the infamous nuclear disaster, including the lead up to it and the aftermath. It paints a disturbing portrait of the destructive nature of nuclear power, as well as the dangers of mismanagement.

MisterMovember rightly points out, “Depicting the reactor almost as a living entity/entity was perfection. The fact that it is based on a very real event and that nuclear power remains a very important part of the global energy grid makes this series even more disturbing.

Midnight Mass (2021)

Stream on Netflix

Like many of Mike Flanagan’s other notable projects, Midnight Mass uses the vernacular of horror to explore other issues, particularly those related to trauma, guilt, religious bigotry, and aging. In this case, the horror comes from a vampire attacking an isolated island community believed to be an angel sent by God.

Known_Yesterday_1408 wrote that the show “is an extremely slow burn and the horror aspect isn’t necessarily front and center, but the show’s commentary on human evil and hyper-religion is brilliant”. Because he takes the time to introduce the audience to this world and these characters, it’s all the more effective in revealing the true horror.

True Detective (2014 – 2019)

Stream on HBO Max

True Detective is another series that, while not outright horror, still manages to be downright terrifying. This is especially true for its first season, which keeps viewers guessing throughout, even as it slips under the skin.

Mmmmmmmmm29 describes it this way: “Not necessarily horror, but every time this question comes up, I give the same answer. Season 1 of True Detective. Possibly the greatest and most impossibly scary TV season of all time. Reminiscent of the Southern Gothic tradition, True Detective manages to bring out the most gruesome and terrifying of the American imagination.

Unsolved Mysteries (1987 – 2010)

Stream on Pluto TV

While many of the scariest series are dramas, Redditors pointed out how terrifying the unsolved mysteries were in the original 1980s and 1990s version, which was a nightmare for kids growing up at the time.

Thisgirlnamedbree writes: “I put this here because this show was horror fuel thanks to the creepy animations and the creepy music played during the segments. As the name suggests, he was further troubled by the fact that many of the show’s cases were left unresolved until an episode had aired.

Terror in the Woods (2017–present)

Stream on Prime Video

This documentary series combines interviews with re-enactments to explore a variety of events that took place in forested areas across the United States. Because it’s grounded in reality, at least presumably, with a chill of dread running through it.

In fact, as Redditor j50wells points out, “If you live in the woods, you might have nightmares. Fair warning about that. It’s actually the kind of series that’s meant to scare the viewer a little bit into going into the woods, and it succeeds in that regard.

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