Top Ten Tuesday! The Top Ten Scariest TV Shows

There’s nothing I enjoy more than being on the edge of my seat. I’m not talking horror or gore. I’m talking pure, can’t take your eyes off the screen, I can’t believe this is happening suspense. With the news that the early 90’s classic Twin Peaks would be returning next year with eighteen new episodes I began re-watching seasons 1 & 2 from 1990 and 1991. I also got to thinking about the best suspense TV shows I’ve watched. I’ve watched 8 of the 10 on the list and included the two others on reputation. This is a very subjective list, so if you have other suggestions I’d love to hear them.

Twilight Zone: This may be the original classic suspense show. I didn’t see it in it’s first run, but saw it later in re-runs. I fly fairly regularly for my job and I’m always tempted to yell ‘There’s a man on the wing!” If you get the reference, in the comments tell me what actor screamed it.


The X-Files: A 90’s classic that returned to the small screen for a limited run last year. It was great in it’s time and improved as it grew in popularity. Not every episode was the perfect cocktail of suspense and disbelief, but it was often enough to make my list.


American Gothic: Maybe I just like this because I have the painting on a tie. Which is more famous, the painting or the movie? Who heard of one but not the other? I didn’t see this show, but loved the title and heard others give it high praise. You win 50 points to spend in The Phil Factor gift shop if you can tell me, without looking it up, what artist did the famous painting.

LOST: Apparently I’m stuck in the 90’s. For one glorious season LOST was awesomely suspenseful and mysterious. Then the writers all seemed to lose their minds.

The Walking Dead: There’s just so many. So many zombies. Just the tiniest scratch. Any moment you could become one of them. Your group is getting picked off one by one. There could be one or one hundred around any corner. You just never know.


American Horror Story: I haven’t watched this one. Yet. I plan to, but no one else in my family wants to see it, so I have to find some time to watch when no one is around. That’s the best time to watch scary stuff anyway, right?

In Search Of… Leonard Nimoy rest in peace.  This was a late 70’s-early 80’s show that was part documentary, part reality show where they tried to debunk paranormal phenomena. As a kid I wanted to watch but it always freaked me out.

Kingdom Hospital: Also known as Stephen King’s Kingdom Hospital. This was a one season series that was based on a Danish show.  Look it up on Netflix or Hulu. Completely creepy, suspenseful and weird. I loved it.


Stranger Things: Check this one out on Netflix. It was a new series for 2016. There’s two 8 episode seasons out already. Season 3 will be out next summer.  This show set out to capture the aura of those cool, creepy 80’s Stephen King based movies and it succeeded brilliantly.


Twin Peaks: As I said, I recently began re-watching the original series and it stands the test of time. It’s still awesomely creepy and weird. If you were a fan of the show and want to see a funny, hour-long spoof featuring many of the actors and actresses from the original look up the show Psych on Netflix and find the Dual Spires episode in 2010/5th season of the show. After you do that, go back and watch the entire Psych series from season 1. It’s brilliantly funny with a little suspense.

So what did I miss? What would you add to the list and what would you take away? Please give opinions and suggestions. I’d love some good, new or old shows to watch. Have a great Tuesday! ~Phil

23 responses to “Top Ten Tuesday! The Top Ten Scariest TV Shows

  1. I can’t really add to the list but American Gothic was one of my favourite TV shows of all time :O) x

  2. William Shatner was in the original, then I think it was John Lithgow in the remake..?

  3. Perhaps someone already added but I found American Psycho amazing. A psychological thriller I could watch over and over. Twin Peaks let me down after the first season. No tomatoes please.

  4. I loved the first series of Lost and then it just sort of went down hill didn’t it? Such a shame.

  5. I don’t like being scared but I can handle the Twilight Zone kind of scary. I also watched those as reruns growing up. I’ve watched 2 seasons of American Horror Story and I have to say that it is one of the creepiest shows I have ever watched. It alternates between being scary scary and squirm in your seat in discomfort scary. Stranger Things is on my to-watch list.

  6. My husband is old enough to have watched the original Twilight Zone and the man on the wing stays with him to this day. That’s what good horror is all about!
    I’m currently binge watching all the old X Files episodes because I missed the craze when it was happening. While I like the idea, you have to admit many of them don’t hold up well today, and while interesting… they aren’t really frightening.
    Send me my gift certificate, it was Grant Wood. You’ll have to take my word for not looking it up, but I’m an art history nerd and truly didn’t have to.
    Walking Dead? No thanks.
    American Horror Story is one I always mean to watch but don’t.
    One of my favorites? That wasn’t really horror per se, but creepy as hell….. The limited run (curse you HBO) of Carnivale. Loved, loved, loved it! And it was cancelled. I still haven’t gotten over the betrayal.

    • Hmm I’ll have to look up Carnivale

      • It was only on 2 seasons, and had a large cult following. I heard a rumor the Christian conservatives disliked it immensely and wanted it off the air.
        Here’s a brief synopsis:
        “It’s the mid-1930s, and we’re in the middle of the Dust Bowl, a time when sandstorms and disease were running rampant across the Great Plains. After his mother’s death, teenage fugitive Ben Hawkins is picked up by a mysterious traveling carnival run by an unseen force known only as “Management.” Surrounded by magic, Ben reconnects with his long-dormant supernatural powers. Meanwhile, hundreds of miles away, an evangelical preacher is plagued with apocalyptic visions. What the two of them don’t know is that they’re set to become players in the great (and heretofore hidden) battle between Darkness and Light.”

  7. Outer Limits had a creepy element to it. Never as good as the Twilight Zone but some episodes were good.

  8. You forgot ABC World News Tonight with David Muir. Whenever I turn it on, my wife runs out of the room screaming. It is not that they report scary news, it’s the FDA drug warnings during their incessant commercials.

  9. Some seasons of American Horror Story I love more than others, but this new season is among my favorites.

  10. How about Tales from the Darkside? Used to creep me out when I was a teenage babysitter. The first season of AHS is definitely the scariest. It’s like – there’s a strange noise in the house but there’s no way in hell I’m going to see what it is – scary. Bates Motel is a good show – it’s the backstory of Psycho, and Freddie Highmore is fantastically creepy as the young Norman Bates.

  11. If you are in the mood for subtitles, or alternatively if you speak French, The Returned is a great series. All about dead people who, erm, returned. There’s also a British drama called Remember Me which was scary as hell! It featured a creepy, drowny water ghost …

  12. American Horror Story is full of things you didn’t think any human could create. On more than one occasion I’ve been left looking at my husband and said, “what just happened?” Especially the Hotel season with Lady Gaga.

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