Halloween is almost here, and while one of the best ways you can spend the holiday at home is to curl up on the couch with a bowl of candies and a good horror movie, it’s also a great time to binge some of the best horror series available on streaming services.
But which ones should you watch? Whether you’re in the mood for psychological horror, gruesome kills, supernatural teen dramas, or maybe even some terror combined with laughs, there’s something for everyone. Here, we break down the 13 best-reviewed horror shows available to stream, based on Reelgood and IMDb review scores.
Looking for more scares? Check out other Halloween-themed entertainment:
13. Teen Wolf (2011) – 84%
It might be surprising that this supernatural teen drama kicks off our list. 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 aired for six seasons and was quite positively reviewed. It’s a fun, mildly scary show to watch with your teenagers who are too old now for trick-or-treating.
12. Ash vs. Evil Dead (2015) – 84%
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.
11. Bates Motel (2013) – 85%
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.
10. American Horror Story (2011) – 85%
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, 1984, aired in September 2019, and the series has already been renewed for three more.
9. What We Do in the Shadows (2019) – 86%
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. There are two seasons thus far to stream, with a third already confirmed.
8. Penny Dreadful (2014) – 86%
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.
7. The Haunting of Hill House (2018) – 88%
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, was just released and has already been receiving rave reviews, ranking at at 81%, just shy of making this list.
6. The Vampire Diaries (2009) – 88%
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.
5. Hannibal (2013) – 88%
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 the very serial killer he’s hunting. 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.
4. Twin Peaks (1990) – 90%
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.
3. The Walking Dead (2010) – 92%
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 postapocalyptic horror series is ending after its upcoming extended 11th season. Yes, there are 10 seasons to get through of this series, which is based on the Robert Kirkman comics of the same name about various groups of survivors of a virus that sees people 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.
2. Supernatural (2005) – 93%
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.
1. Stranger Things (2016) – 96%
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.
Honorable mention: Lovecraft Country (2016) – 96%
Definitely worth mentioning is the new HBO Max series Lovecraft Country, which was just shy of making the top 13 at a rating of 83%.