SPOOKY SHOWS TO WATCH THIS OCTOBER!

I know I’m not alone when I say that horror films these past few years have – for the most part – all turned out to be utterly disappointing. Not only have they lacked in technical quality, but I’m also quite positive that horror screenwriters have accepted that simply recycling former storylines and ideas is good enough to satisfy today’s audiences’ craving for a good scare. As a horror enthusiast though, unless I’m re-watching some of my favorite horror oldies, I tend to quickly grow bored with our current film selection – a feeling I know fellow horror junkies share. Thankfully, TV writers and producers have come to our rescue and provided us a monstrous (Please acknowledge and appreciate my use of that adjective and the lengths I’ll go to in order to ‘spookify’ this blog post as much as humanly possible) amount of worthy content – enough to keep us spooked (Come on…I’m REALLY trying here) for the entire season.

I’ve taken it upon myself to compile a list of my 13 (Get it? God, I’m on a roll) favorite television shows that fit this season’s scary vibes seamlessly. Hopefully this blog post gives you some ideas on what to binge this month, especially if you’re also feeling burned out on the film side of things.

13. BIG LITTLE LIES

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SEASONS: 1

WHERE TO WATCH: HBO, Amazon Prime

“The apparently perfect lives of three mothers of first graders unravel to the point of murder.”

If you’re one of the few people who hasn’t, for some miraculous reason, watched Big Little Lies yet, consider joining the bandwagon this Fall season! It’s usually not the first title that comes to mind when people think of the word scary, but everything about the show’s storyline carries very chilling underlying tones: mystery, secrets, jealousy, lies, and murder. Overall, this show won’t make you so scared that you cover your eyes with your hands, but it will definitely leave you with a sense of heaviness and curiosity as the mystery continues to build with each passing episode. As a bonus, Big Little Lies has an outstanding cast and even more outstanding acting.

12. TOP OF THE LAKE

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SEASONS: 2

WHERE TO WATCH: Hulu, Amazon Prime

“Obsessed with the disappearance of a 12-year-old pregnant girl near a freezing lake in New Zealand, a brave detective will find herself up against small-town secrets and a side of herself that was meticulously kept at bay.”

Much like Big Little Lies, Top of the Lake is not a show that would automatically strike as something overly scary, but what’s more scary than trying to figure out the reason why a 12-year-old girl in a small New Zealand town is pregnant? The cinematography is spooky, the mystery is complicated, and you will be wholeheartedly swept up into this story within seconds of starting the pilot.

11. MINDHUNTER

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SEASONS: 1

WHERE TO WATCH: Netflix

“Set in the late 1970s, two FBI agents are tasked with interviewing serial killers to solve open cases.”

Fascinating, suspenseful, slow burning, and so smart. Mindhunter got me hooked from the very first episode and has easily worked its way up to being one of my favorite shows of all time. Two words: serial killers. With its stunning cinematography and intelligent writing, you’ll surely be absorbed into the beginnings of serial killer profiling.

10. DARK

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SEASONS: 1

WHERE TO WATCH: Netflix

“A family saga with a supernatural twist, set in a German town, where the disappearance of two young children exposes the relationships among four families.”

This German crime drama will leave a haunting sensation looming over just about anyone. Often described as a cross between Stranger Things and Twin Peaks, Dark is a gritty story about familial relationships, lies, and murder. But as if that wasn’t enough, you also get a sci-fi twist! Everything about Dark is fascinating to me – from its nightmarish aesthetics, to the gloominess that fully engulfs the little town of Winden, and everything in between. Every episode leaves you longing for more, no matter how unsettling the narrative might be.

9. WAYWARD PINES

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SEASONS: 2

WHERE TO WATCH: Hulu, Amazon Prime

“A Secret Service agent goes to Wayward Pines, Idaho, in search of two federal agents who have gone missing in the bucolic town. He soon learns that he may never get out of Wayward Pines alive.”

Wayward Pines is a show that gets overlooked quite easily but I think that, with its mysteriously chilling atmosphere and visually enticing cinematography, this little gem of a show is definitely worth the watch this Halloween season. Much like some of the previously mentioned shows, the main reason I’m considering Wayward Pines for this list is due to its gloomy undertones that leave a sense of curiosity, instead of an obvious scare factor. I do have to admit though, the first season is heaps better than the second, so perhaps just watch the first one if you’re searching to be satisfied.

8. BLACK MIRROR

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SEASONS: 4

WHERE TO WATCH: Netflix

“An anthology series exploring a twisted, high-tech world where humanity’s greatest innovations and darkest instincts collide.”

Due to the fact that Black Mirror is an anthology, not every episode is bound to follow the same structure. Luckily for us though, this is a show that’s smothered in dark tones all around. After all, the whole point of Black Mirror is so analyze the effects technology has on humanity, most of which aren’t the most positive. With that concept in mind, you can  probably already imagine just how dark it can quickly become. Some episodes are undeniably spookier than others, but whether or not you’re watching an episode with evidently terrifying images or one where just the idea behind it is scary enough, you’ll surely be left both paranoid and mind-blown.

7. THE HANDMAID’S TALE

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SEASONS: 2

WHERE TO WATCH: Hulu

“A religion-based autocracy has taken over most of the United States, renaming the country Gilead. In this country women are second-class citizens. Anyone trying to escape is punished. One such person is June, who is captured while trying to escape with her husband and child and is sentenced to be a handmaid, bearing children for childless government officials. As a handmaid, June is renamed Offred. This is her story.”

I guess you can say I have a thing for non-obvious horror. Being one of my favorite shows of all time has nothing to do with why The Handmaid’s Tale is on the list, although it certainly doesn’t hurt. It’s one thing to watch a film filled with gory imagery and bloody narratives, but it’s something entirely different when the horror comes from a storyline that could very well mirror our current realities. I’m not ever going to get political on this blog, but what I will say is that – considering in the direction this country (United States) is heading – watching The Handmaid’s Tale is an entirely new terrifying experience. Aside from the already-horrifying plot, there are also still quite a few of jaw-dropping, violent sequence shots in order to perfectly accommodate everyone’s horror needs. I couldn’t recommend The Handmaid’s Tale enough; it’s one of the reasons why I started to fall back in love with storytelling – a genuine example of just why we’re in the Golden Age of television.

6. STRANGER THINGS

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SEASONS: 2

WHERE TO WATCH: Netflix

“In a small town where everyone knows everyone, a peculiar incident starts a chain of events that leads to the disappearance of a child, which begins to tear at the fabric of an otherwise peaceful community. Dark government agencies and seemingly malevolent supernatural forces converge on the town, while a few locals begin to understand that there’s more going on than meets the eye.”

Would it even be a spooky-themed recommendations list if I didn’t include Stranger Things? I feel like the whole world is well-aware of this show so perhaps I don’t have to say much about it. But what I will say is that, if for whatever reason you still haven’t joined the rest of the world on obsessing the hell over this show, please do yourself a favor and binge it immediately. October is quite literally the perfect time to enter Hawkins, Indiana.

5. THE TERROR

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SEASONS: 1

WHERE TO WATCH: AMC, Amazon Prime

“In 1848, two real life warships, HMS Terror and HMS Erebus, sent on a Royal Naval expedition to find the treacherous Northwest Passage become trapped in ice near Arctic and face starvation, mutiny, cannibalism and a demonic polar bear.”

The Terror is genuinely one of the most atmospheric shows I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching. The sense of dread you’re overcome by from the second you start the first episode is one that you can’t get rid off throughout the length of the season. I’m personally absolutely horrified by cannibalism – I’d even go as far as saying it’s one of the most horrifying subjects out there. I was originally taken aback by the pacing of this show, because the first few episodes are rather slow and, for the most part, the entirety of the season is not as fast paced as other horror shows, but The Terror truly doesn’t need to be. The slow burn compliments the eerie mood perfectly, building up the suspense that eventually hits you when you least expect it.

4. BATES MOTEL

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SEASONS: 5

WHERE TO WATCH: Netflix

“”Bates Motel” is a contemporary prequel to the genre-defining film “Psycho,” and gives a portrayal of how Norman Bates’ (Freddie Highmore) psyche unravels through his teenage years. Fans discover the dark, twisted backstory of Norman Bates and how deeply intricate his relationship with his mother, Norma (Vera Farmiga), truly is.”

It always feels so great getting to add an all-time favorite to my recommendation lists. Bates Motel has held a very special place in my heart since I started watching it live, back when season two was still on the air. Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore, and Nestor Carbonell being some of my favorite actors, Psycho being one of my favorite films of all time, and Carlton Cuse being one of my favorite TV writers are just three of the infinite amount of reasons why I love this show as much as I do. Mostly though, Bates Motel‘s spine-chilling exploration of mental health, familiar relationships, and a world so deeply smothered in lies, murder, and obsession, is enough to make this show stand out from all the rest. With every passing episode, the world of Norman and Norma Bates gets worse and worse, in just the right way. My mind is incapable of comprehending just how such an unsettling show can draw me in as much as Bates Motel did, but I’m not even one bit sorry.

3. CASTLE ROCK

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SEASONS: 1

WHERE TO WATCH: Hulu

“A psychological-horror series set in the Stephen King multiverse, Castle Rock combines the mythological scale and intimate character storytelling of King’s best-loved works, weaving an epic saga of darkness and light, played out on a few square miles of Maine woodland. The fictional Maine town of Castle Rock has figured prominently in King’s literary career: Cujo, The Dark Half, IT and Needful Things, as well as novella The Body and numerous short stories such as Rita Hayworth and The Shawshank Redemption are either set there or contain references to Castle Rock. Castle Rock is an original suspense/thriller – a first-of-its-kind reimagining that explores the themes and worlds uniting the entire King canon, while brushing up against some of his most iconic and beloved stories.”

I just recently binged Castle Rock and I’m regretful I hadn’t done so sooner. I had been anticipating this show from the moment it was announced, yet it took me forever to actually watch it. Better late than never, though! Anyone that knows me knows my absolute obsession with and admiration for Stephen King. Hell, I’ve been consumed in King’s world of novels and films since my early days in middle school. Everything about Castle Rock depicts exactly why I love King and his storytelling as much as I do. From the hidden Easter eggs, to the spot-on cinematography, and everything in between, Castle Rock will keep you intrigued until the very end, King fan or not.

2. AMERICAN HORROR STORY

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SEASONS: 8

WHERE TO WATCH: Hulu, Netflix

“An anthology series centering on different characters and locations, including a house with a murderous past, an insane asylum, a witch coven, a freak show, a hotel, a possessed farmhouse, a cult, and the apocalypse.”

Did you really think I could get through a whole blog post about horror shows without mentioning the queen of horror television? Classic.

1. THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE

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SEASONS: 1

WHERE TO WATCH: Netflix

“Explores a group of siblings who, as children, grew up in what would go on to become the most famous haunted house in the country. Now adults, and forced back together in the face of tragedy, the family must finally confront the ghosts of their past, some of which still lurk in their minds while others may actually be stalking the shadows of Hill House.”

I’m currently finishing The Haunting of Hill House as I write this and the fact that I don’t even have to finish the season to know this show deserves the number one spot on the list should tell you everything that you need to know. The Haunting of Hill House blew my mind in ways even horror films have rarely ever done. The top-notch acting, the never-ending peelable layers, the gloomy nuances, the bone-chilling imagery, and the numerous long takes that leave you breathless…from the second I started this show, everything about it has mercilessly grasped my attention and it has not let go since.

Now that you have tons of new nightmarishly impressive shows to choose from, grab some popcorn, a cup of coffee, and a cozy blanket because we all know you’ll need as much comfort as you can get! Happy spooky season! *Insert evil laugh here*

2 thoughts on “SPOOKY SHOWS TO WATCH THIS OCTOBER!”

  1. I’m normally too much of a chicken to watch anything with ghosts in it, but I’m going to have to brave The Haunting of Hill House. I’ve seen so much praise for it!

    Like

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