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! Quick, take cover! These are the 13 scariest TV episodes to watch during Halloween!


Do you prefer Rick or a TV treat? I’ll take the TV treat, please. With pumpkin-spiced everything and mobs of people in costumes roaming the streets, it’s clear that we are in the midst of spooky season. Here are our top picks for the scariest TV episodes to watch while ignoring the doorbell and getting yourself scared. Share your own favorite scary episodes in the comments below. In the meantime, try not to have nightmares. And maybe keep a light on, just in case.

Doctor Who – Listen (2014)

“Why do we vocalize our thoughts when we are aware of being alone? Because we are aware that we are not truly alone.” There are numerous disturbing episodes in the post-reboot series “Nu-Who,” but the most unsettling ones tap into our everyday fears: “Silence in the Library” plays on our fear of the dark, “Human Nature” features menacing scarecrows, and “Blink” showcases terrifying statues. Our top choice is “Listen,” which explores the idea of hidden monsters constantly observing us, unseen and unheard but undeniably present. Do you ever sense something lurking under your bed, ready to grab your ankle? Or feel a chill down your spine? That’s it. It’s no wonder even the Doctor was afraid.

View it on: BBC iPlayer.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Hush (1999)

One of the most terrifying episodes on TV is even more remarkable because it is predominantly silent. Showrunner Joss Whedon, known for his strong dialogue, wrote an episode without any. The Gentlemen, a group of well-dressed, grinning skeletal ghouls, descended upon Sunnydale. Their tactic? Stealing their victims’ voices so they cannot scream as their hearts are ripped out. How will Buffy Summers save the townspeople if she cannot communicate with her friends in the Scooby Gang? This is Alyson Hannigan’s (who plays Willow) favorite episode and the only one to receive an Emmy nomination for its writing.

View it on: Disney Plus.

Ghostwatch (1992)


Stephen Volk’s bold mockumentary about a haunted house was taken seriously by many of its 11 million viewers, making it even more effective. The late Michael Parkinson added credibility by hosting a “live Halloween investigation” into paranormal activity in a suburban area of west London. The house was said to be haunted by “Pipes,” based on the infamous Enfield Poltergeist and named because the parents tried to reassure their children that the strange noises were just coming from the plumbing. The film, which unintentionally acted as a “national seance,” ended in tragedy as Pipes dragged reporter Sarah Greene to her death and possessed Parkinson. The BBC received 30,000 complaints and had to issue an apology, resulting in the film never being shown again.

View it on: Prime Video.

Atlanta – Teddy Perkins (2018)

Donald Glover as Teddy Perkins.

The exceptional television show created by Donald Glover, which follows the story of rap manager Earn and his group, is often categorized as a comedy. However, it defies genre boundaries so much that it can also be seen as a horror show. Glover worked with director Hiro Murai (known for shows like Station Eleven and Barry) on this eerie and claustrophobic tale, which drew inspiration from The Shining and was originally broadcasted without any commercials. In one episode, Darius (played by LaKeith Stanfield) picked up a free piano in a U-Haul van and ended up in a dimly lit mansion. There, he encountered a reclusive and eccentric man named Theodore Perkins – a role played by an uncredited Glover himself, who was heavily disguised with white makeup, to the point that Stanfield didn’t even recognize him.

View it on: Disney Plus.

The Haunting of Hill House – The Bent-Neck Lady (2018)

The Haunting of Hill House.

The most unsettling episode of the scariest series in recent years. Sensitive youngest sibling Eleanor Crain had never fully recovered from her childhood trauma at Hill House, where “Little Nell” was tormented by an apparition of a woman with a broken neck. When she revisits the haunted mansion in adulthood, still grieving her late husband, the tragic truth is laid bare in unforgettable style. Stephen King and Quentin Tarantino, who know a thing or two about horror, both voiced their admiration.

View it on: Netflix.

The X-Files – Home (1996)

The X-Files – Home.

This situation could be a potential case for Mulder and Scully. The stand-alone version of Chris Carter’s popular show about conspiracies caused so much controversy that it was the only episode to come with a viewer discretion warning, and Fox chose not to include it in their syndication deals. The episode starts with a disturbing birth scene and continues to become more gruesome as the Peacock family, who are monstrously disfigured, brutally murder anyone who comes near their run-down farm in Pennsylvania. Combining violence with dark comedy, it is a disturbing tribute to horror film directors Tobe Hooper, Wes Craven, and David Lynch. The truth may be out there, but it’s best to keep it where it is to stay safe.

View it on: Disney Plus.

Black Mirror – Playtest (2016)

Black Mirror’s Playtest.

Game over. There are plenty of nightmarish episodes of Charlie Brooker’s dystopian anthology to pick from – Loch Henry, Black Museum and White Bear are pretty petrifying – but this is the most viscerally unsettling. Down-on-his-luck Cooper (Wyatt Russell) lands a job testing an implant-enabled video game which uses neural data to target the player’s biggest fears. He insists he can stay emotionally detached from its virtual horrors but soon realises it’s bleeding into reality. Directed by Dan Trachtenberg (10 Cloverfield Lane, Prey), it not only nods to various video games but also horror classics such as The Thing and Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven.

Stream it on Netflix.

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The television show “Twin Peaks” aired an episode titled “Lonely Souls” in 1990.

Julee Cruise in Twin Peaks episode Lonely Souls.

The significant episode of season two in David Lynch’s iconic surreal show revealed the identity of the murderer of Laura Palmer, the homecoming queen. As her father, Leland, gazed at himself in the mirror and his reflection transformed into the evil entity known as Killer BOB, audiences were hit with a horrifying realization that he was possessed. With jarring cuts between Leland and BOB’s faces, he brutally killed Laura’s doppelganger cousin Maddy, while the people at the Roadhouse bar sensed that something was amiss and became visibly disturbed. This four-minute sequence of murder is one of the most unsettling moments in Lynch’s entire body of work.

View it on: Paramount Plus.

The second episode of the first season of Mindhunter, aired in 2017.

Unfortunately, it is a tragedy that we will never have the chance to see a third season of the captivating serial killer drama created by Joe Penhall and David Fincher. However, we can still appreciate its genius by revisiting one of its most unsettling episodes. As the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit was being formed by unconventional agents, they encountered a variety of psychopaths who stole the show with their performances. Perhaps one of the most disturbing instances was when Ed Kemper (portrayed by Cameron Britton), also known as the “Co-Ed Killer” due to his 6ft 9in stature, calmly recounted how he decapitated his abusive mother and what he did with her head.

You can view it on: Netflix.

The 2012 season of American Horror Story, titled “Asylum,” features an episode called “I Am Anne Frank.”

In its first season, Ryan Murphy’s anthology series, after the success of its haunted house setting, showed its ambition with a thrilling two-part episode. A new patient at Briarcliff mental institution claimed to be a Holocaust victim, previously assumed to be dead, and revealed the true identity of the notorious serial killer known as Bloody Face. As the story unfolded, the audience learned of the cruel experiments carried out by the doctors. The impressive cast, including Zachary Quinto, Sarah Paulson, Jessica Lange, James Cromwell, Franka Potente, and Chloë Sevigny, alone was worth the price of admission. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any more twisted, there was a lampshade made of human skin.

View it on: Disney Plus.

The TV show “Stranger Things” aired an episode in 2016 titled “The Weirdo on Maple Street.”

Barb in Stranger Things.

The popular series created by The Duffer Brothers started out with a small-town eerie vibe similar to Stephen King’s style, but gradually increased in grandeur. However, it wasn’t until the unexpected plot twist and the subsequent #JusticeForBarb movement that it truly became a cultural phenomenon. The twist of having the demogorgon attack Nancy’s well-behaved friend Barb, instead of the rebellious Nancy who was upstairs kissing Steve, subverted typical slasher movie tropes. The outrage from newly devoted fans could be heard as Barb was taken into the Upside Down.

View it on: Netflix.

The Walking Dead – Seed (2012)

The Walking Dead.

Can you believe it? We were treated to the sight of zombies wearing riot gear in 177 episodes and various spin-offs. However, this season’s third episode was the most frightening of all in this post-apocalyptic tale. Deputy sheriff Rick Grimes and his group found shelter in a prison, where they carefully eliminated the walkers. As they explored further into the prison’s dim halls, they encountered unexpected surprises. This installment was packed with intense action reminiscent of George Romero’s films and was also quite gory. It set a series record at the time, with 10.9 million viewers in the US tuning in.

View it on: Disney Plus.

Fringe – Marionette (2010)

Fringe – Marionette

JJ Abrams’ underappreciated show about the supernatural often combined elements of science fiction and horror, as seen in this episode from the third season that had a Frankenstein-like twist. In it, a merciful murderer performs impromptu surgery on organ recipients in New York, injecting them with a serum to prolong their lives and then calling for help. The true motive behind his actions is eventually uncovered. The victims were being used like marionettes.

View it on: Sky Sci-Fi/Now.

Source: theguardian.com