Horror has become one of the most popular genres on television. On main networks, there was a limitation as to how violent a series can be. However, with the advancement in premium cable networks, there is more freedom when it comes to what can be shown on camera. TechTrends has put together a list of the best horror series of all time.
There are several masterpieces of horror series, new and old, to watch in your free time and enjoy the entertainment. Since the series The Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents, the horror genre and TV became synonymous to one another. If you are tired of the movies but love to be frightened, what do you say about some chilling and scary television series? Those who are fans of zombies, true crime, and supernatural are going to love some of the series on the list. For those who are fans of fantasy, series like True Blood and Penny Dreadful will be great choices. TechTrends has comprised a list of the best horror series of all time. Without further ado, let’s get to the list.
Best Horror Series of All Time
Horror series are able to thrill and move audiences and they are moving past the genre classification now. Narrowing down a list of the best horror series to watch is not an easy task as there is a plethora of movies out there. Here are the best horror series of all time.
11. True Blood 2008 – 2014
- Genre: Horror
- Stars: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell, Rutina Wesley, Alexander Skarsgård, Nelsan Ellis
- Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 69%, IMDb 7.9
Vampire tales are usually regarding sexuality, lust and desire. However, True Blood is raunchy, even for the standards of vampires. This series stars Anna Paquin as the leading female role, playing Sookie Stackhouse, who is a waitress that can read minds. She falls for a vampire portrayed by Stephen Moyer, who is Paquin’s husband in real life.
However, True Blood does not show vampires like other typical ones who portray them as creatures that lurk in the darkness looking for blood and having a secret. This series happens in a world where people know about the existence of the vampires, courtesy of a synthetic blood substitute that lets them fight with their desire to feast on innocent people. The series also helped Alexander Skarsgard become famous. He played the role of Viking vampire Eric Northman.
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10. The Walking Dead 2010 – 2022
- Genre: Horror/Drama
- Stars: Norman Reedus, Andrew Lincoln, Melissa McBride, Lauren Cohan, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Danai Gurira
- Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 79%, IMDb 8.1
This zombie apocalypse series is based on Robert Kirkman’s comic book, with the initial idea of his work being “The zombie story that never ends!”. The Walking Dead has soon become a runaway success. Aside from the scares and the zombies, the series looks hard into the humanity of people who are living in a hostile world after being civilized for so long. Although the result of that look may hardly be pretty, this has become of the best horror series of all time. The group of survivors are doing all their can to stay alive while they are consistently being hunted by zombies, who they refer to as “walkers”. The group is led by former police officer Rick Grimes, who searches for a safe and secure place for his people to settle in.
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9. The Witcher 2019 – Present
- Genre: Fantasy, Drama
- Stars: Henry Cavill, Anya Chalotra, Freya Allan, Joey Batey, MyAnna Buring
- Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 81%, IMDb 8.2
Netflix’s popular fantasy series named The Witcher has become one of the best shows to watch on Netflix right now. The story focuses on monster-hunter Geralt of Rivia, portrayed by Henry Cavill and how he is destined to connect with Princess Ciri, played by Freya Allan. It is an adaptation of novels by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski and the first season has pleased dark fantasy fans so much. Moreover, the show got many nominations, including Best Actor on Television for the leading role Cavill.
Read more: Best Henry Cavill Movies of All Time
8. Buffy the Vampire Slayer 1997 – 2003
- Genre: Horror
- Stars: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Alyson Hannigan, David Boreanaz, Nicholas Brendon, James Marsters, Charisma Carpenter
- Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 85%, IMDb 8.3
Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a teen drama and comedy as well as fright-of-the-week. However, it mixes all three to great effect. This series is indeed one of the best horror series of all time and within the genre. It has everything needed to get men and women of the 90s to enjoy it, particularly when they are not a fan of horror or teen dramas. Buffy is portrayed by Sarah Michelle Gellar and she was among the first women on TV to kick like her male counterparts. This is indeed one of the greatest horror series of all time that you do not want to miss.
7. Castle Rock 2018 – 2019
- Genre: Horror
- Stars: Bill Skarsgård, Melanie Lynskey, Lizzy Caplan, Sissy Spacek, André Holland
- Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 88%, IMDb 7.5
Stephen King’s horror catalog from his novels was capable of filling a whole town with villains and heroes. This is exactly what Castle Rock does. It is set in a town that is fictional and is named Maine, according to King. It is quite close to a horror multiverse that was ever made. There are some characters that are familiar, as well as settings, such as Lizzy Caplan as Annie Wilkes, a figure popularized by Kathy Bates in Misery. The series was able to mix what King is best known for with traditional crime drama elements. Despite having only two seasons, the King enthusiasts loved it and so did the general audience. Therefore, it has made it to the list of the best horror series of all time.
6. Penny Dreadful 2014 – 2016
- Genre: Horror
- Stars: Eva Green, Josh Hartnett, Rory Kinnear, Reeve Carney, Billie Piper
- Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 91%, IMDb 8.2
The Victorian world was interested in the occult as a way to understand the world from a scientific view instead of a religious one. strange phenomena are seen as instances of life after death; since the Age of Enlightenment had reduced people’s certainty in a heaven mentioned in bible, something else had to replace it. Therefore, this era would give us with a setting for a horror show, and a useful well from which to draw classic scary tales. The series stars Eva Green as Vanessa Ives, who is a powerful medium finding herself in the middle of paranormal activity.
It has both original characters like her and American gunman Ethan Chandler, portrayed by Josh Harnett, with his stories being written expressly for the show. However, it also draws on Gothic figures of history, including Dr. Frankenstein, Dracula, and Dorian Gray all exist in this one literary world.
5. Stranger Things 2016 – Present
- Genre: Drama
- Stars: Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp, Sadie Sink, Gaten Matarazzo, Joe Keery, Natalia Dyer, Winona Ryder
- Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 92%, IMDb 8.7
This phenomenally successful 80’s series is created by the Duffer brothers. The duo did their best to make sure their show fits that time period, with the story revolving around a psychokinetic girl and a crew of adorable, nerdy pre-teens when they come across unexpected supernatural activity in their hometown. The girl tries to help the group of young boys find their friend who is missing. Stranger Things is one of the best series to watch on Netflix in 2022. Moreover, it got 38 nominations at the Emmys and claimed seven. Stranger Things has been one of the best horror series of all time ever since it was launched, and it is now on its fourth season.
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4. Supernatural 2005 – 2020
- Genre: Horror/Mystery
- Stars: Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins, Mark Sheppard, Jeffrey Dean Morgan
- Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 93%, IMDb 8.4
At first, Supernatural was conceived as a monster-of-the-week drama, but during the last 20 years, it has been one of the best horror series of all time. In each episode, brothers Sam and Dean, played by Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, respectively, go around the country fighting ghosts, demons, monsters and other entities that are supernatural. With the show having many season, as it dragged on, it turned out to be more driven and focused on fights between angels, demons and humanity. However, when it started, it was about two emotionally repressed boys that did not want to go to therapy by burning corpses and spending their lives.
It was then that the show was quite scary. They go into some traditional ghost stories and monster mythology that is hard to watch if the lights are off. There are many jump scares and gruesome imagery, showing the supernatural world in conflict with the human world. Supernatural is one of the best horror series of all time.
3. The Haunting of Hill House 2018
- Genre: Horror
- Stars: Victoria Pedretti, Kate Siegel, Henry Thomas, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Violet McGraw, Carla Gugino
- Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 93%, IMDb 8.6
The third one on the list of the best horror movies of all time is The Haunting of Hill House, which is a modern retelling of Shirley Jackson’s novel. Like many of the Mike Flanagan projects, it has an amazing mystery, incredible dialogue, production value, and great performances from the star cast that is consisted of his wife, Kate Siegel, Samantha Sloyan, Henry Thomas, Carla Gugino and more. The series revolves around a family of five children that grow up in a haunted house. Following a tragic loss, they flee the house. After twenty-six years, the siblings have to confront their past again. The show had many fans upon release and the Rotten Tomatoes score is high. We strongly recommend this as one of the best horror series of all time.
2. The Last of Us 2023 – Present
- Genre: Drama
- Stars: Bella Ramsey, Pedro Pascal, Ashley Johnson, Anna Torv, Nick Offerman
- Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 96%, IMDb 8.9
The new HBO series that came out in 2023 is about an outbreak of a mutant Cordyceps fungus, which ravages the States in 2013. The fungus is able to turn the human hosts into creatures known as the infected and they behave aggressively, killing other people. Joel, played by Troy Baker, gets out of the chaos of Austin, Texas with his brother Tommy, portrayed by Jeffrey Pierce and daughter Sarah. The series shows the events of 20 years later, with Bella Ramsey playing the role of Ellie, who is immune to the infection. Therefore, Joel is trying to protect her until they get her to a safe place. The Last of Us is indeed one of the best horror series ever.
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1. In the Flesh 2013 – 2014
- Genre: Drama/Horror
- Stars: Luke Newberry, Harriet Cains, Emily Bevan, Kevin Sutton, Emmett J Scanlan
- Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 97%, IMDb 7.9
Another one of the best horror series of all time is In the Flesh. Zombie movies and series have this dehumanizing quality to them. That is, as soon as they are bit, they are no longer viewed as a person since people wait for them to become monsters. However, in this series, the focus in on zombiism as something not permanent of being. The series raises a very exciting question: What would happen if a zombie could be saved of their taste for human flesh? Would men welcome them? How can they deal with what they have done before?
This series stars Luke Newberry as Kieren Walker, who is a teenager rising from the dead after he commits a suicide. He goes back to his hometown and is not certain of what place he has in this world. We highly recommend this as one of the best horror series ever made.