After the recent online adoration (and mockery) of Morbius, the idea of horror in non-horror contexts has been criticized. After all, the idea of Jared Leto as Morbius sparked considerable ridicule and endless memes that literally launched Morbius‘Second flop at the box office.
But not all non-mainstream horrors deserve this level of anger. There have been many horror TV shows that were so scary they were maybe too much for their networks. Some fans on private soldier started discussing which of these shows might be too scary for TV.
To note: Ranking lists are live and continue to accrue votes, so some rankings may have changed after this posting.
A show about serial killers and the infamous cannibal Hannibal Lecter, Hannibal depicts truly terrible horrors. One episode involves a killer creating makeshift wings from a victim in hopes of making a human angel, and it’s downright horrifying.
But the real part of the show that turns out to be too scary for TV, Hannibal depicts the slow psychological manipulation of its protagonist by Hannibal. It’s a chilling sight, as it shows how easy it can be for a serial killer to manipulate even trained detectives.
9 Tales from the dark side
Dedicated to unrelated anthology episodes depicting absolute horror, Tales from the dark side offered fans unique looks into truly dark worlds, and many of its episodes still scare today. Many episodes featured adaptations from writers like Stephen King, allowing casual audiences to experience dark stories.
Some episodes, like “Sorry, Right Number,” relied on suspense to carry the storylines, but others like “I Can’t Help Saying Goodbye” used terrifying situations that were sure to give kids nightmares. Although it’s a great show, it may not have been suitable for television.
A cult hit that turned out to be a great horror TV show, Supernatural aired for 15 seasons and explored the lives of Sam and Dean Winchester. The two brothers have taken on paranormal creatures like ghosts, demons, and leviathans as they try to prevent apocalypse after apocalypse.
While the show had high stakes, it also featured monster-of-the-week stories that proved to be incredibly heavy and often tragic. With characters regularly sent to hell, banished to purgatory, or outright tortured, parts of the show were definitely too much for primetime television.
seven X files
Although widely considered a science fiction show, X files occasionally mixed with serious horror. A show that attracted some major players like Ryan Reynolds and Lucy Liu, X-files was a major phenomenon that turned its protagonists Mulder and Scully into household names.
The show ran for 11 seasons and relied on large arcs and individual episode monsters to help push the plot forward. Episodes like “Chinga” which followed an evil Chucky-like doll, or “The Host” about a cannibalistic creature created by Chernobyl, managed to elicit pure horror and certainly shouldn’t have been shown on casual TV.
6 Are you scared of the dark?
An ongoing show that has successfully completed nine seasons so far, Are you scared of the dark? is about as dedicated to horror as the title suggests. The show is a Nickelodeon live-action series based on the premise of teenagers sitting around a fire at night and sharing stories. As you would expect from children’s camping, this often turns into a scare factor.
Kids explored haunting ghost stories and visuals in episodes like “The Tale Of Apartment 214” and “The Tale Of The Super Specs.” For a show aimed at kids, it was an extraordinarily fun time, but it may have dipped into the horror a little too often.
5 The Walking Dead
While zombie movies often spend more time on zombies than on the people left behind, The Walking Dead takes a different approach. Focusing instead on the conflicts between the survivors, The Walking Dead allows the characters to grow and change as the apocalypse continues to worsen around them.
Zombies – called Walkers in the series – are grotesque creatures with rotting flesh and abundant hunger. The show often devotes a lot of time to the gore and brutality of the creatures, which can make it too scary for sensitive audiences. Still, it’s a great spectacle that gives the possibility of major and realistic consequences.
4 The Haunting of Hill House
A mini-series adapted from a popular book, The Haunting of Hill House explores the long-term effects of a paranormal ghost sighting by five children in their childhood home. Now adults, children have to come to terms with their experiences, and few really know how to deal with them.
The show ran for 10 episodes but garnered universal praise from critics and fans. Although she won several spin-off shows, the Crains’ story reshaped popular conceptions of horror by exploring the aftermath of scenes fans typically see in movies and shows.
3 The twilight zone
Generally considered one of the best-written television shows, The twilight zone portrayed complete stories in small pieces that left an impact on every viewer. Each story had inventive storylines depicting groundbreaking sci-fi concepts or terrifying ideas that traumatized young viewers for years.
Episodes like “The Little People” or “The Obsolete Man” provided twists that really kept fans sitting for hours after watching, still considering the theme they witnessed. The heavy themes helped the show stay in the public consciousness decades after it ended.
2 Tales from the Crypt
A show that has attracted talented guest stars like Tim Curry, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Brad Pitt, Tales from the Crypt was an anthology series that ran for seven seasons on HBO. Free from typical television censorship, thanks to its premium channel status, violence and sex were perfectly acceptable on the show.
The show is often incredibly gruesome with episodes like “And All Through The House” involving a wife murdering her husband with a poker stick. Still, while the locals are often heavy, they’re still good TV and really belong on a premium channel.
1 american horror story
Each season of american horror story depicts unique premises with a story that begins and ends during this selected season. Exploring themes like circuses, convents, cults, 1984 and asylums, the show covered a wide range of topics that made it appeal to a variety of audiences.
Although not all seasons are equally acclaimed, the series has managed to win over 100 major awards in its 10 seasons. Excellent acting, excellent writing, and solid special effects made this a beloved show, but the explicit horror may have made it too scary for casual audiences.
Next: 10 Ways Coven Is The Best Season In American Horror History, According To Reddit
Stranger Things: 12 Best Max Mayfield Quotes
About the Author