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Now that there’s a chill in the air and ghosts and goblins roam the Earth (or, more accurately, wonderfully kitsch decorations of them do), it’s the perfect time to bunker down with leftover pumpkin pie and catch up on all the freaky favourites Netflix has to offer.

TV

9 of the Best Horror TV Shows on Netflix

Now that there’s a chill in the air and ghosts and goblins roam the Earth (or, more accurately, wonderfully kitsch decorations of them do), it’s the perfect time to bunker down with leftover pumpkin pie and catch up on all the freaky favourites Netflix has to offer.

Spooky Shows to Binge on Netflix this October

There’s a lot to love about October. The seasonal drinks, the fact that it’s appropriate to wear plaid all month long, and the snack-sized candy. It’s also the perfect time of the year to catch up on all the spooky shows you may not have had the chance to watch just yet. But now that there’s a chill in the air and ghosts and goblins roam the Earth (or, more accurately, wonderfully kitsch decorations of them do), it’s the perfect time to bunker down with leftover pumpkin pie and catch up on all the freaky favourites Netflix has to offer. 

The Haunting of Hill House 

Based on Shirley Jackson’s novel The Haunting of Hill House, this series follows the story of the Crain family at two key points in time: after their move into the nefarious Hill House during the summer of 1992, and 20+ years later following the death of their youngest sister. The show—created by Mike Flanagan— is full of unsettling ghosts, tense family bonds, and culminated in a tragic ending for a tragic family. While the series only has one season, Flanagan’s sister-show, The Haunting of Bly Manor, is also available on Netflix and is also guaranteed to creep you out. 

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Originally published as a comic series in 2014 by Archie Horror, an imprint of Archie Comics, this story has since been adapted into an original show by Netflix. The series follows the adventures of Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka) and she tries to maintain some sense of normalcy in the human-world, while also inspiring a revolution amongst her coven with the Church of Night. The show is fun, even if it’s a bit of a mess at times, with a great aesthetic and feminist message. And with the final season coming out later this year, there’s never been a better time to catch up on old episodes. 

Scream 

Originally developed for MTV and VH1, this show shares more with a CW show than the movie it’s named after. The program takes place in the town of Lakewood, where a serial killer has been targeting and murdering the local teenagers. Truthfully, the show isn’t the best we’ve ever seen, but it’s unsettling and is rocking those early 2010s vibes (even though season three came out in 2019). It’s fun, it’s nostalgic, and it’s worth checking out. 

Ash vs Evil Dead

Arguably the best show on this list, Ash vs Evil Dead is about Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) and set roughly thirty years after the events of the Evil Dead. Ash, who works at the Value Stop with his coworker turned friend Pedro (Ray Santiago), is tasked with fighting the Deadites and stopping the evil from the Necronomicon from destroying Earth as they know it. They’re also joined by Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo) following the death of her parents, and Ruby (Lucy Lawless), who wrote the Necronomicon. The show is hilarious, wild, and an absolute bloodbath. The plot is wild, the characters are loveable, and getting to see Ash Williams all these years later is an absolute delight. 

Dracula 

Based on the book Dracula by Bram Stoker, but with a new flare by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, this three-episode series is—you guessed it—about the journey of the world’s most popular bloodsucker, Dracula (Claes Bang). Each episode is roughly ninety minutes long, making it feel like you’re watching a film trilogy as opposed to a TV show. And while it does feature key points from the novel, it also mixes in new concepts that haven’t been explored by the character before, which makes an already wonderful show feel extra fresh. 

Scream Queens 

Honestly, this is probably Ryan Murphy‘s worst show and it’s still an absolute joy to watch. It’s all the best parts of slashers and reality TV: drama, rich b*tches, fashion and murder. There are only two seasons of the show and although they feel exceptionally disjointed from each other—with the first taking place in a sorority house and the second at a teaching hospital—the serial killers that make their presence known in each season are a ton of gory fun. The script, while a bit dated, is often hilarious and the subject matter is perfect for the spooky, ultra-dramatic Halloween season. 

Death Note

Only 34 episodes long, this anime from 2003 is an absolute must-watch, and not just because it’s the spookiest time of the year. The show follows the journey of a young man named Light (Mamoru Miyano) who discovers a book that kills anyone whose name is written in it, and who quickly finds himself being pursued by master detective L (Kappei Yamaguchi). The story is a nerve-wracking crime-drama that will challenge your idea of morality, while also introducing some deeply uncomfortable ideas (like the price people are willing to pay for absolute power). There’s just enough horror to make it perfect for this type of year, and it’s miles better than the Death Note film Netflix released in 2017. 

Haunted 

This show is the perfect blend of docu-series and drama, while still being guaranteed to keep you up late into the night. Each episode centers on a real person recounting a terrifying incident involving the paranormal, otherworldly, or monstrous. These anecdotes are intercut with reenactments of the events that have surprisingly high production quality and spook factor. Although it’s hard to believe any of these stories happened, the conviction with which each tale is narrated, along with the dramatic performances, makes it a little easier to believe them (and a lot easier for your mind to run wild when you’re alone at night). 

Goosebumps

Although the full 74-episode run isn’t available on Netflix, don’t let this stop you from reliving all the glory that was ’90s children horror. While these episodes might not be terrifying for Millennials now well into adulthood, they definitely conjure up the right dose of Halloween nostalgia. And, truthfully, it can be an absolute blast to curl up on the sofa and rip into older episodes of the show, while still enjoying the ambiance and campy acting that’s a staple of the series. Plus, given the absolute hellscape that 2020 has proven to be, there’s nothing wrong with looking back at a simpler time of scrunchies and unironically stonewashed denim and enjoying tacky horror stories, now is there? 

This show is the perfect blend of docu-series and drama, while still being guaranteed to keep you up late into the night. Each episode centers on a real person recounting a terrifying incident involving the paranormal, otherworldly, or monstrous. These anecdotes are intercut with reenactments of the events that have surprisingly high production quality and spook factor. Although it’s hard to believe any of these stories happened, the conviction with which each tale is narrated, along with the dramatic performances, makes it a little easier to believe them (and a lot easier for your mind to run wild when you’re alone at night). 

Written By

Caitlin Marceau is an author and lecturer living and working in Montreal. She holds a B.A. in Creative Writing, is a member of both the Horror Writers Association and the Quebec Writers’ Federation, and spends most of her time writing horror and experimental fiction. Her collections, "A Blackness Absolute" and "Palimpsest", are slated for publication by D&T Publishing LLC and Ghost Orchid Press respectively in 2022. When she’s not covered in ink or wading through stacks of paper, you can find her ranting about issues in pop culture or nerding out over a good book. For more, visit CaitlinMarceau.ca.

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