Halloween is just around the corner, but if you’re not one to go trick-or-treating (or even just tricking) there’s no better time to fix yourself something fancy, snuggle up on the couch and treat yourself to a marathon of one of TV’s great horror shows.
With a baker’s dozen of serial killers, werewolves, vampires, and other assorted nasties, these episodes are guaranteed to keep you up late.
For more spooky delights, Logo TV will air The Rocky Horror Picture Show all day and night on Halloween, starting at 10am.
13. Hemlock Grove
This werewolf show may be a guilty pleasure, but when it’s good it’s goooood.
Stars like Famke Janssen and Lily Taylor devour the scenery, and newcomer Bill Skarsgård (brother to Alexander) brings the cute.
Plus, the werewolf transformation from Season One is one of the nastiest ever. Watch if you dare:
12. Friday the 13th: the Series
With 100% fewer hockey masks than the movies, this campy but occasionally terrifying series centered on a team of young investigators trying to recoup cursed objects sold at an evil antiques shop—creepy music boxes, possessed dolls, killer scarecrows, and even a compact that kills supermodels:
That particular episode also imparted an important life lesson: Never applying Aqua Net while smoking.
11. Dark Shadows
This offbeat daytime soap from the ’60s became a breakout hit when it started focusing on minor character Barnabas Collins (Jonathan Frid), who happened to be a vampire. Ignore the awful Johnny Depp movie and dig into the original.
10. True Blood
What started out as a vampire series soon added werewolves, demons, demigods, faeries, shapeshifters and serial killers, all of whom seemed to bump uglies during True Blood’s seven season on HBO.
Sure, it jumped the shark halfway through, but just try to remember that while watching Alexander Skarsgård sunbathing nude on a mountaintop:
Or Alcide (Joe Manganiello) breaking up with his shirt:
Or pretty much anything Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten) did:
That’s our Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis). Always there to keep it real.
The most adorable serial killer in Miami, Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) did his best to juggle work as a blood- spatter expert, family life and butchering people who got away with crimes.
The show’s dark sense of humor and sunny Floridian palette thankfully balanced out the gruesomeness of many of the crime scenes.
And Jennifer Carpenter stole every scene she appeared in as Dex’s foul-mouthed detective sister, Deb:
8. Twin Peaks
This acid trip of a small-town soap is as good as a slice of fresh-baked cherry pie. From the Log Lady to horses appearing in hallways to the backward-talking little person in Dale Cooper’s (Kyle McLachlan’s) prophetic dreams, there’s never been a mystery quite like the show that had all of America asking, “Who killed Laura Palmer?”
And with a new Twin Peaks series on the way, what better time to get acquainted with the original?
Tune in for the hot brothers chasing demons, stay for the hot brothers chasing angels.
The emotionally charged relationship between Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) and angel Castiel (Misha Collins) has launched a slashfic movement, which the show teasingly incorporated into the plot.
Gay mad genius Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies) proved pretty much everyone wrong by delivering a small-screen version of Thomas Harris’s Silence of the Lambs universe that is gruesome, poetic and achingly beautiful.
Admittedly, the bromance between Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) and Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) is a bit twisted…
…but undeniably delicious.
5. Harper’s Island
This serialized slasher movie turned a destination wedding into a slaughterhouse, killing off one character a week. This is what we’ve been fighting for, people!
C.J. Thomason did his best to distract from all the mayhem.
But the real star were the creative way people were killed off—including a guy getting tied to the propeller of a boat, with an air tank to keep him alive until someone started the motor:
4. American Horror Story
Do you take your Zachary Quinto as a whiny househusband who experiments with bondage gear (“Murder House”) or as a shrink who plays mind games with Sarah Paulson (“Asylum”)?
Fortunately, thanks to Horror Story’s unique structure – every season is a standalone story featuring a rotating cast of actors – you can have both! Let’s ask Lana Winters (Paulson) how she feels about that:
3. Death Valley
It’s a shame that MTV’s horror-comedy Death Valley only lasted one season, because its blend of cop show and gorefest was a blast.
It was super-gross:
But there were plenty of handsome men in uniform to balance it out, like Bryce Johnson:
And Texas Battle:
2. Penny Dreadful
This Victorian monster mash is an absolute must for its emotional depth, its lavish production design, and its unexpectedly explicit sex scenes.
If you haven’t watched its first season, do—and not just for one of the most genuinely shocking kisses ever on TV, between Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett) and Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney).
1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Oft imitated, never outstaked. Though even we may have introduced The Initiative to Mr. Pointy.
But how much fun is Dark Willow?
And even Glory.
And just look how much fun Faith and Buffy have when they’re not trying to kill each other:
Though Spike might wind up being what keeps you watching into the wee hours: